07 Jan 2020
Different ways in which one can acquire citizenship in India
Citizenship is nothing but the position or status granted to an individual of being a member/citizen of a particular country.
In India, certain entitlements and rights of an individual are dependent on citizenship status. Indian citizenship can be acquired in four ways according to the Citizenship Act, 1955 - birth, descent, registration, and naturalization.
Here's everything to know about becoming an Indian citizen.
Section 3 of Citizenship Act provides for citizenship by birth
People born in India on/after January 26, 1950, and before July 1, 1987, are Indian citizens irrespective of their parents' nationality.
Those born on/after July 1, 1987, and December 3, 2004, are considered citizens if either of their parents is Indian.
People born on/after December 3, 2004, are citizens provided both parents are Indians (or one is Indian, and the other isn't illegal immigrant).
Citizenship by descent as per Section 4 of the Act
Anyone born outside India on/after January 26, 1950, and before December 10, 1992, is a citizen by descent if their father was Indian.
Those born on/after December 10, 1992, are considered if either parent is Indian.
People born on/after December 3, 2004, are considered if their parents registered their birth at Indian-consulates within one year and declared the minors don't hold other countries' passports.
Section 5 of the Act deals with citizenship by registration
Citizenship by registration can be availed by persons of Indian-origin who've been residing in India for seven years before applying for registration.
It also applies to those who're married to Indians and have been residing in India for seven years and minors whose parents are Indians.
Persons of Indian-origin, who're residents of any country outside undivided India as per Section 5(1)(b), are also eligible.
Citizenship by naturalization as per the Act's Section 6
Individuals (who aren't illegal immigrants) can acquire Indian citizenship by naturalization if they've been residing in India for 12 years, provided they fulfill other requirements mentioned in the Act's Third Schedule.
Under the recently passed Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, however, the duration of residency for naturalization for non-Muslim immigrants (Hindu/Sikh/Buddhist/Jain/Zoroastrian/Christian) facing religious persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh has been reduced to five years.
Citizenship Act doesn't allow dual nationality or citizenship
Also, the Citizenship Act does not provide for dual citizenship or dual nationality in India. So, individuals who have acquired Indian citizenship - by registration or through naturalization - are required to declare an oath of allegiance to India and also renounce their previous citizenship.