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453.   Indian citizen giving birth in USA - Pros and Cons of US citizenship for newborn

Questions:  Hi Mr. chand, I am an Indian citizen in California (USA) on L1 visa with my wife. She is expecting a baby and will deliver in couple of months. We are planning to go back to India Permanently after delivery. I gone through several forums regarding US passport for the new born baby but I am still confused about the following questions. I hope you will help me out and show me the right way under your guidance . Thank you in advance. 1. What is the step-by-step procedure for applying Indian citizenship for my U.S new born baby ? 2. If we apply for POI card for the baby, It will be valid for 15 years. That means she can stay in India for 15 years. But what next? As she can surrender her US Passport ONLY after the age of 18yrs. So this means that she will be send back to US at the age of 15 ? 3. What are the problems associated or  "CONS" of delivering a baby in US, when you know that you don't want USA citizenship ? 4. When my baby enter India with US passport and stays here for schooling, what are the difficulties she will be facing as a US citizen ? Thanks once again, Eagerly Waiting for your guidance. Regards, Rahul                  Answer:   The first and most important thing is to NOT apply for a US passport for your new born baby. Any Indian passport holder, living in the United States, who wish to get an Indian passport for their child born in USA, must NOT apply for a US passport. Even though a child born in the USA is a US citizen by birth, parents can still opt for an Indian passport, as long as they have not applied for a US passport for their child. Step by step procedure for applying for Indian citizenship for your US born child is provided at the end of the page. Let me first answer your questions 2,3 and 4. 2. Once a PIO card expires, it can be renewed or any other type of visa can be taken to continue stay in India. So your child will not be forced to leave India when PIO card expires. 3. There are no ‘Cons’ that I can think of when it comes to giving birth in the US. In fact for a child born in USA, the right to US citizenship is always there if they decide to do so when they reach the age of majority. There is also no problem for a US born child to return to India without a PIO card, as the child can get an Indian passport if the parents wish to do so. While you state in your email that ‘you know that you don’t want USA citizenship’ your views or your circumstances may change after 18 years! Perhaps your child may want to come to the USA for higher studies etc. 4. Your baby won’t face any difficulties as a US citizen when it comes to schooling as she will start her schooling in India from day one! On the other hand, you as parents may have to at some point of time pay a higher schooling fee depending on the school selected. Here again, a US born child returning to India with an India passport would enjoy all the rights of Indian citizenship until age 18 and then have the option of switching to US citizenship.   Two conditions that have to be fulfilled to apply for an Indian passport for a US born child are: 1. The child must not have obtained a US passport. 2. The birth must be registered at the Indian Mission. This registration MUST be done withing one year of the Child's birth. The procedure is fairly simple and explained on the Indian consulate websites. For the sake of convenience it is briefly provided below. Readers should check the appropriate consulate websites as rules, regulations and procedures do change from time to time. Since you are in California, the Indian consulate in San Francisco is where you would apply. How to Apply: The first step is to get an appointment to visit the consulate. Appointment can be setup by completing a online application by visiting In the ‘service desired’ box choose option “Fresh Passport. Mention your current Indian address (shown on your Indian passport) and Current US address in column provided on the online form After filling and submitting the application online, you will be given an auto- generated Date of appointment. Accept the date of appointment. Print the 4 page application. Fill in by hand the details on page 2 of the form. Signature/ThumbImpression of the child in the allotted space on page 1, 3 and 4 of the form. You need two (2) photographs of 2 inches x 2 inches (51mm x 51mm) photos -  one to be pasted in the box on page 1 (one) and the 2nd photo to be stapled on the blank portion (below ‘for official use only’) on page 4 (four).

Attach following documents with the printed Application Form:

Consent of BOTH parents (on the last page (page 4) of the online application - both parents should sign and have the signatures notarized; or submit a sworn affidavit. (sample affidavit) Proof of Parents’ US Visa Status:(copy of any one of the following) o Photocopy of the page containing visa on passport (H1B, H4 etc) and the copy of I-94 o Clear Photocopy of Green Card o Employment Authorization Document (Work Permit) o I-797, I-140 or I-20 (If approval copy of these notices are pending, also attach a handwritten note detailing the efforts being taken to regularize status) Proof of Parents’ current US residence address: (copy of any one of the following) o US Driving license. o PG&E, Water or landline telephone bill displaying applicant’s address House Lease Agreement o State Identification Card         Note: Bank/credit card/mobile phone statements are not accepted as residence proof Extracts of the Birth Register issued by an Indian mission in the US Copy of the child’s US birth certificate. Copies of the first five and last two pages of both mother’s and father’s passport An undertaking signed and notarized by both parents that parents have not applied or obtained US passport for the Child, and that if they do so in future, they will surrender the Indian passport at the nearest Mission/Post. Once you have all the paper work completed. You can either visit the Indian consulate at the appointment time or if you have selected to mail the application mail it to: Passport Cell, Consulate General of India, 540 Arguello Boulevard;  San Francisco CA 94118  
Disclaimer: Information provided is for general knowledge only and should not be deemed to be professional advice. For professional advice kindly consult a professional accountant, immigration advisor or the Indian consulate. Rules and regulations do change from time to time. Please note that in case of any variation between what has been stated on this website and the relevant Act, Rules, Regulations, Policy Statements etc. the latter shall prevail. © Copyright 2006
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