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MEA Allows Revocation Certificate for Goans with Portuguese Citizenship to Apply for OCI Cards

New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has directed passport authorities to issue a “revocation order” for individuals from Goa and Daman & Diu who had their Indian passports revoked after acquiring Portuguese citizenship. This move aims to provide relief to many who were previously ineligible to apply for Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) due to passport requirements.

The MEA memorandum, dated April 4, stated that the Ministry of Home Affairs has decided to accept a “revocation certificate” as an alternative document in lieu of a “surrender certificate” for Indian nationals from the former Portuguese territories in India who have acquired Portuguese nationality.

The requirement of a “surrender certificate” had posed challenges for those wanting to apply for OCI cards. Following a November 30, 2022 memorandum by the MEA, passports of Goans who acquired Portuguese citizenship were revoked for “suppressing material information” about their foreign nationality. This led to passport authorities ceasing the issuance of surrender certificates, rendering many ineligible for OCI cards.

The Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card is a passport-like document issued by the Indian government to people of Indian origin who are foreign citizens. The OCI card allows people to register as Overseas Citizens of India if they were citizens of India on January 26, 1950, or later. OCI provides foreign citizens of Indian origin the right to live and work in India indefinitely.

Expressing gratitude towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other government officials, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant welcomed this decision, which is expected to resolve the complications faced by many Goans and allow them to obtain OCI cards.

Under Portuguese law, individuals born in Goa before December 19, 1961, and two subsequent generations have the option to register as Portuguese citizens. With a Portuguese passport offering visa-free entry to countries like the UK and EU, many Goans have availed this opportunity for better employment and education prospects overseas.

With the MEA’s recent directive, the acceptance of the revocation certificate as an alternative to the surrender certificate is expected to ease the OCI application process for many affected individuals.

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