The Citizenship Amendment Bill that was passed by both the houses of the Parliament has become an act after receiving President's assent.
The new act came into effect after it was published in the gazette of India on Thursday, 12th December.
The proposed amendments to the Citizenship Act 1955 seek to grant citizenship to the members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come to India from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014.
The act also says that refugees belonging to these communities will now be given citizenship after 5 years of stay in India, as opposed to the previous requirement of 11 years.
The bill was passed in the Parliament despite widespread protests across the country, especially the northeast.