Indians holding both the British National (Overseas) and their home nation's passports will be eligible for full British citizenship after the handover, a diplomat said yesterday. Senior British Trade Commissioner Francis Cornish said he understood Indian law stripped its citizens of their passports when they received the British travel document. One of the requirements applicants must fulfil to receive British passports is that they hold no other nationality. Applications can be made from Monday. The others require them to be 'ordinarily resident' in Hong Kong both immediately before February 4 this year and at the time of application. Those overseas for study, business or holidays at the time would be eligible. Mr Cornish's comments remove the uncertainty which Indians holding both passports have faced since early February when the British Government said it would grant citizenship to an estimated 8,000 stateless people. About 100 Indians contacted the Indian Consulate to renounce their nationality to be accepted by Britain. However, those also holding the BNO appear to have already been considered as having dropped their Indian citizenship by taking the travel document. 'I think I am right in saying that Indian nationality law is clear on this subject,' said Mr Cornish. 'It states that if you have Indian nationality and take out another nationality, including British nationality, you lose your Indian nationality.' British diplomats had sought the opinion of the Indian Government. Mr Cornish would not comment on the situation for Pakistanis also holding the BNO, saying he had a 'slight degree of doubt'. The Pakistan Consulate-General has said its citizens' passports become invalid should they obtain a BNO but not a full British passport. A special unit with nine civil servants from the Home Office and eight local staff is being established at the trade commission to process applications, which have a registration fee of $3,375. Mr Cornish said they could take more than a year to process, depending on the number. Indian Resources Group director Ravi Gidumal said applicants were unlikely to feel anxious about the processing time as the community felt confident about the future.