The constitution of India in Part II under article 5 to 11 discusses the general nature of citizenship to be provided to the citizens
The members who belong to a state are called citizens
Thus a citizen is a full member of a state enjoying, if properly qualified by age, residence and other requirements to the fullest extent of rights and privileges in that state.
The constitution of India provides for single citizenship for the country.
The provisions relating to the citizenship are contained in
Constitutional provisions, the citizenship act 1955
Constitutional provisions
Constitutional provisions
Below are the constitutional provisions that discuss the citizenship they are
Article 5 states that at the commencement of the Constitution every person who has his domicile in the territory of the India and
  1. who was born in the territory of India or
  2. either of whose parents was born in the territory of India or
  3. who has been ordinarily resident in the territory of India for not less than 5 years immediately preceding such commencement, shall be a citizen of India
Article - 6
A person who has migrated to the territory of India from the territory now included in Pakistan shall be Deemed to be 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
It specifies that such persons should have registered by 19 July 1948
Incase a person migrates after 19th July 1948 he has to register as citizen of India by applying to an officer appointed for that purpose by the government of India
Article 7 and Article 8
Article 7
Article 7 emphasizes that a person who has migrated from India to Pakistan after 1st March 1947 shall not be Deemed to be citizen of India
Article 8
Article 8 states that any person who are either of his parents or any of his grandparents was born in India and who is ordinarily residing in any country outside India shall be considered to be a citizen of India if he has 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 to such diplomatic or consular representative
Article 9, 10, 11
Article 9 says that no person shall be a citizen of India if he has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of any foreign state
Article 10 states that every person who is citizen of India under the provisions of this Part shall be subject to the provisions of any law that may be made by Parliament continue to be such citizen.
Article 11 adds that none of the provisions of this Part can prohibit the Parliament to make any laws with respect to the acquisition and termination of citizenship and all other matters relating to citizenship
Citizenship Act, 1955
Citizenship Act, 1955
The constitution did not mention a complete law on citizenship. It gave the parliament powers to make rules regarding the citizenship law.
Accordingly, Citizenship Act, 1955 was enacted by The Citizenship Act, 1955 provides for acquisition, termination and various details about Indian citizenship.
Acquisition of Citizenship
Acquisition of Citizenship
The Citizenship Act provides for 5 means of acquiring citizenship of India They are:
By Birth.
By Descent
By registration
By naturalization
By incorporation of territory
Citizenship by Birth
Any person born in India on or after the 26th day of January 1950 shall be a Citizen of India by birth.
This law is not applicable to children born to foreign diplomatic personnel in India or child's father or mother is an enemy alien and the birth of child occurs in a place then under occupation by the enemy.
Citizenship by Descent
A person born outside India on or after the 26th day of January, 1950, shall be a citizen of India by descent, if his father or mother is a citizen of India at the time of his birth.
It even applies to children of those who are citizens of India by descent as also children of non citizens who are in service under Indian government in India if they desire through registration.
Another aspect of this provision was till 1992 a child could get Indian citizenship if his/her father was an Indian citizen. Since the amendment to Citizenship Act in 1992, a child can get Indian citizenship by descent even if his/her mother is an Indian citizen.
Citizenship by Registration
A person who is not a citizen of India either by constitutional provisions or by birth or descent can acquire Indian citizenship by applying for citizenship to the concerned authority. The law has mentioned certain rules to those people who could acquire citizenship by registration They are:
(a) A person of Indian origin who is ordinarily a resident in India for five years before making an application for registration
(b) A person of Indian origin who is ordinarily resident in any country or place outside undivided India;
(c) A person who is married to a citizen of India and is ordinarily resident in India for five years before making an application for registration.
(d) Minor children of persons who are citizens of India etc.
Citizenship by Naturalisiation
A person who does not come under any of the previous provision of acquiring citizenship can acquire Indian citizenship by naturalization if his application has been accepted by government of India and a certificate is given for the purpose.
The person to receive the certificate of naturalized citizen should fulfill the following conditions. They are:
  1. He is not a citizen of a country which prohibits Indians becoming citizens of that country through naturalization.
  2. He has renounced the citizenship of his native country
  3. He has resided in India for a period of five years prior to the application.
  4. He has basic knowledge of one of the languages specified in the constitution.
  5. It provided citizenship he promises to reside in India and render service to India.
Citizenship by Naturalisiation
These clauses can be waived either wholly or partially if the applicant is a person who has rendered distinguished service to the cause of science, philosophy, art, literature world peace or human progress
However all people who acquire citizenship through naturalization have to take oath of allegiance to the constitution and promise to fulfill his duties as citizen of India.
Citizenship by Incorporation of Territories
People can acquire citizenship of India if any territory becomes part of India and Government of India by order may specify who shall be the citizen of India from that territory.
Termination of Citizenship
Termination of Citizenship
The Act gives details of renunciation of citizenship of India. The means of renunciation of citizenship is through 3 ways. They are:
  1. By Renunciation
  2. By Termination
  3. By Deprivation
If any citizen of India has voluntarily renounced his Indian citizenship by a declaration to the concerned authority then such a person loses his citizenship of India.
If a male citizen renounces his citizenship his children too lose the Indian citizenship.
However the children when they attain majority age can acquire Indian citizenship within a year of attaining majority age, if they wish to be Indian citizens.
By Termination
If a person has voluntarily acquired citizenship of another country then such person's citizenship of India gets terminated.
By Deprivation
A person can be deprived of the citizenship on the following grounds:
  1. Acquiring citizenship by fraudulent means false representation or concealment of facts.
  2. Disloyalty towards constitution through an act or speech.
  3. Indulging in activities considered anti-national by law such as helping an enemy country with whom India is at war
  4. Sentenced to punishment for a period of more than two years within five years of acquiring Indian citizenship
  5. Has resided outside India continuously for seven years
Dual Citizenship
Dual Citizenship
The Indian Parliament on the 22nd of December 2003 amended the Citizenship Act, 1955 to grant dual citizenship to the people of Indian origin.
The amendment provides for grant of overseas citizenship of India to persons of Indian origin and to those Indian citizens who choose to acquire citizenship of any of these countries at a later date.
It defines "overseas citizen of India" to mean a person who is of Indian origin being a citizen of a specified country, or was a citizen of India immediately before becoming a citizen of a specified country and is registered as an overseas citizen of India by the Central Government.
Overseas citizen
It specifies that an overseas citizen will not be entitled to the below rights will not have the right to equality of opportunity in matters of public employment.
will not have voting rights
will not be eligible to be a member of either the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha.
Eligible countries for Dual citizens
Initially the government included only the following 16 countries.
The United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Israel, New Zealand, Cyprus, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Greece and Portugal.
The advantages of the Amendment is for those who have taken foreign passports, the dual citizenship will remove the obstacles in travel to and from India with no multiple visa requirements
Rights not available to Aliens
Right not be discriminated against on grounds of race, caste religion, sex and place of birth (Art. 15)
Right to equality of opportunity in public employment (Art. 16)
Right to six fundamental freedoms under(Art. 19).
Cultural and educational rights conferred by (Arts 29 and 30)
Rights to hold certain offices - President, VicePresident, Governor of States, Judges of Supreme Court or High Courts, Attorney General of India, Comptroller and Auditor General. etc;
Right to contest election and get elected to either House at the Centre or State level.
This quiz has been prepared with questions related to Indian Polity-Citizenship. These question were asked in various competitive exams across India. You can practice these questions to gain more knowledge.

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