Provision related to the “Citizenship” is given under Part II of the Constitution (Article 5 to 11) . Article 11 gives power to the Parliament to make law with respect to the Citizenship. Article 11 states that after the commencement of Constitution (26.01.1950) Parliament has power to determine acquisition or termination of Citizenship. Constitution doesnot contains any permanent or any elaborate provisions in this regard. Therefore, Parliament has brought the act “Citizenship Act 1955”. It was also amended recently.
As per the Citizenship Act 1955, citizenship can be acquired under the 5 heads:-
1. Citizenship by Birth (Imp)
2. Citizenship by Registration
3. Citizenship by Acquisition of territory by India
4. Citizenship by Naturalization (Very imp & recently in news)
5. Citizenship by Descent
A Citizen can loose his Citizenship by:
1. By Renunciation (Voluntarily)
2. By Termination
3. By Deprivation
Types of Citizenship
1. Citizenship by Birth (Jus Soli): When a person acquires citizenship as his birth right.
a) After 26th January 1950 and before 1st July 1987, the Person should be citizen of India irrespective of Parents are Citizens or not.
b) Born in India on or after 1st July 1987 then either of one parents should be citizen of India.
c) Born in India after 3rd December 2004 then both Parents should be Citizens or one is a citizen and other is not an illegal migrant.
2. Citizenship by Registration: When person does not get citizenship either by the Jus Soli or Jus Sanguine (Citizenship by descent). Then such person (not an illegal migrant) can acquire citizenship by getting himself registered if he belongs to any of the following categories:-
a) a person of Indian origin who is ordinarily resident in India for 7 years before making an application
b) person of indian origin who is ordinarily resident in any country or outside undivided India.
c) a person who has married to citizen of india and ordinarily resident in India for 7 years before making an application
d) minor children of persons who are citizens in India
e) a person whose parents are citizen of India.
f) a person who or either of of parents was earlier citizen of Independent India and who is ordinarily resident in India for 12 months before making an application.
g) a person has been registered as an overseas citizen of india cardholder for 5 years, and who is ordinarily resident in India for 12 months before making an application.
3. Citizenship by Acquisition of territory by India: If any foreign territory is acquired by the India, then the Govt of India specifies the persons who among the people of the territory shall be citizen of India. For example: Sikkim, Goa, Pondicherry. Pondicherry became part of India through the Citizenship (Pondicherry) Order (1962), under the Citizenship Act 1955.
4. Citizenship by Naturalization (Very important): The national register of citizen is based on citizenship by naturalization. The government can grant citizenship to any person (whether he of Indian origin or not) on the following grounds:
a) Person is not an illegal migrant
b) Person is not from the country which does not allow citizenship by naturalisation.
c) He is has a good character/ not a fugitive.
d) He has adequate knowledge of any language mentioned under Schedule VIII
e) Renounced the previous citizenship (Since Indian Constitution does not allow dual citizenship under article 9)
f) Person has intention to accept citizenship by oath.
g) Before making an application of citizenship he has either resided in India or employed in the service of government (partly one or partly other), throughout the period of 12 months immediately preceding the date of the application.
h) during the 14 years immediately preceding 12 months , he has either resided in India or employed in service of government (partly one or partly other), for a period amounting to not less then 11 years in aggregate.
5. Citizenship by Descent (Jus Sanguine): This citizenship if for those who are born outside India.
Conditions to acquire citizenship by descent are:-
a) If Person is born after 26th January 1950 but before 10th December 1992, Father of the person must be citizen of India at the the time of his/her birth.
b) If Person is born outside India after 10th december 1992 then either of the Parents are citizens of India at the time of his/her birth.
c) If person is born outside India after 3rd December 2004 then:
i. Either parents is citizen at the time of his/her birth.
ii. But such person shall compulsory register within one year of his/her birth. Although it is extendable.