How do I Surrender my Indian Passport in the UK [Step-by-step Guide]

Everything you need to surrender your Indian passport and get surrender certificate in the UK.


How to surrender Indian Passport after British Citizenship - apply for surrender certificateWhat is the process to surrender Indian passport in the UK?

If you are a person of Indian origin, that’s the first question you seek an answer to as soon as you get your British Citizenship.

I got my British citizenship a couple of months back.

As I approach towards the 90-day grace period of being able to travel on an Indian passport, I started exploring the process involved in the renunciation of Indian citizenship and surrender of Indian passport.

Acquiring British Citizenship is a long process, and it is quite a journey – renewing your Tier 2 Visa every year to getting ILR (subject to rules that apply to you!) to finally attending the ceremony when you get the naturalisation certificate as a British Citizen.

The next step in the journey is the renunciation of Indian passport and obtaining a surrender certificate.

In this post, that’s exactly what I have for you – a detailed guide on how to surrender your Indian passport after becoming a British citizen.

This guide will fill any gaps in understanding you might have when you are in the process of cancelling your Indian passport after getting foreign citizenship (in my case, British Citizenship).

Also Read: Is it illegal for NRIs to hold Resident Indian Bank account?

Bonus tip for NRIs: If you are still using your bank for sending money to India, check out my detailed guide to show you how you could be losing thousands every month.

Also check out the alternative money transfer services and the best new customer deals.

How to surrender Indian Passport in the UK – Complete Guide

As I cancelled my Indian passport to obtain the surrender certificate, I thought of documenting the entire process and formalities involved.

The reason is:

For starters, I stumbled upon the guide that VFS has published, but I felt the information was not as straight-forward as I would have expected (and there were a few anomalies in the information provided too).

I had to refer to different posts, forums and expert groups to get my head around this and clarify some of the basic queries I had regarding Indian passport cancellation process.

I documented the process for this post to become a go-to guide so that YOU don’t have to go through any hassles like I had to.

Without any further ado, let’s jump right in and understand the step-by-step process involved in getting surrender certificate after cancelling Indian passport.

But one last thing…

Why do I need to surrender my Indian passport?

By this point, you might be wondering:

Why do I need to cancel my Indian Citizenship at all? Why can’t I keep my Indian passport?

The reason is:

The Indian Citizenship Act 1955 does not allow dual citizenship for persons of Indian origin.

Once you have acquired foreign citizenship, you are required to surrender your Indian passport to the nearest Indian mission/post to renunciate Indian citizenship.

If you intend to apply for OCI Card or Consular Services Visa, surrendering your Indian passport and getting Surrender Certificate as a proof of cancelled Indian passport is a pre-requite to move forward.

Surrender Certificate Indian passport processing time

The VFS website doesn’t answer this question very clearly. It mentions the processing times vary from case to case basis and some applications may take longer than others to get processed.

I followed some guidance on some forums which state the process takes 7-10 working days.

When I submitted my documents for withdrawing Indian passport, the executive said I should normally get the certificate in 5-6 business days.

I will update this post when I receive my surrender certificate and cancelled passport back.

Update: I received my surrender certificate and cancelled passport back within 5 working days (from the date of submission).

Surrender Certificate Indian passport timeline

As I mentioned already, you have 90 days to surrender your Indian passport (without attracting any penalties) after obtaining foreign nationality.

The date on the naturalisation certificate is treated as the date of acquiring British nationality and not the date your British Passport was issued.

To give you an idea, below is the timeline for Indian passport cancellation based on my application.

Milestone Status Date
Booked appointment with VFS 21 Aug
Attended appointment at VFS 24 Aug
Application dispatched from VFS to High Commission of India 25 Aug
Notification received for Decision made and processed application received at VFS 30 Aug
Notification received for processed application dispatched by VFS 30 Aug
Surrender Certificate Received 31 Aug

Can I still travel on my Indian passport?

You can travel on your Indian passport after getting British Citizenship for up to three months. The 3-month period is calculated from the date of acquiring foreign nationality which is the date of issue on your Naturalisation certificate.

Travelling on Indian passport after the three-month grace period of becoming a foreign citizen is an offence under the Indian Passport Act 1967.

Some people retain their Indian passport even after acquiring foreign citizenship (and renew them at expiry) and even use them for travelling.

Once you acquire citizenship of any foreign country, it is illegal to travel on the Indian passport after the grace period expires.

You could be penalised if you do. The penalties are calculated on a graded scale which depends on the number of trips you have made on Indian Passport after you acquired foreign citizenship.

Check: How to get the best deals on flights to India?

What are the penalties if you do not surrender your Indian Passport

As mentioned on VFS:

“Penalty for misuse of Indian passport would be imposed if the last held Indian passport expired on or after 1 January 2005 and it is retained beyond three years, i.e. not surrendered or the PIO travelled on this passport beyond the grace period of three months or the validity of the last held Indian passport was renewed after acquiring foreign nationality”

If you fall in one of the scenarios above, you need to provide a declaration addressed to High Commission of India in the UK explaining the reasons.

If a penalty is applicable, it cannot be waived or reduced as per the rules mentioned on VFS website. I will provide some relevant links towards the end of this article for you to check.

Also Read: When is the best time to send money to India?

How to apply for surrender certificate?

The High Commission of India has outsourced the Surrender of Indian passport service (and all other Visa/Passport/Select Consular services) to VFS in the UK (and Cox & Kings in the US).

What this means is:

You cannot send your Indian citizenship renunciation application to the High Commission directly – it has to be via VFS.

You can submit your application for cancellation of Indian passport in-person at the VFS application centres.

You need a prior appointment to apply, and your application won’t be accepted if you don’t have a pre-booked appointment.

I attended mine at London-Hounslow VFS centre, and I have based this guide on my experience (I have given the entire timeline above to give you an idea of how long the process takes from submission to getting the certificate in hand).

How to book an appointment?

To book an appointment for surrendering your Indian passport, follow the below steps:

  • Step #1: Go to this link.
  • Step #2: Click on Schedule Appointment

Surrender renunciation of Indian Passport Citizenship - Book appointment

  • Step #3: Select your preferred VAC and Services as “Surrender of Passport” and click on Submit. On the next screen, select a date and time.

The VFS appointment centre options that you can choose from are:

  • London-Goswell
  • London-Hounslow
  • Belfast
  • Birmingham
  • Bradford
  • Bristol
  • Cardiff
  • Edinburgh
  • Glasgow
  • Leicester
  • Liverpool
  • Manchester
  • Newcastle

Schedule an appointment - Surrender Indian Passport for Surrender Certificate

  • Step #4: Once you have selected a date and time for your appointment, enter Applicant Details on the next screen (shown below).

As you are applying only for cancellation of passport to get surrender certificate, you won’t have an OCI Registration number.

Enter your passport number in the field where it asks for “OCI Registration Number.”

Click Submit.

Surrender Indian Passport - Enter applicant details to get surrender certificate

  • Step #5: That’s it.

You will be presented with the below alert which means you have successfully booked yourself an appointment for surrendering your Indian passport.

Check your mailbox now, and you will get a confirmation email with the appointment confirmation letter.

Surrender Indian passport appointment alert

When you click OK, you will be taken to the confirmation screen and prompted to take print out.

Print this out as you need to carry this appointment confirmation with you.

Surrender of Indian Passport - Appointment Confirmation

What happens on the day of appointment?

When you reach your chosen centre, a security personnel will attend you at the entrance.

He/she will make preliminary checks – your appointment letter, filled application form – and issue a token number.

Take a seat and wait for your number to be called on the screen in the waiting area.

Once your token number is displayed on the screen, proceed to the shown counter number.

Officer at the counter will then ask you to submit your necessary documents and pay the passport surrender fee.

Then, you will be advised about the tentative timelines and get the payment receipt.

While at the counter, the officer will also ask your mobile number and email address to keep you updated at critical stages of your application.

This service is charged extra at £1.20 (+VAT) and is by default included in the service – I am not too sure if you can opt out of this service.

Anyways, I recommend getting text/email updates added so you are informed of progress at every stage.

Surrender Indian Passport Fees in UK

As opposed to other (probably complicated) pricing structures for government services, the Govt. of India has set fixed fees for surrendering of Indian passport.

The fees vary based on the date, a Person of Indian Origin, acquired British or Foreign Citizenship.

Here I have explained those different criteria and the related fees.

  • Got British citizenship on or before 31 May 2010 – You need to pay £22 (which counts towards Misc service charge and Consular Surcharge). You are not required to pay any Fee for surrendering your passport. VFS will charge you £7.44 (Inc. VAT) for the service so the total fee is £29.44.
  • Got British citizenship on or after 01 Jun 2010 – The passport surrender fees, in this case, is £119 that includes the embassy surrender fees of £117 and consular charges of £2). Including VFS service fee of £7.44 (Inc. VAT), the total comes to £126.44.
  • Got British citizenship and passport also expired more than ten years ago – In this case, you will be issued “Deemed Surrender Certificate” which will cost you £20 plus applicable charges including Consular Surcharge of £2. Again, including VFS service fee of £7.44, you will pay a total of £29.44 to obtain Deemed Surrender Certificate.

To receive SMS updates on your application progress, VFS will charge you an additional £1.20 (plus VAT) for text updates on your mobile.

Mode of payment

You can pay the fees for surrendering your passport using Cash, Debit or Credit Card (except AMEX).

If you also pay using bank draft payable to “VF Services UK Ltd” or postal order.

Please note that paying with a Credit Card will cost you around 2% extra in Credit Card fees.

I paid using a Debit Card.

Mandatory Documents for surrendering Indian passport

Here’s the list if you acquired British Citizenship on or after 01 June 2010.

  • Two recent 50mm x 50mm size photographs.
  • Appointment Confirmation Letter
  • Duly filled application form [Download here]
  • A signed copy of Declaration Form [Download here]
  • Original last Indian Passport (this is the passport that you held at the time of naturalisation as a British Citizen)
  • Self-attested copy of Indian Passport (copy all used pages – I just took a photocopy of the full passport)
  • Self-attested copy of the current foreign/British Passport (you need only the photo page)
  • Self-attested copy of British Naturalisation Certificate (Birth Certificate if you obtained British Citizenship based on birth in the UK)
  • A4 sized self-addressed envelope (Special Delivery)

If you have lost or misplaced your Indian passport and fail to produce a valid Indian passport physically, Surrender Certificate cannot be issued to you as a surrender certificate requires Indian passport to be physically provided.

In this case, you can apply for “Renunciation Declaration” with a copy of the Indian passport. Renunciation Declaration includes a remark that the original Indian passport was not surrendered.

You will also need to provide a duly Notarized Affidavit and a Police report to make sure you avoid any passport misuse.

If you are applying for a Deemed Surrender Certificate, you also need to provide a photocopy of the last Indian passport and the first British passport.

If you have applied for the British Passport but haven’t yet received it, you need to include a declaration mentioning “My UK Passport is under process.”

Note: I have provided this list based on the documents I used to obtain a surrender certificate after surrendering my Indian passport. I got my surrender certificate based on this list, but I am in no position to guarantee that you will too – the High Commission of India may ask for additional documentation if required.

How do I collect my Surrender Certificate?

Once your request is processed, the surrender/renunciation certificate will come to you by post/courier. When you apply for a passport surrender certificate, you are required to provide an A4 size self-addressed envelope (Special Delivery) per application for return delivery.

You can also speak to the advisor at the application centre for secure delivery courier services available, but I recommend you carry a Special Delivery envelope. It’s cheaper, and you can track the delivery on Royal Mail website.

Surrendering Indian passport and applying for OCI at the same time

If you plan to renunciate Indian citizenship and apply for OCI Card/Visa at the same time in the UK, you have to face disappointment.

Surrendering Indian passport and applying for OCI at the same time is not possible in the UK at the time of writing this guide.

If you live in the US, the facility to cancel Indian passport and applying for OCI at the same time (via Cox & Kings who is the outsourcing partner for High Commission for India) is available.

But such a service is not available in the UK.

Over to you…

There you have it.

A simple guide showing you how to cancel Indian passport in the UK.

I hope this guide helps you in surrendering your Indian passport and obtaining surrender certificate.

If you have any queries about the passport renunciation process, do let me know in the comments section below along with your feedback.

If you found this guide helpful, please do me a little favour and share this guide with others, for there’s a good chance that it will help them with their Indian passport surrender application.

the authorAman
Aman is the founder and chief curator of Comparism. He loves to write how-to guides and via comparism, he envisions to bring to you the best ways of sending money to India without paying hefty fees in hidden charges and poor conversion rates.


  • Sir Do you have step by step guide for submitting OCI Card application also? I am assuming that after this step of Renunciation, you would have gone ahead and submitted OCI application. Thanks a lot for one of the best description of this Renunciation procedure.

    • Hi Munna,

      Thanks for dropping by… I am really glad you liked my renunciation guide 😉

      As you would expect, yes I plan to publish a similar detailed guide about the OCI process. I have a rough draft ready and will publish it around next month – I haven’t submitted my OCI application yet but it’s all ready to be submitted. I plan to travel to India next month hence, instead applied for eVisa and will complete OCI in Jan.

  • Very good one , I was wondering if I need to get the separate declaration form as well, because the same is mentioned on the main application too.

  • Dear Aman thank you for a detailed write up. Much appreciated. I have a question. If a family is submitting passports for surrender, do they provide separate envelops for every member or single envelop for all? I suppose the application has to be individually made for each person.

  • Thanks a lot for giving such a nice description of Surrendering Indian passport …….
    Its very helpful for us……just have a confusion is it compulsory to book appointment .??.. you can go by token striagt away or not??

    • Hi Niyati, thanks for your comment.

      Yes, it is compulsory to book an online appointment – when you reach the appointment centre, you will be given a token after verifying that your name is on the list which only happens with prior online booking.

      I hope this helps.


    • Hello Jess, I don’t think so but am not too sure about that one. You can try calling the OCI helpline numbers on the VFS website.

  • Hello Aman!
    This is probably one of the best guides/notes I’ve come across lately while doing all the research for pre OCI application procedure. It’s very handy and quite helpful.
    Looking forward to yet another write up from your end regarding the submission of OCI application as I presume you too would do the same.

    • Thanks a lot, Swati – I am glad you found this guide helpful.

      Sure, I already have my application and the guide ready 😉

      Just that for some reasons I had to travel to India and opted for eVisa which was quicker to get, I haven’t been able to submit my OCI application yet. Once I do and verify the process for myself, it should be on it’s way here!

      Also, detailed process of how to get Indian eVisa as well 😀


  • Do you know how the penalties are calculated, I have made no trips to India but didn’t surrender within 3 years. A phone call was made saying I have to pay £3000! I’m not sure how this figure was derived.

    • Hi Nehal, thanks for dropping by.

      If you have had the passport for more than 3 years and didn’t take any trips to India, as per the info on VFS website, you will be applied a penalty of £160.

      The £3000 phone call sounds to me more of a scam call – Indian High commision wouldn’t call for such penalties. Don’t make any payments over the phone and take the right route, please.

      Pls do let me know how you progress with this.

  • Hi,
    Thanks for this detailed information. Very helpful indeed.
    I surrendered my Indian passport after naturalisation and received my surrender certificate in 2013. I would like to apply for an OCI now but I have lost my surrender certificate. What should I do to get a copy of my surrender certificate to process my OCI application? Many thanks for your help.

  • Hello Amandeep,
    thanks for the writeup on passport surrender. I was told by someone that passport surrender application can be done by post , however we must attend in person for an OCI. Is it true?
    Is there a way of doing surrender and OCI together?
    best regards

    • Hi Sudheer,

      I called up the VFS helpline for you…

      The only way to submit the Indian passport surrender application and documents is to do it in person.

      In the UK, there is currently no way to do the surrender and OCI at the same time.


      • Thanks Amandeep,
        I have booked an appointment now. The information about choice of centre is misleading on VFS website. Apart from those going to London, there is no ‘choice’ left to applicants and one HAS to go to the prescribed centre.(step3 – VFS appointment centres you can choose from-” you may need to amend this or add a note.)
        Please correct me if Im wrong. I would love to avoid London and go to some other office. thanks and regards

        • Hi Sudheer,

          When I booked mine, the ones I listed in the post above are the ones which I was shown the option of. I would wait for someone else to report the same issue before I make any amendments. You sure you don’t get any other options than just London?


  • Thanks for the reply. I chased it up with the consulate in Birmingham, and they resolved the issue for me. Turns out there was a type and extra digit added to the charge, should have been £160 not £3160. So sigh of relief!

  • This is very useful. thanks! how ever i have 1 question unanswered here. Can i do a parrel processing of applying for my british passport and surrendering of Indian passport? I am waiting for my british passort to come right now.

    • Hi Shalu,

      Yes, you can do that as per the rules underlined on VFS website – however, when I went in for my appointment I was asked to produce my British passport. I didn’t carry mine but had a photocopy of my British Passport which the caseworker did check. So, I suggest to please call the VFS helpline at 02037938629 once to be very sure.

      It would be great if you can post your findings here if you call them and I will update it on the article :).

  • Hi Aman,
    I just got British passport and I have to go to India in ten days. so no time for surrender and OCI process. My naturalisation was in Jan.
    1. can I go on my indian passport as it is with in 3months of naturalisation? or should i take a visa?
    2. Is it mandatory to have surrender certificate to take Visa?
    3. I might have to stay back for 3 months in India before return – so can I surrender and get OCI in India while I am there?
    4. Does the 3 month grace period to travel with Indian passport apply only for entry to India? reason I am asking this is, as I might have to stay for 3 months, then at the time of return it would be like more than 4 months from naturalisation. I guess I can enter UK with British passport but I guess the issue is at Indian immigration at the tim of exit.

    • Hi Gokul,

      My apologies for the delay in replying to your query. Here’s what I feel if this still helps you:

      1. You can, as per my understanding. I am not too sure if you should be using Indian passport or UK passport while entering back to the UK. Please share what your finding is when you do. My understanding is, you can enter with either.
      2. Which visa? If you are traveling on Indian passport now, you won’t need Indian visa right?
      3. I am sorry but I am not sure on this one. Please call VFS helpline to guide you with this. If you feel, please post your finding here so others know.
      4. From how I understand it, you can still use your Indian passport at Indian immigration when exiting. When you apply for surrendering Indian PP, you will be penalized for using your Indian passport beyond 3 months limit. As given on the VFS website, you would incur a penalty of £160 per trip made on Indian passport after 3 months after getting naturalized. Here’s the snippet “The Government of India has prescribed imposition of penalty on a graded scale for the violation of Passport Rules, depending on number of trips made on Indian passport after acquiring foreign nationality (with a three month grace period from the date of acquiring foreign nationality i.e. the date of Naturalisation certificate)…”

      I hope this helps and all the best. If you can, please update here with your experience in this scenario.


    • Hey Nik,

      Yes, the draft is ready but I haven’t done my application yet – will publish the post once I have got mine so I get the process in line with my successful application 🙂

      Stay tuned and please subscribe to my free newsletter to get an email when the post is up.

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