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.
The Central Government on application made in
this behalf may register any person as an overseas citizen of India
a) that person is of Indian
origin of full age and capacity who is a citizen of a specified
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
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.
i) In India
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;
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.
to the Indian
Consulate/Embassy whose jurisdiction the country of which an
applicant is a citizen for this for transmission to the Central
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.
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
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.