Indians in Britain protest against “arbitrary” passports surrendering fee

Confusion stems from different cut-off dates
uk_passport.png12 August 2010: Indians in Britain are protesting against “arbitrary” fee required to be paid while surrendering Indian passports on becoming British citizens.

They are also alleging confusion; and are claiming some people are being charged more than what they owe and are asking for a refund.

Denying confusion, the Indian High Commission has offered to look into specific cases.

According to the Indians in Britain, the confusion seemingly stems from the cut-off date from which the reduced fee is applicable.

The High Commission sources insist it is applicable only to those acquiring British nationality before May 31, 2005. On the other hand, campaign group Highly-Skilled Migrant Forum (HSMP) points out that the Commission’s website gives the cut-off date as May 31, 2010.

Amit Kapadia, executive director of the Forum, says it is clear that recent reduction in fees to £14 is applicable to those who obtained British nationality before May 31, 2010. Yet many such people had been “unfairly charged” the old fee of £102.

Raghav Upadhyay, who applied to surrender his and his family’s passports on June 1, says he had written to the High Commission demanding a refund. He says he and his family got their British citizenship before May 31, 2010 but were charged the old rate of £102.

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