Amended Citizenship Rules: Once an Indian, always an Indian, says HMA

Once an Indian, always an Indian! Well, almost the same is being re-enforced by the Home Ministry of India under the amended citizenship rules.

As per the announcement made by the ministry yesterday, those renouncing Indian citizenship on account of being national of another country will now have to declare the circumstances or reasons due to which they intend to acquire foreign citizenship.

Understanding the Background of Citizenship in India:

The Constitution of India usually does not permit holding Indian citizenship and citizenship of a foreign country simultaneously. 

The Government of India has now enacted laws & amendments to grant Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI), commonly known as “Dual Citizenship”. Persons of Indian Origin of certain category who migrated from India and acquired citizenship of a foreign country, other than Pakistan and Bangladesh, are eligible for grant of OCI as long as their home country does not object to it under their respective laws.

While notifying the Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2018, the home ministry, also made it clear that only one living spouse of foreign origin of a citizen of India or overseas citizen of India (OCI) would be eligible to apply for registration as an OCI card-holder.

Points To Note:

The amended citizenship rules also require Persons of Indian Origin who are ordinary resident in India for a period of six months, spouse of a citizen of India and minor child of a citizen of India to specify their religion in their applications for registration as a citizen under Section 5 of the Citizenship Act.

The revised form also requires the applicant to specify whether he/she is/was an Indian citizen by birth, descent, registration or naturalization; as well as the circumstances that have led him/her to acquire foreign citizenship.

Amended Citizenship Rules
Amended Citizenship Rules

Following the Amended Citizenship Rules, an MHA functionary clarified that the information seeking reasons for renunciation of Indian citizenship is only for records and shall not be used as a ground for rejection of the application.

OCI Eligible Countries:

The countries covered for grant of Overseas Citizenship are the United States, Canada, United Kingdom , Australia, Cyprus, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Drawbacks of OCI:

The persons registered as OCI will neither have any voting rights nor be eligible for elections to Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, Legislative Assembly/Council or constitutional posts as President, Vice President, or Judge of Supreme Court or High Courts, etc.

Benefits of OCI:

  • Lifelong visa to visit India;
  • Such persons can stay in India for any length of time without reporting to police authorities;
  • Parity with NRIs in financial, economic and educational fields. However, no special benefits for acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.

Trivia: Bollywood Celebs Who Are NOT Indian Citizens:

Imran Khan, Alia Bhatt, Evelyn Sharma, Katrina Kaif, Amy Jackson, Jackqueline Fernandes, Akshay Kumar, Deepika Padukone.

Your Views Matter:

Do you think this will hamper the decision making of NRIs (especially from USA & Canada) to cancel their Indian passports to apply for permanent foreign residency?

Do let us know your thoughts in the comments section of Facebook & Twitter and share this article with your friends & family.


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