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Renunciation of Indian Citizenship and Obtaining Surrender Certificate મે 30, 2010

Posted by jagadishchristian in કાર્યક્રમ, વિચાર-મંથન, સમાચાર-હેવાલ.
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Renunciation of Indian Citizenship and Obtaining Surrender Certificate

I have posted this new rule and requirement on my blog on 05/23/10 in Gujarati language. Today I am posting this post in English because this new rule is for all NRI and not for only Gujarati NRI.

Like I have mentioned on my previous post that the website of “Consulate General of India, New York, has posted this new rule on their website two weeks ago. But the language, wording, fees etc. keep changing every day. It is so confusing.

But before I continue I would like to bring everyone’s attention to one point. If an Indian citizen acquires US or any other country’s citizenship the Indian citizenship is automatically terminated as per section 9(1) of citizenship act 1955. And when that person applies for Indian visa and Indian government issues visa means the government has accepted that the person is not an Indian citizen. So if a person is no longer Indian citizen how can he renounce Indian citizenship and obtain surrender certificate. So those who has acquired Indian visa, whose passport has expired are no longer Indian citizen and this citizenship act can’t be applied against them. The only offence applies by this section is that if anyone used Indian passport, acquired or renewed after acquisition of foreign citizenship.        

Last night they have made few changes: Click here to read.

1.  This is another funny change they have made on the table of fees and penalty on the website of Consulate General of India, New York that those whose Indian passport is stamped “CANCELLED” no need to acquire surrender certificate. So again this is their responsibility to endorse the Indian passport with cancellation stamp when we applied for Indian visa the very first time. Because when we acquired the US citizenship and applied for India visa we were asked to submit our Indian passport. The embassy issued visa and returned the Indian passport back to us without endorsing cancellation. Why we have to pay fees and or penalty to obtain a surrender certificate? Then so what would be the procedure to obtain Indian visa for these people? Because one of the requirement for applying Indian visa is passport surrender certificate. So they will have to hold that canceled passport for the rest of their life. LOL.

2.  The other funny part is that if you have lost or damaged your passport then you only pay the service fees of $175.00 and no penalty. But if you have your Indian passport in your possession without cancelled endorsement then you have to acquire surrender certificate and when you submit that passport then the service fee of $175.00 and all the penalties are applied based on the year of acquiring US citizenship. Isn’t this ridicule? So to avoid the huge penalties one can file a police complaint for loss of passport and just pay $175.00 to acquire the surrender certificate.

The law was added to the constitution in 1955 but the Indian government never implemented till now. And they want to penalize those who became citizen of other countries years ago for not fault of theirs. In this law it states in “section 9(1) of the act provides that any citizen of India who by naturalization or registration acquires the citizenship of another country shall cease to be a citizen of India.”

Click here to read the law on Wikipedia.

Click here to read the article of immigrant lawyer Cyrus Mehta.

The Indian government has all the rights to implement any and all laws but it can not penalize non Indian citizens retroactively for their own failure of non-implementation. The government didn’t review it properly before enforcing it and is making changes everyday. I think they have to revisit their implementation procedure and look at it from all different angels. Please find below my comments.

1.  When an India citizen comes to US on immigration visa they receive a permanent residency and are provided a green card. They have to produce green card every time they travel out of US and when they returns. After completing five years in US they are entitle to acquire US citizenship. The five years excluding the days spent outside US. Once they acquire the US citizenship they have to surrender the green card asked to obtain US passport to travel abroad. So the Indian passport becomes unusable and cannot travel on Indian passport. Because when they come back to US they have to have valid visa, green card or US passport and if the US passport doesn’t have outgoing stamp they will not be allowed to enter US territory. Most of the passports are valid for ten years. After five to six years if you acquire US citizenship the Indian passport has validity of only four years which can not be used to travel so after ten years the passport is automatically expires (cancelled).

2.  When the Indian government issued a visa to any Indian origin US citizen they accepted that the person is no longer Indian citizen. So if you are not an Indian citizen do you have to abide by the Indian citizen act law?

3.  So if visa is issued, the Indian passport was submitted to acquire Indian visa, the Indian passport is expired then what is the use of the Indian passport other than souvenir.

4.  So what is the reason behind implementation of the new rule of acquiring surrender certificate other than collecting undue service fees from NRI?         

So as far as I am concerned they should do the following:

1.  They should ask all those who acquired or renewed their Indian passport from January 01, 2001 and has acquired foreign citizenship should submit their passport because those might not have expired as of today. And they should give them at lease six months to do so without any fees or just $25.00 token fee. (the normal validity of any passport is only ten years from date of issue) No other countries are charging any fees for renouncing citizenship other than the due government obligation satisfied.

2.  They have to stamp on Indian passport the time they submit for Indian visa without charging any fees because that is their job.

3.  Going forward they have to collect some fees for not submitting Indian passport in 90 days after acquiring foreign citizenship.

4.  They have to maintain relationship with other countries that they provide them list of those who has acquired citizenship of their country. The details should include the Indian passport number, date and place of issue and name. They have to keep a database of those people who has acquired foreign citizenship and if anyone travels on those passports should be detained at Indian airport. And if that person is not the original passport holder then they have to find that person and detain him too.     

Federation of Indian Association has organized a peace rally in front of Indian Embassy in New York on June 4th 2010 between 2:30PM to 4:00PM. The address is 3 East 64th Street, New York, 10065. Please join and let your voice heard.

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