India does not allow Indian dual citizenship under the Indian Citizenship Act, so any Indian citizen who acquires U.S. citizenship or citizenship of another nationality must apply for renunciation of Indian citizenship and surrender his or her Indian passport. It is illegal for anyone to carry an Indian passport after renouncing Indian citizenship and therefore must surrender his or her Indian passport; those who fail to do so may face penalties.
In order to apply for an OCI card or Indian Visa, persons of Indian origin must provide proof of their renunciation, which can be demonstrated with a renunciation certificate. To obtain a renunciation certificate, Indians who have acquired citizenship of another country must submit an application for renunciation of Indian citizenship. Applying for renunciation of Indian citizenship involves submitting an application form along with required documents and fees based on the applicant’s renunciation category.
Renunciation categories include:
- Renunciation naturalized before June 1, 2010 (in possession of Indian passport)
- Renunciation naturalized on or after June 1, 2010 (in possession of Indian passport)
- Renunciation naturalized 10 years back (not in possession of Indian passport)
Indian passport holders who are recently naturalized U.S. citizens must surrender their Indian passport within 90 days of their US Naturalization.
Upon successful surrender of Indian passport, the passport should carry a stamp indicating, “cancelled due to acquiring foreign nationality.” Passport holders whose passports have a stamp that only indicates, “cancelled,” are not renounced of their Indian citizenship and may face penalties.
Those applying for renunciation of Indian citizenship should:
- Be an Indian Citizen who acquired citizenship of another country.
- Be a holder of valid U.S. passport or other foreign passport.
- Surrender his/her Indian passport.
- Have valid proof of address in present country of citizenship.
Penalties may apply if a person is carrying a non-cancelled Indian passport after acquiring foreign citizenship. Those who fail to surrender their Indian passport after acquiring foreign citizenship may face the following penalties.
- $250 penalty if passport expired after January 1, 2005 and 3 or more years have passed between naturalization date and present date. However, there is no penalty if the passport expired before January 1, 2005.
- $250 penalty for using Indian passport for travel after acquiring foreign citizenship. The maximum penalty on travel is $1,250.
- $500 penalty for renewing Indian passport after acquiring foreign citizenship.
- $250 penalty if Indian passport is used for any consular defined miscellaneous services.
After obtaining a renunciation certificate, renounced Indian citizens may surrender their passport at the nearest Indian Embassy. Those who apply for renunciation of Indian citizenship with their passport will have their passport returned to them with a surrender certificate.
Renounced Indian citizens may travel to India by applying for an OCI Card or an Indian visa.
To learn how to apply for a Renunciation Certificate, visit Renunciation of Indian Citizenship Application Process.