Citizenship Amendment Act 1955- A Test of Allegiance

Citizenship refers to complete participation in any society or state where citizens possess civil and human rights. It may get described as an individual’s legal relationship with a specific condition, which is represented by expressing his devotion to the state and carrying out responsibilities like paying taxes, serving in the army when needed, upholding national principles and values, etc. Citizenship in India gets regulated by Article 5-11 of the Indian Constitution and the Citizenship Act 1955.

Various methods under the Citizenship Act 1955 helps to obtain citizenship. It establishes citizenship by birth, descent, registration, naturalisation, and annexation of the area into India. Furthermore, it governs Overseas Citizens of India Cardholders (OCIs). An OCI is eligible for several privileges, including a multiple-entry, multifunctional lifetime permit to visit India.

Just a while ago, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 got approval from the Parliament and obtained the President’s permission to become an Act. On December 11, 2019, the Indian Parliament approved the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019. The said Citizenship (Amendment) Act of 2019 amends the Citizenship Act 1955.

It modified the Citizenship Act 1955 to provide a road to Indian citizenship to the persecuted religious minorities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, or Christians who arrived in India before December 2014.

Muslims from six nations, all Muslim-majority countries, are not eligible under the statute. ​​It was the first time in Indian law that religion publicly got used as a criterion for citizenship, and it garnered worldwide censure.

Types of Citizenship in India

The citizenship concept has been around for centuries. But the term evolved to redefine what it signifies to be a citizen of a country. While citizenship remains the legal status held by a citizen within a state, it is no longer necessary for that state to be the country of birth.

Following decolonisation, the Second World War, or the fall of the Berlin Wall, citizenship has adapted to political changes and the resulting conditions throughout history.

With international migration recognised at an all-time high, there are more options for petitioning for citizenship. Some people have even obtained dual citizenship in various countries where it is permitted.

Following that, we will look at the many paths people might take to obtain citizenship.

  • Family Citizenship
  • Citizenship by Birth
  • Naturalisation
  • Citizenship by Marriage
  • Economic Citizenship

The provisions get outlined in the Citizenship Act 1955.

Modes of Acquisition of Indian Citizen

Articles 5–11 of the Indian Constitution include the requirements for Indian citizenship. The concept of citizenship denotes complete affiliation in just about any State where a native enjoys rights and freedoms.

Article 5

Citizenship at the commencement of the Constitution

Article 5 of the Indian Constitution discussed citizenship for persons when the Constitution got ratified on January 26, 1950. People having their domicile in Indian territory gets citizenship and –

  1. Were born in Indian territory
  2. Whose both parents were born on Indian land.
  3. Usually has been a resident of India for not less than five years before the beginning of the Constitution.

Citizenship by birth

A citizen of India by birth is someone born in India on or after January 26, 1950, but before July 1, 1987, when the 1986 Act went into effect. A person born in India on or after July 1, 1987, but before December 3, 2004, is a citizen of India (if one of the parents was a citizen of India at the birth time).

Only those born in India on or after December 3, 2004, are considered Indian citizens if both parents are Indian citizens or if one parent is an Indian citizen and the other is not an illegal migrant at the birth time.

A passport, birth certificate, or even an Aadhaar card may not be enough to prove Indian citizenship, according to the Bombay High Court in September 2013.

The Bombay High Court declared in 2012 that a man born in Pakistan-administered Kashmir who entered India was an Indian citizen who should be issued an Indian passport since India considered the whole Kashmir area to be within its borders.

Citizenship by registration

The Citizenship Act 1955 Section 5, the Central Government may register any individual (who is not an illegal migrant) as a citizen of India if he or she qualifies into one of the following categories:

  • Before applying under Section 5(1)(a), a person of Indian origin must have resided in India for at least seven years (throughout twelve months immediately before making application and for six years in the aggregate in the eight years preceding the 12 months).
  • a person of Indian descent who resides in any nation or region other than undivided India;
  • a person who has been married to an Indian citizen for at least seven years and lived in India for at least seven years before filing for registration; Indian citizens’ minor children; a person of full age and ability whose parents are Indian citizens.
  • A full-grown, capable individual who was earlier a citizen of independent India, or either of his/her parents and who has been resident in India for one year immediately previous to filing for registration;
  • a person who has been an Overseas Citizen of India for five years and is of full age and capacity. And a one-year stay in India before applying for registration;
  • A full-grown, capable individual registered as an Overseas Citizen of India for five.

Article 6

Citizenship of certain persons who have migrated from Pakistan

Individual migrated from Pakistan would be considered as a citizen of India at the time of the Constitution’s commencement if-

  1. Any one of his parents or grandparents born in India as interpreted in the Government of India Act of 1935, or
  2. If such a person has migrated before July 19th, 1948 and has been ordinarily resident in India since his migration, or
  3. When an individual migrated after July 19th, 1948, and enrolled as an Indian citizen by the government of the Dominion of India appointed officer on an application made by him.

Further, no person shall get registered unless been an Indian resident for a minimum of 6 months immediately preceding the date of his application.

Citizenship by naturalisation

A foreigner ordinarily resident in India for 12 months and meets the other requirements outlined in the Citizenship Act, 1955 Section 6(1) can obtain naturalisation.

Article 7

Citizenship of certain migrants to Pakistan

The article addresses the concerns of those who went to Pakistan after March 1, 1947, but afterwards returned to India.

Article 8

Citizenship of certain persons of Indian origin residing outside India

The article highlights the privileges of Indian-origin individuals who live outside of India for job purposes, marriage, and education.

Article 9

Single Citizenship

Article 9 of the Constitution Of India forbids Indians from voluntarily seeking citizenship of a foreign state and hence prohibits dual citizenship in India. An Indian who applies for foreign citizenship for whatever reason shall automatically forfeit his or her Indian citizenship.

Article 10

Citizenship Entitlements

An individual considered a citizen of India under any of the Citizenship provisions as per the Constitution would continue to be a citizen and subject to any legislation passed by the Parliament.

Article 11

The right to citizenship must get regulated by law by the Parliament

The Parliament has the authority to enact any provision associated with the acquisition and cessation of citizenship, as well as any other citizenship-related topic.

Residential Status- Individuals and Residents

An individual’s taxability in India is determined by his residency status in India for any given fiscal year. The phrase “residential status” was introduced by India’s income tax regulations and should not be mistaken with an individual’s nationality in India. An individual might have been an Indian citizen but become a non-resident for a particular year.

Similarly, a foreign citizen may end up being a resident individual for income tax purposes for a particular year. Also to note that income tax in India:

  • A Resident
  • A Resident not ordinarily resident (RNOR)
  • A non-resident (NR)

Each of the taxpayer types mentioned above has different taxability as it depends upon the residential status of an Individual.

Surrender and Renunciation of Indian Citizenship

When a person of Indian descent, who is also a citizen or national of another country, makes a statement relinquishing his Indian citizenship in the proper manner, the declaration shall get registered by the prescribed authority. That person shall cease to be an Indian citizen upon such registration.

Provided, however, that if such a statement is made during any conflict wherein India may be engaged, registration would get postponed until the Central Government decides otherwise.

Where an individual quits being an Indian citizen, every minor child ceases to be a citizen of India. A female who is or legally wedded gets regarded to have attained full legal age. Further, any such kid within one year of achieving full age might make a statement that he intends to resume Indian citizenship and become an Indian citizen again.

Termination of Indian citizenship (Section 9)

Any Indian citizen voluntarily acquiring or acquiring another country’s citizenship by naturalisation or registration between the 26th of January 1950 and the commencement of the Citizenship Act 1955 should cease to be a citizen of India upon such acquisition.

Online Application for Indian Citizenship

A foreigner could incorporate for Full citizenship digitally to begin the process of obtaining Indian citizenship MHA has made it possible to submit application forms online under Sections 4 (1), 5 (1) (a), 5 (1) (c), 5 (1) (d), 5(1) (e), 5(1) (f), and 6(1).

Applicants can submit their applications online for expedited consideration by the relevant authorities and the Central Government.

Online Application Steps

  • Each online application form is for a single person, and each candidate must submit a separate application.
  • Fill out the online form in block/capital letters.
  • Provide information on the forms precisely as requested, including names, addresses and birthdate
  • Applicants must double-check their application data before submitting it online.
  • No additional changes are permitted after the applicant submits the online application form. As a result, candidates are encouraged to double-check and authenticate their information before completing the online application form.
  • Applicants need to save the MHA File Number (produced immediately after submitting the online form) to print the online application form and follow the process.
  • A recent passport-size picture of the applicant must be placed in each form’s required space.

    The photograph to be affixed to the application should be square in shape and no less than 35*35mm in size (with 80 per cent coverage by face). It should have a light colour backdrop (not white) with no border and a frontal picture of the individual’s head and shoulders, revealing the entire face in the centre of the shot.

    The photograph should not be stapled and should not be signed. Photos that do not meet these requirements will be rejected, perhaps causing a delay in the processing of the applications.

Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) CARD

Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) is a permanent residence status that permits persons of Indian ancestry and their wives to live and work permanently in India.

OCI status, despite its name, does not confer citizenship or the right to vote in Indian elections or hold public office. In several scenarios, the Indian government can revoke OCI status. The Indian Overseas Diaspora incorporated 6 million OCI cardholders by 2020.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2005 established the OCI system by amending The Citizenship Act, 1955 on 28 June 2005. It was done in response to the Indian diaspora’s aspirations for dual citizenship in India. It gives Overseas nationals access to many of the same privileges as residents.

HOW TO APPLY FOR OCI CARD

ELIGIBILITY

There are qualifying requirements for even applying to OCI.

Any individual may be registered as an Overseas Citizen of India by the Government of India if they meet the following criteria:

  • Has been a citizen of India since January 26, 1950; or
  • Belonged to a region that became part of India after August 15, 1947; or
  • On January 26, 1950, he was eligible to become an Indian citizen; alternatively.
  • Is such a citizen’s kid, grandchild, or great-grandchild; or
  • Is a minor child of one of the individuals mentioned above; or
  • Is a minor child, and either both the parents are Indian citizens, or one of the parents is an Indian citizen, or
  • Is the spouse an Indian citizen or an Overseas Citizen of India Cardholder registered under the Citizenship Act’s Section 7A and whose marriage has been registered and sustained for a continuous period of not less than two years immediately preceding the application.
  • Dutch citizens of Suriname descent up to the sixth generation whose forebears immigrated to India in the nineteenth century can apply for an OCI Card.

APPLICATION For OCI Card

  • OCI applications are only accepted online at ociservices.gov.in. An applicant must provide a photograph and various forms of identification to demonstrate that they satisfy the eligibility requirements and pay an application fee.

    A cost of Rs. 15,000 (US$210) gets levied for applications filed in India. A cost of US$275 gets levied for applications submitted from outside India.

  • The applicant must show proof of current citizenship by submitting a copy of their current passport, valid for six months. If the applicant is applying while in Indian territory, they must present a copy of any form of Indian visa or a residence permit valid for at least three months.

    Applicants must prove that their parents, grandparents, or great grandparents fulfil the qualifying requirements outlined above. The following can get submitted to complete this:

    • An Indian passport’s copy,
    • a competent authority’s Domicile Certificate’s copy,
    • a copy of the competent authority’s Nativity Certificate, or
    • an OCI/PIO card of parents or spouse,
    • the basis papers/documents on which the OCI/PIO card got issued,

    Applicants may also provide any further proof to support their claim. Applicants can typically submit proof of residency or birthplace from the concerned First Class Magistrate/District Magistrate for themselves, their parents, or grandparents.

  • Suppose the applicant claims Indian ancestry as the basis for registration as an OCI cardholder. In that case, they must produce proof of their link with the individual listed as parent/grandparent/great grandparent.

    A birth certificate issued by a competent body that includes the names of both parents might get used as proof of the connection.

    The birth certificate must be apostilled or approved by the pertinent Indian diplomatic representation overseas if a foreign government issued it.

    For a minor kid whose both parents are Indian citizens or who have at least one parent who is an Indian citizen, the following can get used as evidence:

    • child’s birth certificate’s copy that mentions its parents,
    • At least one parent’s Indian passport’s copy, or
    • The Domicile Certificate or Nativity Certificate’s copy issued by a Competent Authority supporting the Indian origin of at least one parent

    If the parents are divorced, a court ruling confirming that the child’s legal custody is with the parent applying for the OCI card must get submitted.

  • A registered marriage certificate can get used to prove that a spouse of foreign origin of an Indian citizen or an OCI cardholder is of foreign origin.

    In the event of an Indian citizen’s spouse, a copy of the spouse’s Indian passport, or a copy of the Indian spouse’s Domicile Certificate or Nativity Certificate issued by the Competent Authority, or any other documentation substantiating the spouse’s status as an Indian citizen.

    A copy of the spouse’s current valid passport, a copy of the spouse’s OCI card, and copies of the paperwork on which the OCI Card got issued to the spouse are essential in the case of an OCI card holder’s spouse.

ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF OCI CARD

ADVANTAGES OF OCI CARD

  • The card user is entitled to repeat visa-free visits to India during his or her lifetime.
  • If they keep their OCI card for another five years, they can become citizens of this country. However, there is a stipulation that the person spent at least one year in India. In addition, short-interval breaks get permitted.
  • For quick verification and admittance, immigration checkpoints have separate counters.
  • Separate student and work visas are not required.
  • In Indian banks, they can open NRE, NRO, or FCNR accounts.
  • Except for non-farm property and exercise property ownership rights, the Indian market is open.
  • It can get used to obtaining a driver’s licence and a PAN card.
  • Like NRIs, they will have economic, financial, and educational leverage.
  • They can visit National Parks, Monuments, Wild Life Sanctuaries, and Museums if they have paid the OCI charge.
  • They can also get registered with the FRRO. In such instances, the length of their stay is not taken into account.

DISADVANTAGES Of OCI CARD

  • They must forgo their Indian passports.
  • It is not their right to purchase agricultural land, a farmhouse, or a plantation.
  • They are not allowed to vote like PIOs, and they are also not allowed to compete for public office.
  • Government jobs and political posts are not available to them.
  • To visit certain restricted areas here, they’ll need special clearance.

EVOLUTION OF CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT Act TILL DATE

The Citizenship Act of 1955 establishes guidelines for acquiring and determining Indian citizenship. This legislation, passed in 1955, allows persons who were previously citizens of India but are now citizens of another nation to apply for an Overseas Citizen of India Card, among other things.

Number of times the legislation got changed.

The Citizenship Act of 1955 has been modified five times since its inception in 1955: 1986, 1992, 2003, 2005, 2015, and 2019.

What is The Citizenship amendment Act of 1986

According to the 1986 amendment, one of the parents must be an Indian citizen at the moment of birth for the child to be an Indian citizen.

What is The Citizenship amendment Act of 1992

Anyone born outside India on or after January 26, 1950, but before December 10, 1992, is a citizen of India by ancestry (if the father is a citizen of India at the time of his birth).

What is The Citizenship Amendment Act of 2003

The 2003 amendment established the concept of “illegal immigrants” and required the Indian government to create a National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The amendment, which got enacted under then-Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, included Section 14A, which required a headcount of Indian nationals and the creation of the NRC.

What is The Citizenship Amendment Act of 2005

At the turn of the millennium, the parliament created the concepts of Person of Indian Origin (PIO) and Abroad Citizen of India to suit the expanding overseas Indian community (OCI). They were awarded restricted citizenship privileges as a result of 2005 legislation.

OCI cardholders, for example, were granted multiple entries, multi-purpose lifetime visas to visit India, were excluded from registration with the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) for any duration of stay in India, and may engage in financial, economic, and educational areas.

On the other hand, PIO cardholders got excused from reporting to the police throughout their stay in India. They were also allowed visa-free access into India for the duration of the card’s validity, which was 15 years, as long as they had valid national passports.

What is The Citizenship Amendment Act of 2015

The 2015 amendment created the idea of an “Overseas Citizen of India Cardholder” (an “OCC”), which effectively combined OCIs and PIOs. PIO cardholders now have access to privileges formerly only available to OCIs, including visa-free travel to India, residency rights, and participation in commercial and educational activities in the nation.

What is The Citizenship Amendment Act of 2019

The new Citizenship Act change would simplify non-Muslims to become Indian citizens.

Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians who fled religious persecution in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, or Pakistan and arrived in India before December 31, 2014, will be eligible for citizenship. Muslims, on the other hand, have been excluded.

The time required to apply for citizenship in India has also got shortened. To become a naturalised citizen of India, an individual had to have lived in the country for at least 11 years. The sentence got shortened to six years.

Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019- Case Study

Parliament approved the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019, and with the President’s approval, it became an Act. The Citizenship (Amendment) Act of 2019 amends the Citizenship Act 1955.

It is not permissible for an unauthorised migrant to get Indian citizenship. An illegal immigrant is a foreigner who enters India illegally, without valid travel papers such as a visa and passport, or who enters lawfully but remains more prolonged than the time specified in their travel documents. In India, an unlawful migrant might be prosecuted, deported, or imprisoned.

The government protected some illegal migrants from being imprisoned or deported in September 2015 and July 2016. These are illegal migrants who entered India from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, or Pakistan on or before December 31, 2014, and identify as Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, or Christian.

The Bill amended the Act to establish that Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who entered India on or before December 31, 2014, are not considered unlawful migrants.

The federal government must also exempt individuals from the Foreigners Act of 1946 and the Passport (Entry into India) Act of 1920 to be eligible for this benefit.

Concerning this criterion, the Bill makes an exemption for Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. The 11-year threshold will get shortened to five years for these individuals.

When a person obtains citizenship, they are assumed to be citizens of India from the day of their admission into India, and (ii) any legal procedures against them relating to their unlawful migration or citizenship get terminated.

The Amended Act’s Applicability

These restrictions on citizenship for illegal migrants would not apply to the tribal territories of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Tripura, included in the Constitution’s Sixth Schedule.

It will also not apply to the “Inner Line” territories designated by the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation of 1873. The Inner Line Permit governs Indian travels to these territories.

This permission system is available in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, and Nagaland. Manipur also got placed under the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system on the same day the law got enacted in parliament via a Gazette Notification.

Concerns about the Amendment Act in the North-East

It contradicts the Assam Accord of 1985, which specifies that illegal migrants from Bangladesh arriving after March 25, 1971, will be repatriated.

Critics further claim that the laborious process of updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) would be rendered null and void due to this Amendment legislation.

There are an estimated 20 million undocumented Bangladeshi migrants in Assam, and they have irreversibly transformed the state’s demographics while also putting significant pressure on the state’s resources and economy.

Critics comment that it would breach the ethos contained in Article 14 of the Constitution of India (ensuring the right to equality and applies to both citizens and foreigners) and the idea of secularism entrenched in the constitution’s preamble.

The Bill sheds light on religious discrimination that has occurred and continues to occur in these three economies, affecting our bilateral settings with them.

It gives the government broad authority to suspend OCI registrations for severe offences like murder and minor crimes such as parking in a no-parking zone or running a red light.

What is the reason for Assam’s dissatisfaction?

Assam has a history of being a hotspot of unrest. Students from throughout the state organised five-year agitations and rallies in the 1970s, successfully pressuring the Union government to provide constitutional and legislative protections to the indigenous Assamese people.

The five-year agitation concluded on August 15, 1985, when Rajiv Gandhi’s Congress administration and the All Assam Students Union, led by Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, signed a Memorandum of Understanding, dubbed “The Assam Accord.” Deportation of immigrants entering Assam after 1971 was one of the key provisions of the Assam Accord.

The recently revised citizenship legislation nullifies the 1985 Assam Accord. Clause 5 of the Assam Accord establishes March 24, 1971, as the cutoff date for citizenship recognition. However, that date has since been pushed forward to December 31, 2014

The Government’s Position

The administration has stated that because Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh are Islamic countries with a Muslim majority, they cannot be considered persecuted minorities.

According to the government, the purpose of this Bill is to award rather than take away someone’s citizenship. It has pledged that the government consider any other community’s application on a case-by-case basis. This Bill will be a massive relief to all those who have suffered due to Partition and the subsequent turning of the three nations into theocratic Islamic republics.

The government cites the division of India along religious lines and the subsequent failure of the Nehru-Liaqat treaty of 1950 to preserve the rights and dignity of minorities in Pakistan and Bangladesh as reasons for introducing this Bill.

The 2019 Citizenship amendment Act amendment has sparked a debate.

  • The contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill passed both the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha in December. The election of the President sparked widespread protests around the country, with many people killed.
  • Because it bans Muslims from neighbouring nations, the measure got heavily criticised as being “anti-Muslim.”
  • The statute violates Article 14 of the Constitution since it allows illegal aliens to apply for citizenship based on their faith. Article 14 ensures that all people, including citizens and non-citizens, be treated equally. It only permits legislation to discriminate between persons if the basis for doing so is legitimate.

Reactions and opposition

  • Opposition parties, human rights groups, and student organisations took to the streets to protest the bill, claiming it discriminates against Muslims and is unconstitutional.
  • According to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, the bill will “shred the spirit of India.”
  • Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal’s Chief Minister, led a 10-day protest march in Kolkata against the CAA and the NRC. She termed the law “discriminatory” and asked that everyone have equal protection regardless of faith.
  • Kerala was the first state to approve a resolution against the contentious legislation.
  • MK Stalin, the head of the DMK and the opposition leader in the Tamil Nadu state assembly, also held a large rally in Chennai.
  • UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres voiced his displeasure with the violence and “reported use of disproportionate force” in the anti-law protests.

Petitions

The Supreme Court had received nearly 60 applications contesting the law’s constitutionality. Senior Congressman Jairam Ramesh, the Indian Union Muslim League, Mahua Moitra, Asaduddin Owaisi, Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam, and the Asom Gana Parishad, an ally of the governing BJP in Assam, are among those who have submitted the applications.

The Supreme Court has said that all petitions challenging the citizenship law will get heard on January 22, 2020.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CITIZENSHIP AND NATIONALITY

NATIONALITY

CITIZENSHIP

DEFINITION

The status or position of being a citizen of a specific country

It’s the state of being a citizen of a country.

REPRESENTS

The place of birth determines a person’s nationality.

Citizenship is a judicial notion in which the government of a country awards individual citizenship after completing the legal prerequisites.

CONCEPT

It is essentially an ethnic and racial concept.

It is legal or juristic.

WAYS

Birth and Inheritance (varies due to the rules of each country)

Birth, Inheritance, Marriage, Naturalization, etc.

CAN IT BE CHANGED?

NO

YES

CAN IT BE REVERSED?

It is innate.

It can get reversed.

CAN IT BE POSSIBLE TO HAVE THE NATIONALITY/ CITIZENSHIP OF MULTIPLE COUNTRIES?

No, a person can be a national of only one country.

Yes, a person can become a dual citizen of two countries.

GREEN CARD

A green card, also known as a permanent resident card, is a document that allows non-US citizens to live permanently in the United States.

The term “lawful permanent residents” refers to people who have green cards (LPRs).

As of 2019, the number of green cardholders in the United States gets projected to be 13.9 million, with 9.1 million eligible to become citizens. About 65,000 of them serve in the United States Armed Forces.

Green card holders are statutorily permitted to apply for U.S. citizenship after demonstrating, among other things, that they have continuously stayed in the United States for at least five years and are of good moral character.

BENEFITS OF A GREEN CARD

  • After three or five years of marriage to a US citizen, an individual may seek citizenship. (If they married a U.S. citizen recently and applied for a green card, they may qualify for conditional permanent residency.)
  • They are unable to be deported to their home nation. Green card holders keep their status as permanent residents regardless of future immigration law changes in the United States.

    A green card is permanent and cannot get withdrawn due to changes in immigration rules. On the other hand, the green card holder can lose their residency if they commit a crime, break the law, or engage in behaviour that could lead to deportation.

  • They are not obligated to relinquish their citizenship in their native country.
  • The laws of the United States provide legal protection to them. The same legal safeguards for US citizens also apply to permanent residency people.
  • They can sponsor other members of their family for a green card. Family members of permanent residents get prioritised, although not as much as family members of US citizens.

    Spouses, children, parents, and siblings are all eligible family members (as well as the spouses and children of those spouses, adult children, and siblings).

  • Every ten years, people can renew their green cards.
  • They have easier access to and from the United States than other visa holders or newcomers. Permanent residents with a valid green card can travel overseas and re-enter the United States as long as they return within 12 months.
  • They get entitled to federal support such as social security and school aid. Permanent residents are eligible to apply for government-sponsored educational, financial help.

    Green card holders also get the eligibility for in-state or resident tuition rates at several schools and institutions. A green cardholder who has lived in the United States for a long time may be eligible for social security benefits.

  • They are eligible to apply for a wide range of positions. Those with a green card have more job options than those on a work visa.

    Permanent residents, for example, can apply for employment requiring security clearances and/or work for the government.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GREEN CARD AND CITIZENSHIP

GREENCARD

CITIZENSHIP

Can the people be deported from the U.S.?

Yes, if they commit a crime or act of espionage, fail to notify the US government of a change of address, become public charges, or do something else that falls under one of the grounds for deportation established by US law.

No, not because of the threat of deportation. On the other hand, Naturalized U.S. citizenship can get withdrawn if the applicant committed fraud when applying for it. Citizens can also freely give up their status.

Will the people receive an identity document?

A green card, commonly known as Form I-551, is required.

A birth certificate, a consular record of a child born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent, or a naturalisation certificate

Do they qualify for a U.S. passport?

No. They’ll need their home country’s passport as well as their green card to go and return.

With a few exceptions, yes, after applying for it.

Can they vote in U.S. elections?

No, since doing so may result in their deportation.

Yes.

Can they petition for family members to immigrate?

Yes, for unmarried children and spouses, with limited visas granted each year.

Parents, spouses, children (married or not), and siblings qualify. Because there are fewer annual limits for wives and small children, the process is typically speedier.

Do they qualify for government benefits?

Yes, but only to a lesser extent than citizens of the United States.

Yes, as long as they fulfil the minimum qualifying requirements.

Conclusion

Giving a six-year residency concession based only on religion is contrary to the norms of secularism. It should get omitted to pass the ‘basic structural doctrine’ test. As a country that adheres to the ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ ideal, India should not be quick in making judgments that might disenfranchise her population — violating its centuries-old principles.

Hence, the Citizenship Act 1955 ensures the citizenship status of the individuals per the Constitution of India. The hour’s requirement is for the Union Government to sketch out a plan of action per the Citizenship Act 1955 to address the destiny of omitted persons from Assam’s final NRC.

No international agreement establishes a person’s nationality or citizenship status. National laws, which might differ and clash, determine it. Multiple citizenships develop due to several nations’ requirements for citizenship, which are not necessarily mutually exclusive. People may “have” many citizenships informally, but officially, each nation claims that a particular individual it’s national.

The political parties resist colouring the entire NRC process with electoral possibilities that might escalate into communal bloodshed.

FAQs under Citizenship Act

How to obtain Indian Citizenship?

Indian citizenship can get acquired by birth, descent, registration and naturalisation. The conditions and procedure for obtaining Indian citizenship are as per the Citizenship Act 1955.

Is dual citizenship permitted in India?

The Indian Constitution prohibits holding both Indian and foreign citizenship simultaneously. The Government of India decided to confer Overseas Citizenship of India based on the recommendations of the High-Level Committee on Indian Diaspora (OCI).

Is the NRC law being debated in India?

The National Register of Citizens (NRC) is a database of all Indian citizens, authorised by a 2003 modification to the Citizenship Act 1955. Its goal is to document all of India's lawful residents so that illegal immigrants can be discovered and removed

Why does the CAA exclude Muslims?

According to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan are Islamic or Muslim-majority countries. As a result, Muslims cannot be religiously persecuted in these nations and are not covered by this amendment.

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