I have French nationality since birth (born in 1991). However due to various reasons, I have an Indian passport and no French passport. I have not traveled outside India with my Indian passport either. I need to understand the process to surrender my Indian passport and obtain a French passport.

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    No idea about any special rules India might have but as far as the French authorities are concerned, surrendering your Indian passport is not necessary and largely irrelevant. The most important question is how to establish that you are in fact a French citizen. Then you would approach a French consulate to obtain a passport and/or a “certificat de nationalité française”. If that somehow implies that you have lost Indian citizenship or you wish to renounce it, you can always take care of that after you have obtained your French passport.
    – Gala
    Nov 5, 2017 at 22:25

1 Answer 1


That's two, non-related, processes. If you are indeed French, you can apply for a passport at the nearest French consulate. You'll have to go there, you can't do this by post - they will take your fingerprints.

As for renouncing your Indian citizenship, it is not required by France. And, more importantly, if you're planning to stay in India, you would need a visa. Better keep your Indian passport as long as you live in India. You would need it too, to exit India - for India, you're an Indian citizen, and there's no French citizen living there with your name.

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    I believe that getting a French passport would cause loss of the OP's Indian citizenship.
    – user102008
    Nov 6, 2017 at 15:45
  • Not necessarily - if the OP is already French, having or not having a passport doesn't change anything. And getting a passport won't mean the Indian government is aware of it. However, using that French passport to exit India would cause all kinds of problems.
    – dda
    Nov 6, 2017 at 15:47
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    It is true that, logically, he hasn't voluntarily acquired a foreign nationality. However, according to India's Citizenship Rules, he is considered to have voluntarily acquired a foreign nationality if he gets a foreign passport. Citizenship Rules, Schedule III, #3: "The fact that a citizen of India has obtained on any date a passport from the Government of any other country shall be conclusive proof of his having voluntarily acquired the citizenship of that country before that date. "
    – user102008
    Nov 6, 2017 at 15:58
  • As I said, obtaining a French passport doesn't mean the Indian government is aware of it.
    – dda
    Nov 7, 2017 at 2:51
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    @dda Whether the Indian government is aware of it is irrelevant to the OP's citizenship. To grasp the distinction, consider what happens if the Indian government becomes aware of it at a later date: They will consider the OP to have ceased to be Indian on the date they got the passport, not on the date they were found out. Of course, they might get away with it in the meantime and maybe that's all they need but this can also have very real consequences, e.g. on the citizenship of their children.
    – Relaxed
    Feb 26 at 21:54

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