US citizen travel on Indian passport within 3 months of citizenship --- legal?

vinod314

New Member
Well, I am facing the classic problem of being a former Indian citizen who has just become a US citizen needing to explicitly renounce my Indian citizenship so that I may go about getting an entry visa to leave for India in 10 days, which I am not sure if it's possible or not, and what the best way of doing it is.

My entire travel to and from India will be competed before the 3 month grace period given for surrendering your US passport. The rules for this *consistently* seem to indicate that an Indian passport may be used for up to 3 months from the date of obtaining the citizenship of another country for travel. This isn't explicitly stated, but it is strongly implied with the statement "Indian passport cannot be used for travel beyond three months after acquisition of foreign citizenship." This is from the CGINY web site:

Indian passport cannot be used for travel beyond three months after acquisition of foreign citizenship. If the Indian passport, the validity of which expired on or after 1.1.2005, is retained beyond three years after acquisition of foreign citizenship, a penalty of US$250/- will be charged. In addition, a penalty of US$250/- will be charged in each case of misuse of the Indian passport for travel after three months of acquisition of foreign citizenship, which may go up to US$1250/-.

--

So I'm thinking this lets me travel within that 3 month period. Has anyoned tried this? I will use my US passport to leave and enter the US for sure; but they might be suspicious when I land in India, and when I leave, I will use my Indian passport for leaving (I travel to a third country which does not require a visa in advance) and then my US passport from then on.

Please help. The Indian Consulate have not been much help in terms of even giving me an estimate even of how long it would take to process my renunciation and entry ivisa issue. My worry is that if I submit my last final passport by FedEx so it goes out first thing Monday, and they receive it by Tue and by Wed they process it... will they? will they process it in a week? That's what I can spare and what I need.

Do people any thoughts on how fast entry/tourist visa applications get approved at CGI San Francisco?
 

sanjoseaug20

Registered Users (C)
India does not allow dual citizenship. Although can do the renunciation paperwork at a later date, you actually have lost Indian citizenship the day you took oath. The direct implication is that you are not allowed to use the Indian passport. The consequences are unknown ... people who get by using the passport do not tell their stories, and the people who tell the stories will be the ones who were caught.

You need to figure out the most optimal way of getting the visa and if that does not work be prepared to change the travel plans.
 

marker3

New Member
I am also facing the same situation of traveling to India before the 3-month grace period. It seems like I can travel to India within 3-months, but want to be 100% sure.

--* nriinformation.com/images/hongkong_consulate.jpg--
 

ginnu

Registered Users (C)
Well, I am facing the classic problem of being a former Indian citizen who has just become a US citizen needing to explicitly renounce my Indian citizenship so that I may go about getting an entry visa to leave for India in 10 days, which I am not sure if it's possible or not, and what the best way of doing it is.

My entire travel to and from India will be competed before the 3 month grace period given for surrendering your US passport. The rules for this *consistently* seem to indicate that an Indian passport may be used for up to 3 months from the date of obtaining the citizenship of another country for travel. This isn't explicitly stated, but it is strongly implied with the statement "Indian passport cannot be used for travel beyond three months after acquisition of foreign citizenship." This is from the CGINY web site:

Indian passport cannot be used for travel beyond three months after acquisition of foreign citizenship. If the Indian passport, the validity of which expired on or after 1.1.2005, is retained beyond three years after acquisition of foreign citizenship, a penalty of US$250/- will be charged. In addition, a penalty of US$250/- will be charged in each case of misuse of the Indian passport for travel after three months of acquisition of foreign citizenship, which may go up to US$1250/-.

--

So I'm thinking this lets me travel within that 3 month period. Has anyoned tried this? I will use my US passport to leave and enter the US for sure; but they might be suspicious when I land in India, and when I leave, I will use my Indian passport for leaving (I travel to a third country which does not require a visa in advance) and then my US passport from then on.

Please help. The Indian Consulate have not been much help in terms of even giving me an estimate even of how long it would take to process my renunciation and entry ivisa issue. My worry is that if I submit my last final passport by FedEx so it goes out first thing Monday, and they receive it by Tue and by Wed they process it... will they? will they process it in a week? That's what I can spare and what I need.

Do people any thoughts on how fast entry/tourist visa applications get approved at CGI San Francisco?

Dont use the Indian passport for travel to India after you got US Citizenship. You can get US passport in 1 day and then contact Indian Consulate for Entry visa or talk to TraVisa
 

cafeconleche

Registered Users (C)
I agree the Indian consulate's website seems to imply you can use your Indian passport for 3 months after acquiring another citizenship. It's strange, but this can be construed as showing that, though India doesn't allow dual citizenship, one does not lose it until explicitly renouncing it, hence the requirement to obtain a surrender certificate. However, Indian laws are prone to be applied inconsistently, so just because you could possibly still be an Indian citizen until you renounce your citizenship, you could be treated as illegally using your Indian passport to travel, and who knows what they can do to you in India for that. If you think you can get around all of this by going to a third country, go for it I suppose. But, if you can, try to get a visa quickly, or postpone your travel plans.
 

vinod314

New Member
So this is with CGISF. If I go this route, then Travisa said there're no guarantees and it may take longer than a week (5 business days; the longest I can give them since I have to fly to SF and stay there). Does anyone know if it takes only a day to get the Indian visa? The CGISF web site states that for former Indian nationals, the time taken is underdeterminable. This is what worries me. Once I turn in my last used Indian passport, I no longer have the option of using it. (I understand that it's not considered right to use it, but then what about the 3 month grace period---it very clearly implies something can be done?)

I am trying to find out if they'll let an agency handle my request for renunciation and the entry visa. We'll see...

I am either likely to try this or cancel my stop in India altogether which would be saddening. I don't see a point in stressing out about whether or not I'll be admitted and then I most likely will have to lie about my US status and THAT I think is what compounds the entry problem. So probably best to play it safe. It would be very sad for my mother.

Dont use the Indian passport for travel to India after you got US Citizenship. You can get US passport in 1 day and then contact Indian Consulate for Entry visa or talk to TraVisa
 

solicit

Registered Users (C)
Hi vinod314,

Were you able to make any progress with this ? either obtaining Entry Visa + SC in a short time frame. Would appreciate your inputs..

So this is with CGISF. If I go this route, then Travisa said there're no guarantees and it may take longer than a week (5 business days; the longest I can give them since I have to fly to SF and stay there). Does anyone know if it takes only a day to get the Indian visa? The CGISF web site states that for former Indian nationals, the time taken is underdeterminable. This is what worries me. Once I turn in my last used Indian passport, I no longer have the option of using it. (I understand that it's not considered right to use it, but then what about the 3 month grace period---it very clearly implies something can be done?)

I am trying to find out if they'll let an agency handle my request for renunciation and the entry visa. We'll see...

I am either likely to try this or cancel my stop in India altogether which would be saddening. I don't see a point in stressing out about whether or not I'll be admitted and then I most likely will have to lie about my US status and THAT I think is what compounds the entry problem. So probably best to play it safe. It would be very sad for my mother.
 

GC_TRAP

Registered Users (C)
Wonder what the outcome of this OP was? Was he successful in doing what he had intended to do, i.e. travel to India without an Indian visa, and just not declare that he's an American citizen now? Anybody else have similar experiences, please post...
 

dcmetro22042

Registered Users (C)
So this is with CGISF. If I go this route, then Travisa said there're no guarantees and it may take longer than a week (5 business days; the longest I can give them since I have to fly to SF and stay there). Does anyone know if it takes only a day to get the Indian visa? The CGISF web site states that for former Indian nationals, the time taken is underdeterminable. This is what worries me. Once I turn in my last used Indian passport, I no longer have the option of using it. (I understand that it's not considered right to use it, but then what about the 3 month grace period---it very clearly implies something can be done?)

I am trying to find out if they'll let an agency handle my request for renunciation and the entry visa. We'll see...

I am either likely to try this or cancel my stop in India altogether which would be saddening. I don't see a point in stressing out about whether or not I'll be admitted and then I most likely will have to lie about my US status and THAT I think is what compounds the entry problem. So probably best to play it safe. It would be very sad for my mother.

What did you do? Feel free to PM me. Thanks.
 

nkm-oct23

Registered Users (C)
What did you do? Feel free to PM me. Thanks.

Even if someone manages to get into India with an Indian passport, how will he return to US? He won't have his green card and Indian immigration will have a record of his entry on an Indian passport. He cannot use his US passport since it won't have an entry stamp nor an Indian visa.
 

dcmetro22042

Registered Users (C)
Yeah, read more later and came to the same conclusion. Will renounce citizenship, get visa for 6 months. Complete travel and then apply for OCI or PIO.
 

mmcanada

New Member
All, writing this based on my experience, so this could help some one else in future.

As per the Indian consulate, you can travel to India using your Indian passport within 3 months. This is correct and I was able to enter India with no issues based on this point. I was expecting to use my Canadian citizenship to return back to Canada and then surrender my Indian passport (within the 3 month deadline). However on my return leg, the Indian immigration at Airport did not allow me to leave the country with the Indian passport in hand. I had 2 options - 1) Indian immigration at airport will seize my Indian passport with a penalty 2) drop my travel plans, go back to the closest Indian Passport office near the place of first issue, and surrender the passport. If you go with the first option, you would not get the Renunciation papers and wouldn't be able to apply for OCI.

With option 2, you get the renunciation papers which you would need to process your OCI. You may also need to get the Exit permit from FRRO to travel back to US/CAN if you have followed the 3 month tale and traveled in.

If any one is reading this post before you travel, I suggest to get the visa before your travel, and use the US/CAN passport ONLY for the travel. You can still surrender the Indian PP when you come back to US/CAN.

Disclaimer: My experience may not apply to all. Please check the latest rules with others you know.
 

bkms

Registered Users (C)
All, writing this based on my experience, so this could help some one else in future.

As per the Indian consulate, you can travel to India using your Indian passport within 3 months. This is correct and I was able to enter India with no issues based on this point. I was expecting to use my Canadian citizenship to return back to Canada and then surrender my Indian passport (within the 3 month deadline). However on my return leg, the Indian immigration at Airport did not allow me to leave the country with the Indian passport in hand. I had 2 options - 1) Indian immigration at airport will seize my Indian passport with a penalty 2) drop my travel plans, go back to the closest Indian Passport office near the place of first issue, and surrender the passport. If you go with the first option, you would not get the Renunciation papers and wouldn't be able to apply for OCI.

With option 2, you get the renunciation papers which you would need to process your OCI. You may also need to get the Exit permit from FRRO to travel back to US/CAN if you have followed the 3 month tale and traveled in.

If any one is reading this post before you travel, I suggest to get the visa before your travel, and use the US/CAN passport ONLY for the travel. You can still surrender the Indian PP when you come back to US/CAN.

Disclaimer: My experience may not apply to all. Please check the latest rules with others you know.


Are you saying I can obtain a Indian tourist visa and travel to India using my US passport without renouncing my Indian citizenship and cancelling my Indian passport ?
 

mmcanada

New Member
Are you saying I can obtain a Indian tourist visa and travel to India using my US passport without renouncing my Indian citizenship and cancelling my Indian passport ?
Yes, From my understanding, you can get a visit visa to travel (even online services available), but not an OCI. This is suggest-able if you have a trip within the 3 mo period.
 

pritiS

New Member
All, writing this based on my experience, so this could help some one else in future.

As per the Indian consulate, you can travel to India using your Indian passport within 3 months. This is correct and I was able to enter India with no issues based on this point. I was expecting to use my Canadian citizenship to return back to Canada and then surrender my Indian passport (within the 3 month deadline). However on my return leg, the Indian immigration at Airport did not allow me to leave the country with the Indian passport in hand. I had 2 options - 1) Indian immigration at airport will seize my Indian passport with a penalty 2) drop my travel plans, go back to the closest Indian Passport office near the place of first issue, and surrender the passport. If you go with the first option, you would not get the Renunciation papers and wouldn't be able to apply for OCI.

With option 2, you get the renunciation papers which you would need to process your OCI. You may also need to get the Exit permit from FRRO to travel back to US/CAN if you have followed the 3 month tale and traveled in.

If any one is reading this post before you travel, I suggest to get the visa before your travel, and use the US/CAN passport ONLY for the travel. You can still surrender the Indian PP when you come back to US/CAN.

Disclaimer: My experience may not apply to all. Please check the latest rules with others you know.


Hi there,

Can you
All, writing this based on my experience, so this could help some one else in future.

As per the Indian consulate, you can travel to India using your Indian passport within 3 months. This is correct and I was able to enter India with no issues based on this point. I was expecting to use my Canadian citizenship to return back to Canada and then surrender my Indian passport (within the 3 month deadline). However on my return leg, the Indian immigration at Airport did not allow me to leave the country with the Indian passport in hand. I had 2 options - 1) Indian immigration at airport will seize my Indian passport with a penalty 2) drop my travel plans, go back to the closest Indian Passport office near the place of first issue, and surrender the passport. If you go with the first option, you would not get the Renunciation papers and wouldn't be able to apply for OCI.

With option 2, you get the renunciation papers which you would need to process your OCI. You may also need to get the Exit permit from FRRO to travel back to US/CAN if you have followed the 3 month tale and traveled in.

If any one is reading this post before you travel, I suggest to get the visa before your travel, and use the US/CAN passport ONLY for the travel. You can still surrender the Indian PP when you come back to US/CAN.

Disclaimer: My experience may not apply to all. Please check the latest rules with others you know.


Hi there,

Thanks for sharing your experience, can you please clarify that were you returning to Canada on your Canadian passport or Indian passport? Actually I have same plan to travel to India next month after obtaining my Canadian citizenship. I will be with in the grace period of 90 days and I will be able to get Canadian passport by then. I was under the impression that I can use my Indian passport to exit Canada/enter India. And while returning back I can use Canadian passport to leave India/enter Canada. Can you please let me know what was Indian Immigration officer's concerns for not letting you use Canadian passport while returning. Your response will be much appreciated.
 

anamika4

Registered Users (C)
I just acquired US citizenship, received passport yesterday. I'm travelling in 2 days to India. There is no way I can renounce my passport and get Indian visa. I'm going to carry my Naturalization certificate to prove 3 months grace period. I know someone who traveled to India in similar situation. He was first stopped at Mumbai airport but he convinced Immigration supervisor and was able to leave the airport without any penalty.
 

Kreddy12

New Member
I just acquired US citizenship, received passport yesterday. I'm travelling in 2 days to India. There is no way I can renounce my passport and get Indian visa. I'm going to carry my Naturalization certificate to prove 3 months grace period. I know someone who traveled to India in similar situation. He was first stopped at Mumbai airport but he convinced Immigration supervisor and was able to leave the airport without any penalty.

Hi, how did you travel go? Which passport did you use when you left usa? Please share your experience. I am in same situation as yours.
 
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