Sindhi community refugees from Pakistan celebrate after Centre notified CAA rules, in Bhopal Monday. PTI

New Delhi:

With the Centre issuing a notification for the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act, non-Muslim migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan fleeing religious persecution can now seek Indian citizenship. The Centre has laid down the step-by-step process to apply for citizenship under this law.

Who Is Eligible?

Persons from Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian communities from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh, who entered India on or before December 31, 2014, can seek citizenship under CAA.

Where To Apply

Applications for Indian citizenship can be made online on https://indiancitizenshiponline.nic.in. A mobile application, CAA-2019, is also in the works. This application will be submitted to an Empowered Committee through the District Level Committee headed by a designated officer.

The Categories

The online application process provides multiple categories under which an applicant can seek Indian citizenship. These include: (i) a person of Indian origin (ii) a person married to a citizen of India (iii) a minor child of an Indian citizen (iv) a person whose parents are Indian citizens (v) a person who or either of parents was a citizen of Independent India (vi) a person registered as Overseas Citizen of India Cardholder (vii) a person seeking citizenship by naturalisation – an adult registered as overseas citizen of India for five years, and who has been living in India for a year

Documents Required

The applicant can submit any of the following documents while applying for Indian citizenship under CAA: (i) Copy of passport issued by Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan government (ii) birth certificate issued by a government authority in these countries (iii) educational certificate from a school/college/board or university in Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan (iv) identity document of any kind issued by government authorities in these countries (v) residential permit issued by Foreigners Regional Registration Officer or Foreigners Registration Officer in India (vi)any licence issued by government authorities in these three countries (vii) land or tenancy records in these countries (viii) Any document that shows that either of the parents or grandparents or greatgrandparents of the applicant is or had been a citizen of these countries. In effect, any document issued by a government authority in Afghanistan or Bangladesh or Pakistan to establish that the applicant is from either of these countries is valid for the citizenship process. This applies even if the document is past its validity period.

How To Prove When Applicant Entered India

The applicant will also need to prove that he/she entered India before the cut-off date of December 31, 2014.

The documents required for this include: (i) copy of the visa and immigration stamp on arrival (ii) registration certificate or residential permit issued by the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer or Foreigners Registration Officer (FRO) in India (iii) a slip issued by the Census enumerators in India during surveys (iv) government issued licence or certificate or permit in India (including driving licence, Aadhaar card etc.) (v) ration card issued in India (vi) any letter issued by the government or court to the applicant with official stamp (vii) birth certificate of the applicant issued in India (viii) land or tenancy records or registered rental agreement in India in the name of the applicant (ix) PAN card with the date of issue (x) any document issued by the Centre or state government or PSUs or other public authority (xi) certificate issued by an elected member of any rural or urban body or officer (xii) account details issued by the banks, including private banks, or post office accounts in the name of the applicant (xiii) insurance policies issued by companies in India in the applicant’s name (xiv) electricity connection papers or bills or other utility bills in the applicant’s name (xv) court or tribunal records in respect of the applicant (xvi) document showing employment in India supported by Employees Provident Fund/ General Provident Fund/ Pension/ Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (xvii) school-leaving certificate of the applicant issued in India (xviii) academic certificate issued by a school or college or university or government institution (xix) municipality trade licence (xx) marriage certificate.

Application Submitted, What Next

Following the application, the form will be examined by a district-level committee. This committee will then inform the applicant through email/SMS the date an time on which he/she will be required to visit in person with original documents. If all is in order, the designated officer will administer an “oath of allegiance” to the applicant. If anything is missing, the committee may ask the applicant to provide it. However, if the applicant does not appear before the committee despite “reasonable opportunities”, the district committee may the application to the Empowered Committee for refusal.

If the documents are in order, the designated officer will certify online that the papers are verified. The district committee will also upload the “oath of allegiance” and forward the application in electronic form to the empowered panel. This panel will then examine the case and approve or reject the application.

How Will Citizenship Certificate Be Issued?

The applicant will be issued a digital certificate. Ink-signed copy of the certificate will be issued only if the applicant has opted for it at the application stage. This certificate will have to be collected from the office of the Empowered Committee i.e. office of Director (Census operations) of State/Union Territory concerned. For those granted citizenship, they will be considered Indian nationals from the date of their entry into India.

What Is The Cost?

A fee of Rs 50 is to be made online at the application stage. The government has not specified any other charge for the citizenship application process.


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