How To: Indian Passport Renunciation

Updated on April 10, 2024

At a Glance

  • Renunciation is the voluntary act of giving up citizenship for another.
  • Indian citizens obtaining foreign citizenship must renounce their Indian passport.
  • Renunciation should occur within 90 days of receiving the new citizenship to avoid penalties.
  • The process involves gathering documents, applying for a renunciation certificate, and paying a fee.

When living the “American Dream,” it is quite understandable that when you join the American forces, you need to start playing by their rules and prove that you wish to belong. After all, you cannot play on two fronts at the same time. For this reason, it is mandatory for every person of Indian origin that now has U.S. citizenship to renounce their Indian citizenship and passport.

But what exactly does this process entail? What are the rules for it – and who exactly has to follow them? Will it cost you much? Well, as a new citizen of the United States of America, here is what you need to know about your Indian passport renunciation.

What Is “Renunciation”?

By looking at the Indian Citizenship Act of 1955, you will see that no person that is of Indian origin is allowed to have dual citizenship. If someone is the holder of an Indian passport and has recently obtained another passport from a different country (regardless of which one it is), they will have to renounce their old Indian passport.

In this case, “renunciation” is exactly what its name suggests: the process in which you voluntarily relinquish your nationality or citizenship in order to join another. It is quite the opposite of naturalization, in which a person voluntarily gets another citizenship – and also very different by denaturalization, where the citizenship loss is forced upon you by a particular state. You might find out more about the renunciation of citizenship here.

When Do Passports Need to be Renounced?

The moment a person of Indian origin receives different citizenship, they will have to renounce their passport and get another one from the country they have moved to. Obviously, this process is not mandatory right away – but if the citizen has any plans of temporarily leaving the country yet again, they might want to renounce their passport as soon as possible.

That being said, while you do not have to surrender your Indian passport right away, you are also not allowed to postpone it much. For this reason, you may want to renounce your Indian passport at most within 90 days from the moment you received your US citizenship.

Most people that apply for a visa or citizenship application may apply for both the visa and the renunciation of the passport at the same time. This way, they will receive their paperwork at similar dates, depending on their visa process.

Who Needs to Renounce Their India Passport?

Every person of Indian citizenship should renounce their Indian passport if they gain citizenship from another country. That being said, in order to be eligible for renunciation of Indian passport and citizenship, they should:

  • Be a person of Indian citizenship that has received citizenship in another country
  • Be the owner of a valid passport (from the U.S. or any other country)
  • Be in the ability to provide valid proof of address in the country that they are currently a citizen of

Failure to renounce their passport upon the required date may result in a variety of penalties, depending on how much time has passed.

Passport Renunciation Rules

The rules of applying for a passport renunciation will depend on the date on which you acquired your foreign citizenship.

You were given citizenship on or before May 31st, 2010

If you had your Indian passport canceled before May 31st, 2010, or exactly on that date, you will not have to take further action – nor will you require a surrender certificate. That being said, you should still provide evidence that your passport clearly states “canceled upon acquisition of U.S. (or foreign) citizenship/nationality.” If you are in the inability to provide this proof, then you will be required to provide a renunciation certificate.

You were naturalized after June 1st, 2010

If you were naturalized after June 1st, or exactly on that date, then you will have to apply for a surrender certificate – all while paying a fee. That fee is $175, without including the penalties.

How to Renounce Your Indian Passport

To renounce your Indian passport, you will first have to gather the required documentation. These documents will include:

  • Two renunciation certificate forms
  • A photocopy of your naturalization certificate
  • A signed CKGS disclaimer form taken from the CGKS application center
  • Your recent Indian passport
  • Certain additional forms needed for filing in specific states (New York, San Francisco, and Chicago)
  • A signed version of the non-US citizen form
  • Copies of the first three and last two pages of your original Indian passport
  • Documents that display your legal status (e.g. a visa status or a permanent resident card)
  • Copy of your marriage certificate in the event that you changed your name

Once these documents have been gathered, you may send them via email to CKGS, or you may make an appointment to take the documents yourself. Bear in mind that you need to send the applications at the CKGS Application Center situated in your jurisdiction. You may visit their website to see exactly at which address you are supposed to submit them.

Plus, you might have to bring extra documents into the mix – which is why you might want to carefully read the list of the required documents on the CKGS page. For example, newborn babies will also need their own passport, which is why you might want to bring in the documentation for them as well.

Indian Passport Renunciation Processing Time

Processing time for the renunciation of your Indian citizenship might differ from case to case. For instance, the average processing time for your passport renunciation is 2 weeks – from the moment you make the application until the moment that it arrives at the Consulate.

However, bear in mind that this period is just an average indicative, and it doesn’t include the period necessary for transferring the application from the consulate. Plus, considering that the Indian immigration group makes for about 6% of the US population, there might be quite a bit of a waiting line.

Moreover, it may also take a bit of a longer time in special cases – for example, those that do not have a US passport, those that have not submitted the right documents from the very beginning, or those that have issues of penalty. These are only a few.

It is advised that if the processing time passes two weeks, you might want to contact the CKGS for further queries. Bear in mind that these inquiries will only be entertained if the call is made 15 working days after the submission was made to the CKGS.

Indian Passport Renunciation Cost

Prices will differ on the time you acquired your citizenship. For instance, if you obtained it before May 31, 2010, then the fee is $25. However, if you were given citizenship on or after the 1st of June, then the fee will be $175. Bear in mind that this does not include the penalties that might occur due to late application.

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Wrap Up

Overall, renouncing your passport is the first thing you should do as a person of Indian origin once you become a citizen of the United States. Just make sure that you respect the deadlines and the required documentation – and within two weeks, you should be able to travel using your new passport.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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