Indian citizenship must now be formally renounced as soon as possible after acquiring foreign citizenship. This is now the law. Those who do not do so can be denied consular service at Indian consulates. For example, if you apply for a visa to visit India, the consulate may ask to see proof of your passport surrender, a renunciation or surrender certificate. The cost of getting a passport surrender certificate is currently US$175/-.
Those who acquired foreign citizenship on or before 31 May 2010 and have “Canceled” stamp on their Indian passport, then there is currently no requirement of acquiring “Surrender Certificate”. However, those who do not have a cancelled stamp on the Indian passport, then you need to get the “Surrender Certificate” and in such cases, the fee is US$ 20. Former Indian citizens, who acquired foreign citizenship before 31st May 2010, fall into one of the following categories:
1. Their passport was cancelled by the Indian consulate and they already have a cancelled stamp on their last Indian passport.
2. They acquired foreign citizenship before 31st May 2010 and do not have a cancelled stamp on their last Indian passport.
3. They acquired foreign citizenship more than 10 years ago and lost their Indian passport.
While only the Indian consulate officials can answer specific queries on this topic. Here is what currently appears to be applicable:
- As it currently stands, just about all former Indian citizens who acquire foreign citizenship are required to get a surrender certificate. A copy of this certificate will be required by the Indian consulates when seeking consular services from Indian missions abroad. No visa, PIO or OCI applications will be accepted for processing unless a surrender certificate is provided.
- Those who acquired foreign citizenship on or after 1 June 2010 are required to obtain a surrender certificate from the Indian consulate that is applicable to their jurisdiction. The current fee is US$ 175.
- If the last Indian passport you held, before acquiring foreign citizenship, has been cancelled by an Indian consulate and you acquired foreign citizenship on or before May 31, 2010. You can get a Surrender Certificate for a reduced fee of just US$ 20. A copy of the last held Indian passport must be provided.
- In case you became a foreign citizen before 2001 and have lost the last Indian passport you held, you can obtain a deemed surrender certificate. However, documentary evidence is still required showing details of when you acquired foreign citizenship and also details of the last Indian passport held.
- Where details of last held Indian passport are not available, applicants are required to seek such details from the governments of their current nationality. Records of application for foreign citizenship may show details of the last passport held.
Passport Surrender Penalties
Passport fees & penalties shown here for general knowledge only and can be changed at any time at the discretion of Government of India. Kindly confirm with Indian consulates in your area.
- If your last Indian passport expired before January 1, 2005, there are no penalties.
- If your last Indian passport expired after January 1, 2005, and has a cancelled stamp then there are no penalties.
- In case your passport does not have a cancelled 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.
- Persons of Indian origin who acquired foreign citizenship more than 10 years ago, and have lost the last Indian passport they held, can obtain a deemed surrender certificate.
- The deemed surrender certificate is considered proof of renunciation of Indian citizenship. The fee is currently US$20. In case services are done by an outsourced company, there may be an additional fee.
What is the difference between Surrender and Renunciation
Surrender certificate or Renunciation certificate! are two words normally associated with the surrender of Indian passports when acquiring foreign citizenship. What is the difference between the two?
Once you acquire foreign citizenship and renounce your Indian citizenship, the procedure basically involves surrendering your passport for cancellation. Once cancelled 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.