How to Surrender an Indian Passport in the United States

By Jillian O'Keeffe
An Indian passport must be canceled within 90 days of receipt of U.S. citizenship.

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When a person who holds an Indian passport becomes a citizen of the United States, the country of India requires that he surrender his Indian passport, under the Indian Citizenship Act. Failure to surrender the passport after gaining U.S. citizenship is an offense under the Indian Passport Act and brings penalties if he has been traveling under the Indian passport. In order to surrender a passport, that person must fill out a Certificate of Surrender form and mail it, along with the passport and other details, to an Indian Consulate.

Find the nearest Indian consulate online at Indiacgny.org. This is where you should send the surrender documentation and where you can find the form you need to fill out.

Check that no more than 90 days have passed since you have been made a U.S. citizen. If more than 90 days have passed, you may have to pay a late fee.

Download the Surrender Certificate form from the consulate website at Indiacgny.org or visit the consulate to pick up a copy of the form. Mail the form to the consulate as only special cases can be dealt with in person at the consulate.

Fill in the Surrender Certificate form in duplicate. To fill in the form you will need the date you became a U.S. citizen, your U.S. passport number and date of issue along with your Indian passport number, date of issue and place of issue. You must also enter the names of your minor children (children under the age of 18) who have Indian citizenship and your contact details. Finally you must sign and date the form renouncing your Indian citizenship.

Photocopy the first five and the last two pages of your Indian passport. Photocopy the first two pages of your U.S. passport. If you have renewed your U.S passport since the first of June 2010, also photocopy the first two pages of your previous U.S. passport. Place these photocopies, your passport and the duplicate Certificates of Surrender forms in an envelope.

Obtain a money order or certified check for the amount of $175 if you became a U.S. citizen from June 2010 or afterward. If you became a U.S. citizen before June 2010, the fee will be only $20. If you were a naturalized citizen before becoming a citizen of the United States from June 2010 onwards, the fee is also only $20, but in this case, you must submit proof of naturalization with your application. Remember that applications made after 90 days have passed since becoming a U.S. citizen may attract penalties.

Insert a certified check or money order for $20 for mailing costs. Alternatively, check with the consulate for their mailing requirements and insert a prepaid self-addressed envelope. For example, the Consulate General of New York states that a prepaid self-addressed Express Mail envelope sent with your application with a minimum postage of $18.30, or a self-addressed Priority Mail envelope prepaid to $4.90, is sufficient.

Address the envelope containing the documentation to the "Renunciation Cell" of the consulate, and also write "Cancellation of Indian Passport" on the envelope. Ensure the envelope has the correct postage and then mail it in. The process takes three weeks to complete and a Surrender Certificate will be mailed back to you.

About the Author

Jillian O'Keeffe has been a freelance writer since 2009. Her work appears in regional Irish newspapers including "The Connacht Tribune" and the "Sentinel." O'Keeffe has a Master of Arts in journalism from the National University of Ireland, Galway and a Bachelor of Science in microbiology from University College Cork.

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