File Copyright Online - File mutual Divorce in Delhi - Online Legal Advice - Lawyers in India

Understanding the Citizenship Amendment Act of 2019: Implications, Controversies, and Legal Perspectives

The Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 allows illegal immigrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan to become Indian citizens. These illegal immigrants must belong to these 6 communities which includes Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Parsi, Christian, or Buddhist, and they must have entered into the territory of India before 31st December, 2014.

In this Muslims along with Sri Lankan Tamils and Rohingya were not included. There are no provisions for sections of Muslim i.e. Shia and Ahmadiyya who also went through persecution in those countries. According to the Citizenship Act, one must have resided in India from the past 12 months and for 11 of the past 14 years. However, in this amendment act for illegal immigrants who meet certain criteria, the residency requirement has been reduced from 11 years to 5 years.

The favor was done by the government because people of those countries had faced discrimination in various ways as they belong to those communities which are in minority class. New provisions for OCI card holders also came into existence.

The Citizenship Amendment Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2016 which proposed a change in the Indian Citizenship Act of 1955. Then the bill was sent to the Joint Parliamentary Committee for review and after that it was passed in Lok Sabha on 8th January 2019, but due to the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha in May, 2019 the bill lapsed.

The bill was reintroduced in the 17th Lok Sabha on 9th December 2019 by Amit Shah (Minister of Home Affairs) and passed on 10th December, 2019. Later on, Rajya Sabha also passed the bill on 11th December, 2019. By receiving the assent of the President it came into force on 12th December, 2019.

Why is there a need for amendment in the Citizenship Act, 1955?
Many people from Muslim majority countries i.e. Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan came to India as they faced religious tyranny there and to save themselves. In order to give those illegal migrants an identity, CAA, 2019 is introduced. Before CAA, 2019 there was no act which gave illegal migrants Indian Citizenship. So, the act is amended in order to give citizenship to the people who faced religious persecution.

Those illegal migrants who came to India before 31st December 2014 from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan and belong to these 6 communities which includes Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Parsi, Christian, or Buddhist are eligible to become Indian citizens.

The situation before CAA, 2019:
Before Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019, illegal migrants are not eligible to acquire citizenship of India. Those illegal migrants were restricted from becoming Indian citizens through registration and naturalization. Others can become citizens of India by:

Registration (Under Section 5 of Citizenship Act of 1955):
A person can become an Indian citizen by registering if they are of Indian origin and have lived in India for at least 7 years before applying.

They must also have lived in India continuously for 12 months before applying.

Naturalization (Under Section 6 of Citizenship Act of 1955):
To become an Indian citizen by naturalization, a person must have resided in India for the past 12 months and for 11 of the past 14 years.

Provisions for OCI Card holders:
The Citizenship Amendment Act has added a new provision that allows foreigners who are of Indian origin to apply for Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) registration. This includes former Indian citizens and their descendants, as well as the spouses of such persons.

This also allows the Central Government to cancel the registration of Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs) if they violate any law notified by the Central Government. However, the amendment does not provide any guidance on what types of laws can be notified by the Central Government for this purpose.

According to Article 11 of the Indian Constitution, Parliament has the right to make laws related to citizenship. But after this act many questions were raised by the opposition and many citizens. But the major goal was to provide citizenship to the illegal immigrants who have suffered in those 3 countries and now living in the country for 5 years. For others who want to apply through the regular process mentioned from Sections 3-7 in Indian Citizenship Act, 1955.


Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.Gursimar Kour Sudan
Awarded certificate of Excellence
Authentication No: NV332443450951-20-1123

Law Article in India

Ask A Lawyers

You May Like

Legal Question & Answers

Lawyers in India - Search By City

Copyright Filing
Online Copyright Registration


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi Mutual Consent Divorce is the Simplest Way to Obtain a D...

Increased Age For Girls Marriage


It is hoped that the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which intends to inc...

Facade of Social Media


One may very easily get absorbed in the lives of others as one scrolls through a Facebook news ...

Section 482 CrPc - Quashing Of FIR: Guid...


The Inherent power under Section 482 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (37th Chapter of t...

The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India: A...


The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is a concept that proposes the unification of personal laws across...

Role Of Artificial Intelligence In Legal...


Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing various sectors of the economy, and the legal i...

Lawyers Registration
Lawyers Membership - Get Clients Online

File caveat In Supreme Court Instantly