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Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2015

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Lok Sabha passed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2015 to amend Citizenship Act, 1955. The bill was introduced in Lok Sabha on 27th February 2015. The bill, if enacted will be considered to come into effect on 6th January 2015.

Here are key highlights below:

  • Date of passing: 2nd March 2015 by voice note
  • It allows the Union Government to relax the requirement of 12 months stay or service if special circumstances exist in cases related to citizenship by registration and naturalization. Relaxation up to 30 days may be permitted by the government.
  • It provides additional grounds for registering an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card such as
    • Minor children whose parent(s) are Indian citizens,
    • spouse of an Indian citizen or OCI/ PIO cardholder subjected to certain conditions,
    • great-grandchild of a person who is a citizen of another country ,but meets one of several conditions of Citizenship Act, 1955
  • A new provision is introduced, allowing the union government to register a person as an OCI cardholder even if he does not satisfy any of the listed qualifications.
  • It merges PIO and OCI cardholders.
  • It allows the union government to cancel the OCI card where it is obtained by the spouse of an Indian citizen or Overseas Citizen of India cardholder,
    • if the marriage is dissolved by a court, or
    • The spouse enters into another marriage.
  • It also says the government may shift a PIO cardholder, who enjoys fewer benefits, to be OCI cardholders from a specified date.
Penned by Prerika Gupta