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Those seeking Indian nationality under the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 will become eligible to apply after spending at least 12 months in the country preceding the date of the application, according to the rules notified on Monday.

Also, the applicant will be eligible to get Indian citizenship if he has spent not less than six years in the country out of eight years immediately preceding those 12 months, the rules said. The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 paves the way for granting Indian nationality to undocumented non-Muslim migrants — Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis and Christians — from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who came to India before December 31, 2014.

The rules also state that the applicants will have to provide an eligibility certificate issued by a locally reputed community institution confirming that he/she belongs to “Hindu/ Sikh/ Buddhist/ Jain/ Parsi/ Christian community and continues to be a member of the above mentioned community.

The applicants will also have to give a declaration that they “irrevocably” renounce the existing citizenship and that they want to make “India as permanent home”, according to the rules.

“Every application made by the applicant under sub-rule (1) shall have a declaration to the effect that the citizenship of his country shall stand renounced irrevocably in the event of his application being approved and that he shall not raise any claim on it in future,” it said.

The rules provide for separate application for these sub-categories: a person of Indian origin, a person who is married to an Indian citizen, minor child of an Indian citizen, a person having Indian parents, a person who or either of his parents was a citizen of independent India, a person who is registered as an Overseas Citizen of India cardholder and a person seeking citizenship by naturalisation.

Those seeking citizenship by naturalisation will have to submit an affidavit verifying the correctness of the statements made in the application along with an affidavit from an Indian citizen testifying the character of the applicant.

Such candidates will also have to furnish a declaration from the applicant that he has adequate knowledge of one of the languages as specified in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution.

All cleared applicants shall have to take an oath of allegiance affirming that they will “bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India” as by law established and that they would “faithfully observe the laws of India” and “fulfill” their duties as a citizen of India, the rules said.

The applicant shall have to provide a copy of their valid or expired Foreign Passport, Residential Permit, evidence of spouse’s Indian nationality — copy of Indian passport or birth certificate — or a copy of marriage certificate issued by the Registrar of Marriage, depending on the case.

However, the submission of these documents are not mandatory and need to be provided, “if available”.

An application for registration or naturalisation shall be submitted by the applicant in “electronic form” to the Empowered Committee through the District Level Committee as may be notified by the Central Government.

The documents submitted by the applicants will be verified by a District Level Committee headed by Designated Officer, whose details will be specified later.

The designated officer shall also administer to the applicant the oath of allegiance and thereafter, sign the oath and forward the same in electronic form along with confirmation regarding verification of documents to the Empowered Committee.

In case the applicant fails to appear in-person to subscribe the application and take oath of allegiance despite giving reasonable opportunities, the District Level Committee shall forward such application to the Empowered Committee for consideration of refusal.

The Empowered Committee on being satisfied after making such inquiry as it considers necessary for ascertaining the suitability of the applicant that he is a fit and proper person to be registered or naturalised, as the case may be, it may grant him the citizenship of India.

Once cleared by the Empowered Committee, applicants getting registered as the citizen of India under the new Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 rules will get a “digital certificate” and a hard copy will be provided after a request is made by the applicant, the new rules said.

The certificate shall be digitally signed or signed by the Chairman of Empowered Committee.

People getting citizenship by naturalisation shall be issued a digital certificate of naturalisation by the committee.