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April 22 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm


Recently, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) issued a memorandum leading to the revocation of passports of more than 100 individuals from Goa who had acquired Portuguese citizenship. This move has significant implications for those involved and highlights the complexities surrounding citizenship and passport regulations.

Goan’s Portuguese Connection:

  • Goa, a former Portuguese colony, has historical ties to Portugal dating back to the colonial era.
  • Under Portuguese law, individuals born in Goa before December 19, 1961, and their descendants have the option to register as Portuguese citizens.
  • Many Goans have availed of this option, seeking Portuguese citizenship for various reasons, including access to visa-free travel and overseas opportunities.

The 2022 MEA Memorandum:

  • The MEA issued a memorandum on November 30, 2022, addressing passport surrender in cases of acquiring foreign nationality.
  • Passport authorities now cancel passports obtained by concealing foreign citizenship under Section 10(3)(b) of the Passport Act of 1967.
  • The issuance of Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) cards, previously dependent on surrender certificates, now requires revocation certificates.

Revocation and OCI Status:

  • Acquisition of Portuguese citizenship necessitates the surrender of Indian citizenship due to India’s prohibition of dual citizenship.
  • Revocation of Indian passports has left individuals unable to apply for OCI cards, affecting their status and rights in India.

Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) Card:

  • Introduced in 2005, OCI cards are granted to individuals of Indian origin or those eligible for Indian citizenship.
  • OCI cardholders enjoy multiple-entry, lifelong visas, exemption from registration requirements, and parity with Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in various fields.
  • However, OCI holders do not possess voting rights or the ability to purchase agricultural land in India.

Benefits of the OCI Card:

  • Facilitates multiple entries into India, without the need for a visa.
  • Provides exemption from registration with foreign authorities, offering convenience during stays in India.
  • Grants equality with NRIs in financial, economic, and educational domains, fostering closer ties with the diaspora.

Limitations and Restrictions:

  • OCI cardholders cannot vote or hold public office in India, maintaining a distinction between citizenship and overseas citizenship.
  • Restrictions also apply to land ownership and certain activities, necessitating special permission for specific endeavors.

Current Scenario:

  • The OCI card scheme has been instrumental in fostering ties with the Indian diaspora, with millions of cards issued worldwide.
  • The scheme reflects India’s recognition of the diaspora’s contributions and its commitment to engaging with overseas Indians.

Challenges and Implications:

  • Passport revocation poses challenges for affected individuals, impacting their legal status and rights in both India and Portugal.
  • The shift from surrender to revocation certificates complicates the process of acquiring OCI cards for those with Portuguese citizenship.
  • The situation underscores the need for clarity in citizenship regulations and effective communication between relevant authorities.

Way Forward:

  • Authorities must streamline procedures for passport revocation and OCI card issuance, ensuring fairness and transparency for affected individuals.
  • Enhanced awareness and guidance should be provided to individuals navigating the complexities of dual citizenship and overseas residency.
  • Continuous dialogue between the Indian government and diaspora communities can help address concerns and streamline processes.



April 22
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category:
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