Citizenship in India

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Article 5 : 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 immediately preceding such commencement, shall be a citizen of India.

Certain Acts related to Citizenship of India

  • Indian nationality law largely follows the jus sanguinis (citizenship by right of blood) as opposed to the jus soli (citizenship by right of birth within the territory).

Acquisition of Indian Citizenship as per Citizenship Act 1955:

Indian Citizenship can be acquired under the following ways :

(1) Citizenship at the commencement of the constitution of India

(2) Citizenship by birth*

(3) Citizenship by descent

(4) Citizenship by registration

(5) Citizenship by naturalization.

  • Persons domiciled in the territory of India as on 26 November 1949 automatically became Indian. (Citizenship at the commencement of the constitution of India.)
  • Any person born in India on or after 26 January 1950, but prior to the commencement of the 1986 Act on 1 July 1987, is a citizen of India by birth.  [Citizenship by birth]
  • A person born in India on or after 1 July 1987 is a citizen of India if either parent was a citizen of India at the time of the birth. [Citizenship by birth]
  • Those born in India on or after 3 December 2004 are considered citizens of India only if both of their parents are citizens of India or if one parent is a citizen of India and the other is not an illegal migrant at the time of their birth. [Citizenship by birth].
  • One can lose citizenship of India in three ways – Renunciation, Termination and Deprivation.

Refer Lakshmikanth for more information