In May 2010, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in India issued a notification that mandated that PIO's who acquire foreign citizenship are required to surrender their Indian Passports to the nearest Indian Mission immediately after acquisition of foreign citizenship. A fee for renouncing Indian citizenship/surrender of Indian passport is chargeable.
In Australia the fee for surrendering the Indian passport is AUD273 (USD175 in the U.S.A.).
Subsequently, in response to a large number of representations from PIOs, particularly in the U.S.A. regarding the levy of registration charges , for ‘declaration of renunciation of Indian Citizenship’ the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued a circular communication on 01.06.2010 clarifying that the fee of Rs.7000/- for registration of a ‘declaration of renunciation of Indian citizenship’ will only be charged to PIOs, who intend to acquire foreign citizenship in future and that those who have already acquired such foreign citizenship in the past, will, by virtue of Section 9 of the Citizenship Act, 1955, cease to be Indian citizens, upon such acquisition of foreign citizenship and they will not be required to make such a ‘declaration of renunciation of Indian citizenship’.
Effectively, the registration charges were also reduced to AUD25 (USD25 in the U.S.A.), but only for those PIOs who acquired foreign citizenship on or before
As per the circular issued by MHA mentioned above, the fee is Indian Rupees 7,000 only and this translates into an exchange rate of 1 AUD = 25.64 INR. (At 3 May 2011 the exchange rate is approximately 1 AUD = 48 INR). Given the exchange rate gap, the Government of India has made foreign currency gains on these fees collected, which should be applied to refund monies to PIOs who have already paid the higher fees.
The charges levied are unfair and unjustified and impose a huge financial burden on PIOs who obtained foreign citizenship on or after 01.06.2010 vis-à-vis those PIO’s who obtained foreign citizenship prior to 01.06.2010.
PIOs in Australia request you to reduce the charges to a reasonable amount of AUD25, which is the registration charge for PIOs who have obtained Australian Citizenship on or before 31.05.2010. The reduction should apply retrospectively for registrations lodged effective 01.06.2010.