Renunciation of Indian Citizenship - Surrender of Indian Passport

What are passport surrender/renunciation rules?

Passport surrender rules require that Indian nationals, on acquiring foreign citizenship should: Notify the nearest Indian consulate. Duly renounce their Indian citizenship. Pay the appropriate fee. Surrender the last Indian passport they held, to the Indian consulate, for cancellation. While these rules may have been on the books for a long time, they were not strictly enforced until October 2009. The government of India apparently became aware of situations, where former Indian citizens continued to use their Indian passports as travel documents, even after they had acquired foreign citizenship. In an effort to stop the misuse of Indian passports in such situations, the passport surrender rules were announced. Passport surrender and formal renunciation of Indian citizenship, now is now compulsory. 

Who must renounce Indian Citizenship

Anyone who held an Indian passport before acquiring foreign citizenship is now required to officially renounce Indian citizenship and surrender their last held Indian passport for cancellation.

Why is it important to get Surrender Certificate

Persons of Indian origin who acquire foreign citizenship, will show proof of renunciation/passport surrender certificate before they can avail any services from Indian consulates abroad. For instance, if a visa to visit India or to apply for PIO card or OCI, a surrender certificate will be a document that will be required. Unless a person never wants to visit India, it is in their own interest to apply for and get a surrender certificate to avoid problems in future.

How to get passport surrender certificate 

For those who acquired foreign citizenship after June 1, 2010. The procedure is simple. They: Fill in the appropriate form. Submit their last held Indian passport for cancellation. Pay the appropriate fee. Their passport is then duly canceled by the Indian consulate officials and they are given a surrender certificate.

Surrender Rules Explained

Acquired foreign citizenship on or after June 1st 2010

Indian passport holders should surrender their passports to the Indian Embassy/Consulates on acquisition of foreign citizenship and get a surrender certificate/renunciation certificate. Their Indian passport will be canceled and returned to them.

Acquired foreign citizenship before June 1st 2010

Same procedure as above, however the fee is lower. Surrender passports for cancellation and get a surrender/renunciation certificate. In case passport was held for more than three years after acquiring foreign citizenship and does not have a canceled stamp, a penalty may be charged. If passport was used for travel after acquiring foreign citizenship, penalties may be charged.

Acquired foreign citizenship before 2001. Lost Indian Passport

People who obtained foreign citizenship before 2001 and do not have their last Indian passport cannot get a passport surrender certificate, as they do not have a passport to surrender! o Those in such a situation should should apply for a ‘Deemed Surrender Certificate’ This document is acceptable proof of renunciation. o To get a ‘Deemed Surrender Certificate’ applicants will have to provide proof and details of when foreign citizenship was acquired by them and the passport details of the last Indian passport held by them. Even though they may have lost their last Indian passport, such details may be available either free or on payment from the governments of their current nationality. For example records are kept of applicants when they apply for US citizenship.

Surrender & Renunciation Certificate Differences

Once you acquire foreign citizenship and renounce your Indian citizenship, the procedure basically involves surrendering your passport for cancellation. Once canceled the passport is returned to you and a ‘Surrender Certificate’ issued. Those who have misplaced or lost their last Indian passports several years back and hence do not have a passport that they can surrender for cancellation, are given a ‘Renunciation Certificate’. Whether you get a surrender or renunciation certificate they both have the same effect.

Passport Surrender Penalties

Former Indian citizens, if they fail to surrender their passports in a timely manner, or have used their Indian passports for travel, are charged penalties by the authorities. While such penalties are subject to revision/change at any time by the government of India, the current information is provided. If you acquired foreign citizenship before January 1, 2005 and your last held Indian passport also expired before January 1 2005, there are no penalties. In case your passport does not have a canceled stamp, and more than three years have passed, since you acquired foreign citizenship, there is a penalty of US$250. In case your Indian passport was used for travel to India three months after you acquired foreign citizenship, then there is a penalty of US$250 for each time it was used. The maximum penalty in such cases is US$ 1250. Those who are not in the United States will probably pay the equivalent amount, in their local currency. 

Documents required to get surrender certificate

Renunciation Form duly filled. Your most recent Indian passport that you held when you acquired foreign citizenship Copy of your currently held foreign passport Proof of Address Renunciation of Indian Citizenship fees The renunciation fee currently is US$175. However the fee payable depends on when you acquired foreign citizenship. 1. Those who acquire foreign citizenship on or after June 1, 2010 pay fees of $175.00. 2. Persons who acquired foreign citizenship on or before May 31, 2010 are not being charged the renunciation fee and will pay miscellaneous fees of $20.00. Kindly note fees & penalties shown on this page can be changed at anytime by the concerned authorities and are shown only for informational purposes. Exact penalties can be ascertained from the nearest Indian consulate in your area. 
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