How to get Indian Citizenship? Explained

By Team Legal Helpline India, December 27, 2019
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How to get Indian Citizenship explained in brief by our legal expert? The process of how to get Indian citizenship is described under the Indian Citizenship Act 1955 as amended update and the rules framed thereunder.

Online legal advice on nominal charges on how to get Indian Citizenship.

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How to get Indian Citizenship?

They have been duly published and mandated by the Foreigners Division of Ministry of External Affairs for the convenience of the people to know how to get Indian Citizenship.

Before knowing more details about how to get Indian Citizenship, it is very important to know who is  Indian Citizen and what are the benefits of being an Indian Citizen.

As per the Indian Citizenship Act, 1955  the following categories of persons are Indian Citizen:

1. By Birth ( Section 3 of the Indian Citizenship Act, 1955):

i. All persons residing in India and born in India on or before 26 November 1949 were treated as Indian citizens at the time of commencement of the Indian Constitution and the migrants from Pakistan after the partition of the country in 1947 were also given the same status. 

ii. Every person born in India on or after the 26.01.1950 but before 01.07.1987 is a citizen of India by birth irrespective of the nationality of his/her parents.

iii. Every person born in India between 01.07.1987 to 02.12.2004 is a citizen of India provided either of his/her parents is a citizen of India at the time of his/ her birth.

iv. Every person born in India on or after 03.12.2004, shall be a citizen of India provided both of his/her 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 his/ her birth

2. By Registration (section 5):

i. Citizenship of India by registration can be acquired by any person of Indian origin who is ordinarily resident in India for seven years before making an application for registration; or

ii. A person of Indian origin who is ordinarily resident in any country or place outside undivided India; or

iii. A person who is married to a citizen of India and is ordinarily resident of India for seven years before making an application for registration;

or

iv. Minor children of persons who are citizens of India; or

v. A person of full age and capacity whose parents are registered as citizens of India section 5(1) (a) of this subsection or subsection (1) of section 6; or

vi. A person of full age and capacity who, or either of his/ her parents, was earlier citizen of independent India, and has been residing in India for one year immediately before making an application for registration; or

vii. A person of full age and capacity who has been registered as an overseas citizen of India for five years, and who has been residing in India for one year before making an application for registration

3. By Naturalization (section 6):

Citizenship of India by naturalization can be acquired by a foreigner (not being an illegal migrant) who is ordinarily resident in India for twelve years (throughout the period of twelve months immediately preceding the date of application and for eleven years in the aggregate in the fourteen years preceding the twelve months) and fulfills other qualifications as specified in third schedule to the Act, 1955.

Steps to get Indian Citizenship

Application in relevant Form for grant of Indian citizenship by registration under section 5 has to be submitted to the Collector/District Magistrate of the area where the applicant is resident.

The application has to be accompanied by all the documents and fees payments as mentioned in the relevant Forms.

The application along with a report on the eligibility and suitability of the applicant is to be sent by the Collector/District Magistrate to the concerned State Government/UT Administration within 60 days.

The State Govt./UT Administration shall forward the application to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India within 30 days.

Each application is examined in MHA in terms of the eligibility criteria under the Citizenship Act, 1955 and the Citizenship Rules, 1956.

If the applicant is not fulfilling the eligibility criteria, communication to this extent would be sent through the State Govts./UT Administration.

Any deficiency in the application would be brought to the notice of the applicant through the State Govt./ UT Administration.

Each applicant whose case is found to be eligible after scrutiny of the application is informed about the acceptance of his application through the State Government.

The applicant is then required to furnish through the State Government, a certificate of the renunciation of his foreign citizenship issued by the mission of the concerned country, proof of fee payment as per SCHEDULE IV of the Act, and personal particulars in Form-V.

Finally, a certificate of Indian citizenship is issued to the applicant through the State Government and he acquires the citizenship of India.

How to get Indian Citizenship by Naturalization?

Citizenship of India by naturalization can be acquired by a foreigner who is not an illegal migrant and who is ordinarily resident in India for twelve years. The application can be made only after the said person has resided in Indian for twelve months. 

The details of the qualifications are specified in the Third Schedule to the Act. The application shall be made in Form-XII as prescribed under the Indian Citizenship Act, 1955.


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