Part—II of the Constitution from Article 5 to Article 11 deals with the citizenship.
Citizenship Act, 1955
Indian Citizenship Act 1995 prescribes the modes of acquisition of citizenship:
Citizenship by Birth
- Every person born in India on or after 26 January, 1950 shall be a citizen of India by birth.
Citizenship by Descent
A person born outside India on or after January 26 1950 shall be a citizen of India by dissent if his father is a citizen of India at the time of his birth.
Citizenship by Registration
- A non-citizen can apply for citizenship of India and can be registered by the prescribed authority by the following conditions:
i. Is a person of Indian origin and has spent five years in India
ii. Foreign women married to an Indian citizen
iii. Minor children of Indian parents
Citizenship by Naturalization
- A foreigner can acquire Indian citizenship on application for naturalization to the Government of India shall specify persons of the territory who shall be the citizens of India.
Citizenship by Incorporation of Territory
- When any foreign territory is added to Indian Union people of that territory automatically become Indian citizens.
Loss or Citizenship
A person can lose citizenship under the constitution (by the Citizenship Act 1955) in three ways:
People of Indian Origin (PIO)
According to a comprehensive scheme launched by the Government of India the following people, settled anywhere throughout the world, are eligible to have PIO card and therefore,
- Card holders can visit India without any visa.
- The card is to be valid for fifteen years.
- They will enjoy similar benefits as (Non-Resident Indian) NRIs in economic, financial, and educational matters but are not allowed to have political rights.
- People of Indian origin from Pakistan and Bangladesh are not entitled to it.
- Increasing demand and expectations for dual citizenship for people of Indian origin in North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and few other countries has been seen.
- On the occasion of the first Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas on January 9, 2003, Honourable Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee made an announcement to grant dual citizenship to PIOs. This was passed by the Indian Parliament unanimously in December 2003.
- The concept of dual citizenship, now phrased as Overseas Citizenship, will grant overseas citizenship to people of Indian origin belonging to certain countries as well as Indian citizens who may take up the citizenship of these countries in future.
- At present this facility is being extended to PlOs of sixteen specified coun-tries, namely. Australia, Ireland, Israel, Italy. Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Republic of Cyprus, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, Finland, France, and Greece.
Citizenship Amendment ACT, 2005
- Makes provisions for dual citizenship for PIO by amending the Citizenship Amendment Act of 1955.
- The eligibility provision is being extended to such citizens of all other countries other than those who had never been a citizen of Pakistan and Bangladesh.