OCI Surrender Certificate protest
As of June 15, 2011, the Indian Government has withdrawn the requirement for submitting your original US passport with your OCI application.
As of July 1, 2011, the Government of India has also agreed to eliminate the surrender certificate rule for those who became naturalized US citizens more than 10 years ago. Those Indian passports are already expired and do not need canceling. The Surrender Certificate Rule is still in effect for those who became naturalized US citizens after June 2001. The Government of India is still collecting fees of $175 for the Surrender Certificate and $250 in penalties for those who did not surrender their passport immediately upon acquiring US citizenship. As there are no other countries that require such a process, we will continue to agitate to eliminate the Surrender Certificate Rule in its entirety.
These developments are a product of our collective efforts.
- Dozens fasted, with hundreds of community members coming out in support.
- Thousands signed an online petition to the Prime Minister of India.
- Hundreds sent letters to the US State Department.
- Young people created and posted 2 YouTube videos sharing people’s stories.
- Various organizations collaborated to raise these issues
The Indo-American press & India press published the call to action and tracked progress When people stand together, the Government must respond. We are grateful to the Indian government for listening & taking action, and to all those who participated for the tremendous progress. We strengthen our resolve to continue standing together, asking for fairness for all of our brothers and sisters of Indian origin, and changing the way we interact with the Indian government overall. It should no longer be each one for himself. We need to exercise our collective voice for something greater than ourselves.
Next steps include:
Right to Information Act (RTI) request to learn how the Surrender Certificate Rule happened and an accounting of the monies collected. Meeting with Indian Consulate to understand current status
Brainstorming meeting on appropriate next steps
Thank you again for taking interest. We encourage your continued participation and hope that this process of representing community voice for something bigger than self defines the diaspora’s relationship with the Indian government for years to come.
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