India: Citizenship Amendment Act 2024

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Warwick Legal Network
20 března, 2024



The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019 was passed in December 2019 and officially enforced on January 10, 2020. However, its implementation was delayed due to the absence of notified rules. This legislation faced significant criticism from certain quarters, labeling it as discriminatory and demanding its repeal.

The enactment of the law triggered widespread protests nationwide, leading to its suspension for over four years. On March 11, 2024, the Union Government finally notified the rules for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019. This development, marked by the unveiling of the Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024, enables eligible individuals under the CAA-2019 to apply for Indian citizenship, representing a significant step in providing sanctuary to those persecuted.


The eligibility criteria outlined in the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) encompass individuals who migrated to India prior to December 31, 2014, originating from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh due to religious persecution or related fears. These individuals must belong to one of six specified religious minorities: Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, or Christian. Moreover, applicants are required to have resided in the country for a minimum of five years, with a compulsory continuous stay of 12 months before initiating their citizenship application. Specific exemptions are also applicable in accordance with Section 3(2)(c) of the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920, and the provisions of the Foreigners Act, 1946.

Where does CAA not apply?

It’s important to emphasize that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) does not apply to regions governed by the Constitution’s sixth schedule, which includes autonomous tribal-dominated areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram. Likewise, states in North-East India with an inner-line permit (ILP) regime, such as Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland, Manipur, Lakshadweep, and Himachal Pradesh, are also exempt from the provisions of the CAA.

What changes with CAA?

The CAA seeks to expedite the citizenship process for minorities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan who fled religious persecution and arrived in India before 2015. It aims to legalize their stay and grant them equal rights as Indian citizens, portraying it as a humanitarian initiative rather than a means of providing refuge solely to minority religions. Additionally, the CAA offers immunity to eligible migrants from legal repercussions for illegal entry or overstaying in India, reducing the residency requirement for citizenship from „not less than 11 years“ to „not less than five years“ for persecuted minorities.

Application Procedure

To begin the registration process unde, applicants must electronically submit their forms to the Empowered Committee via the designated District Level Committee.
An acknowledgment in Form IX is automatically generated upon submission.
The District Level Committee, led by the Designated Officer, verifies all accompanying documents.
After verification, the Designated Officer administers the oath of allegiance and forwards it electronically to the Empowered Committee.
If an applicant fails to appear in person despite opportunities, the District Level Committee forwards the application for potential refusal.
The Empowered Committee meticulously examines the application to ensure compliance with all conditions.
Upon thorough inquiry, the Empowered Committee may grant Indian citizenship if satisfied with the applicant’s eligibility.


Requirement of special documents:

In addition to the documents outlined in Section 6B of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) rules, two more documents are mandated:

An affidavit confirming the accuracy of the information provided in the application, accompanied by an affidavit from an Indian citizen affirming the applicant’s character.
A statement from the applicant declaring their proficiency in one of the languages listed in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution.


Misconceptions attached with CAA :

There have been discussions about the implementation of the CAA, and a narrative has been spread throughout the nation claiming that the law will strip Indian Muslims of their citizenship and that it is unconstitutional and discriminatory in nature because it excludes the Muslims of these three countries from its purview . The Indian government has defended its position by emphasizing that the CAA is a law passed to grant citizenship and not take it away, and the Muslims in these countries are neither a minority group nor subject to religious discrimination in their already Islamic-majority nations.

Although CAA seems to be a step to legalize the status of refugees already living in the country, the country is divided in its opinion and only the time will decide whether it was a positive step as claimed by the current Govt.


For further information, please contact:

Gautam Khurana, Managing Partner

India Law Offices, New Delhi


t: +91 11 24622216


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