Disadvantage of acquiring foreign citizenship by NRIs settled abroad

Should NRIs living abroad acquire foreign citizenship? NRIs residing abroad, at some point of time have to make a decision as to whether they should acquire foreign citizenship. Such a decision would have been a lot easier, if India allowed dual citizenship, but this is not the case.  NRIs who acquire foreign citizenship now, have to formally renounce their Indian citizenship. Carefully considering the pros and cons of such a decision are important.  My FAQ section has on occasion received inquiries from persons of Indian origin, who want to know how to revert back and acquire Indian citizenship.  In such cases, circumstances have changed for them and they feel it would be more advantageous for them to reclaim their Indian citizenship. There is no definite answer on whether an NRI should or should not acquire foreign citizenship as each person's circumstances and future planning is unique. We can however, look at a few advantages and disadvantages of changing citizenship. Let us consider the disadvantages first.

Disadvantage of acquiring foreign citizenship

As far as disadvantages of acquiring foreign citizenship are concerned, here are some to points to consider: Deep down, many NRIs perhaps have a feeling that they may eventually return to India for resettlement, hence they may worry about losing their Indian citizenship rights, if they choose to become a foreign citizen. Some are concerned about losing property they own in India, or may have worries of having to pay taxes on their worldwide income in two countries. Parents may have concerns that in case they eventually return to India, their children would be treated as foreigners by educational institutions. They might have to pay additional schooling fees.

Effects of renouncing Indian citizenship

On acquiring foreign citizenship, you may have to adjust to some changes that occur, when you give up Indian nationality. Consider the following: For starters, you will have to renounce your Indian citizenship. Formal renunciation of Indian citizenship is now required from all Indian citizens, who acquire foreign citizenship. This is a new rule that the Indian government announced in 2010. Once you acquire foreign citizenship, a visa is required if you wish to travel to India. For those who care, you lose your voting right in India. (Government of India now allows NRIs holding Indian passports, to vote in Indian elections). Travel to restricted areas in India, will also require special permission from Indian consulates abroad. Registration with FRRO may be required, depending on the duration of your stay in India during visits. Changing citizenship is not merely a change of a passport but a decision that should be taken diligently.  Regardless of what route one takes, there will always be some form of adjustment required. Overall, this has to be a personal decision.

Renunciation of citizenship affects your minor children

When an Indian citizen acquires foreign citizenship, they automatically lose their Indian citizenship.  Under recent rules, a formal renunciation of Indian citizenship is required by anyone who acquires foreign citizenship. Furthermore, when an individual renounces their Indian citizenship, their minor children automatically lose their Indian citizenship. The Indian nationality law follows the citizenship by 'right of blood' as opposed to citizenship by 'right of birth' within the territory. Renunciation is covered in Section 8 of the Citizenship Act 1955. If an adult makes a declaration of renunciation of Indian citizenship, they lose their Indian citizenship. In addition, any minor child of that person also loses Indian citizenship from the date of renunciation. When the child reaches the age of eighteen, he/she has the right to resume Indian citizenship. The provisions for making a declaration of renunciation under Indian citizenship law require that the person making the declaration be "of full age and capacity." Sections 8, 'Renunciation of citizenship' parts which apply are reproduced below to provide further clarification. 1. If any citizen of India of full age and capacity, makes in the prescribed manner a declaration renouncing his Indian citizenship, the declaration shall be registered by the prescribed authority; and upon such registration, that person shall cease to be a citizen of India. Where a person ceases to be a citizen of India under sub-section (1) every minor child of that person shall thereupon cease to be a citizen of India: Provided that any such child may, within one year after attaining full age, make a declaration (in the prescribed form and manner) that he wishes to resume Indian citizenship and shall thereupon again become a citizen of India.
Disclaimer: Information provided is for general knowledge only and should not be deemed to be professional advice. For professional advice kindly consult a professional accountant, immigration advisor or the Indian consulate. Rules and regulations do change from time to time. Please note that in case of any variation between what has been stated on this website and the relevant Act, Rules, Regulations, Policy Statements etc. the latter shall prevail. © Copyright 2006 Nriinformation.com
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Disadvantage of acquiring

foreign citizenship by NRIs

settled abroad

Should NRIs living abroad acquire foreign citizenship? NRIs residing abroad, at some point of time have to make a decision as to whether they should acquire foreign citizenship. Such a decision would have been a lot easier, if India allowed dual citizenship, but this is not the case.  NRIs who acquire foreign citizenship now, have to formally renounce their Indian citizenship. Carefully considering the pros and cons of such a decision are important.  My FAQ section has on occasion received inquiries from persons of Indian origin, who want to know how to revert back and acquire Indian citizenship.  In such cases, circumstances have changed for them and they feel it would be more advantageous for them to reclaim their Indian citizenship. There is no definite answer on whether an NRI should or should not acquire foreign citizenship as each person's circumstances and future planning is unique. We can however, look at a few advantages and disadvantages of changing citizenship. Let us consider the disadvantages first.

Disadvantage of acquiring foreign

citizenship

As far as disadvantages of acquiring foreign citizenship are concerned, here are some to points to consider: Deep down, many NRIs perhaps have a feeling that they may eventually return to India for resettlement, hence they may worry about losing their Indian citizenship rights, if they choose to become a foreign citizen. Some are concerned about losing property they own in India, or may have worries of having to pay taxes on their worldwide income in two countries. Parents may have concerns that in case they eventually return to India, their children would be treated as foreigners by educational institutions. They might have to pay additional schooling fees.

Effects of renouncing Indian

citizenship

On acquiring foreign citizenship, you may have to adjust to some changes that occur, when you give up Indian nationality. Consider the following: For starters, you will have to renounce your Indian citizenship. Formal renunciation of Indian citizenship is now required from all Indian citizens, who acquire foreign citizenship. This is a new rule that the Indian government announced in 2010. Once you acquire foreign citizenship, a visa is required if you wish to travel to India. For those who care, you lose your voting right in India. (Government of India now allows NRIs holding Indian passports, to vote in Indian elections). Travel to restricted areas in India, will also require special permission from Indian consulates abroad. Registration with FRRO may be required, depending on the duration of your stay in India during visits. Changing citizenship is not merely a change of a passport but a decision that should be taken diligently.  Regardless of what route one takes, there will always be some form of adjustment required. Overall, this has to be a personal decision. Renunciation of citizenship affects your minor children When an Indian citizen acquires foreign citizenship, they automatically lose their Indian citizenship.  Under recent rules, a formal renunciation of Indian citizenship is required by anyone who acquires foreign citizenship. Furthermore, when an individual renounces their Indian citizenship, their minor children automatically lose their Indian citizenship. The Indian nationality law follows the citizenship by 'right of blood' as opposed to citizenship by 'right of birth' within the territory. Renunciation is covered in Section 8 of the Citizenship Act 1955. If an adult makes a declaration of renunciation of Indian citizenship, they lose their Indian citizenship. In addition, any minor child of that person also loses Indian citizenship from the date of renunciation. When the child reaches the age of eighteen, he/she has the right to resume Indian citizenship. The provisions for making a declaration of renunciation under Indian citizenship law require that the person making the declaration be "of full age and capacity." Sections 8, 'Renunciation of citizenship' parts which apply are reproduced below to provide further clarification. 1. If any citizen of India of full age and capacity, makes in the prescribed manner a declaration renouncing his Indian citizenship, the declaration shall be registered by the prescribed authority; and upon such registration, that person shall cease to be a citizen of India. Where a person ceases to be a citizen of India under sub-section (1) every minor child of that person shall thereupon cease to be a citizen of India: Provided that any such child may, within one year after attaining full age, make a declaration (in the prescribed form and manner) that he wishes to resume Indian citizenship and shall thereupon again become a citizen of India.
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