Surrender Indian Passport : OCI & PAN Implications

by | Aug 28, 2023 | Indian Law, Indian Law Weekly Round-Up, NRI Legal Services, OCI, PAN, Power of Attorney, Taxation

To surrender an Indian passport involves a process that ensures a smooth transition from being an Indian citizen to a Foreign Citizen. The Indian Citizenship Act, 1955, does not allow dual citizenship.

In accordance with the legal provisions set forth by the Government of India, individuals of Indian origin who have attained foreign nationality are required to surrender their Indian passports. This process must be carried out with the nearest Indian High Commission upon obtaining foreign citizenship.

In this article we take a brief overview of the process to surrender Indian passport, its role in OCI and PAN.

Surrender Indian Passport : Citizenship

When an individual opts to voluntarily surrender their Indian passport, it signifies a significant transformation in their citizenship status or residency. This decision indicates their deliberate selection to assume the citizenship of another country and to possess a passport issued by that nation.

Reasons : surrender indian passport

There are various reasons why someone may choose to surrender their Indian passport. For example, acquiring citizenship in another country, permanently relocating abroad, or simply no longer requiring Indian citizenship for personal or professional reasons.

Surrender Indian Passport : OCI & PAN Implications
Surrender Indian Passport : OCI & PAN Implications

Overview of Process

When it comes to surrendering an Indian passport, there are certain formalities that individuals must complete according to the guidelines. You may obtain an application form from the Indian embassy or consulate in your country of residence. Some of the process is available on the Indian authorities official online site. You should thoroughly go through the guidelines to avoid any discrepancy and subsequent delays in obtaining your surrender certificate.

Application form

The application will require your full name, contact information, passport number, and reasons for surrendering, ensuring accuracy and clarity throughout.

Once you have completed the application form, it is essential to gather and provide the necessary supporting documents. These documents may vary depending on the specific circumstances surrounding the surrender. Some common examples of supporting documents include;

Examples of supporting documents to surrender indian passport

  • Surrender certificate application form
  • Declaration form
  • Original Indian passport last valid at the time of naturalisation
  • Proof of citizenship or residency status
  • Copy of visa or residence permit from country of residence
  • Valid proof of address

Upon submission of the application and the accompanying documents, the Indian authorities will process your request. The duration of this process may vary. Once approved, an acknowledgment or surrender certificate will be issued, serving as an official confirmation of the successful cancellation of the Indian passport.

This list is not exhaustive and does not guarantee a Surrender Certificate. The High Commission of India or its Consulates reserve the right to ask for additional documents if required. View the full list of documents required on the HCI site in your country of residence.


An extremely important part of the process is the requirements for the applicant’s photographs. Your photographs are a crucial component of your application and must meet the required specifications set by the authorities.

The surrender Indian passport process has a complete section dedicated to photo specification. For example, photographs should be unmounted and in 2 inch x 2inch dimensions. The complete prerequisites are available on the consular services site.

Naturalisation Certificate date

Acquiring a renunciation/surrender certificate is contingent upon the date of acquiring foreign citizenship for individuals of Indian origin. It is important to note that the official date of acquiring foreign nationality pertains to the date indicated on the Naturalisation Certificate, as opposed to the issuance date of the individual’s foreign passport.

Legal & Practical Implications to surrender indian passport

Surrendering an Indian passport can carry both legal and practical implications that need to be carefully considered. It is essential to consult with legal professionals or officials from the embassy/consulate to obtain personalized guidance and ensure compliance with the relevant laws and regulations impacting your specific situation.

Indian Citizenship Act of 1955

The Indian Citizenship Act of 1955 is a landmark legislation that defines the rules and procedures for acquiring and renouncing Indian citizenship.

The Indian Citizenship Act also encompasses provisions that govern the voluntary renunciation of Indian citizenship. In the event that an individual chooses to renounce their Indian citizenship, it is necessary to submit a formal declaration in accordance with the guidelines outlined in the Act.

It is essential to grasp that renunciation of Indian citizenship entails the solemn relinquishment of certain rights and privileges that are inherently associated with being an Indian citizen.

The Indian Citizenship Act has undergone several amendments over the years to address a myriad of issues. It has been adapted to changing circumstances. These revisions have consequently led to modifications in the criteria and procedures in acquisition and renunciation of Indian citizenship.

Resident to Foreign Citizen PAN

When an Indian opts to acquire foreign citizenship, it is imperative to relinquish your Indian passport and fulfill specific formalities. Amongst these requisites, the necessity to update their Permanent Account Number (PAN) particulars is extremely important.

In the event of an individual obtaining foreign citizenship, it is imperative to notify the pertinent taxation authorities and proceed with the necessary updates to the PAN particulars. Failure to do so can render your PAN inoperative. It can also cause a number of issues in relation to any Indian matters.

(sELF/PIO) applying for OCI

When applying for OCI on the basis of self, your surrender certificate becomes an important document to include in your application.

Including the surrender certificate with your OCI application is crucial as it establishes your eligibility for OCI status. It demonstrates to the authorities that you have legally renounced your Indian citizenship and are now seeking to avail the benefits and privileges of having an OCI card.

Furthermore, it is important to ensure that the surrender certificate is in proper condition and securely kept. Any damage or alteration to the certificate may result in complications during the OCI application process. Therefore, it is advisable to keep the surrender certificate in a safe place, preferably along with other important documents related to your citizenship status.

Applying for OCI can be a complex process, and it is recommended to seek assistance from the relevant authorities or consult with a professional to ensure that your application is accurate and complete.

Consideration of Dates

Also, the surrender process will be in accordance with the date issued on your naturalisation certificate. It would not be in accordance to the date of issue of your foreign passport. Your naturalisation certificate should be kept in good condition.

Consideration of Name change

If you have changed your name and acquired foreign citizenship, the surrender form requires you to provide the name on your last valid Indian passport. Simultaneously, the surrender certificate will be issued in the name of your surrendered Indian passport.

Mandatory In Person Requirement

For the renunciation of Indian citizenship, the individual is required to be present in person at the respective center on the day of their appointment to sign the declaration/oath in front of a Government of India official.

How can we help

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I retain my Indian passport for travel after I acquire Foreign Citizenship?

The Indian passport must be surrendered by following due process with the HCI.

How can I apply for a surrender certificate in the UK?

In the UK an application would need to be made to the VFS office consular services.

Can I use my Indian passport after naturalisation?

There is a 3 month grace period from the date of naturalisation if your foreign passport has not been issued.

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