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Lylah     05/26/2015 04:18 AM
 


Hi,

I have a very complicated passport issue and am trying to find some advice. I have two passports, though I am aware it is illegal to have dual citizenship in India. I was unaware of one of the passports, because my father got it for me when I was younger, the same time I moved back to India. I became aware of this passport when I was 18 and used it just to enter and leave the country. I never used it to get visas or travel, I have been using my Indian passport my whole life.

Recently I moved back to this country, to live and work. It has been no problem because I am a citizen, but I decided that I need to get an OCI card and give up the indian passport. I went to the consulate in my city, and they were very suspicious and did not seem to believe my story. They have now said that there was a law passed in 2010 regarding this, and every travel i've made since then is a violation. So I have to pay $250 per stamp, this will amount to over $2000.

I have no problem in paying, I just want to get this over with and start the process of my OCI card. I have been asking family and friends for advice, but I thought I would put it out there, on this forum too. Its a very complicated issue, but I just want to know if anyone thinks that theres a possibility the indian consulate could ban me from India? Or put me into jail when I get to india? My mum lives in India and most of my family, I need to be able to go home if something happens. I just want to make sure that as long as I pay the fees the Indians can't ban me, or say they will not give me an OCI card?

I know this is very complicated, and I have not used country names just in case. I'm 23 and working, and its not as though I've purposefully tried to keep both passports. Please can someone give some advice?

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SV- ()     12/11/2012 22:49 PM
 


We are an importer that got defrauded by an Indian Exporter for $92,000.00. They did criminal acts to defraud us. I have approached Indian Consulate in Houston and also Commercial Attache in Washington D.C. All they have done is given lip service. They have made no efforts to contact Police in India to prosecute the exporter. They frankly do not care. We were planning to buy one million dollars worth of products from India every year. We have halted all our plans to do so. We bring in numerous shipments from China every year without any difficulty. I really regret that I even considered importing from India. It has been a nightmarish experience. Ultimately we will recover, but we are going to tell as many importers as we can to be very cautious when dealing with exporters in India. They are simply out to get you. They rob you and then continue to walk free as no one prosecutes them. Here is a warning. Do not buy from India. Avoid doing so at any cost. You have no protection from their government.

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Colleen Kuhn- ()     04/14/2012 15:52 PM
 


I have been trying unsuccessfully now to get a simple extension of validity on my Indian passport with no luck. First they said the picture was unclear - but its a pretty standard picture process, then they said I didn't submit all the documentation, but didn't tell me what, then they said I didn't submit money, even though the website says no money required. In the process I've spent well over $100 and am thoroughly frustrated and upset. India has changed a lot in the 12 years since I've left, but the shitty government processes and officials that give this country a bad rap sadly remain the same. I was going to take some friends home at the end of the year, but I'm fairly certain the Bahamas Consulate will actually want our business.

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OhioResident- ()     02/15/2012 22:45 PM
 


Applied in mail for renewal of India Passport and received the Passport within expected 6 week time-frame. On checking the Passport, the face in the scanned photo inside the Passport was dark and unclear on one side. (The photos provided with the application were ok as per requirement). Consul General replied to the email regarding this problem and asked for returning the Passport for replacement. NY consulate swiftly sent replacement Passport with proper photo scan. Problem was resolved to satisfaction. The photo scanning problem should have been detected by the consulate staff when verifying and signing the Passport (hopefully steps introduced to catch the problem and avoid inconvenience and cost to customers). This individual case was taken care of effectively and wanted to share the experience.

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Viola- ()     02/23/2011 15:07 PM
 


I have sent my application alongwith my wife and daughter to surrender my Indian PPs and get the renunciation certificate.
I sent all documents and PPs around 28th Jan by Priority POST. They should receive this FEB 4. They stopped accepting applicaions from FEB 4.
I have not received any communications from the consulate and NO ONE PICKS THE PHONE OR ANSWERS EMAIL.

I AM WORRIED AS TO WHAT HAPPENED TO MY APPLICATIONS!! PLEASE HEEEELLLPPPP!!

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Srijit- ()     09/28/2010 21:22 PM
 


Every time I read about experiences at the Indian Consulate in US, all I see are stories about horrible experiences people had at consulate. Every body complaints about the inefficiency, non-friendliness and bureaucratic nature of staff.

In the past few months I had to contact Indian consulate three times for various reasons. Frankly speaking all my experiences were very nice.

First I contacted consulate to obtain PIO card for my son. I mailed in all documents as per the website. (It is clearly mentioned in website that when you mail in you need to send only notarized copy of originals. I had to tell this because many people complain about the feel of insecurity in sending in original passport of the child). Within a weeks time, I got the PIO card. No Problem.

Second I contacted for a passport renewal. Again, I mailed in all the documents. After around five weeks, I started getting concerned, but since they have mentioned to wait for six weeks in the site, I did. After 5 weeks, the new passport and the old passport arrived, in tact. No problem

Third, I had to get few documents attested. I thought I will go in person and get it attested from the consulate. I reached the consular office at NY by around 10:00 AM. The security guard checked my documents and asked me to stand in the queue for a specific window. Had to wait in line for aprox 45 mins (I did not expect to walk right in and served without the need to wait in queue). But once I reached the counter, I handed over the documents and I was all set.

Since, I was personally there, and I had read a lot about the bad experiences, and since I did not feel anything abnormally wrong, out of curiosity I thought I will wait for any bad experience to happen for anybody, to see whats going on.

And voila, I heard some kind of arguments at one window. This is what was happening.

One lady wanted to travel to India the next day and she had an expired passport. She has come to get her passport renewed and she want it immediately. The staff is telling her that she will get the passport the same day, but she has to wait till 4:30 PM to get that. The lady is not ready to accept that. She just kept on arguing about how important it is for her to return home and doing the rest of packing and blah blah blah.. shouting and cribbing. I asked myself, is this a bad experience to the lady who is arguing or the staff who is taking care of her? In the website it is clearly mentioned that the submision of the documents happens between 9:30 AM and 12:30 AM and the documents can be collected if ready, by 4:30 PM. And that is a process. I want to know which consulate will issue a new passport in matter of minutes? No one. If the consulate can give a new passport in the same day, I think that itself is good efficiency.

To everyone who has bucket loads of complaints about the consular services, I have only one thing to say. Dont expect to be treated like a king, even if it is your consulate, rules are rules and process is process. We need to follow that. Do your part, be proactive. For any person away from their home country, passport is an important document. Why do you let it expire and wait till it is time for you to travel to renew your passport? And expect consulate will issue a passport in minutes? And worst, complain about consulate that they did not help her. Please stop complaining unnecessarily. Do your documentations carefully and neat. You did it when you went to a foreign consulate, why not do it to your own consulate too?

And, how many consulates have mail-in service, which is really great for people staying far away.

I think few below tips might help you in your future visits/correspondence

- Please READ the consular website carefully. They have lot of information than you think.

- If you are going in person, please carry all the required documents and few extra copies and the originals with you. All the required documents are clearly mentioned in the website.

- If you are mailing in documents, please have all the documents clearly tagged. Take a prinout of the consulate webpage which mentions the list of documents and just mark the tag name of attachment clearly. Put it in a nice neat folder and send it with tracking. Sending documents with tracking helps a lot for tracking down documents in case of misplacement.

- Please reach the office a bit early, there are so many people who requires the service and queue can be quite long

- Sites like immihelp.com has lots of pages which describe in detail each consular service, the documents required and additional details. Please read them carefully and do your homework.

- If your service needs photographs, pleas make sure they satisfy the criteria specified

Few points for the consular general too,

- Please organize the information available on the web. Some things are confusing

- Please have a dedicated staff to answer phone calls and reply to emails. Thats will take care of lot of complaints

- The process at the office can be very well streamlined. There is a lot of scope for improvement. You can give tokens and eliminate the queues completely. (Even if you have tokens, trust me, it is not working that well). Also, while delivering document at 4:30, you can have the staff call out numbers and hand over the documents, which is faster than people standing in queue and staff spending 5 minutes to search and find out the document for that person.

- Please have staff who can talk and understand english very well

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