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Citizenship In India

Chapter in Detail:

There are two classes of people in any country- citizens and aliens. Citizens enjoy all
rights and entitlements while aliens (owing political allegiance to another country or
government) are denied some of them. For example, citizens can vote and contest to
hold representative offices like a member of parliament while aliens can not. Aliens
are of two types: citizens of friendly countries are friendly aliens while those of
enemy countries are enemy aliens- the latter being denied some of the rights that the
former may enjoy.
Aliens may find asylum in a country to which they have fled for political reasons.
Asylum is the legal protection granted to people in any country who are afraid to
return to their home country Expelling an alien is called deportation.
Domicile means to stay in a country with the intention of making it his or her
permanent home. Proof of such an intention is employment or property etc.
Resident is one who resided in the country for certain number of days- 182 days in the
previous fiscal year as the Indian law defines... If not, he or she is considered a nonresident. A non-resident Indian is a citizen of India but has not resided in India for the
required number of days. A Person of Indian Origin (PIO) on the other hand is one
who acquired citizenship of another country. He is no more a citizen of India unlike an
The Constitution of India originally provided for a single citizenship for the entire
country. Since 2003, however, dual citizenship is allowed by Indian laws, though with
some restrictions. That is, a person is a citizen of the India as well as citizen of the
country. Such dual citizens are called overseas Citizens of India. The provisions
relating to citizenship are contained in Articles 5 to 11 in Part II of the Constitution of
The Citizenship Act, 1955 deals with matters relating to the acquisition, determination
and termination of Indian citizenship. It provides for the acquisition of Indian
citizenship by birth, by descent, by registration and by naturalisation. The Citizenship
Rules, 1956 prescribe the procedure, forms of applications, fee etc.
Modes of Acquiring Indian Citizenship

Citizenship of India can be acquired by the following ways

By Birth

By descent
By registration
By naturalization
By acquisition of territory
By birth

Those born in India on or after 26th January 1950 but before 1st July 1967 are citizens
of India by birth irrespective of the nationality of their parents. Those born in India on
or after July 1987, are considered citizens of India only if either of their parents is a
citizen of India at the time of their birth.
By Descent

Those born outside India on or after 26th January 1950 but before 10th December
1992 are citizens of India by descent, if their father was a citizen of India at the time
of their birth. Those born outside India after1Oth December 1992, are considered
citizens of India if either of their parents is a citizen of India at the time of their birth.
By Registration

Citizenship of India by registration can be acquired by

persons of Indian origin who are ordinarily resident in India for five years
persons who are or have been married to a citizen of India and are ordinarily resident
in India for five years;
minor children whose both parents are Indian citizens;
By Naturalisation

Citizenship of India by naturalisation can be

acquired by a foreigner who is ordinarily resident in India for ten years (continuously for the
twelve months preceding the date of application and for nine years in the aggregate in the twelve
years preceding the twelve months). The condition can be waived in the opinion of the Central
Government, the applicant is a person who has rendered distinguished services to the cause of
science, philosophy, art, literature, world peace or human progress generally.

Citizenship by Incorporation of Territory

If any territory becomes a part of India, its people will be citizens of India.

Loss of Citizenship
It is based on the following grounds

If any citizen of India of full age and capacity, who is also a citizen or national of
another country, renounces his Indian citizenship, he loses his citizenship of India. If
any such declaration is made during any war in which India may be engaged, Central
government shall not allow the same till it thinks appropriate.
Where a person ceases to be a citizen of India every minor child of that person shall
thereupon cease to be a citizen of India, provided that any such child may, within one
year after attaining full age, make a declaration that he wishes to resume Indian
citizenship and shall thereupon again become a citizen of India.
For the purpose of this section. Any woman who is, or has, been, married shall be
deemed to be of full age

Acquisition of Citizenship of Another Country

Any citizen of India voluntarily acquires the citizenship of another country, he cease
to be a citizen of India. However, this does not apply to a citizen of India, during any
war in which India may be engaged, voluntarily acquires the citizenship of another
country, until the Central Government otherwise directs.
If any question arises as to whether, when or how any person has acquired the
citizenship of another country, it shall be determined by Central Government.

The Central government under the Indian citizenship Act, 1955 deprives any citizen of
Indian Citizenship on following grounds the registration or certificate of naturalization was obtained by means of fraud, false
representation or concealment of any material fact; or
that citizen has shown himself by act or speech to be disloyal towards the
Constitution of India; or
that citizen has, during the war in which India may be engaged, unlawfully traded or
communicated with an enemy assisted any enemy in that war; or
that citizen has, within five years after registration or naturalization, been sentenced

in any country to imprisonment for a term of not less than two years; or
That citizen has been ordinarily resident out of India for a continuous period of
seven years, and during that period, has neither been at any time a student of any
educational institution in a country outside India or in the service of a Government of
India or of an International organization of which India is member etc.
The Central Government shall deprive a person of citizenship for public good.
Ques. 1 : NRIs are an important component in the economic development of
India and hence allowing of dual citizenship in India is a step in the right
direction. Disucss?
Ans. If a question arises as to whether, when and how, a citizen of India acquired the
Citizenship of another country, it will be determined only by the Central Government.
Dual Citizenship Law in India In 2004, by an amendment to the Citizenship Act, the
facility of Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) was made available to PIOs in 16
specified countries. Later ,it was extended to PIOs of any country (except Pakistan &
Bangladesh) that allows dual citizenship, by Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2005.
Persons who have dual nationality as citizens of both India and the foreign country are
subject to all Indian laws.
Dual citizens

do not have voting rights in India. Neither can they be elected to public office, nor are
they eligible for defence jobs.
Following are the benefits to dual citizens in detail
does not require visa for travel to India.
no need of going through registration formalities for staying in the country, which a
foreigner is required to undergo.
Is granted parity with non-resident Indians in respect of facilities available to the latter
in the economic, financial and educational field.
is allowed to own real estate and purchase property within India with few or no
restrictions. There are some restrictions on owning agricultural property
allowed to live in India indefinitely, unlike the Person of Indian Origin (PIO) card,
which permitted a single stay for a period of six months.
The children of dual citizens can avail of the facilities for obtaining admission to
educational institutions, including medical colleges, engineering colleges, IlTs, llMs, etc.
under the general category.
can also avail facilities under the various housing schemes of the LEC, state
government and other government agencies.
Manju R Jehu, a resident of Australia, became the first PIO to be listed for dual
citizenship on November 1, 2004 when the Indian Embassy in Australia registered her in
the presence of Mr. Jagdish Tytler, Overseas Indian Affairs Minister.

Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs

The Ministry of Non-Resident Indians Affairs was created in 2004 and was
renamed the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA).
The high Level Committee on the Indian Diaspora (HLCID) had noted that the
grievance of a cross-section of overseas Indians was for a mechanism that
provides a single window interaction with India.
Ques. 2 : Briefly describe?
a) Naturalisation
b) Grounds for depriving Indian citizenship
c) Stateless persons d) Green card
e) Persons of Indian Origin (PIO)
One who has left a native country, especially for political reasons.
Expatriate (expat)
One who has left his country voluntarily
Stateless Persons
A stateless person is one with no citizenship or nationality. It may be because
the state that gave their previous nationality has ceased to exist and there is no
successor state, or their nationality has been repudiated by their own state,
making them effective refugees.
Stateless Tamils in Sri Lanka
They have no nationality, no right to vote, to work officially, to open a bank
account or to obtain state land, no possibility to apply for documents like a
passport or birth certificate.
Most of the stateless people in Sri Lanka are descendents of people who had
been brought from India by British colonisers between 1820 and 1840 to work
on coffee and tea plantations in Sri Lanka. Known as up-country Tamils or
hill Tamils, the majority still lives on tea estates in southern and central Sri
Lanka. A minority was displaced in the north and east by inter-ethnic fighting
in 1983.
Over the years, several Indo-Ceylon agreements have granted SOHIC of these
people either Indian or Sri Lankan citizenship, the latest being a Sri lankan
Parliamentary Act to grant them citizenship in 2004.
Refugee is defined as a person who is outside his/her country and is unable or
unwilling to return to that country because of a genuine fear that she/he will be
persecuted because of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or
membership a particular social group.
Those who seek refugee status in another country are sometimes known as
asylum seekers and the practice of accepting such refugees is that of offering
political asylum. The most common asylum claims to industrialized countries

are based upon political and religious grounds.

Green card
A green card in the USA gives official immigration status (Lawful Permanent
H1B visa
The H-1B visa program allows American companies and universities to employ
foreign scientists, engineers, programmers, and other professionals in the
United States for upto 6 years.
LI visa
There are two kinds of L-1 visas L-IA-for employees in an executive or managerial position, and
L-1B-for employees in a specialized knowledge capacity.