Dual citizenship form simplified
Indian missions abroad will soon circulate a simplified one-page form to facilitate trouble-free grant of dual citizenship to qualifying members of its 25-million diaspora in 110 countries, a top official has said.
"The earlier cumbersome procedures for dual citizenship stand withdrawn. We will soon have a one-page form for applicants that has been vastly simplified," said S. Krishna Kumar, secretary in the ministry of overseas Indian affairs.
"The necessary clearances and notifications for the simplified form are being secured and they will be made available at Indian missions overseas in a couple of months," Kumar told IANS.
"We have not abandoned the grant of dual citizenship at all," the secretary clarified, when asked if the process has been temporarily put on hold for a decision to be taken on the new form.
"Since we now have much better procedure to be followed, the union home ministry wants that all applications be filed according to the new form so that there is uniformity in processing of requests."
The secretary further said some changes were also required in the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2003, following Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's decision to grant dual citizenship to anyone who has migrated from India after January 26, 1950.
He made the announcement in Mumbai last month while inaugurating India's third annual convention to connect with its vast diaspora - Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.
The only other requirement is the country where the person of Indian origin has migrated after January 26, 1950, must also have enabling legislation to grant dual citizenship, he added.
Earlier, under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, dual citizenship was proposed to persons of Indian origin in 16 specified countries.
The countries were: the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia, Finland, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Israel, New Zealand, Cyprus, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Greece and Portugal.
Now, it is technically available to every member of the 25 million Indian diaspora in 110 countries, so long as they fulfil the two main criteria laid down under the revised norms.
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