Ummid Assistant

Hajj committee's IAS coaching cell invites applications for new batch

AMU Centre for Distance Education to add five more study centres

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home Views & Analysis

NRI woes on surrendering Indian passports

Sunday August 07, 2011 02:28:42 PM, Kul Bhushan, IANS

Many non-resident Indians (NRIs) say they are facing problems because of the formalities they now have to face while surrendering their Indian passports to acquire US citizenship.

"It is mind boggling how much paperwork they have added for someone born in India to revisit India," lamented NRI Padma Golla from Houston, US. She was among scores of NRIs reacting to the IANS report about India lowering the fee for surrender of Indian passports in early July.

Rules regarding surrender of Indian passports on attaining US citizenship, introduced by India's Ministry of External Affairs in May 2010, were relaxed from June 1, 2011, after strong pressure by NRIs.

Indian consulates used to charge $175 as fee for the surrender of old Indian passports and additional penalties for various "violations". The fee has now been reduced to just $20.

"I am being put in a difficult situation where I can't get a visa while my kid has one and I can't travel with my kid who just needed an American passport with an application for a visa," Golla added.

Many Indian consulates still have no idea about the announcement.

The consulates in countries other than the US are not sure if this new ruling applied to NRIs with British and other passports. The websites of many consulates show the higher, outdated fees.

Kawal Gupta from Toronto had a similar problem. He wrote: "I heard on radio that the fees for surrender of Indian passport after obtaining the citizenship of other country has been reduced to $20 but when I called VFS (visa processing office), they said they have not heard of any such change and that I should submit my forms with the fees of $175."

Till mid-July, the visa processing office insisted on charging a higher fee from Kawal who has four passports to cancel, which means paying about $700.

Sanjay Zala of Houston, Texas (US), who became a Canadian citizen in 2006, said Trasvisa Outsourcing, which handles visa requests from the United States, insists he pay a penalty of $250 because he did not surrender his Indian passport within a year.

He made representations to the Indian ministry of external affairs, ministry of overseas Indian affairs, senior officers and the Indian consulate in the US, but to no avail.

In his letter to the ministry, he wrote, "By paying penalty and Overseas Citizenship of India fees together, is the government of India really interested to increase the interest of NRIs and their investment in India?"

"And by imposing this penalty, is the government really doing a favour to NRIs to visit India and obtain Overseas Citizenship of India?" he asked.

"I have many thousands of names of the people who became foreign nationals before 2005 and kept their valid Indian passports for over three years. On renouncing their Indian citizenship, they did not pay any penalty," Zala added.

"Why have the consular officers abroad not drawn any attention about this to the ministry of external affairs? Why is there a gross discrimination against those who became foreign nationals after 2005 with valid Indian passports?" he asked.

Zala has not received any replies.

Tilak Sen and Raamprasad in Britain found it difficult to convince the Indian consulates that British passport holders should also pay the lower penalty.

Clarence Gomes from Mississauga, Canada, wrote that the previous rule was that anyone who obtained citizenship before May 2010 had to pay only $20 to obtain a surrender certificate but those who obtained citizenship after May 2010 had to pay $175.

Gomes wrote, "There are many like me who obtained Canadian citizenship in March 2011, does it mean that I have to still pay $175 for the surrender of my Indian passport? If so, there is no change in the policy as I understand it. We will appreciate if the correct policy is confirmed as it is still not clear to many Indians who have recently been granted citizenship of another country."

Gomes sent letters to the local TV stations, newspapers and the Indian consulate in Toronto and the ministries of external affairs and overseas Indian affairs but with no response.

 

Kul Bhushan previously worked abroad as a newspaper editor and has travelled to over 50 countries. He lives in New Delhi and can be contacted at: kul.b@ians.in

 


 

 

Bookmark and Share

Home | Top of the Page

 

Comments

Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of www.ummid.com

Comments powered by DISQUS

 

 

 

Top Stories

Congress core group meets, defends Dikshit on CAG report

The Congress Saturday came out in defence of Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, whose government has been indicted by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) for irregularities in the 

PMO, Delhi CM indicted for Commonwealth Games flaws

CAG slams Dikshit, Kalmadi for 'enormous bungling'

 

  Most Read

Chavez sends letter to Gaddafi wishing him victory

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez sent a letter to his Libyan counterpart Muammar Gaddafi, expressing support to his "brother-in-arms" and wishing him victory. "I give you a strong  

India needs second green revolution for food security: President

"We need a second green revolution to ensure food security for all and eliminating hunger should be a national responsibility," Patil said delivering the 45th annual convocation address at the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) here. Recalling how the first green revolution made India  

 

  News Pick

Blow to fight for justice; Gujarat riots report leaked to RSS man

Gujarat IPS officer Sanjiv R. Bhatt in an affidavit has alleged before the Supreme Court that probe reports on the 2002 post-Godhra riot cases were forwarded by a state government law officer to an RSS man who used  

Muzaffarpur man beaten to death by Bihar police

 Barely two months after the brutal killing of four persons in Forbesganj, some policemen in Muzaffarpur August 05 beat 50-year-old Mohammad Shamsuddin to death in full public glare. A group of policemen of 

Bogus dropouts hit Rajasthan's education initiative

It was supposed to help connect every child to education. But a Rajasthan government survey to prepare a database of school dropouts in the state turned to be a damp squib as fake names of thousands of  

Two cops arrested in Sopore custodial death case

The special investigating team (SIT) probing the custodial death of a 26-year old youth in Jammu and Kashmir's Sopore town Saturday arrested two police constables for their alleged involvement in the death, police said. 

 

Picture of the Day

Muslims go to Makkah al Mukarrema in Saudi Arabia for Umrah entire year other than Haj times. However, during Ramadan, number of Umrah visitors increases manifold. According to a rough estimate, over 2.5 million Muslims come from across the world to Makkah al Mukarrema for Umrah during Ramadan.

(Photo: ummid.com)

 

 
 
 
 
 

RSS  |  Contact us

 

| Quick links

News

 

Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant

 

National

Religion

RSS

Scholarships

About us

International

Culture

Twitter

Government Schemes

Feedback

Regional

History

Facebook

Education

Register

Politics

Opinion

Newsletter

Contact us

Business

Career

     

Education

       

 

 

Ummid.com: Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange

Ummid.com is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.

2010 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.