Acquisition, Loss of Indian Citizenship

By | March 10, 2015

Acquisition of Indian Citizenship

Indian Citizen Ministry of Home Affairs states that Indian citizenship can be acquired by birth, descent, registration and naturalization. The conditions and procedure for acquisition of Indian citizenship as per the provision of the Citizenship Act, 1955 are given below:

1. By Birth (Section 3)

  1. A person born in India on or after 26th January 1950 but before 1st July, 1987 is citizen of India by birth irrespective of the nationality of his parents.
  2. A person born in India on or after 1st July,1987 but before 3rd December, 2004 is considered citizen of India by birth if either of his parents is a citizen of India at the time of his birth.
  3. A person born in India on or after 3rd December, 2004 is considered citizen of India by birth if both the parents are citizens of India or one of the parents is a citizen of India and the other is not an illegal migrant at the time of his birth.

An ‘illegal migrant’ as defined in section 2(1)(b) of the Act is a foreigner who entered India.

  1. Without a valid passport or other prescribed travel documents.
  2. With a valid passport or other prescribed travel documents but remains in India beyond the permitted period of time.

2. By Descent (Section 4):

  1. 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 by birth at the time of his birth. In case the father was a citizen of India by descent only, that person shall not be a citizen of India, unless his birth is registered at an Indian Consulate within one year from the date of birth or with the permission of the Central Government, after the expiry of the said period.
  2. A person born outside India on or after 10th December 1992 but before 3rd December, 2004, is considered as a citizen of India if either of his parents was a citizen of India by birth at the time of his birth. In case either of the parents was a citizen of India by descent, that person shall not be a citizen of India, unless his birth is registered at an Indian Consulate within one year from the date of birth or with the permission of the Central Government, after the expiry of the said period.
  3. A person born outside India on or after 3rd December, 2004 shall not be a citizen of India, unless the parents declare that the minor does not hold passport of another country and 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.
3. By Registration (Section 5(1))
Indian Citizenship by registration can be acquired (not illegal migrant) by: –

  1. Persons of Indian origin who are ordinarily resident in India for SEVEN YEARS before making application under section 5(1)(a) (throughout the period of twelve months immediately before making application and for SIX YEARS in the aggregate in the EIGHT YEARS preceding the twelve months).
  2. Persons of Indian origin who are ordinarily resident in any country or place outside undivided India under section 5(1)(b).
  3. Persons who are married to a citizen of India and who are ordinarily resident in India for SEVEN YEARS (as mentioned at (a) above) before making application under section 5(1)(c).
  4. Minor children whose both parents are Indian citizens under section 5(1)(d)
  5. Persons of full age whose both parents are registered as citizens of India under section 5(1)(a) or section 6(1) can acquire Indian citizenship under section 5(1)(e).
  6. Persons of full age who or either of the parents were earlier citizen of Independent India and residing in India for ONE YEAR immediately before making application under section 5(1)(f).
  7. Persons of full age and capacity who has been registered as an OVERSEAS CITIZEN OF INDIA (OCI) for five years and residing in India for ONE YEAR before making application under section 5(1)(g).
4. By Registration (Section 5(4))
Any minor child can be registered as a citizen of India under Section 5(4), if the Central Government is satisfied that there are ?special circumstances? justifying such registration. Each case would be considered on merits.
5. By Naturalization (Section 6)

Citizenship of India by naturalization can be acquired by a foreigner (not illegal migrant) who is ordinarily resident in India for TWELVE YEARS (throughout the period of twelve months immediately preceding the date of application and for ELEVEN YEARS in the aggregate in the FOURTEEN YEARS preceding the twelve months) and other qualifications as specified in Third Schedule to the Act.

 

Loss of Indian Citizenship:

The Citizenship Act, 1955 prescribes whether acquired under the act or prior to it under the Constitution viz. renunciation, termination and deprivation.

1. Renunciation:
It is a voluntary act by which a person, after acquiring the citizenship of another country, gives up his Indian Citizenship. This provision is subject to certain conditions.
2. Termination:
It takes place by operation of law when an Indian citizen voluntarily. He automatically ceases to be an Indian citizen.
3. Deprivation:
It is a compulsory termination of Indian citizenship by the Central government, if

  1. The citizen has obtained the citizenship by fraud.
  2. The citizen has shown disloyalty to the Constitution of India.
  3. The citizen has unlawfully traded or communicated with the enemy during a war.
  4. The citizen has, within five years after registration or neutralization, been imprisoned in any country for two years.
  5. The citizen has been ordinarily resident out of India for seven years continuously.

References:
http://indiancitizenshiponline.nic.in/acquisition1.htm
http://indiancitizenshiponline.nic.in/ic_generalinstruction.pdf