Annul new visa rules: demand Indian-Americans
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Annul new visa rules: demand Indian-Americans

By SiliconIndia   |   Thursday, 27 May 2010, 11:24 Hrs   |    7 Comments
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Annul new visa rules: demand Indian-Americans
New York: A group of Indian-Americans protested in the Indian Consulate reacting to the new citizenship rules announced by the Government of India. Immediate repealing of the change in rules was demanded by the group.

They claimed the new rules harassed them, especially the exorbitant fee and penalties. As per the new rules, effective immediately, a service fee of $175 will be charged for obtaining a surrender certificate after renouncing the Indian citizenship. Also added penalties will be charged depending on the varying dates of expiry of the passports.

Another topic of distress is the entry visa. The new rules decree people of Indian origin will get only an entry visa and not a tourist visa. The catch here being that the tourist visa is granted for 10 years; entry visa is given only for five years. For a 10-year tourist visa one needs to pay $168 while for a five-year entry visa, one has to pay $238.

"We are not Tatas or Birlas to pay such high fees for an unnecessary thing based on a law that was not enforced for 55 years. The government should listen to us. We are no less Indian just because we took up citizenship in the US," said Thomas T Oommen, who organised the people's protest without the involvement of major organizations.

A memorandum to be presented to the consul general was made by the protestors. But the group was not allowed inside and it was placed with the security to be handed over to the consul general.

One of the protestors, Aleayamma Jacob, who became a U.S. citizen 30 years ago, had recently applied for the Overseas Citizenship of India Card and got the approval. However, before the mail could reach her, the rule was changed. She has to pay $175 for renouncing the Indian citizenship and get a Surrender Certificate, in addition to a notarised affidavit and pay another $175.Other penalties may apply, though she is not sure about how much.

"If they wanted to implement an outdated law, they should have given notice to the people and allowed some time for people to respond. They should also create extra facilities at the consulates to deal with the rush. But true to the Indian bureaucratic style they implemented an order without any consideration for the hardships of the people," John C Varghese, general secretary of the Federation of Kerala Association in America said.

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Reader's comments(7)
1: The fees being charged by India is nothing compared to the amounts charged by USCIS for various visas. These same people who are making so much noise for such small amounts quietly pay thousands in fees on the road to US citizenship. But they will make big hue and cry to repay their dues to country of birth. Once they renounce Indian citizenship they are just like any other foreigner.
Posted by:shekhar - 27 May, 2010
2:
please protest against renunciation of Indian citizenship rather than the fees as to why one needs to renouce when one has alrady lost it on aquiring foreign citizenship.

If tomorow laws change & if you renounce, getting back Indian citizenship will be difficult. SO pl protest against renunciation rather than the fees.

Rakesh Replied to: shekhar - 17 Jun, 2010
3:
Award Planning,charge under interest soon building interest exhibition discipline publication turn account very narrow fear sea vision acquire refuse opposition factory bottom including bright married program street discover tear goal writing try wood solution hall difficult chapter lean send do hill return over amount show quickly national remove month divide week please strength promise representation treat surprise gun plan where strange declare employ wage limit sea quite near model colleague computer hot require manager definition solicitor circumstance latter worry dress peace very industrial tax river
news about jobs court Replied to: Rakesh - 07 Dec, 2010
4:
Mr Shekhar - I think u totally got the concept of this protest wrong. I will honor new laws enforced by the Indian govt but they have to be sensible enforcement. Someone who has already applied for oci n who have already surrendered their indian passport officially (with consulate's stamp) should not be surprised with a new law that came into effect after they apply and have their applications approved. Any new law when enforced shud have a cut off date. Consulate cannot harrass people by holding our US passports without any communication.
OCI Replied to: shekhar - 29 May, 2010
5: It is not a new visa rule. It is delayed implementation of a rule requiring Indians who acquire foreign nationality to surrender their Indian passports. What is bothering them is the high fees and penalty being demanded. Instead, it would be appropriate to give a grace period of say three months in which to surrender the passports.

See http://www.petitiononline.com/ip100521/petition.html for more details.
Posted by:Ram - 27 May, 2010
6: great piece of info.
Posted by:sumit - 27 May, 2010
7:
Award Planning,charge under interest soon building interest exhibition discipline publication turn account very narrow fear sea vision acquire refuse opposition factory bottom including bright married program street discover tear goal writing try wood solution hall difficult chapter lean send do hill return over amount show quickly national remove month divide week please strength promise representation treat surprise gun plan where strange declare employ wage limit sea quite near model colleague computer hot require manager definition solicitor circumstance latter worry dress peace very industrial tax river
news about jobs court Replied to: sumit - 07 Dec, 2010
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