Frequently asked questions by Indian Americans – How to Surrender Indian passport in USA? Helpful tips about the rules, regulations, and requirements. Dual citizenship refers to a condition where a person is a citizen of more than one country at a time. So, what does a citizen of a country really mean? If you google it,you’ll probably get a technical definition in which says that citizenship is that in which person is legally recognized by the country. But, can you be a citizen of two countries?
According to Indian law if a person acquires a citizenship of another country, he/she must surrender their Indian passport to the nearest Indian Embassy Consulates and obtain a surrender certificate. In order to avoid penalties this must be done within 90 days of becoming a citizen of another country. However, this rule may not apply to all countries.
Section101 (a)(22) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) states that someone who is a “national of the United States” i.e. either a citizen of the United States or owes permanent allegiance to the US is a US national/citizen. But, they need not choose one nationality over the other. It means that US citizens can become citizens of other countries without the risk of losing their American Citizenship. They can choose to relinquish their citizenship after 18 if they want to.
Loss of citizenship can occur in the US only due to the following reasons
- If one is working for the armed forces of another country which is at war with the US
- Committing an act of treason with the country.
It is therefore, important to know the rules of citizenship of the country one stays in. Countries like France, Australia, Bangladesh are some of the many countries that allow dual citizenship.
The Indian citizenship act, 1955 prohibits dual citizenship. Holding/ acquiring Indian passport after acquiring foreign nationality is a crime according to the Indian passport act, 1967. All POI (persons of Indian origin) in violation of this act have been subjected to a penalty. In order to avoid this one has to surrender his/her citizenship. This can be done by logging on to the CKGS website. Renunciation of Indian citizenship can be done in three ways on the website:
- Only renunciation
- Renunciation with OCI PIO application (Overseas Citizenship of India is granted to people who already have the citizenship of another country and were of Indian Origin or were eligible to become citizens of India)
- Renunciation with the visa application
Once one of these options are selected, then a form is required to be filled with basic details and certain documents are required which have to be submitted to the embassy.
The documents required are:-
- 2 Renunciation certificate forms
- Signed CKGS disclaimer form from CKGS application centers
- Photocopy of naturalization certificate
- Certain additional forms need to be filled for San Francisco, New York and Chicago
- Recent Indian Passport
- Copies of the last 2 pages and first 3 pages of the Indian passport
- Signed non-US citizen form
- Document displaying the applicants legal status like a permanent resident cardor visa status
- Copy of marriage certificate and documents for proof of name change (if required)
- In case of return of documents, Airway bill number with prepaid envelope.
- Minor applicants would also require the following additional documents:
- Renunciation forms signed by a minor child and both parents, if the child is below 5 years then a thumb impression might be required.
- If the child does not have a naturalization certificate then copies of naturalization certificates of both parents are required. A notarized statement stating the absence of the naturalization certificate would be required to be signed by both parents.
- Additional documents would be required for the minor only in case of the cities of San Francisco, Chicago and New York
- Signed copies of checklists and proof of payments of CKGS courier charges would be required.
Another way of doing this is by downloading the surrender certificate from the website indiacgny.org or visiting the consulate to pick up the form. If more than 90 days have passed since your acquisition of US citizenship then a late fee might be imposed. Details like the date one became a US citizen, issue date and place of issue need to be mentioned. Names of minor children who have Indian Citizenship can also be mentioned. Photocopies of certain pages of the US passport and the Indian passport are required. Put these in an envelope and obtain a money order or cheque of $175 and mail it or take to nearest embassy or consulate.
In case of absence or misplacement of an Indian passport a police report and an affidavit would be required. It is better to personally take an appointment and get things sorted as there might be mistakes or missing things which can be rectified on the spot in order to speedup up the process and avoid any difficulties.