Modes of acquiring Indian Citizenship
Source: Synopsis of the Citizenship Act, 1955 By Birth (section 3) A person born in India on or after 26th January 1950 but before 1st July 1987 is a citizen of India by birth irrespective of the nationality of his parents.
A person born in India on or after 1st July 1987 is considered as a citizen of India only if either of his parents is a citizen of India at the time of his birth. Further, those born in India on or after 7th January 2004 are considered citizens of India only if both of their parents are citizens of India or one of whose parents is a citizen of India and the other is not an illegal migrant at the time of their birth.Illegal immigrant generally refers to any foreigner who:
Entered India without the required travel documents such as a passport and visa: or Entered India with valid documents but overstayed the permitted time specified in their visa
By Descent (section 4)
A person born outside India on or after 26th January 1950 but before 10th December 1992 is a citizen of India by descent, if his father was a citizen of India at the time of his birth. A person born outside India on or after 10th December 1992 is considered as a citizen of India if either of his parents is a citizen of India at the time of his birth. From 07th January 2004, a person born outside India shall not be a citizen of India by virtue of this Section, unless his birth is registered at an Indian consulate within one year of the date of birth or with the permission of the Central Government, after the expiry of the said period. An application, for registration of the birth of a minor child, to an Indian consulate under Section 4 (1) shall be made in Form I and shall be accompanied by an undertaking in writing from the parents of such minor child that he or she does not hold the passport of another country.
By Registration (section 5)
Citizenship of India by registration can be acquired by
- Persons of Indian origin, who or either of whose parents was born in undivided India and who are ordinarily resident in India for seven years;
- Persons of India origin who are ordinarily residents in any country or place outside undivided India;
- Persons who are or have been married to a citizen of India and who are ordinarily resident in India for five years;
- Minor children both whose parents are Indian citizens;
- A citizen of Singapore and Canada who is resident in India for five years and eight years respectively.
By Naturalization (section 6)
Citizenship of India by naturalization can be acquired by a foreigner who is ordinarily resident in India for twelve years (continuously for the twelve months preceding the date of application and for eleven years in the aggregate in the fourteen years preceding the twelve months).
PIO Card Holders
New** As of January 9, 2015. PIO scheme has been cancelled by the Government of India. All existing PIO card holders already registered will be deemed to be Overseas Citizens of India. Hence the same criteria of OCI will apply for former PIO card holders.
Those who have OCI status may be granted Indian Citizenship after 5 years from date of registration provided they stay in India for one year before submitting the application for Indian citizenship
Foreign passport holders acquiring Indian citizenship
Acquiring Indian Citizenship will mean you will lose your foreign citizenship