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Citizenship (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015 Promulgated
Jan 12, 2015

The President of India has promulgated the Citizenship (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015 with immediate effect which provides for the following amendments to the Indian Citizen Act, 1955:

  • At present one year continuous stay in India is mandatory for Indian Citizenship which is relaxed stating that if the Central Government is satisfied that special circumstances exist, it may, after recording such circumstances in writing, relax the period of twelve months specified up to a maximum of thirty days which may be in different breaks.

  • To enable for registration as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) by a minor, whose parents are Indian Citizens.

  • To enable for registration as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) by a child or a grand-child or a great grandchild of such a citizen.

  • To enable for registration as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) by such spouse of a citizen of India or spouse of an OCI registered under Section 7A and whose marriage has been registered and subsisted for a continuous period of not less than two years immediately preceding the presentation of the application under this section.

  • In respect of existing Person of Indian Origin (PIO) card holders central government may, by notification in Official Gazette, specify a particular date from which all existing PIO card holders will be deemed to be OCI card holders.


The Indian Citizenship Act, 1955 provides for acquisition, termination, deprivation, determination of Indian Citizenship and other related aspects. The Act provides for acquisition of Indian citizenship by birth, descent, registration, naturalization and incorporation of territory under certain circumstances, and also for the termination and deprivation of citizenship.

The decision to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 was taken after large number of complaints received from PIOs, who often complained of visits to local police stations and stringent visa norms that debarred them from buying property in India, in comparison to those holding Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) card.


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