What to Do with Your Old Passport After Renouncing Indian Citizenship

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate

High Court Lucknow

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In the labyrinth of bureaucratic procedures, one might often find themselves tangled in a crucial question after renouncing their Indian citizenship: “What do I do with my old passport?” It’s not just a sentimental piece of your past but a document with significant legal implications.

Understanding the Gravity of Renunciation:

Renouncing Indian citizenship means you’ve voluntarily chosen to relinquish your rights and duties as an Indian citizen, often because you’ve acquired citizenship elsewhere. This process has multiple legal ramifications, one of which is the status of your old Indian passport.

So, What Should You Do with Your Old Passport?

1. Surrender and Renunciation Certificate:

  • Once you renounce your Indian citizenship, it is mandatory to surrender your Indian passport to the nearest Indian Consulate or Embassy.
  • They will, in return, provide a ‘Surrender Certificate’, which becomes an official acknowledgment of your renunciation and the surrender of your passport.

2. Handle with Care:

  • Remember, using the Indian passport for travel after renouncing citizenship is illegal and can result in severe penalties.
  • Always store your canceled passport safely, as it’s a record of your travel history and might be required for future visa applications or other documentation processes in your new country.

3. Reporting Loss, If Needed:

If you happen to lose your passport after renouncing the citizenship but before surrendering it:

  • Report the loss immediately to local police.
  • Notify the nearest Indian Consulate or Embassy, providing details of how the passport was lost and the renunciation process.

Why This Matters?

  • Traveling with an invalid passport can lead to deportation or bans from countries.
  • It may also affect your standing in your new country of citizenship.

Future Documentation:

  • Your old passport holds travel history, visas, and stamps which may be crucial for future visa applications, even in the new country.

Conclusion:

Renouncing Indian citizenship and navigating the subsequent steps, especially concerning your old passport, requires careful attention. Ensuring its proper surrender and safekeeping not only keeps you legally compliant but also preserves an essential record of your past. Be mindful, stay informed, and handle this document with the gravity it demands.