Minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan can now apply for refuge in India manually

Persecuted minorities from Pakistan and Afghanistan, seeking refuge in India fearing religious persecution back home, can now apply for Indian citizenship manually.

Current norms mandate online submission of applications, but the government has relaxed the norms in view of the difficulties faced by such applicants.

"Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has considered the difficulties being encountered by the minority community nationals of Pakistan and Afghanistan for submitting their applications for grant of Indian citizenship...(He) has permitted the manual acceptance of applications...(by) such individuals who had entered India prior to 31.12.2009," the Home Ministry said on Thursday.

The eligible applicants, mostly Hindus from Pakistan and Afghanistan, can now also submit their applications offline with their passports. However, the long term visa (LTV) of the applicant should be valid at the time of submitting citizenship application at the office of the district magistrate/collector/deputy commissioner. An affidavit filed before the authority prescribed under Rule 38 of the Citizenship Rules 2009 will be considered in lieu of Renunciation Certificate.

Children of minority community nationals of Pakistan and Afghanistan, who entered India on the basis of their parents' passport, can apply without passport for grant of Indian citizenship, after regularization of their stay in India. This rule will also be valid for such children born in India.

These children will be required to register with the Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) of the concerned district for regularization. Singh, who intervened to approve the above guidelines, hoped that the grievances of these applicants would be suitably addressed.

Courtesy India Tomorrow.Co

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