All You Need to Know About Indian Visas for American citizens of Pakistani origin (dual US – Pakistan Citizens) and Renouncing Pakistani Citizenship
United States Citizens who also hold Pakistani citizenship must go through some special procedures to get a visa to visit India issued to them in the United States. If your employer requires you to travel to India for work and you need to renounce your Pakistan citizenship in order to make this travel, we can help you prepare for the process and make it smooth and save you time. The employer must understand that the process can take several months to complete, and that is uncomplicated situations. The guidance below is geared towards individuals and their employers to prepare them for what is entailed in renouncing Pakistani citizenship in order to obtain visas for travel to India. This advice may also be useful to those individuals and their employers who need to get security clearances from US agencies and need to renounce their Pakistani citizenship for that purpose.
The official guidance on the application for Indian visas for dual nationals is as follows:
- Applicants of Pakistan Origin who are current / former Pakistan Nationals, must provide proof of Renunciation of Pakistan Citizenship to apply for Visa on US passport.
- If Renunciation of Pakistan Citizenship is not available, then applicant must apply on valid Pakistani passport for Visitor Visa. Applicants of Pakistan Origin who are born in US / outside Pakistan and have never held Pakistan Nationality, must provide a notarized affidavit that applicant NEVER HELD PAKISTAN NATIONALITY or POC (Pakistan Origin Card) or NICOP (National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistani) and does not hold any other nationality except that of the US (Non Pakistan) in addition to the other documents in the Documents Checklist.
How to submit a visa application for an Indian visa
If you are of Pakistani origin, whether you have taken up citizenship of another country or not, you need to send to Cox & Kings Global Services (CKGS), either in-person or by mail, a completed Visitor Visa application and payment. You can’t use any other agent apart from CKGS.
Process for applying for an Indian Visa as a US passport holder
If you are of Pakistani origin but wish to apply for an Indian Visa on a US passport and you have renounced citizenship of Pakistan you are required to show proof of you having renounced your Pakistan citizenship before you can apply for a visa.
If you are unable to provide this proof then you must file your visa application on a current Pakistani passport before you can be issued with a Visitor Visa. Of course if you were born in the USA or anywhere else outside Pakistan but you still have family ties in Pakistan you will most likely hold a US passport or the passport of the country where you were born. However, you are still required to provide an affidavit that has been notarized stating you have never been a holder of Pakistan nationality or a Pakistan Origin Card or a National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis and you only possess a US passport.
If you at one time held Pakistani Citizenship you must provide a Renunciation Certificate that proves you no longer hold Pakistani Citizenship.
What does Renunciation of Pakistani Citizenship mean?
The process for dual nationals of Pakistan and USA living in the USA to renounce their Pakistani citizenship has several steps. The process can be lengthy and may have some unexpected challenges. You need to prepare in advance to avoid surprises.
- Submitting a renunciation application with the Pakistan Embassy or consulate of jurisdiction determined by your place residence; (Other than the Embassy in Washington, DC, there are consulates in New York, NY; Houston, TX; Los Angeles, CA; Chicago, IL);
- The application then gets forwarded to the Ministry of Interior, Directorate General, Immigration and Passports office in Islamabad, Pakistan which processes the matter with due consultation with relevant agencies. This can include civilian and military agencies;
- The office of DG Immigration and Passports then sends the Renunciation Certificate back to the relevant Embassy or Consulate in the US;
- The applicant is contacted and advised of follow-up by the consulate;
- If the applicant possessed a Pakistani NIC, NICOP, or POC he/she must cancel this using an online application process, which can take several days;
- Once the Embassy/Consulate has been given proof that the NICOP/POC/NIC have been cancelled then the original Renunciation Certificate will be handed over to the applicant.
If you wish to give up your Pakistani citizenship you have to hand in any current or expired passports and any national identification cards you hold. If you do not have a valid NADRA issued NICOP/NIC or POC then you are required to provide two references who reside in Pakistan.
Main points about renouncing your Pakistan citizenship – the application process
The below description is taken from the website of the Pakistan Embassy in Washington, DC. Please check the website of the relevant consulate if you fall under another jurisdiction.
- If you are a Pakistani under 21 years of age you are not permitted to renounce your citizenship independently. However, if your father is renouncing his citizenship, your name can be included on his application.
- You will need to pay $30, either as a money order or cashier check, made out to the Embassy of Pakistan, Washington DC. You can’t pay in cash or use a personal check.
- You will need to write and sign a request giving your reason for renouncing your citizenship.
- You will need to provide a copy of your U.S. passport which has been notarized and a citizenship certificate.
- You will need to complete Form ‘X’ and sign it. This can be downloaded from the Embassy’s website or can be obtained from the Embassy’s Consular Section. The form will need to be attested by the Embassy of Pakistan. If you are sending by mail you must enclose a notarized copy of the Form X.
- You will need to provide all original Pakistani passports you have been issued with, whether currently valid or expired, as well as a copy of each passport. You will need to provide 7 photos with a cut out size of ‘2’ by ‘2’ inches.
- A computer form, which can be found on the Embassy’s website, or at the Embassy’s Consular section, will need to be completed.
- If the applicant is a minor, data including the child’s place of birth with original documentary proof such as Form “B” or Form “S” or NICOP/Child Registration Card will need to be provided.
- If you do not have a CNIC/NICOP, you must provide a correct address in Pakistan, including two references who are in Pakistan, so that the Police are able to obtain verification.
- The original CNIC/NICOP needs to be submitted to the Embassy with the application for renunciation. As soon as the citizenship of Pakistan has been renounced you will have to cancel the card online.
- As the applicant you will need to provide your email on Form X, as this enables the authorities in Pakistan to contact you directly if more information or documents is required.
- It is the Directorate General of Immigration and Passports in Islamabad which prepares the Renunciation Certificates. You will have to collect the certificate(s) in person and hand in original passports and ID cards if you still hold them.
The process can take several months. It is best to hire the services of an attorney with experience to help you so that you may avoid unreasonable delays in the process. If you need further clarification on any of the above points you can contact the Syed Law Firm, PLLC who may be able to help you prepare for renouncing your Pakistani citizenship.