Citizenship In India: Part II of the Constitution

Citizenship is a natural right that all citizens of a country hold. Citizens of a sovereign state have certain civil and political rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Citizenship refers to a person's relationship with a state to which he or she owes loyalty and is protected. Citizenship is on the Union List of the Constitution and hence within the sole power of Parliament.

"Citizenship" means that citizens are entitled to specific care, protection, and amenities, as well as the right to hold office, be eligible for public service recruitment, and be subject to certain duties such as taxation, among other things.

Citizenship of India: Constitutional Provision

Citizenship is listed on the Union List in the Constitution and consequently falls solely under the competence of Parliament.

The term "citizen" is not defined in the Constitution, although details on the various types of people who are eligible for citizenship are provided in Part 2. (Articles 5 to 11).

Unlike other sections of the Constitution, which took effect on January 26, 1950, these articles went into effect on November 26, 1949, the day the Constitution was ratified.

Article 5

It established citizenship at the start of the Constitution.

  • Citizenship was granted to all people born and domiciled in India.

  • Even people who were domiciled but not born in India, but whose parents were, were considered citizens.

  • Anyone who has been a regular resident for more than five years might also seek citizenship.

Article 6

It granted citizenship rights to some people who came to India from Pakistan.

  • Because Partition and migration occurred before Independence, Article 6 stated that anybody who relocated to India before July 19, 1949, would immediately become an Indian citizen if one of his parents or grandparents was born in India.

  • Those who entered India after this date, however, were required to register.

Article 7

Provide selected migrants to Pakistan with the right to citizenship.

  • Those who went to Pakistan after March 1, 1947 but later returned on resettlement permits were considered citizens.

  • The legislation was more sympathetic to individuals who relocated from Pakistan and were referred to be refugees than to those who were trapped in Pakistan or had travelled there but wanted to return soon.

Article 8

Grants citizenship rights to some people of Indian origin who live outside of India

  • Any person of Indian origin residing outside India who was born in India, or either of his or her parents or grandparents, might register as an Indian citizen with the Indian Diplomatic Mission.

Article 9

That anybody who willingly obtains the citizenship of a foreign state is no longer a citizen of India.

Article 10

Any person who is or is deemed to be a citizen of India under any of the preceding provisions of this Part will continue to be such a citizen, subject to the requirements of any law adopted by Parliament.

Article 11

It authorizes Parliament to enact any provision regarding the acquisition and termination of citizenship, as well as other related concerns.

Kinds of Citizenship

It can be studied as

Methods of Citizenship Acquisition

By Birth (Section 3 of CA, 1955)

  • Any person born in India on or after January 26, 1950, and before July 1, 1987, regardless of his or her parent's nationality, may be a citizen of India.

  • A person born in India after December 3, 2004, might be considered a citizen of India by birth if one of his or her parents was a citizen of India and the other was not an illegal migrant to India at the time of birth, or if both parents were citizens of India at the time of birth.

By Registering (Section 4 of CA, 1955)

  • A person born in any other nation other than India on or after January 26, 1950, but before December 10, 1992, might be certified as a citizen of India by descent if his or her father was an Indian citizen by birth.

  • A person born in any other nation other than India on or after December 10, 1992, but before December 3, 2004, might be confirmed as a citizen by descent if either of their parents was a citizen of India by birth.

  • A person born in any other country, excluding India, on or after December 3, 2004, if his/her parents declare that the minor does not have a passport from that country and his/her 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 declared period has expired.

By Descent (Section 5 of CA, 1955)

A person must demonstrate the following before applying to register as an Indian citizen:

  • They must stay in India for seven years.

  • He or she has lived in India for seven years and is married to an Indian citizen.

  • He or she is habitually living in another nation or an undivided part of India, and they must be minors, according to Sec. 5(1) (b).

By Naturalization (Section 6 of CA, 1955)

Any person can become an Indian citizen if he or she has lived in India for 12 years and meets the additional requirements listed in the Third Schedule of the Citizenship Act.

Termination of Indian Citizenship

According to the Citizenship Act of 1955, there are three ways for an Indian citizen to lose their citizenship.

  • Renunciation of Indian Renunciation (Section 8 of CA, 1955) − According to the Citizenship Act of 1955, any Indian citizen who is of legal age may renounce his or her citizenship and proclaim it by filing a declaration with the appropriate government agency. However, if this renunciation is made while India is at war, the registration application would be delayed until the Indian government issues an order to the contrary.

  • Termination of Indian citizenship as per the Citizenship Act of 1955 (Section 9 of CA, 1955) − When an Indian national willingly obtains citizenship in a foreign nation, their Indian citizenship automatically expires. Furthermore, this rule does not apply during the conflict and is subject to the Indian government's discretion.

  • Deprivation of Indian Citizenship (Section 10 of CA, 1955) − According to the Central Government's directive, this clause requires the revocation of Indian citizenship.

An Exceptional Case in Indian Citizenship

After 1971, Assam experienced widespread illegal migration from what was previously known as East Pakistan or present-day Bangladesh.

  • As a result of this unlawful migration, an Assam movement was initiated from 1979 to 1985 to deport these illegal migrants.

  • This protest was led by the AASU, a student organisation that demanded the renewal of the NRC and the expulsion of all unlawful migrants who entered India after 1951.

  • This struggle culminated in the extraordinary Assam Accord of 1985, which was signed by the Rajiv Gandhi government and movement leaders.

  • The Assam Accord established a deadline of March 25, 1971, for the expulsion of illegal migrants.

  • A new provision (6A) was suggested in the Citizenship Act of 1995 to compel this new due date because, according to Articles 5 and 6, the previous deadline date was July 19, 1949.


The principles of secularism are violated by granting a six-year residency concession based only on religious grounds. To pass the "basic structural doctrine" test, this should be omitted.

India, as a country that adheres to the "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam" ideal, should not be quick to make judgments that disenfranchise her inhabitants and violate its centuries-old principles. The Union Government must explicitly lay out a path of action addressing the destiny of omitted persons from Assam's final NRC, and political parties must resist coloring the entire NRC process with electoral hopes that may escalate into communal bloodshed. An excessively legalistic approach can only increase tension, uneasiness, and wo

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Does India allow dual citizenship

Ans. The Indian Constitution prohibits possessing both Indian and foreign citizenship at the same time. The Government of India decided to confer Overseas Citizenship of India based on the suggestion of the High-Level Committee on Indian Diaspora (OC).

Q2. How can someone get Indian citizenship?

Ans. Citizenship as an Indian can be obtained by birth, descent, registration, or naturalization. The qualifications and method for obtaining Indian citizenship are outlined in the Citizenship Act of 1955. Naturalization can be obtained by a foreigner (not an illegal immigrant) who has been ordinarily resident in India for 12 years (during the twelve months immediately preceding the date of application and for 11 years in total in the 14 years preceding the twelve months) and meets the other requirements specified in the Third Schedule to the Act.

Q3. What are the types of citizenship in India?

Ans. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Indian citizenship may be obtained in four ways: birth, descent, registration, and naturalization. Sections 3, 4, 5(1), and 5(4) of the Citizenship Act of 1955 include the relevant provisions.

Updated on: 16-Feb-2023


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