People from all ethnic backgrounds who acquire US citizenship are renouncing their American citizenships every year for various reasons.
Since 2010, when Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) became law this number has been drastically increasing.
For example, in 1998 only 398 people renounced their US citizenships where as 6,800 people renounced their US citizenships in 2017.
Before renouncing your US citizenship, you need to think twice as several privileges will be lost once you renounce.
As a US citizen, you are entitled to –
- Participate in US general elections like voting, contesting for public offices including US Congress members, Senators, Governors etc., except for Vice-president / President of USA. You must be a born US citizen to contest for Vice-president / President Position.
- Work in any federal (government) agency jobs
- Settle anywhere in the world permanently and still can avail pension, social security benefits etc.,
- Receive health care benefits like Medicare once you are eligible (65 years and above)
- Receive priority in FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) application process
- File US IRS Tax returns wherever you live in the world
If you are a Naturalized US Citizen of Indian origin, Restrictions:
- You don’t have right to vote and are not allowed to contest in elections in India.
- You can’t hold constitutional posts including Judge of Supreme / High Court.
- You can work as consultant / advisor in any Indian government job only for a specific period of time or for a purpose with clearly defined pay structure but no pension or other benefits.
- Can’t purchase agricultural or farm lands
- Can’t engage in any research projects in India
- No need to report to Police or FRRO (Foreign Regional Registration Office) when you stay in India for any length of time period.
Scenario – 1:
A child is born in USA to Indian citizen parent(s).
If the Child is below one year of age and the Child doesn’t hold passport of any Country.
(Note: If the Child is above one year of age - Parents can take a special permission from the Central Government of India to obtain Indian Citizenship)
Procedure: (Click below links for the forms)
“Registration of Birth Application” duly filled and to be submitted to Consulate General of India Office in USA
Miscellaneous application form may also needed to be submitted in some cases. (Please check with your respective Consulate General of India Office wherever you are submitting).
Required Supporting Documents to submit:
- Original passports of both parents
- Photocopies of passports of both parents (first three and last two pages only)
- Copy of valid Visa / Green card of the parents
- Notarized affidavit by both parents that minor doesn’t hold the passport of any country and not intended to obtain a passport of any other country other than India for the child until the child attains 18 years of age.
- Birth Certificate of the Child issued by the local US authority.
- Copy of parent’s proof of address like utility bill, driver license, lease agreement etc.,
- Fee $25 and $2 for ICWF.
- $25 Fee is to be paid by Cashier’s Check or Money Order drawn in favor of "Consulate General of India". There should be a separate Cashier’s Check or Money Order for ICWF Fee of $2. Cash payment is also accepted at the counter of the Consulate. Applicants are requested to go with the exact amount for efficient services.
- Personal Checks, Debit Cards, Credit Cards are not accepted.
- If application is being sent by post - please send a separate $20 Cashier’s Check or Money Order fee for return mail. No prepaid envelopes are accepted.
Scenario – 2:
Attained US Citizenship by Birth (US Citizenship can’t be relinquished for the applicants until they attain14 years of age). If the applicant is above 14 years of age –
Before renouncing, applicants must apply for and hold an Indian Passport.
Eligibility for obtaining Indian Passport:
For PIO (Person of Indian Origin) Card Holders –
- The applicant must be an Ordinarily Resident of India for the past 7 years.
- Out of these 7 years, applicant must be resided in India continuously for at least 1 year before applying for Indian Passport.
For OCI Card Holders –
- Waiting period is 5 years before applying for Indian Passport.
- The applicant should be a resident of India continuously at least for 1 year just before applying for Indian passport.
Information needed for renouncing US Citizenship
- Your current address, phone number and e-mail address
- Your full name as listed in your U.S passport
- All previous names that you have used, if any
- A photocopy of your completed but not signed Form DS-4080
- A photocopy of your completed but not signed Form DS-4081
- Manner in which you acquired U.S. Citizenship
- Date and place of birth (City and State / Country)
- Your most recent U.S Passport Number
- Your Social Security Number
- Your last U.S address
- Your other nationality
- The passport of your other nationality
For more information, please visit www.prasadthotakura.com
(Great Andhra appreciates Dr. Prasad Thotakura for contributing this article. Dr. Thotakura, an Indian American community leader, serving the community for over three decades earned the reputation as a ‘man with vision and mission’, ‘leader with compassion and commitment’, ‘very sensible and ever accessible’)