Immigration Law in India

People began relocating in great numbers as a result of globalization in search of greater social, political, and economic stability. India, a nation of varied ethnicities and cultures, attracts immigrants from other nations with a variety of attractions. Immigration is essentially the movement of individuals from one nation to another with the intention of settling there permanently.

What is the Meaning of Immigration?

The federal government's regulations for determining who is allowed to enter the country and for how long are referred to as immigration law. It also controls the naturalization procedure for people who want to become citizens of the United States. Finally, immigration law governs the conduct of the detention and removal proceedings when foreign persons enter without authorization, overstay their visit, or otherwise lose their legal status.

Immigration law is the only type of law that controls immigration in a country. Immigration Law and a country's Nationality Law, which regulates citizenship issues, are related insofar as foreign nationals are concerned. Immigration law as it relates to a nation's residents is governed by international law. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of the United Nations is pertinent in this regard.

The primary international body on the topic of migration is the International Organization for Migration. To aid those who had been displaced by the Second World War, it was first established in 1951 as the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration. This organization is dedicated to supporting humane and organized migration for everyone's benefit.

Moreover, the biggest difficulty for immigrants, however, is obtaining citizenship in the host nation and exercising their constitutional rights there. These problems are typically addressed by regulations and laws created especially for immigrants, which outline the requirements and limitations for obtaining citizenship. Yet as far as the Indian subcontinent is concerned, the Constitution's provisions control immigration rules.

The Objective of Immigration Law

Obtaining citizenship or nationality in another country is the goal of immigration. In India, the Constitution's clauses mostly govern laws pertaining to citizenship and nationality. The Indian Constitution establishes a single citizenship for the entire nation. Part II of the Indian Constitution contains Articles 5 to 11 that deal with citizenship-related laws. The status of individuals as Indian citizens at the time the Constitution took effect is governed by Articles 5 to 9 of the Constitution. According to Article 10, they can continue to be such citizens as long as they abide by the rules of any laws that the legislature may pass.

Under Article 11, the Constitution expressly saves the power of Parliament "to make any provision with respect to the acquisition and termination of citizenship and all other matters relating to citizenship." Article 5 states that at the commencement of this Constitution, every person belonging to the following categories who has his domicile in the territory of India shall be a citizen of India −

  • A person who was born on Indian soil; or

  • One or both of whose parents were born on Indian soil; or

  • Who has been a regular resident of Indian territory for at least five years prior to the commencement.

Some people who have migrated to India from Pakistan are granted citizenship privileges under Article 6 of the Constitution. Some immigrants to Pakistan are granted citizenship under Article 7 of the Constitution, and certain Indian nationals living outside of India are granted citizenship under Article 8.

Indian Visa

All international tourists must have a visa in order to enter India legally. However, this does not apply to the inhabitants of Bhutan and Nepal. The visas specify a certain amount of time to stay inside the nation, not to exceed 180 days (6 months). Nevertheless, the applicant must register with the FRRO or FRO if a visa is needed for a lengthy stay (greater than 180 days.

The Indian government offers a variety of visas, including business visas, employment visas, intern visas, transit visas, student visas, film visas, and others. These visas can be obtained as regular visas or electronic visas. A Protected Area Permit (PAP), which permits visitors to enter restricted zones, is necessary for entry into several restricted areas of India aside from the valid visas stated above. In addition to the standard visa requirement, this authorization is necessary.

Policies of Immigration Law

Immigration law is the only type of law that controls immigration in a country. Immigration law refers to the regulations set forth by a nation's relevant government for determining who is permitted to enter that nation and for how long. Immigration law governs the detention and removal procedures when a foreign individual arrives without authorization, overstays a visit, or otherwise loses his or her legal status.

In general, a visa approval procedure is used to grant authorization for visitors from other countries to enter a specific nation. There are two reasons to obtain a visa. For people who choose to remain in the country and find employment there, immigrant visas are available. Tourists, students, and businesspeople can obtain non-immigrant visas. Immigration law as it relates to a nation's residents is governed by international law.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of the United Nations is pertinent in this regard. The primary international body on the topic of migration is the International Organization for Migration.

Legal Provisions

The Immigrants (Expulsion from Assam) Act, of 1950, had been adopted to provide for the expulsion of certain immigrants from Assam. With the intention of combating the issue of large numbers of travellers arriving without legal travel documents from carriers in violation of the Passport Act of 1920, the Immigration (Carriers' Liability) Act, of 2000, was enacted.

The Bureau of Immigration is responsible for the immigration services at India's major international airports and the foreigners’ registration process in five major cities. Foreigners Regional Registration Officers (FRROs) are the title given to the field personnel in charge of immigration and registration tasks in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, and Amritsar. All of the states in the nation have District Superintendents of Police who serve as Foreigners Registration Officers (FROs), in addition to the FRROs who handle immigration and registration duties in the aforementioned five cities.

Regardless of the length of their stay, all foreign visitors, including those of Indian descent, who is in India on a long-term (more than 180-day) visa for study (including those coming to study yoga, Vedic culture, the Indian system of dance, or music), research, employment, or medical reasons must register with the relevant registration officer within 14 days of their initial arrival.

At both the time of arrival and departure, immigration checks are performed on all passengers, whether they are domestic or international. Both upon entry and exit, the passports are appropriately stamped. All travellers, both domestic and foreign, entering or leaving India must fill out a D (Disembarkation) Card and an E (Embarkation) Card when they arrive


One of the first laws that states evaluate or modify in the event of an international emergency or attack is the laws governing immigration. They are also quite complex and out of the reach of the general populace who wish to envision a better future in a foreign country. Hence, immigration attorneys play a crucial role in assisting such individuals in pursuing their goals.

Frequently Asked Question

Q1. What do they check in immigration in India?

Ans. An immigration officer will check the passenger's information, travel documents, and any valid visas. The officer also examines the passenger's completed customs paperwork.

Q2. Is immigration a human rights issue?

Ans. Immigration law acknowledges that newcomers must abide by the laws of their host nations. But the ability to reside in a nation should not be revoked without first giving fundamental due process safeguards, such as the right to a fair trial.

Q3. Who has jurisdiction over immigration?

Ans. Although states are allowed to assist in immigration control and enforcement, it is the federal government that has the legal capacity to implement U.S. immigration laws.

Q4. Which state has the highest immigration in India?

Ans. The three major cities in India for internal migration are Mumbai, Delhi, and Kolkata. The largest source states are Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, closely followed by Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, and Rajasthan.

Updated on: 03-Apr-2023


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