How to acquire Indian citizenship?

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Indian citizenship

The Citizenship Act of 1955 has undergone four amendments by far. However, rather than diving into those let us have a look at the five ways of acquiring Indian citizenship as mentioned in the Act.

  1. By Birth

  • A person born in India on or after 26th January, 1950 but before 1st July, 1987 is a citizen of India by birth irrespective the nationality of his parents.
  • A person born in India after 1st July, 1987 is considered as a citizen of India only if either of his parents is a citizen of India at the time of his birth.
  • A person born in India after 3rd December, 2004 is considered to be a citizen of India only if both his parents are citizens of India or if one of his parents is a citizen of India and other is not an illegal immigrant at the time of his birth.
  • The children of foreign diplomats posted in India and enemy aliens cannot acquire Indian citizenship by birth.

 

    2. By Descent

  • A person born outside India, on or after 26th January, 1950 but before 10th December, 1992 is a citizen of India by descent, if his father was a citizen of India at the time of his birth.
  • A person born outside India on or after 10th December, 1992 is considered as a citizen of India if either of his parents is a citizen of India at the time of his birth.
  • A person born outside India 3rd December, 2004 onwards shall not be a citizen of India by descent, unless his birth is registered at an Indian consulate within one year of the date of birth or with the permission of the Central Government, after the expiry of the said period. An application for registration of the birth of a minor child, to an Indian consulate shall be accompanied by an undertaking in writing from the parents of such minor child that he does not hold the passport of another country.

 

     3. By Registration

        The Central Government may, on an application, register as a citizen of India any person (not being an illegal immigrant) if he belongs to any of the following categories, namely

  • A person of Indian origin who is ordinarily resident in India for seven years before making an application for registration;
  • A person of Indian origin who is ordinarily resident in any country or place outside undivided India;
  • A person who is married to a citizen and is ordinarily resident in India for seven years before making an application for registration;
  • Minor children of persons who are citizens of India;
  • A person of full age and capacity whose parents are registered as citizens of India;
  • A person of full age and capacity who, or either his parents, was earlier citizen of independent India, and has been residing in India for one year immediately before making an application for registration;
  • A person of full age and capacity who has been registered as an overseas citizen of India for five years, and who has been residing in India for one year before making an application for registration

 

In addition to this, An applicant shall be deemed to be ordinarily resident in India if

  1. He has resided in India throughout the period of twelve months immediately before making an application for registration; and
  2. He has resided in India during the eight years immediately preceding the said period of twelve months for a period of not less than six years 
  3. A person shall be deemed of Indian origin if he, or either of his parents, was born in undivided India or in such other territory which became a part of India after 15th August, 1947

All the above categories of persons must take an oath of allegiance before they are registered as citizens of India.

4. By Naturalisation

The central government may, on an application, grant a certificate of naturalization to any person (not being an illegal migrant) if he possesses the following qualifications

  1. He is not a citizen of any country where citizens of India are prevented from becoming subjects or citizens of India are prevented from becoming subjects or citizens of that country by naturalization;
  2. If he is a citizen of any country, he undertakes to renounce the citizenship of that country in the event of his application for Indian citizenship being accepted;
  3. He has either resided in India or been in the service of a Government in India or partly the other, throughout the period of twelve months immediately preceding the date of this application;
  4. During the fourteen years immediately preceding the said period of twelve months, he has either resided in India or been in the service of a Government in India, or partly the one and partly the other, for periods amounting in the aggregate to not less than eleven years;
  5. He is of good character;
  6. He has an adequate knowledge of a language specified in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution
  7. In the event of a certificate of naturalization being granted to him, he intends to reside in India or to enter into or continue in, service under a Government in India or under an international organization of which India is a member or under a society, company or body of persons established in India.

However, the Government of India may waive all or any of the above conditions for naturalization in the case of a person who has rendered distinguished service to the science, philosophy, art, literature, world peace or human progress. Each naturalized citizen must take an oath of allegiance to the Constitution of India.

5. By Incorporation of Territory

If any foreign territory becomes a part of India, the Government of India specifies the persons who among the people of the territory shall be citizens of India. Such persons become the citizens of India from notified date.

Click on the link if you want to read about Loss of Indian Citizenship.

 

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