New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 that has now become an Act.

The law comes into effect after its publication in the official gazette late on Thursday (December 12) night, according to official notification.

According to the Act, members of the Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and Zoroastrian communities who have come from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh till December 31, 2014, facing religious persecution, would not be treated as illegal immigrants but would be given Indian citizenship.

On Wednesday, Rajya Sabha cleared the legislation after the Lok Sabha had passed the Bill on Monday.

In the Citizenship Act, 1955 (hereinafter referred to as the principal Act), in section 2, in sub-section (1), in clause (b), the following provison shall be inserted.

"Provided that any person belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian community from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan, who entered into India on or before December 31, 2014 and who has been exempted by the Central Government by or under clause (c) of sub-section (2) of section 3 of the Passport (entry into India) Act, 1920 or from the application of the provisions of the Foreigners Act, 1946 or any rule or order made thereunder, shall not be treated as illegal migrant for the purposes of this Act."