Foreigners Division 
Ministry of Home Affairs
Government of India

Extracts from the Citizenship Act, 1955

 

 

 
  • Citizenship by birth.-


    • (1) Except as provided in sub-section

    • (2), every person born in India,-

      (a) on or after the 26th day of January,1950, but before the 1st day of July, 1987;

      (b) on or after the 1st day of July, 1987, but before the commencement of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2003 and either of whose parents is a citizen of India at the time of his birth;

      (c) on or after the commencement of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2003, where-

      (i) both of his parents are citizens of India; or

      (ii) one of whose parents is a citizen of India and the other is not an illegal migrant at the time of his birth, shall be a citizen of India by birth.

 

  • A person shall not be a citizen of India by virtue of this section if at the time of his birth-

    (a) either his father or mother possesses such immunity from suits and legal process as is accorded to an envoy of a foreign sovereign power accredited to the President of India and he or she, as the case may be, is not a citizen of India;

    (b) his father or mother is an enemy alien and the birth occurs in a place then under occupation by the enemy.

 

  • Citizenship by descent.- (1) A person born outside India shall be a citizen of India by descent,-

    (a) on or after the 26th day of January, 1950, but before the 10th day of December, 1992, if his father is a citizen of India at the time of his birth; or

    (b) on or after the 10th day of December,1992, if either of his parents is a citizen of India at the time of his birth:

    Provided that if the father of a person referred to in clause (a) was a citizen of India by descent only, that person shall not be a citizen of India by virtue of this section unless-

    (a) his birth is registered at an Indian consulate within one year of its occurrence or the commencement of this Act, whichever is later, or, with the permission of the Central Government, after the expiry of the said period; or

    (b) his father is, at the time of his birth, in service under a Government in India:

    Provided further that if either of the parents of a person referred to in clause (b) was a citizen of India by descent only, that person shall not be a citizen of India by virtue of this section unless-

    (a) his birth is registered at an Indian consulate within one year of its occurrence or on or after the 10th day of December, 1992, whichever is later, or, with the permission of the Central Government, after the expiry of the said period; or

    (b) either of his parents is, at the time of his birth, in service under a Government of India:

    Provided also that on or after the commencement of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2003, a person shall not be a citizen of India by virtue of this section, unless his birth is registered at an Indian consulate in such form and in such manner, as may be prescribed,-

    (i) within one year of its occurrence or the commencement of the citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2003, whichever is later; or

    (ii) with the permission of the Central Government, after the expiry of the said period:

    Provided also that no such birth shall be registered unless the parents of such person declare, in such form and in such manner as may be prescribed, that the minor does not hold the passport of another country.

    (1A) A minor who is a citizen of India by virtue of his section and is also a citizen of any other country shall cease to be a citizen of India if he does not renounce the citizenship or nationality of another country within six months of attaining full age.

    (2) If the Central Government so directs, a birth shall be deemed for the purposes of this section to have been registered with its permission, notwithstanding that its permission was not obtained before the registration.

    (3) For the purposes of the proviso to sub-section (1), any male person born outside undivided India who was, or was deemed to be, a citizen of India at the commencement of the Constitution shall be deemed to be a citizen of India by descent only.

 

  • Citizenship by registration.- (1) Subject to the provisions of this section and such other conditions and restrictions as may be prescribed, the Central Government may, on an application made in this behalf, register as a citizen of India any person not being an illegal migrant who is not alrea dy such citizen by virtue of the Constitution or of any other provision of this Act if he belongs to any of the following categories, namely:

    (a) a person of Indian origin who are ordinarily resident in India for seven years before making an application for registration;

    (b) a person of Indian origin who is ordinarily resident in any country or place outside undivided India;

    (c) a person who is married to a citizen of India and is ordinarily resident in India for seven years before making an application for registration.

    (d) minor children of persons who are citizens of India;

    (e) a person of full age and capacity whose parents are registered as citizens of India under clause (a) of this sub-section or sub-section (1) of section 6;

    (f) a person of full age and capacity who, or either of his parents, was earlier citizen of independent India, and has been residing in India for one year immediately before making an application for registration;

    (g) 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.

  • Citizenship by naturalization.- (1) Where an application is made in the prescribed manner by any person of full age and capacity not being an illegal migrant for the grant of a certificate of naturalization to him, the Central Government may, if satisfied that the applicant is qualified for naturalization under the provisions of the Third Schedule, grant to him a certificate of naturalization:

    Provided that, if in the opinion of the Central Government, the applicant is a person who has rendered distinguished service to the cause of science, philosophy, art, literature, world peace or human progress generally, it may waive all or any of the conditions specified in the Third Schedule.

    (2) The person to whom a certificate of naturalization is granted under sub-section (1) shall, on taking the oath of allegiance in the form specified in the Second Schedule, be a citizen of India by naturalization as from the date on which that certificate is granted.

  • Termination of citizenship.- (1) Any citizen of India who by naturalization, registration otherwise voluntarily acquires, or has at any time between the 26th January, 1950 and the commencement of this Act, voluntarily acquired the citizenship of another country shall, upon such acquisition or, as the case may be, such commencement, cease to be a citizen of India:

    Provided that nothing in this sub-section shall apply to a citizen of India who, during any war in which India may be engaged, voluntarily acquires, the citizenship of another country, until the Central Government otherwise directs.

    (2) If any question arises as to whether, when or how any citizen of India has acquired the citizenship of another country, it shall be determined by such authority, in such manner, and having regard to such rules of evidence, as may be prescribed in this behalf.

  • Offences.- Any person who, for the purpose of procuring anything to be done or not to be done under this Act, knowingly makes any representation which is false in a material particular shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine which may extend to fifty thousand rupees, or with both.