Persons of Indian origin (PIOs) will now have to formally renounce their citizenship and surrender their Indian passport after acquiring foreign citizenship, according to new rules circulated by the Indian high commission in Toronto.
Canadian PIOs will have to pay a fee of $168 to get their Indian passport cancelled by the country's mission here. "New rules require that Indian citizens acquiring foreign citizenship on or after June 1, 2010, must formally renounce Indian citizenship,'' the mission statement said.
But those who have acquired foreign citizenship before June 1, 2010, will be exempted from paying the so-called renunciation fee of $168.
On surrender of their Indian passport, PIOs will be issued a 'surrender certificate' which they will have to produce when seeking Indian visa or PIO card or OCI (overseas citizenship of India) card, according to the new rules.
The statement said, "It is a punishable offence under the Indian Passport Act 1967, to apply for an Indian passport, continue to hold an Indian passport, get an Indian passport re-issued or travel on an Indian passport after acquiring foreign citizenship.''
There are stringent penalties for foreign nationals to keep Indian passports. "This is also applicable to those Indian citizens who acquired foreign citizenship,'' the statement said.
The new rules also stipulate heavy penalty for retaining and travelling on Indian passports after getting foreign citizenship.
Penalty for traveling on Indian Passport after acquiring Canadian citizenship is $240 for each time, subject to a maximum of $1,200.
Those who get Indian passport renewed or reissued after acquiring Canadian citizenship will have to pay $600 for each such case.