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Dual Citizenship

Trupti Patel
12/03/2004

The Indian Parliament on the 22nd of December 2003 passed a Bill to grant dual citizenship to the people of Indian origin  belonging to certain countries as well as Indian citizens who may take up the citizenship of these countries in future. At present this includes PIOs of 16 specified countries, namely, Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Republic of Cyprus, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America.

ELIGIBILITY

The Central Government on application made in this behalf may register any person as an overseas citizen of India if ;

a) that person is of Indian origin of full age and capacity who is a citizen of a specified country;

b) that a person is of full age and capacity who has obtained the citizenship of a specified countries on or after the commencement of Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2003 and who was a citizen of India immediately before such commencement;

c) The person registered as an overseas citizens of India shall be an overseas citizen of India as from the date on which he is so registered.

No person who has been deprived of his Indian citizenship under this Act shall be registered as an overseas citizen of India except by an order of the central Government.

For this purpose, the expression “person of Indian origin” shall mean a citizen of another country who;

·    was eligible to become a citizen of India at the time of the commencement of the Constitution;
 
·    belonged to a territory that became part of India after the 15th day of August, 1947; and

·    the children and grand-children of a person covered under clauses (i) and (ii), but does not include a person who is or had been at any time a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh or such other country as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify.
 
PROCEDURE

The application of registration as an overseas citizen of India has to be made in the prescribed form. This form when completed should be submitted in triplicate;

i) In India

to the Collector within whose jurisdiction the applicant is ordinary resident for transmission to the Central Government through the State Government or Union Territory Administration, as the case may be.

ii) Elsewhere

to the Indian Consulate/Embassy whose jurisdiction the country of which an applicant is a citizen for this for transmission to the Central Government.

BENEFITS AND PRIVILEGES

a)    Issuance of a registration certificate on being granted overseas citizenship.

b) Issuance of an overseas citizen passport

c) No requirement of visa for travel to India (both passports will be required to be presented while traveling to/from India.)

d) No registration formalities for staying in the country.

e) No separate documentation required for admission in colleges/institutions or for taking employment.

f) Parity with non-resident Indian in respect of facilities available to the latter in the economic, financial and educational field. (details separately available)

g) Facilities as available to children of NRIs for obtaining admission to educational institutions in India, including medical colleges, engineering colleges, institute of technology, institute of management etc. under the general category.

h) Facilities under the various housing schemes of LIC, State Govt. and other government agencies.

 FEES

The processing fee for an application for dual citizenship is proposed to be fixed at 100 US $.

CONFERMENT OF RIGHTS ON OVERSEAS CITIZEN OF INDIA

Apart from the benefits and privileges available to an overseas citizens of India as enumerated above, such a citizen would also be entitled to other rights which the Central Government would specify and which would be notified in the official Gazette from time to time. However, there are certain sector such as public employment, voting rights etc where the rights would not be available to overseas citizens.

The detailed Rules, application forms and other necessary information in connection with the grant of overseas citizenship would be available very shortly at all Indian Missions abroad, the MHA, New Delhi and on the official Website of the MHA.

Please note that the Press reports regarding grant of dual citizenship/overseas citizenship by the Government of India have appeared in Indian and foreign media. However, the exact procedure and modalities for grant of dual citizenship are still being worked out by the concerned authorities in India. Please see the official websites who will post the official instructions and guidelines from the Government of India,  as soon as they are received by them.



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