M A I N   N E W S

Cabinet nod for dual citizenship
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 16
The Union Cabinet today gave its approval for amending the Citizenship Act 1955. This would pave the way for granting dual citizenship to persons of Indian origin (PIOs) who migrated to other countries after January 26, 1950.

The amendments will allow the Ministry of Overseas Indians to issue notifications under Section 7B (1) of the Citizenship Act, 1955, and issue smart cards to registered overseas citizens of India (OCI).

“The amendment will give benefit to all persons of Indian origin, and their children and grand children, who migrated from India to countries other than Pakistan and Bangladesh after January 26, 1950” , Minister of Information and Broadcasting Jaipal Reddy told newspersons after the Cabinet meeting.

It will benefit people who were eligible to become citizens on this date or belonged to territories, which became part of India after August 15, 1947 to acquire overseas citizenship “as long as their home countries allow dual citizenship in some form or the other”.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had announced the decision to allow dual citizenship to overseas Indians during the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas held in Mumbai early this year.

He had said the facility would be extended to Indians as long as their home countries permitted them to do so. Earlier, it was limited to Indians based in certain countries.

The Ministry of Overseas Indians is currently working on simplification of a host of rules which were cumbersome. For example, the application forms for Overseas Indian Citizenship were lengthy and asked the applicant to disclose a lot of personal details. These application forms had to submitted to Indian missions overseas, which, in turn, had to be transmitted to New Delhi for sanction.

Now, powers will be delegated to Indian consulates abroad to sanction the applications and in the next three months or so, the Overseas Indian Citizenship facility will start in 16 countries already short listed.

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