Indians are required to renounce their Indian citizenship after obtaining another citizenship.

What happens if someone doesn't do so?

I mean if my Indian passport has anyhow expired, and I never ever plan to travel to India again, or use my Indian citizenship in any way, does it make any sense to pay 185 euros for this procedure? Can I just simply claim on official forms that I'm not an Indian citizen after my Indian passport expired, even if I don't officially renounce it?

  • "Does it make any sense...?" You would have peace of mind if you did it correctly. You would never need to lie about it, or forget about it. Commented Sep 27, 2021 at 16:46
  • I have trouble understanding the logic of the law. Either you are still an Indian citizen (and could in principle even apply for a new passport) or you cease to be on the day you acquired the other citizenship. Your passport expiring doesn't change your status and really shouldn't matter.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Sep 27, 2021 at 20:48
  • @Andrew I wouldn't have peace of mind if I had to live for the rest of my life with the conscience that I threw out 185 euros for nothing... Since in another post The Netherlands was cited as a country with no dual citizenship, they charge nothing for the same thing. (USA charges a lot for revoking citizenship, but they allow dual citizenship, so that's an all different matter.) Would you even pay 2000 euros for something what only the country you pay to benefits from, and not you?
    – domotorp
    Commented Sep 28, 2021 at 5:07
  • @domotorp The notion is that even if it was in fact for nothing, once it's paid, it's already done so there is no point worrying. Nothing unexpected can happen and you know you won't have to pay anything else. On the other hand, if you don't pay, it could come bite you in ways you cannot know in advance and therefore more of a worry. From a Western European perspective, €185 is the price of a speeding ticket or any number of potential unexpected expenses you have to face regularly. If you do spend years ruminating on all such expenses, life is much harder.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Sep 28, 2021 at 9:18

2 Answers 2


The Indian Citizenship Act, 1955 §8 requires it, so from a legal perspective, you must do it. That law does not specify the consequences, and there isn't a clear limit on the possible punishment. The government does invite you to inquire about your penalty, saying

The Indian Citizenship Act, 1955, does not allow dual citizenship. Holding Indian passport/acquiring Indian passport/travelling on Indian passport after acquisition of foreign citizenship constitutes an offence under the Indian Passport Act, 1967, and attracts penalties. The Government of India has prescribed imposition of penalty on a graded scale, depending on number of trips made on Indian passport after acquiring foreign nationality, for the violation of Passport Rules and retention of Indian Passport for more than 3 years after acquiring of foreign nationality.

§12 of the Passport Act spells out the penalties (up to 5 years in prison and ₹50,000. If you can avoid being in illegal possession of an Indian passport, you might avoid prosecution under the act (though they probably cannot get you extradited to enforce the penalty). They certainly have the power to revoke your passport, but no provision of the law obligates you to formally apply for a passport revocation when you believe that your passport should be revoked.

Unless you officially renounce your citizenship, do the paperwork, and officially surrender your passport, the government can reasonably suspect that you are illegally in possession of an illegal passport, so they are empowered to investigate, including searching and seizing. However, if you have zero interest in India, that may not matter.

  • 1
    The logic is very puzzling. If you are still a citizen, how is the passport held illegally? And if you're not considered a citizen anymore (which is how many countries handle this sitation), why do you need to "renounce" it?
    – Relaxed
    Commented Sep 27, 2021 at 20:42
  • 1
    @Relaxed I guess there is some regulation related to security and the idea of a passport ending up in the "wrong" hands. Here in Norway when you switch passports they cut off a good chunk of the old one if you want tit as a souvenir and destroy it completely otherwise. They used to just punch two small holes like a hole punch so I am guessing there is enough of a concern if they had to upgrade the procedures. Commented Sep 28, 2021 at 9:09

Depending on which is your second nationality, if you don't present the official papers proving that you requested renounciation and then confirming that your renounciation was granted, your second nationality can get revoked

Example: The Netherlands

  • This is quite a different issue, but thanks.
    – domotorp
    Commented Sep 27, 2021 at 12:37

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