Important Notice to People of Indian Origin (PIO)
1) Surrender of Indian Citizenship after acquiring citizenship of New Zealand -
Of late, many cases have been coming to the notice of this High Commission where the applicants have not surrendered their Indian Passports within three years of acquisition of New Zealand citizenship. In some cases, the applicants have gone even further and used the Indian passports for travel after acquisition of foreign nationality.
In this regard, attention of all PIOs in New Zealand, Samoa and Niue, who have acquired foreign nationality, is iited to the following relevant extracts of the Indian Passport Act 1967:
“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.”
All PIOs who have been in violation of the Indian Passport Act are liable to GOI prescribed penalty in terms of the provisions of the Act. Kindly note that this High Commission has no authority or discretion to waive off such penalty, and that ignorance of rules cannot be accepted as a reason for waiving off the penalty.
In view of the above, all PIOs, who have been in violation of the Indian Passport Act, are advised to surrender their passports without further delay and deposit the penalty wherever it has become due to escape further penalty. The defaulters may contact the High Commission to know the actual penalty due in each case.
2) Visa application for minor / dependent children
Parents of minor children of Indian origin holding New Zealand nationality are henceforth required to submit a copy of their cancelled/ previously held Indian Passport with the visa application of the minor children as a proof of compliance of the Indian Passport Act to enable processing of the visa application.
3) Entry visa
Eligibility of Entry Visa
An Entry visa is granted to the following types of applicants: A person of Indian Origin, defined as a person who has held Indian nationality or is a child or grandchild of a person who has held Indian nationality.
A spouse or dependent family member of a foreign national coming to India on a long term visa such as Employment, Business, Research or Student. In such case, the duration of the visa granted will end on the same date on the visa duration of the principal visa holder. The principal visa holder’s visa must be issued before the spouse and dependent family members can apply for their Entry Visa.
In short, Entry Visa is granted to Persons of Indian Origin and also to those who are dependent family members of holders of Employment Visa, Business Visa, Research Visa or Student Visa.
Entry Visa can be extended by the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer in India. Validity is at the discretion of the FRRO Officer. Foreigners visiting India on long term Entry (X) visa would not require registration with the concerned FRROs/FROs if the duration of his/her stay does not exceed 180 days on a single visit. In case of a foreigner intends to stay more than 180 days on a single visit he/she should get himself/herself registered well before the expiry of 180 days.
It is in the best interest of all foreigners of Indian origin to apply for Entry visa, which has a lot fewer restrictions vis-à-vis a tourist visa – among other things, tourist visas are non-extendable, non-convertible, has a cap on continuous stay and allow no other activities other than tourism/ sightseeing. In case the applicant is willing to be bound by these restrictions, and also does not own residence in India, he can apply for a tourist Visa as well. It may also be kept in mind that violation of terms of Tourist Visa can land people into unnecessary trouble.
Family members of Indian nationals and OCI card holders should only apply only for Entry visa.
4) OCI Card
All PIOs may also consider applying for OCI Card, which, among many other benefits, facilitates easy and visa-free travel to India for life. This also takes care of your emergency travel needs to India and last minute difficulties in making travel related arrangements, besides ensuring economy of expenditure in the long run.
Kindly note that all PIO card holders have to get their document converted to OCI Card latest by 31/12/2016. This service is available Free of Cost until 31/12/2016.
Kindly also read our section on OCI services for better understanding of the procedure to apply for OCI Card and its various benefits –