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A circular from Centre plunges many Goans in anxiety: report

A circular from Centre plunges many Goans in anxiety: report

Panaji: A Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) circular has given anxiety to many in Goa who had gone to surrender their India passports to pursue possibilities abroad using their Portuguese passports.

At least 100 individuals who went to surrender their passports have found their Indian passports to be revoked alongside putting on hold the grant of Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card, The Indian Express reported. With this change, some of whom are compelled to apply for X1-visa (entry visa).

Thomas Fernandes, a resident of Candolim in North Goa’s Bardez taluka went to surrender his Indian Passport at the regional passport office (RPO) in Panaji on November 29.

Ferbandes was told that he had “suppressed material information” that he was already a citizen of Portugal while renewing his Indian passport in 2021.

He had acquired Portuguese citizenship in 2015 as Portugal offered to those born in Goa before December 19, 1961 and two future generations the option of registering as Portuguese citizens.

A notice was issued to Fernandes, based on External Affairs (MEA) circular dated November 30, 2022, revoking his Indian passport.

The MEA circular directed to revoke the passports invoking Section 10 of the Passports Act, 1967, which does not allow dual passports.

It further directed that the passports have been acquired by suppressing material information about possession of foreign nationality, saying ‘these holders, thus, were not eligible to obtain/apply for these passports’.

Many in Goa who looks for opportunities abroad over the last few decades have been registering their births in the Central Registry in Lisbon, getting Portuguese citizenship for employment and educational opportunities in countries including the UK and the EU.

They registered their birth in Portugal only for giving better opportunity to their children in the EU countries.

Most of them do not wish to travel on a Portuguese passport at this age, according to the report.

However, Under The Indian Citizenship Act, 1955, persons of Indian origin are not allowed dual citizenship.

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