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Compulsory Registration of NRI Marriages in India

Published: 22nd Feb, 2024

Compulsory Registration of NRI Marriages in India


In response to the growing concern over deceptive marriages involving Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) and Indian citizens, the Law Commission of India has put forth a set of recommendations, in its report’ aimed at safeguarding the interests of Indian spouses and preventing fraudulent unions.

Key Highlights

Key-highlights of the Report:

  • Report: Law on Matrimonial Issues Relating to Non-Resident Indians and Overseas Citizens of India
  • The Law Commission has proposed mandatory registration of all marriages between NRIs/OCIs and Indian citizens in India.
  • The envisioned central legislation should cover divorce, maintenance of spouses, custody and maintenance of children, as well as mechanisms for serving summons, warrants, or judicial documents on NRIs and OCIs.
  • Amendment: In addition, the commission suggested introducing amendments to the Passports Act, 1967. These amendments would require declaring marital status, linking spouses' passports, and indicating the marriage registration number on both spouses' passports.

Challenges Faced by Indian Spouses

  • Fraudulent marriages involving NRIs often unfold under false assurances, misrepresentations, and other deceptive practices.
  • These unions can lead to distress for the Indian partner, especially when pursuing legal remedies becomes difficult due to complex legal aspects across multiple jurisdictions.
  • Financial exploitation and abandonment further exacerbate the challenges faced by Indian spouses.

 Who is an NRI?

  •  An NRI refers to an Indian citizen who is ordinarily residing outside India and holds an Indian passport.
  • Indian citizen residing outside India for at least 182 days in the previous year or been in India for 60 days or more in the previous financial  year in addition to having lived there for 365 days or more in the preceding 4 years. He/ She can invest in India and hold NRI accounts.
  • PIO (Person of Indian Origin): Foreign citizen with Indian ancestry or former Indian citizenship. Eligible for OCI card and can hold foreign passports.

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