$250 penalty for renunciation - an extortion!

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#1 Apr 13th, 2011, 20:21
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#1
There is an EXTRA $250 penalty fee (up on top of $20) which is atrocious, that they are charging for getting a surrender/renunciation certificate if a person was naturalized BEFORE June 1 2010 and their passport expires after 2005 and if they have kept the Indian Passport without surrendering for 3 years after naturalization. I am sure many people will escape under this criteria, but some of us are not so lucky!! I hope someone does something about this, because this is totally not fair and is unjust to say the least. Only the Indian Govt. can come up with such extortion schemes! There is no fault of ours here to charge a penalty.
Travisa is no help either, they are just pointing their fingers at the consulate!!

Any thoughts anyone?
#2 Apr 13th, 2011, 20:53
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#2
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Originally Posted by rajvidya View Post There is an EXTRA $250 penalty fee (up on top of $20) which is atrocious, that they are charging for getting a surrender/renunciation certificate if a person was naturalized BEFORE June 1 2010 and their passport expires after 2005 and if they have kept the Indian Passport without surrendering for 3 years after naturalization. I am sure many people will escape under this criteria, but some of us are not so lucky!! I hope someone does something about this, because this is totally not fair and is unjust to say the least. Only the Indian Govt. can come up with such extortion schemes! There is no fault of ours here to charge a penalty.
Travisa is no help either, they are just pointing their fingers at the consulate!!

Any thoughts anyone?
India Doesn't allow Dual citizenship. So if you took up another, you are supposed to surrender the Indian citizenship and all doc's that certify that immediately.

So the Penalty is fair/just and not extortion. Not surrendering the doc that prooves your Indian citizenship for over 3 years can not be called "no fault of ours here to charge a penalty."
#3 Apr 13th, 2011, 21:39
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#3
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Originally Posted by rajvidya View Post There is no fault of ours here to charge a penalty.
Yes there is: you broke the law.
#4 Apr 13th, 2011, 22:58
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When we got our US citizenships and asked the INDIAN consulate what to do with the indian passport, they said no action is required. They did not specify the rules correctly. Also, I got an OCI and even at that time we asked what we should do with our not-in-use Indian passports and they said that we are in their systems as naturalized, so it really doesnt matter. This happened in 2007. So, we really DID NOT break any law. It was not made clear to us in the first place.

Also, there is discrepancy between the different Indian consulate sites (DC, Chicago, NY) on this topic. They cant even get the rules straight amongst themselves.... disorganized to say the least....
Last edited by JuliaF; Apr 16th, 2011 at 02:03.. Reason: merged posts
#5 Apr 13th, 2011, 23:09
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In the 80s they stamped the passport saying cancelled since holder (or some such term) has acquired US citizenship or similar language.

Hence no renunciation certificate required. Maybe they discontinued that practice.
#6 Apr 13th, 2011, 23:11
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#6
My 3 year grace period EXPIRED even BEFORE all renunciation/surrender rule came into the open and into play in June 2010!
#7 Apr 13th, 2011, 23:12
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#7
I am personally not subject to this penalty, but the Indian government hasn't exactly had its act together - on a law that has supposedly been on the books for ages. Similar to the OP, I too had received a similar response from the consulate. Furthermore, later when sent my old Indian passport along with my US passport to establish the credentials for getting the PIO status, they sent it back - uncanceled - along with the PIO booklet.

I personally have no sympathy for anyone who used the Indian passport after acquiring a different citizenship. However, this whole renunciation certificate business for those who did not misuse the passport and failed to follow a law that Indian consulates themselves were not aware of/following is clearly a revenue enhancement scheme.

That said, I think complaining about extortion, etc. is a waste of time. My advice is to suck it up and move on.
#8 Apr 13th, 2011, 23:18
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I never misused the Indian passport. Frankly, it is very convenient to travel on a US passport, because you dont need visas for a lot of countries. Since you are not affected you say "suck up" easily. I hope there will be some number of parties, who will raise voice. "Sucking UP" is the problem of India. We suck it up a lot, that is why the consulate and many other organizations get away with extortion schemes like this one, right before the summer travel starts. There is a rule change every day and no one is aware of anything even inside the consulate.
#9 Apr 14th, 2011, 00:09
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#9
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Originally Posted by rajvidya View Post Also, I got an OCI and even at that time we asked what we should do with our not-in-use Indian passports and they said that we are in their systems as naturalized, so it really doesnt matter. This happened in 2007.
I am not able to understand the discussion here. Renunciation is required for obtaining OCI, right? Since you already have a OCI, why do you need renunciation again.
#10 Apr 14th, 2011, 00:30
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well, rajvidya, yes it is a mess. It will probably go on being a mess, and when your grandchildren apply for OCI, they will probably be asked why they can't produce your cancelled passport!
#11 Apr 14th, 2011, 01:42
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Bingo! If you see this logically, you will see that there is no logic in this thing, just like every other rule regarding this whole thing... Apparently, the Indian consulate was not consistent in requiring "canceling" of the passports upon OCI or PIO requests. So, people like me fell through the cracks, unintentionally. Now WE have to pay a penalty because "some people" THINK we broke the law... The surrender certificate is required to re-endorse an OCI on your US passport (when the passport is renewed) or if you renew your Indian Visa.

At this rate, I doubt my grandchildren will ever go for an OCI or PIO..... needless to say that by then there will be a dozen more senseless similar schemes of extortion.....
#12 Apr 14th, 2011, 02:10
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If you look into it instead of venting here, you will find that "some people THINK" is more like "Government of India FINDS." You heard about the requirement from Indian consulate first, and from the members at IM second. I know throwing a fit is typically an often used tactic to get something you want, so good luck with it. I was just staking the obvious - it's a waste of time.

Most reasonable folks would agree that the Indian government has been awfully inconsistent in its application of this law/policy - but you are late to that story. The Indian diaspora already raised fuss about it - and even got some concessions. The policy you are objecting to is the revised policy where Indian government changed its policy from a much larger penalty to a smaller one. Now - feel free to create a fuss have them give in completely. But - IM is hardly the required reading for Manmohan Singh - and you will have to take your campaign to more exalted places for someone with power to even hear that you are upset about it.

Or, you could just suck it up (did I already say that) and consider it a contribution to a country that you might have gained something from...
#13 Apr 14th, 2011, 03:07
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KMALIK - just because a policy is revised DOESN'T make it right. In fact it is worse, because it is obvious they cant get it right. I am not venting here to get my way, just to see what people think. I have already made necessary contacts to investigate deeper and see what I can do to help myself and OTHERS too. Maybe you sucked up and waited while the rest of us were signing a petition for the "opposition of retroactive fees for the surrender certificate" last June and now you are enjoying the concessions of it. If we sucked up and sat India would not be a free country now. So, DONT SUCK UP and DONT GIVE THAT ADVICE to anyone. This IS definitely an unfair rule and if you dont agree, fine! I am sure there will be something that will come up very soon, that might make you cough up $250+ for something unfair.... That time think of me! ;-) Or better yet, wait for someone else to fight for you - but wait, you are the kind that sucks up...

It is not that I am finding fault with India.... it is the law makers that I am finding fault with. BTW, donation is different from penalty.
Last edited by rajvidya; Apr 14th, 2011 at 21:45..
#14 Apr 14th, 2011, 03:29
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#14
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Originally Posted by rajvidya View Post If we sucked up and sat India would not be a free country now.
Yes, this fight is just like the Indian independence movement! Vande mataram!

Freedom is your birthright and you shall have it---they cannot make you pay the fine. Just refuse to apply for a visa, and then there's nothing they can do. You can describe this refusal as satyagraha.
#15 Apr 14th, 2011, 03:36
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#15
Nothing constructive to add ... but heck, I thought I was the Angry Young Man :-)
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