The Indian Citizenship Act, 1955, does not allow dual citizenship. It is a punishable offence under the Indian Passport Act, 1967, to apply for an Indian passport, continue to hold an Indian passport, get an Indian passport re-issued or travel on an Indian passport after acquiring foreign citizenship. Extant rules prescribe penalties for holding Indian passports by foreign nationals.
Under Indian law, Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs), who have acquired foreign citizenship, are required to surrender their Indian passports to the nearest Indian Mission/Post immediately after acquisition of foreign citizenship.
The salient features of the scheme are listed below:
Indian citizens acquiring any foreign citizenship on or after 1 June, 2010 must formally renounce Indian citizenship. This can be done by surrendering Indian passports for cancellation. The Indian passport would be cancelled and returned to the passport holder along with the requisite certificate for future reference. Applicants would be required to pay a one time Renunciation Fee of Canadian $ 240 + $2 (Consular Surcharge) + BLS service fee C$ 7.40 (inclusive of applicable taxes) while surrendering their Indian passports. For more information/clarification, please send an email to : firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website : www.blsindia-canada.com
Production of Surrender Certificate endorsement is essential while applying for Indian visa, PIO/OCI card or any other miscellaneous consular services, in case Canadian citizenship was acquired on or after 1 June, 2010.
Those who acquired foreign citizenship on 31 May, 2010 or earlier need not pay the Renunciation Fee. They must however get their Indian Passport, whether already expired or not, duly cancelled. Necessary entries in the records would be made by the Mission/Consulate and the Indian passport cancelled and returned to the applicant. Fee of C$ 26 + C$2 as Consular Surcharge + BLS Service fee C$ 7.40 (inclusive of applicable taxes) is charged in such cases.
Persons of Indian Origins who had earlier obtained OCI / PIO Cards or Visa without surrendering their Indian passports are required to surrender their last held Indian passport and obtain surrender certificates at the time of renewing their OCI / PIO Cards or for obtaining fresh visa.
The Mission/Consulate would levy penalty if the Indian passport has not been cancelled for more than 3 years, or if it was utilized to visit India or any other consular service was obtained after acquiring foreign nationality. The penalty would be in addition to the Renunciation Fee. Contact the nearest center of BLS International Services Canada Inc. to find out the exact amount of penalty. Following are the provisions relating to penalty :
1. Penalty for retention of Indian passport after acquiring Canadian citizenship for a period in excess of three years from the date of acquiring Canadian citizenship
a) if your Passport expired on or before 31 December, 2004 - no penalty
b) if your passport expired on or after 1 January, 2005 - C$ 343
(Note: Retention Penalty (C$343) is different from Renunciation Fee (C$ 240). The latter needs to be paid by those who acquire foreign nationality on or after 1 June, 2010.)
2. Penalty for travelling on Indian Passport after acquiring Canadian citizenship is C$ 343 for each time, subject to a maximum of C$ 1711
3. Penalty for getting Indian Passport renewed or re-issued after acquiring Canadian citizenship is C$ 856 for each such renewal or reissue.
4. Penalty for obtaining any miscellaneous passport service (name change, etc.) on Indian Passport after acquiring Canadian citizenship is C$ 343 for each such service.
Procedure for obtaining Surrender Certificate/Renunciation Certificate
Please note that acceptance of applications for this service has been outsourced to BLS International Services Canada Inc. Applications should be submitted to their centers located at Vancouver, Surrey, Calgary and Edmonton. The applicant would need to submit the following :
1. Duly filled-in application form.
2. Original Indian passport with one copy.
3. Copy of the Canadian Citizenship certificate.
4. Copy of Canadian passport, if held.
5. Applicable Fees.
In addition to the prescribed fee, an applicant would be required to pay C$ 2.00 on account of Consular Surcharge + BLS service fee of C$ 7.40 (inclusive of applicable taxes.)
In case the application is sent by mail, the same should be forwarded to the Vancouver Center of BLS International and must include the prescribed fee plus BLS charges and courier fees, for return of documents. For more details, please visit their website : www.blsindia- canada.com (email - email@example.com)
Surrender Certificate cannot be issued if the last held Indian passport is not physically produced.
Penalty, if applicable, cannot be waived or reduced.
There is no penalty in cases where the PIO opted for foreign nationality before 1.1.2005 and the last held Indian passport also expired before that date.
There is a grace period of three months after acquisition of foreign nationality (to be counted from the date of registration / Naturalisation Certificate and not from the date of foreign passport) for using Indian passport for travel.