The Union Cabinet approved extending various facilities to persons from minority communities of Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan staying in India on Long Term Visa (LTV). The various facilities will be streamlined and procedure to acquire Indian Citizenship will be simplified.
The Union Cabinet has approved extending a host of facilities to persons from minority communities of Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan (Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians) staying in India on Long Term Visa (LTV). The decision is aimed at reducing difficulties faced by these communities.
Certain facilities are already extended
Currently, certain facilities are extended to persons who are Pakistan and Bangladesh nationals living in India on LTV. The relaxation of various norms and extension in facilities is a continuous process and various governments have been reviewing them regularly.
Such facilities to Pakistani nationals include grant of initial LTV for a period of 5 years at a time, allowing children of such Pakistan nationals to take admission in schools, colleges, universities, technical/ professional institutions etc. without any specific permission from the State Government/UT administration, permitting them to engage in employment in private sector i.e. excluding Government/Semi Government, local bodies, cooperative jobs etc.
Relaxations have been provided from time to time, especially for Pakistan & Afghanistan minority migrants for obtaining Indian citizenship. Recently, the Ministry of Home Affairs sought the suggestions from all stake holders to streamline all these facilities and to simplify the various procedures for grant of Indian Citizenship.
Streamlining various facilities
From now on, the following facilities will be extended to minority communities of Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan (Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians) staying in India on Long Term Visa (LTV).
- Opening of bank account
- Permission for purchase of property for self occupation and suitable accommodation for carrying out self employment
- Permission to take self employment
- Issue of driving license, PAN card and Aadhar number
- Allowing free movement within the State /UT where they are staying
- Transfer of LTV papers from one State to other
- Waiver of penalty on non-extension of short term Visa /LTV on time
- Permission to apply for LTV from the place of present residence when the applicants have moved to the place without permission
The Citizenship Rules of 2009 will be amended to help such persons acquire Indian Citizenship. The changes in provisions will help in the following ways
- The Collector (District Magistrate) would be empowered to authorize an officer not below the rank of Sub Divisional Magistrate for administering the oath of allegiance to the applicant
- The powers would be delegated to the Collectors of the following 16 Districts in 7 States for a period of two years for registration as citizens of India.
|2||Gujarat||Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar & Kutch|
|3||Madhya Pradesh||Bhopal & Indore|
|4||Maharashtra||Nagpur, Mumbai, Pune & Thane|
|5||Delhi||West Delhi & South Delhi|
|6||Rajasthan||Jodhpur, Jaisalmer & Jaipur|
- The registration fees for the citizenship of India would be reduced to Rs 100 from the existing range of Rs 3000 – Rs 15000