Govt. of India Revokes New Rules for Surrender of Indian Passport
Government of India has relented in retroactive enforcement of the new rules due to the overwhelming opposition from the Indian Diaspora.
The latest notice posted on the website of Consul General of India in New York and San Francisco, says, “In supercession of previous rules, Government of India has decided that Persons of Indian origin who have already acquired foreign citizenship up until 31 May 2010 will not be required to pay renunciation fees of USD 175.00, he/she will be required to pay miscellaneous fees of USD 20.00 when getting the old Indian passport cancelled/surrendered.
In future those Indian citizens who acquire foreign citizenship on or after 01 June 2010 will have to submit declaration of renunciation of their Indian citizenship forms as given on website and fees of USD 175.00.” On May 23, 2010, the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO International) initiated an on-line petition addressed to the Prime Minister of India, titled “Opposition to Retroactive Enforcement of New Rules for Surrender of Indian Passport”. As of this date, close to 29,000 people have signed this online petition to the Prime Minister of India against the retroactive enforcement of the new rules for surrender of Indian passports by naturalized citizens of other countries. By signing the petition, the former Indian citizens have expressed their strong opposition to the new rules and have vented their anger and frustration with their comments.
On May 28, 2010 GOPIO International sent a letter to Prime Minister of India, Hon. Dr Manmohan Singh, together with the first batch of over 19,000 signatures of people supporting the petition (the pdf file was about 1000 pages with signee names and comments), with the following requests:
To reconsider the retroactive enforcement of the new rules as many thousands of people could suffer undue and unnecessary hardship for no fault of their own. Indians who have been naturalized for years should be given the same 90 days window to obtain “surrender certificate” as being allowed to those Indians who become citizens of other countries now, without payment of fee or penalty.
To reduce the service fee from $175 to a reasonable amount of $25 (USD) after the first 90 days
In one week, close to 29,000 people went on line and signed the on-line petition which was addressed to the Prime Minister of India. There were many people, who in addition to signing the on-line petition, also vented their feelings in their emails directly to the secretary of Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) and Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).