Dual Citizen India/Australian travelling with COVID

jamesbp

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Nov 13, 2011
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Hi,

Just wondering with being a dual citizen INDIA / AUSTRALIA how do I go about getting on a flight directly from INDIA to AUSTRALIA.

With COVID PCR-test results being required these days, just wondering how I can check in over in INDIA. Indian passport is used to enter India

I think at departure in INDIA they do check your entry stamp to india on passport (which my AUS wouldnt have) and the Indian Passport wont have an AUS visa
 
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Mar 6, 2008
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446
Hi,

Just wondering with being a dual citizen INDIA / AUSTRALIA how do I go about getting on a flight directly from INDIA to AUSTRALIA.

With COVID PCR-test results being required these days, just wondering how I can check in over in INDIA. Indian passport is used to enter India

I think at departure in INDIA they do check your entry stamp to india on passport (which my AUS wouldnt have) and the Indian Passport wont have an AUS visa
India does not allow dual citizenship. Are you referring to OCI?
 

Chicken

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Hi,

Just wondering with being a dual citizen INDIA / AUSTRALIA how do I go about getting on a flight directly from INDIA to AUSTRALIA.

With COVID PCR-test results being required these days, just wondering how I can check in over in INDIA. Indian passport is used to enter India

I think at departure in INDIA they do check your entry stamp to india on passport (which my AUS wouldnt have) and the Indian Passport wont have an AUS visa
I don't see any problem here.

When you exit India:
- you clear Indian immigration with your Indian passport (and hide your Australian passport)
- you enter into airline pre departure with your Australian passport (so the Australian government knows you have Aussie passport on arrival)
- you key your Australia Travel Declaration with your Australian passport so Australian government know you are Aussie
- you get your PCR test and give the laboratory your Indian passport, so they will key your name birthday and Indian passport number into your PCR certificate. If you get stopped by Indian officials in whatever Indian airport, you can show them this certificate to show you have a PCR test and you are Indian. When you are in Australia, if you are asked for a PCR test cert, you just show your PCR certificate and your Australian passport, they will just check your name and DOB. They don't care that your PCR test has your Indian passport number.
 

dairyfloss

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I don't see any problem here.

When you exit India:
- you clear Indian immigration with your Indian passport (and hide your Australian passport)
- you enter into airline pre departure with your Australian passport (so the Australian government knows you have Aussie passport on arrival)
- you key your Australia Travel Declaration with your Australian passport so Australian government know you are Aussie
- you get your PCR test and give the laboratory your Indian passport, so they will key your name birthday and Indian passport number into your PCR certificate. If you get stopped by Indian officials in whatever Indian airport, you can show them this certificate to show you have a PCR test and you are Indian. When you are in Australia, if you are asked for a PCR test cert, you just show your PCR certificate and your Australian passport, they will just check your name and DOB. They don't care that your PCR test has your Indian passport number.
There could be one other hitch, which is on checking in, where the airline will ask to see the AU visa or passport, as it is on them to validate that, lest the pax be returned at their cost by the ABF. Depending on the check-in agent, they may have a look for the entry stamp, and it could raise some difficult questions. That said, much better to be talking with a contracted QF check-in agent, than the Indian immigration officer.

Do let us know how you go, @somebol! As someone who has been in and out of India about 20-25 times, now, I know it can get interesting, at the best of times. I'm hopeful for you that this is one of the 'boring' departures!

Cheers,
Matt.
 

Chicken

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Depending on the check-in agent, they may have a look for the entry stamp, and it could raise some difficult questions.
Just out of courious, as I have never been to India. When at check in desk, the agent need to check that you are allowed to travel to Australia, so you show them your Australian passport. Isn't that it?
 

dairyfloss

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Just out of courious, as I have never been to India. When at check in desk, the agent need to check that you are allowed to travel to Australia, so you show them your Australian passport. Isn't that it?
It would depend on the agent. I only have one passport, but a check-in agent will carefully check all particulars and visas, and though not generally, they have at times looked for my Indian arrival stamp, as well. Maybe it was because they had been asked to by their employer, or maybe it was just out of curiosity. I didn't have a need to question it. The greater concern is certainly at the next stage with immigration.
 

blacksultan

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Hi,

Just wondering with being a dual citizen INDIA / AUSTRALIA how do I go about getting on a flight directly from INDIA to AUSTRALIA.

With COVID PCR-test results being required these days, just wondering how I can check in over in INDIA. Indian passport is used to enter India

I think at departure in INDIA they do check your entry stamp to india on passport (which my AUS wouldnt have) and the Indian Passport wont have an AUS visa
Firstly you can’t have an Indian passport and another passport . You are supposed to surrender and cancel your Indian passport once you acquire another nationality and vice versa . You will be fined if you use / try to use your Indian passport in this scenario .
 

Ade

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Generally, I’d suggest NOT using the Indian passport. Do all your travel on the AU passport.

Assuming you are already in India, assuming you have used the Indian passport to enter India - you can still use your Indian passport to exit India. I say this because your Australia residency, assuming it has not expired yet, will still remain tagged to your Indian passport electronically. When entering Australia, use your Australian passport via the smart gates.


When you go to VFS to cancel your Indian citizenship and surrender your Indian passport, you’d be charged some $ for using your Indian passport after acquiring a foreign citizenship.
 

Ade

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Just out of courious, as I have never been to India. When at check in desk, the agent need to check that you are allowed to travel to Australia, so you show them your Australian passport. Isn't that it?
My understanding is, the check in agent is legally required to validate your travel documentation prior to issuing the boarding pass.

I’ve have been questions many times when flying out of MAA to show a printed copy of Australian permanent residency visa before my boarding pass was issued. Even though the visa is electronically linked to my Indian passport. On arrival in AU, the check is down electronically and I’m let in.

Re : checking the inbound stamp on PP - that is, to my understanding, at the discretion of the immigration officer who stamps outbound on your PP. I’ve had immigration officers in MAA look for electronically linked visa and stamp without even saying a word or checking any inbound stamps. But I’ve also had chatty immigration officers, who combed through the whole passport before issuing an outbound stamp. Some also question the duration of my stay in India, as oftentimes, I only spend a couple of days to a week, max.
 

Chicken

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My understanding is, the check in agent is legally required to validate your travel documentation prior to issuing the boarding pass.

I’ve have been questions many times when flying out of MAA to show a printed copy of Australian permanent residency visa before my boarding pass was issued.
This makes sense, because they cannot let you on a plane if AU won't let you in.
Which then takes me back to my question. When you go to check in desk, if you show your AU passport to show that Australia would let you in, what's the problem here?
 

Ade

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When you go to check in desk, if you show your AU passport to show that Australia would let you in, what's the problem here?
I'd think it might be a problem at the check-in as well. The OP has not indicated if he/she has a valid Indian visa attached to his AU PP AND has mentioned that the Indian PP was used to enter the country.

When one approaches the check-in desk, the PP is scanned to retrieve the trip details, personal details, etc. So in this data retrieval, the pax's AU PP will not show any valid Indian visa. So this raises the question, how did the pax enter the country in the first place? Again, this MIGHT NOT be a concern for outbound pax, but, the check-in agent would have doubts ?

Additionally, at the immigration desk, when the AU PP is scanned, the corresponding inbound date will not come up and so the questions could be ;

1. Did you use this PP to enter the country?
2. If no, do you have a OCI booklet that was used? Note that the OCI booklet is digitally linked to the overseas PP.
3. If no, then how did you enter the country?

We have to note that all airports in India, DO stamp the inbound stamp on a travel document AND this stamp is verified physically as you exit the immigration area. It is expected of (although not written/documented anywhere) the pax to ensure that the right date is stamped (often during midnight arrivals into the country and the date might have moved to the next calendar day)

Also, on scanning the AU PP, there will NOT be e-visa that is linked. Even if the pax was at some point an Indian national eligible to apply for & be issued with an OCI/POI AND if the pax did not acquire OCI/POI card, then the pax should have a valid visa issued & attached to the foreign PP.

My reco, would be to exit India on the Indian PP and pay the fine when applying for OCI in AU. Last time I checked it was around $100ish or so per use of Indian PP after acquiring foreign nationality.
 
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Chicken

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Sorry, not trying to argue, just I'm really confused / curious (i have 2 passports, but not Indian)

When one approaches the check-in desk, the PP is scanned to retrieve the trip details, personal details, etc. So in this data retrieval, the pax's AU PP will not show any valid Indian visa. So this raises the question, how did the pax enter the country in the first place? Again, this MIGHT NOT be a concern for outbound pax, but, the check-in agent would have doubts ?

Why would the check in agent care? As long as the passenger is able to get into Australia and not be put onto a U turn flight, then the job is done?

Additionally, at the immigration desk, when the AU PP is scanned, the corresponding inbound date will not come up and so the questions could be ;

Hence OP should be showing their Indian passporrt, and have their AU passport hidden away from sight. (OP said:

being a dual citizen INDIA / AUSTRALIA

My reco, would be to exit India on the Indian PP and pay the fine when applying for OCI in AU. Last time I checked it was around $100ish or so per use of Indian PP after acquiring foreign nationality.
If you have an Indian passport, you fly into India, you show Indian immigration your Indian passport to declare yourself as Indian, then you exit India and show your Indian passport at Indian immigration to declare yourself as Indian. You go in as Indian, you leave as Indian. Everytime Indian immigration stops you, you show them your Indian passport, so you are known as an Indian. How would they know that you have an AU passport? Where is the gap where you could fall into trouble?
 

andye

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I understood there is a check to see if you have a visa to enter Australia before you board if you don't have an Australian passport.
(I was caught on this some years back when travelling on my UK passport with a >5y old AU permanent resident visa which needed a right to return. IST check-in knew and would only book me through to KUL. Thankfully eventually sorted out by MH though very stressful)

 

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