By Five Modes
Citizenship by birth
Any person born in India, on or after 26 January 1950 but prior to the commencement of the 1986 Act on 1 July 1987 is a citizen of India by birth. A person born in India on or after 1 July 1987 is a citizen of India if either parent was a citizen of India at the time of the birth. Those born in India on or after 3 December 2004 are considered citizens of India only if both of their parents are citizens of India or if one parent is a citizen of India and the other is not an illegal migrant at the time of their birth the citizen can be an Indian or a foreigner
Citizenship by descent
Persons born outside India on or after 26 January 1950 but before 10 December 1992 are citizens of India by descent if their father was a citizen of India at the time of their birth.
Person born outside India on or after 10 December 1992 are considered as citizens of India if either of their parents is a citizen of India at the time of their birth.
From 3 December 2004 onwards, persons born outside of India shall not be considered citizens of India unless their birth is registered at an Indian consulate within one year of the date of birth. In certain circumstances it is possible to register after 1 year with the permission of the Central Government. The application for registration of the birth of a minor child must be made to an Indian consulate and must be accompanied by an undertaking in writing from the parents of such minor child that he or she does not hold the passport of another country.
Citizenship by registration
The Central Government may, on an application, register as a citizen of India under section 5 of the Citizenship Act 1955 any person (not being an illegal migrant) if he belongs to any of the following categories:-------
- a person of Indian origin who is ordinarily resident in India for five years before making an application for registration;
- a person of Indian origin who is ordinarily resident in any country or place outside undivided India;
- 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;
- minor children of persons who are citizens of India;
- a person of full age and capacity whose parents are registered as citizens of India by ordinary residence in India for seven years;
- 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;
- 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
Citizenship of India by naturalization can be acquired by a foreigner who has resided in India for twelve years. The applicant must have lived a total of 11 years in India in a period of 14 years, and must have spent in India the past 12 months preceding the application.
Citizenship at the commencement of the constitution of India
Persons domiciled in the territory of India as on 26 November 1949 automatically became Indian citizens by virtue of operation of the relevant provisions of the Indian Constitution coming into force (the majority of the constitutional provisions came into force on 26 January 1950). The Constitution of India also made provisions regarding citizenship for migrants from territories of Pakistan, which were earlier parts of India before the partition.