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Citizenship Act amended

Vinay Kumar

NEW DELHI: The Citizenship (Amendment) Ordinance, 2005, was promulgated on Tuesday, paving the way for dual citizenship by amending the Citizenship Act, 1955. It will bestow eligibility for registration as Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) on persons of Indian origin, who or whose parents/grandparents migrated from India after January 26, 1950 or were eligible to become an Indian citizen on January 26, 1950, or belonged to a territory that became part of India after August 15, 1947, and their minor child, who is the national of a country that allows dual citizenship in some form or the other. The provision is being extended to such citizens of all countries other than those who had ever been a citizen of Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Period of stay reduced

The amendment further reduces the period of stay of two years to one year in India for an OCI, who is registered for five years, to become eligible for grant of Indian citizenship.

The Home Ministry has indicated that the new simplified, time-bound scheme may roll out from August 15, 2005.

The Citizenship Rule, 1956 have been suitably amended to simplify the application forms and procedures. Earlier, people wishing to get Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) card had to apply only in their country of citizenship whereas now they can also apply in the country where they reside. The condition of oath of allegiance has been done away with.

Indian missions have been authorised to grant OCI within 15 days to such cases wherein there is no involvement in serious offences.Notifications have been issued by the Home Ministry.

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