CAA: Must be a resident for 6 of 9 years (including last year) to be citizen

Applicants must also "irrevocably" renounce all other citizenship and declare they want "India as permanent home"

Protestors burn copies of the CAA notification in Assam's capital Gauhati (photo: PTI)
Protestors burn copies of the CAA notification in Assam's capital Gauhati (photo: PTI)
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PTI

Those seeking Indian nationality under the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 will become eligible to apply after spending at least 12 months in the country preceding the date of the application, according to the rules notified on Monday, 11 March.

Also, the applicant will be eligible to get Indian citizenship only if he has spent not less than six years in the country out of eight years immediately preceding those 12 months, the rules said.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 paves the way for granting Indian nationality to undocumented non-Muslim migrants — Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis and Christians — from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who came to India before 31 December 2014.

The rules also state that the applicants will have to provide an eligibility certificate issued by a locally reputed community institution confirming that he/she belongs to 'Hindu/ Sikh/ Buddhist/ Jain/ Parsi/Christian community and continues to be a member of the above mentioned community'.

The applicants will also have to give a declaration that they 'irrevocably' renounce the existing citizenship and that they want 'India as permanent home', according to the rules.

'Every application made by the applicant under sub-rule (1) shall have a declaration to the effect that the citizenship of his country shall stand renounced irrevocably in the event of his application being approved and that he shall not raise any claim on it in future,' it said.

The rules provide for a separate application process for these sub-categories:

  • a person of Indian origin,

  • a person who is married to an Indian citizen,

  • minor child of an Indian citizen,

  • a person having Indian parents,

  • a person who was once a citizen of independent India,

  • a person whose parent (can be either parent) was a citizen of independent India,

  • a person who is registered as an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholder

  • and a person seeking citizenship by naturalisation.

Those seeking citizenship by naturalisation will have to submit an affidavit verifying the correctness of the statements made in the application, along with an affidavit from an Indian citizen testifying to the character of the applicant.

Such candidates will also have to furnish a declaration from the applicant that he has adequate knowledge of one of the official languages as specified in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution.

All cleared applicants shall have to take an oath of allegiance affirming that they will 'bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India' as by law established and that they would 'faithfully observe the laws of India' and fulfil their duties as a citizen of India, the rules said.

The applicant shall have to provide a copy of their valid or expired foreign passport, residential permit, evidence of spouse's Indian nationality (copy of Indian passport or birth certificate) or a copy of the marriage certificate issued by the Registrar of Marriage, depending on the case.

However, the submission of these documents is not mandatory. They only need to be provided 'if available'.


An application for registration or naturalisation shall be submitted by the applicant in 'electronic form' to the empowered committee through the district-level committee, as be notified by the central government.

The documents submitted by the applicants will be verified by the district-level committee headed by a designated officer for the purpose (details of this role will be specified later).

The designated officer shall also administer to the applicant the oath of allegiance and, thereafter, sign the oath and forward the same in electronic form, along with confirmation of verification of documents submitted, to the empowered committee.

In case the applicant fails to appear in person to subscribe to their application documents and take the oath of allegiance despite having been given reasonable opportunities, the district-level committee shall forward their application to the empowered committee for consideration for refusal.

The empowered committee, on being satisfied—after making such inquiries as it considers necessary—that the applicant is a fit and proper person to be registered or naturalised, as the case may be, may grant the applicant the citizenship of India.

Once cleared by the empowered committee, applicants getting registered as a citizen of India under the new Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, rules will get a 'digital certificate'. A hard copy of the certificate will be provided only upon a request being made by the applicant, the new rules said.

The certificate shall be digitally signed (the hard copy physically signed) by the chairperson of the empowered committee.

People obtaining citizenship by naturalisation shall be issued a digital certificate of naturalisation by the committee, likewise.

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