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President Promulgates Citizenship Ordinance, What it Means?

The President of India has promulgated the Citizenship (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015 on Monday with immediate effect coinciding with the Gujarat Pravasi Bhartiya Divas amending the Indian Citizen Act, 1955. Here is a gist of what it exactly means:

• At present one year continuous stay in India is mandatory for Indian Citizenship which is relaxed stating that if the Central Government is satisfied that special circumstances exist, it may, after recording such circumstances in writing, relax the period of twelve months specified up to a maximum of 30 days which may be in different breaks.

• To enable for registration as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) by a minor, whose parents are Indian Citizens.

• To enable for registration as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) by a child or a grand-child or a great grandchild of such a citizen.

• To enable for registration as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) by such spouse of a citizen of India or spouse of an OCI registered under Section 7A and whose marriage has been registered and subsisted for a continuous period of not less than two years immediately preceding the presentation of the application under this section.

• In respect of existing PIO card holders central government may, by notification in Official Gazette, specify a particular date from which all existing PIO card holders will be deemed to be OCI card holders.

The Indian Citizenship Act, 1955 provides for acquisition, termination, deprivation, determination of Indian Citizenship and other related aspects.

The Act also provides for acquisition of Indian citizenship by birth, descent, registration, naturalization and incorporation of territory under certain circumstances, and also for the termination and deprivation of citizenship.

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