Monday, February 26, 2007

R2I # 11 - Q&A

Launching R2I - Q&A section....
I have been thinking about this for a while and a comment from Arvind prompted to me to start this section. This is a forum for you to ask R2I related questions. I would try best answering them and publish them in the form of a post. Depending on the interest, I would collate the questions and post them on a weekly basis. In order to protect privacy, I will not publish the name of the questioner. Interested parties can send your questions to rviswana@gmail.com or leave them as comment in any of my R2I posts.

My first set of questions actually came a while ago and had responded via email. But, now, based on Arvind's request, I dug it up and posting it here with some modifications.

Q: Hi, We need some advise from you as you have already R2I. And, the advise is regarding education cost for kids.We are here in the US for past 3 years and plan to move back to India permanently by end of this year (2007). [We both are Indian citizens and we cannot get OCI] Some of our questions are:

1) Is there a big difference in fees for elementary schools in Bangalore (difference between US citizen kids and Indian citizen kids)? Obviously, there will be some difference.
A: I have not seen or heard any difference in based on citizenship. However, schools might lean on 'additional fees' read donation if they know you have come back.

2) What is the option for higher education (i.e., undergrad education) as the fees will be higher...to my understanding 3 to 4 times higher than the Indian citizen kids? This kind of fees will not be affordable for people like us who stayed here only for a couple of years and did not really save much in dollars. So, what is the option? Please suggest.
A: Good Question.. don't know how it really works.. haven't looked in to this aspect at all. But, India is slowly, but surely treating PIO / OCI card holders at par with Indian Citizens.. so, I hope this will not be a problem when my kids for that matter your kids get hit the college

3) I heard that we can get Indian passport in the US for the kid even though the kid is born in the US. (Assuming that we are ready to forgo the US passport and the US citizenship). We have not applied for US passport yet and hence the Indian consulate does not have any objection for this. [In fact, earlier when there was no rule for getting passport for the kids, lot of people used to travel with the kid's name in mother's passport] Is this a safe option (assuming, we are not worried about US passport)? Are there any issues with this when going out or entering US again (later, may be 10-15 years later...again, applying for US visa on Indian passport).
It's your option to decide which passport to take. Your kids are eligible for Indian passport based your (parents') Indian Citizenship status. Your kids can opt for US citizenship at anytime based on their 'place of birth', till the age of 18. So, I don't see this as a major problem.