DUAL CITIZENSHIP


 

1. INTRODUCTION

There has been president demand and expectations for dual citizenship for persons of Indian origin in North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and few other countries. The grant of dual citizenship was intended to remove for those who have taken foreign passports, the obstacle in travel to and from India, permit investment in business ventures and foster a greater sense of belonging. This provision is an incentive for people to relate themselves with India, to make investments, to make technology transfer and such like things. On the occasion of first Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas on 9th January 2003, Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee had made an announcement for grant of dual citizenship to PIOs.

To translate that announcement into a reality, the necessary Legislation was introduced by the Government of India in Parliament in May, 2003. It is tribute to the broad vision of this concept, that it has enjoyed full support across various sections of people in India, including the full support of all political parties and subsequently, the Legislation was passed by Parliament unanimously in December, 2003. The concept of dual citizenship, now phrased as Overseas Citizenship, will grant overseas citizenship to persons 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 facility is being extended to 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.

2. 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.
     

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. FEES

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

6. 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.

7. 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.

 

For more details please get in touch with:

Any Indian High Commission/Embassy or Consulate

Or

The Ministry of Home Affairs

Foreigners Division

Lok Nayak Bhawan, New Delhi 110 003

Phone : 91-11-24692576 Fax : 91-11-2462 1543/2461 1430

Telex : 24621543

Website : http:/mha.nic.in