BENGALURU: A couple from Jayanagar, who relinquished their Indian citizenship to become Australian citizens, received a shocking surprise when their minor son’s Indian passport was withheld due to the fact that both parents were no longer Indian citizens.
According to the Citizenship Act, when an individual ceases to be a citizen of India, every minor child of that person automatically loses their Indian citizenship. As a result, with their teenage son without a valid passport, the parents have made an appeal for an exception, which is currently being reviewed by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
The turn of events came as a surprise to the Bengaluru couple, both of whom have professional backgrounds in the field of Information Technology and had made the decision to move to Australia in 2015.
Sources from the Regional Passport Office in Bengaluru disclosed that the couple had settled in Australia while leaving their minor son in the care of his grandmother in Jayanagar.
A few years ago, the couple renounced their Indian citizenship and acquired Australian citizenship, while their 15-year-old son possessed an Indian passport. With the Covid situation improving and India lifting the international travel ban, the couple returned to Bengaluru in 2022 with plans to take their son to Australia for a vacation. ” When they discovered that their son’s Indian passport had reached its expiration date, they took steps to commence the renewal procedure. It was during this time that they came to understand the true situation. They became aware that an Indian passport for a minor is issued or renewed based on the citizenship status of at least one parent. In their case, both the father and mother had renounced Indian citizenship and were unaware of the regulation,” stated an official involved in the case.
As per the provisions outlined in Section 8 of the Citizenship Act 1955, it is specified that if an individual ceases to be a citizen of India under subsection (I), any minor child of that person will also automatically lose their Indian citizenship. However, it is worth noting that within one year of reaching adulthood, such a child has the opportunity to declare their desire to regain Indian citizenship and subsequently be reinstated as a citizen of India.
The boy will be eligible to apply for an Indian passport once he turns 18, as per the passport rules. Nevertheless, his parents, who hold Person of Indian Origin (PIO) cards, have contacted the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in order to request a special consideration and the issuance of a passport for their son based on humanitarian grounds.
Sources from the Bengaluru passport office revealed that the matter is currently being reviewed by the MHA, to whom it was referred by the Ministry of External Affairs.
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