What is Indian Citizenship?
An individual's citizenship is the legal status that identifies him/her as a member of a sovereign state or as one of its citizens. Citizenship is discussed in Articles 5 - 11 of the Indian Constitution. An individual who is a citizen enjoys the rights and privileges of full membership in any country in which they are treated equally as citizens.
During its inception (Nov 26, 1949), Article 5 describes the citizenship of India. The Parliament of India was given authority to regulate citizenship rights by law under Article 11. The Indian Parliament enacted the Indian Citizenship Act 1955 as a result of this provision.
Citizenship: What does it Mean?
A citizen is someone who belongs to both the State and the individual.
Like any state in the modern world, India has two types of citizens: citizens and foreigners. The Indian State is fully a sovereign state, and its citizens are its loyal subjects. They are entitled to all civil and political rights.
As a concept, citizenship excludes non-citizens.
The grant of citizenship is based on two principal principles:
'Jus soli' grants citizenship based on birthplace, 'jus sanguinis' awards citizenship based on blood relations.
India's leadership was in favour of the enlightened concept of jus soli because of the Motilal Nehru Committee (1928).
As it was against the Indian ethos, the Constituent Assembly also rejected the racial idea of jus sanguinis.
Provisions Related to Citizenship
The provisions related to the citizenship are enshrined in the Article 5 to 11 in the Indian Constitution which are given below:
Citizenship at the commencement of the Constitution. At the commencement of this Constitution every person who has his domicile in the territory of India and
Who was born in the territory of India; or
Either of whose parents was born in the territory of India; or
Who has been ordinarily resident in the territory of India for not less than five years preceding such commencement, shall be a citizen of India
Rights of citizenship of certain persons who have migrated to India from Pakistan. Notwithstanding anything in Article 5, a person who has migrated to the territory of India from the territory now included in Pakistan shall be deemed to be a citizen of India at the commencement of this Constitution if
He or either of his parents or any of his grandparents was born in India as defined in the Government of India Act, 1935 (as originally enacted); and
i) In the case where such person has so migrated before the nineteenth day of July, 1948 , he has been ordinarily resident in the territory of India since the date of his migration, or
ii.) in the case where such person has so migrated on or after the nineteenth day of July, 1948 , he has been registered as a citizen of India by an officer appointed in that behalf by the Government of the Dominion of India on an application made by him therefore to such officer before the commencement of this Constitution in the form and manner prescribed by that Government: Provided that no person shall be so registered unless he has been resident in the territory of India or at least six months immediately preceding the date of his application
Rights of citizenship of certain migrants to Pakistan. Notwithstanding anything in Articles 5 and 6, a person who has after the first day of March, 1947 , migrated from the territory of India to the territory now included in Pakistan shall not be deemed to be a citizen of India: Provided that nothing in this article shall apply to a person who, after having so migrated to the territory now included in Pakistan, has returned to the territory of India under a permit for resettlement or permanent return issued by or under the authority of any law and every such person shall for the purposes of clause (b) of Article 6 be deemed to have migrated to the territory of India after the nineteenth day of July, 1948.
Rights of citizenship of certain persons of India origin residing outside India. Notwithstanding anything in Article 5, any person who or either of whose parents or any of whose grandparents was born in India as defined in the Government of India Act, 1935 (as originally enacted), and who is ordinarily residing in any country outside India as so defined shall be deemed to be a citizen of India if he has been registered as a citizen of India by the diplomatic or consular representative of India in the country where he is for the time being residing on an application made by him therefor to such diplomatic or consular representative, whether before or after the commencement of this Constitution, in the form and manner prescribed by the Government of the Dominion of India or the Government of India.
Person voluntarily acquiring citizenship of a foreign State not to be citizens. No person shall be a citizen of India by virtue of Article 5, or be deemed to be a citizen of India by virtue of Article 6 or Article 8, if he has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of any foreign State.
Continuance of the rights of citizenship. Every person who is or is deemed to be a citizen of India under any of the foregoing provisions of this Part shall, subject to the provisions of any law that may be made by Parliament, continue to be such citizen.
Parliament to regulate the right of citizenship by law. Nothing in the foregoing provisions of this Part shall derogate from the power of Parliament to make any provision with respect to the acquisition and termination of citizenship and all other matters relating to citizenship.
Indian Citizenship Act 1955
Citizenship of India with an Indian citizenship certificate can be acquired in the following ways:
Citizenship at the commencement of the Constitution
By incorporated (by the Government of India) territory
Termination of Indian Citizenship
In accordance with the Act and Indian citizenship amendment bill, an Indian can terminate his or her citizenship in three ways:
Renunciation: The Indian citizen who is also a national of another country does not continue to be an Indian if he renounces his Indian citizenship in the prescribed manner. Whenever a male citizen of India loses his citizenship, every minor child of him also loses his citizenship. Nevertheless, after attaining full age, such a child may become an Indian citizen by declaring his intention to resume Indian citizenship within a year after attaining full age.
Termination: It is possible for an Indian citizen to lose citizenship if he or she adopts the citizenship of a foreign country knowingly or voluntarily.
Deprivation: Citizenship can be revoked by the government of India under certain circumstances. However, not all citizens are eligible for this. Citizens with Indian citizenship by registration, naturalization, or Article 5 Clause (c) (passports valid at the commencement of the Constitution as residents of India for not less than five years prior to the commencement of the constitution) are eligible for this.
Acts and Amendments Supporting Indian Citizenship Certificate
Citizenship in India is determined according to the Citizenship Act of 1955.
The process of acquiring and determining Indian citizenship:
Citizenship in India can be acquired in four ways: through birth, descent, registration, and naturalisation. Under the Indian Citizenship Act 1955, the provisions are listed.
Anyone born in India on or after 26.01.1950 but before 01.07.1987 has the right to citizenship in India regardless of his or her parents' nationality.
In India, each person born between 1 July 1987 and 2 December 2004 is considered an Indian citizen if either of their two parents is a citizen of the nation at the time of the baby's birth.
If both of a person's parents are Indian citizens or if at least one parent is a citizen of India and the other is not an illegal migrant, then all persons born in India on or after 3.12.2004 have the right to become citizens.
Citizenship is also acquired through registration. There are several requirements for registration, including:
An individual must have been an Indian resident for seven years prior to registering.
Indians who are residents of nations other than undivided India.
Applicants should have been married to an Indian citizen for 7 years and ordinarily reside in the country.
Those who are citizens of India and have minor children.
An Indian citizen by descent is someone born outside of India on or after January 26, 1950, whose father was an Indian citizen by birth.
A person born outside India before December 3, 2004, with either of his/her parents being an Indian citizen by birth, but after December 10, 1992.
In order to become an Indian citizen, a person born outside India or after December 3, 2004, must first prove that his/her parents do not hold a passport from another country and that his/her birth has been registered with an Indian consulate within a year of his/her birth.
Citizenship by naturalisation is available to persons who have ordinarily lived in India for a period of 12 years (including at least 12 full months before their application) and meet all requirements in Schedule 3 of the Citizenship Act.
Dual citizenship or dual nationality is not permitted under the Act. A person can only become a citizen through the processes outlined above, which include registration, birth, descent, and naturalisation.
Thus, in this article we have covered all the major important information related to citizenship of India. It basically refers to the relationship that a person and a state shares. The state when offering citizenship to a person provides social security, protection, rights, etc. If we talk about India, the provisions are mentioned in the Part II of the Indian Constitution and laws are also framed by the Parliament of the country.
FAQs on Indian Citizenship
1. How to get Indian citizenship?
It is possible to acquire Indian citizenship through birth, descent, registration, and naturalisation. The Indian Citizenship Act 1955 outlines the conditions and procedure for acquiring Indian citizenship. In India, Indian citizenship by naturalisation can be acquired by foreigners (not illegal immigrants) ordinarily residing in India for TWELVE YEARS (during the twelve months immediately preceding the date of application, plus eleven years in the fourteen years preceding the twelve months).
2. How many types of citizenship does India have?
According to the rules made by the Ministry of Home Affairs, birth, descent, registration, and naturalisation are the four ways an Indian can become a citizen. In the Indian citizenship act 1955, sections 3, 4, 5(1), and 5(4) list the provisions.
3. Are dual citizenships permitted in India?
Definitely not. Citizens of India cannot hold dual or multiple citizenships, according to the Indian constitution. Indian citizens automatically lose their citizenship if they acquire a second passport. According to the Indian Constitution, it is not permissible to hold citizenship of two countries at once. In accordance with the Passports Act, 1967, Indian passport holders are required to surrender their passports immediately after acquiring the citizenship of another country. India has granted over 2.5 million individuals overseas citizenship of India (OCI) following a recommendation of the High-Level Committee on Indian Diaspora.