This article needs to be updated.February 2015)(
|The Citizenship Act, 1955|
|An Act to provide for acquisition and determination of Indian citizenship.|
|Citation||Act No 57 of 1955|
|Enacted by||Parliament of India|
|Date assented to||30 December 1955|
|The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 1986, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 1992, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2003, and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2005|
|Along with the Constitution of India, the Citizenship Act, 1955, is the exhaustive law relating to citizenship in India.|
The conferment of a person, as a citizen of India, is governed by Articles 5 to 11 (Part II) of the Constitution of India. The legislation related to this matter is the Citizenship Act 1955, which has been amended by the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 1986, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 1992, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2003, The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2005 and Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2015.
Citizenship is the status of a person recognized under the custom or law as being a legal member of a sovereign state or belonging to a nation.
India, also known as the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country by area and with more than 1.3 billion people, it is the second most populous country as well as the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the northeast; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, while its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.
The Constitution of India is the supreme law of India. The document lays down the framework demarcating fundamental political code, structure, procedures, powers, and duties of government institutions and sets out fundamental rights, directive principles, and the duties of citizens. It is the longest written constitution of any country on earth. B. R. Ambedkar, chairman of the drafting committee, is widely considered to be its chief architect.
Article 9 of Indian Constitution says that a person who voluntarily acquires citizenship of any other country is no longer an Indian citizen. Also, according to The Passports Act, a person has to surrender his/her Indian passport and voter card and other Indian ID cards must not be used after another country's citizenship is obtained. It is a punishable offence if the person fails to surrender the passport.
The Passports Act is an act of the Parliament of India "for the issue of passports and travel documents, to regulate the departure from India of citizens of India and for other persons and for matters incidental or ancillary thereto." The Act applies to whole of India extending to citizens of India living outside the country. The Act replaced the Indian Passport Ordinance 1967 and was enacted by Act 15 of 1967 with retrospective effect from 5 May 1967. The act describes the procedures in getting an Indian passport.
Indian nationality law largely follows the jus sanguinis (citizenship by right of blood) as opposed to the jus soli (citizenship by right of birth within the territory).The President of India is termed the First Citizen of India.
Jus sanguinis is a principle of nationality law by which citizenship is not determined by place of birth but by having one or both parents who are citizens of the state. Children at birth may automatically be citizens if their parents have state citizenship or national identities of ethnic, cultural, or other origins. Citizenship can also apply to children whose parents belong to a diaspora and were not themselves citizens of the state conferring citizenship. This principle contrasts with jus soli.
Jus soli, meaning "right of the soil", commonly referred to as birthright citizenship in the United States, is the right of anyone born in the territory of a state to nationality or citizenship.
The President of India is the ceremonial head of state of India and the commander-in-chief of the Indian Armed Forces.
The Government of India Act 1858 established the British Raj and formally brought the majority of Indians under British imperial rule. Until the Indian Independence Act 1947 took effect on 15 August 1947, Indians under the British Raj generally fell into one of two categories:
The Government of India Act 1858 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed on August 2, 1858. Its provisions called for the liquidation of the British East India Company and the transference of its functions to the British Crown. Lord Palmerston, then-Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, introduced a bill for the transfer of control of the Government of India from the East India Company to the Crown, referring to the grave defects in the existing system of the government of India. However, before this bill was to be passed, Palmerston was forced to resign on another issue. Later Edward Henry Stanley, 15th Earl of Derby introduced another bill which was originally titled as "An Act for the Better Government of India" and it was passed on 2 August 1858. This act provided that India was to be governed directly and in the name of the Crown.
The British Raj was the rule by the British Crown in the Indian subcontinent from 1858 to 1947. The rule is also called Crown rule in India, or direct rule in India. The region under British control was commonly called British India or simply India in contemporaneous usage, and included areas directly administered by the United Kingdom, which were collectively called British India, and those ruled by indigenous rulers, but under British tutelage or paramountcy, and called the princely states. The whole was also informally called the Indian Empire . As India, it was a founding member of the League of Nations, a participating nation in the Summer Olympics in 1900, 1920, 1928, 1932, and 1936, and a founding member of the United Nations in San Francisco in 1945.
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. It originated with the overseas possessions and trading posts established by England between the late 16th and early 18th centuries. At its height, it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power. By 1913, the British Empire held sway over 412 million people, 23% of the world population at the time, and by 1920, it covered 35,500,000 km2 (13,700,000 sq mi), 24% of the Earth's total land area. As a result, its political, legal, linguistic and cultural legacy is widespread. At the peak of its power, the phrase "the empire on which the sun never sets" was often used to describe the British Empire, because its expanse around the globe meant that the sun was always shining on at least one of its territories.
The Provinces of India, earlier Presidencies of British India and still earlier, Presidency towns, were the administrative divisions of British governance in India. Collectively, they were called British India. In one form or another, they existed between 1612 and 1947, conventionally divided into three historical periods:
An allegiance is a duty of fidelity said to be owed, or freely committed, by the people, subjects or citizens to their state or sovereign.
A British subject is a member of a class of British nationality largely granted under limited circumstances to people connected with Ireland or British India born before 1949. The term itself has historically had several different meanings, but is currently used to refer to this nationality class. Individuals with this nationality are British nationals and Commonwealth citizens, but not British citizens. The status does not automatically grant the holder right of abode in the United Kingdom but the vast majority of British subjects have this entitlement. Nationals of this class without right of abode are subject to immigration controls when entering the UK.
Effective from 15 August 1947, India was established as the independent Dominion of India. Along with subjects of the other British Dominions, Indians resident, born and naturalised in Indian provinces legally remained British subjects by virtue of Section 18(3) of the Indian Independence Act, unless they had already acquired citizenship of the United Kingdom or any other country. In the case of the princely states, each princely ruler was enjoined to accede to either the Dominion of India or to the Dominion of Pakistan prior to their independence from British rule in August 1947. The Instrument of Accession each prince signed upon acceding to either Dominion did not legally affect their sovereignty within their state, however. From 15 August 1947, British protection over the princely states lapsed, and Indians who were subjects of a principality that had not acceded to the Dominion of India automatically lost their status as British protected persons.From the date when an Indian princely ruler acceded to the new Dominion of India until he formally merged his state into India, which legally vested a ruler's sovereign powers in the new Indian government, the subjects of a princely state were British subjects, though the ruler of the princely state remained sovereign during this period.
India was an independent dominion in the British Commonwealth of Nations with King George VI as the head of state between gaining independence from the United Kingdom on 15 August 1947 and the proclamation of a republic on 26 January 1950. It was created by the Indian Independence Act 1947 and was transformed into the Republic of India by the promulgation of the Constitution of India in 1950.
The United Kingdom (UK), officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.
The Instrument of Accession was a legal document first introduced by the Government of India Act 1935 and used in 1947 to enable each of the rulers of the princely states under British paramountcy to join one of the new dominions of India or Pakistan created by the Partition of British India.
From 1 January 1949, when the British Nationality Act 1948 came into force, to 25 January 1950, Indians in the Indian provinces became British subjects with Indian citizenship.From 26 November 1949, Indians domiciled in the territories of India became Indian citizens. With the promulgation of the Indian Constitution on 26 January 1950, which established the Republic of India, the majority of Indian citizens were no longer British subjects, but continued to enjoy the status of Commonwealth citizen (also known as a British subject with Commonwealth citizenship, a status which does not entitle the holder to use a British passport), by virtue of their Indian citizenship and India's membership of the Commonwealth. However, a number of people, notably those who had been born in a former princely state, did not acquire Indian citizenship on commencement of the Indian Constitution and retained British subject without citizenship status (which entitles a person to a British passport) unless they had acquired citizenship of another Commonwealth country. The Citizenship Act of India (1955) finally extended Indian citizenship to all Indians, regardless of whether they had been born in a former princely state or not.
On 20 December 1961, after military action, India acquired the territories of Goa, Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli which were under the territories of Portugal. The French territory of Puducherry, Karaikal, Mahé, Yanam and the Free town of Chandranagore, were acquired under treaty of cession with France. Sikkim was also merged with India and became a constituent state with effect from 16 May 1975. Some of the enclaves in the eastern part of India were also acquired under border agreements with Pakistan and Bangladesh.
In order to expressly provide the citizenship for people in territories as mentioned above, the central government issued the Goa, Daman and Diu (Citizenship) Order, 1962, Dadra and Nagar Haveli (Citizenship) Order, 1962 and Citizenship (Pondicherry) Order 1962, in exercise of its powers under section 7 of the Citizenship act and for Sikkim, the President extended the Citizenship act, and the relevant rules under Article 371-F(n) of Indian Constitution. In case of acquired enclaves, that did not necessitate legislative action, as that was only a border demarcation agreement.
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, and most of these constitutional provisions came into force on 26 January 1950. The Constitution of India also made provision regarding citizenship for migrants from the territories of Pakistan which had been part of India before partition.
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. In September 2013, Bombay High Court gave a judgement that a birth certificate, passport or even an Aadhaar card alone may not be enough to prove Indian citizenship, unless the parents are Indian citizens.
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.
Persons born outside India on or after 10 December 1992 are considered 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 diplomatic mission within one year of the date of birth. In certain circumstances it is possible to register after one year with the permission of the Central Government. The application for registration of the birth of a child must be made to an Indian diplomatic mission and must be accompanied by an undertaking in writing from the parents of the child that he or she does not hold the passport of another country.
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 s/he belongs to any of the following categories:
Citizenship of India by naturalization can be acquired by a foreigner who is ordinarily resident in India for 12 years (throughout the period of 12 months immediately preceding the date of application and for 11 years in the aggregate of 14 years preceding the 12 months) and other qualifications as specified in Section 6 (1) of the Citizen Act,1955
The Indian Citizenship Amendment Bill was proposed in Lok Sabha on July 19, 2016, amending the Citizenship Act of 1955. If this Bill is passed in Parliament, illegal migrants from minority communities like Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian coming from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan will then be eligible for Indian citizenshipbut exclude Muslim community. The Bill relaxes the 11 year requirement of residing in India to 6 years for the above migrants to India.
Renunciation is covered in Section 8 of the Citizenship Act 1955. If an adult makes a declaration of renunciation of Indian citizenship, s/he loses Indian citizenship. In addition, any minor child of that person also loses Indian citizenship from the date of renunciation. When the child reaches the age of 18, he or she has the right to have his or her Indian citizenship restored. The provisions for making a declaration of renunciation n under Indian citizenship law require that the person making the declaration be "of full age and capacity".
Termination is covered in Section 9 of the Citizenship Act, 1955. The provisions for termination are separate and distinct from the provisions for making a declaration of renunciation.
Section 9(1) of the act provides that any citizen of India who by naturalisation or registration acquires the citizenship of another country shall cease to be a citizen of India. Notably, the termination provision differs from the renunciation provision because it applies to "any citizen of India" and is not restricted to adults. Indian children therefore also automatically lose their claim to Indian citizenship if at any time after birth they acquire a citizenship of another country by, for example, naturalisation or registration — even if the acquisition of another citizenship was done as a result of actions by the child's parents.
The acquisition of another country's passport is also deemed under the Citizenship Rules, 1956 to be voluntary acquisition of another country's nationality. Rule 3 of Schedule III of the Citizenship Rules, 1956 states that "the fact that a citizen of India has obtained on any date a passport from the Government of any other country shall be conclusive proof of his/her having voluntarily acquired the citizenship of that country before that date". Again, this rule applies even if the foreign passport was obtained for the child by his or her parents, and even if possession of such a passport is required by the laws of a foreign country which considers the child to be one of its citizens (e.g., a US-born child of Indian parents who is automatically deemed to be a US citizen according to US law, and who is therefore required by US law to have a US passport in order to enter and leave the US). It does not matter that a person continues to hold an Indian passport. This rule seemingly even applies if the foreign nationality was automatically had from birth, and thus not voluntarily acquired after birth. Persons who acquire another citizenship lose Indian citizenship from the date on which they acquire that citizenship or another country's passport. The prevailing practice at a number of British diplomatic posts, for example, is to impound and return to the Indian authorities the Indian passports of those applicants who apply for and are granted British passports.
Special rules exist for Indian citizens with a connection to Goa, Daman and Diu. Rule 3A of Schedule III of the Citizenship Rules, 1956 states that "Where a person, who has become an Indian Citizen by virtue of the Goa, Daman and Diu (Citizenship) Order, 1962, or the Dadra and Nagar Haveli (Citizenship) Order 1962, issued under section 7 of the Citizenship Act, 1955 (57 of 1955) holds a passport issued by the Government of any other country, the fact that he has not surrendered the said passport on or before the 19 January 1963 shall be conclusive proof of his/her having voluntarily acquired the citizenship of that country before that date.
On 16 February 1962, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court of India held in the case of Izhar Ahmad Khan vs Union of India that "If it is shown that the person has acquired foreign citizenship either by naturalisation or registration, there can be no doubt that s/he ceases to be a citizen of India in consequence of such naturalisation or registration."
This section needs to be updated.February 2015)(
In response to persistent demands for dual citizenship, particularly from the diaspora in North America and other developed countries, the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) scheme was introduced by amending The Citizenship Act, 1955 in August 2005. The scheme was launched during the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention in Hyderabad in 2006.Indian authorities have interpreted the law to mean a person cannot have a second country's passport simultaneously with an Indian one — even in the case of a child who is claimed by another country as a citizen of that country, and who may be required by the laws of the other country to use one of its passports for foreign travel (such as a child born in the United States or in Australia to Indian parents), and the Indian courts have given the executive branch wide discretion over this matter. Therefore, Overseas Citizenship of India is not an actual citizenship of India and thus, does not amount to dual citizenship or dual nationality or anyone no longer to use Indian IDs after OCI. Moreover, the OCI card is not a substitute for an Indian visa and therefore, the passport which displays the lifetime visa must be carried by OCI holders while travelling to India. OCI Cards are now being printed without the lifelong “U” Visa Sticker (which is normally pasted on the applicant's passport). The proof of lifelong visa will be just the OCI Card which will have “Life Time Visa” printed on it. The OCI Card will be valid with any Valid Passport. However, countries may consider the OCI as dual citizenship: for example, the UK government considers that, for purposes of the British Nationality Act 1981, "OCI is considered to be citizenship of another State".
This was a form of identification issued to an individual who held a passport in a country other than Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and could prove their Indian origin up to three generations before.
In early 2011, the then Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, announced that the Person of Indian Origin card will be merged with the Overseas Citizen of India card.This new card was proposed to be called the Overseas Indian Card.
As of 9 January 2015, the PIO card scheme has been discontinued and applicants are to apply for OCI only. All currently held PIO cards are treated as OCI cards. PIO card holders will get a special stamp in their existing PIO card, saying "lifelong validity" thus making them equal to existing OCI cards.
It is generally difficult to have dual citizenship of India and another country, due to the provisions for loss of Indian nationality when an Indian national naturalizes in another country (see "Loss of citizenship" above), and the requirement to renounce one's existing citizenships when naturalizing in India (see "Naturalization" above).
There are still some ways in which a person may have dual citizenship of India and another country, including:
A public interest litigation (PIL) seeking dual citizenshipfor overseas Indians was filed in the Supreme Court on 6 January 2015 on the eve of the inauguration of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) in Gujarat's capital Gandhinagar by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
On 20 April 2015, the Supreme Court of India dismissed the Public Interest Litigation (PIL). In dismissing the said PIL, the Supreme Court reasoned that Mr. Venkat Narayan cannot plead on somebody else's behalf as he is not the aggrieved party and those who need to assert their right should come forward.
Visa requirements for Indian citizens are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states placed on citizens of India. As of 13 February 2018, Indian citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 56 countries and territories, ranking the Indian passport 81st in terms of travel freedom (tied with Ivory Coast, Senegal and Togo passports), according to the Henley visa restrictions index.
Persons of Indian Origin Card was a form of identification issued to a Person of Indian Origin who held a passport in a country other than Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
South Africa rewrote its nationality law after the end of Apartheid in 1994 and the establishment of majority rule in the country under the African National Congress. The 1995 South African Citizenship Act did away with the previous Apartheid-era 1949 and 1970 acts which had established separate bantustan citizenship to the country's African majority and inferior levels of citizenship to the country's Asian and coloured minorities.
Nationality law is the law in each country and in each jurisdiction within each country which defines the rights and obligations of citizenship within the jurisdiction and the manner in which citizenship is acquired as well as how citizenship may be lost. A person who is not a citizen of the country is generally regarded as a foreigner, also referred to as an alien. A person who has no recognised nationality or citizenship is regarded as stateless.
Australian nationality law determines who is and who is not an Australian citizen. The status of Australian nationality or Australian citizenship was created by the Nationality and Citizenship Act 1948, which came into force on 26 January 1949. The 1948 Act was amended many times, notably in 1973, 1984, 1986 and 2002. It has been replaced by the Australian Citizenship Act 2007, commencing on 1 July 2007.
New Zealand nationality law determines who is and who is not a New Zealand citizen. The status of New Zealand citizenship was created on 1 January 1949 by the British Nationality and New Zealand Citizenship Act 1948. Prior to this date, New Zealanders were only British subjects and New Zealand had the same nationality legislation as the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries.
Irish nationality law is contained in the provisions of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Acts 1956 to 2004 and in the relevant provisions of the Irish Constitution. A person may be an Irish citizen through birth, descent, marriage to an Irish citizen or through naturalisation. The law grants citizenship to individuals born in Northern Ireland under the same conditions as those born in the Republic of Ireland.
British nationality law as it pertains to Hong Kong has been unusual ever since Hong Kong became a British colony in 1842. From its beginning as a sparsely populated trading port to today's cosmopolitan international financial centre and world city of over seven million people, the territory has attracted refugees, immigrants and expatriates alike searching for a new life.
This article concerns the history of British nationality law.
British Overseas Territories citizenship (BOTC), formerly called British Dependent Territories citizenship (BDTC), is a class of British nationality granted to people connected with one or more of the British Overseas Territories. Individuals with this nationality are British nationals and Commonwealth citizens, but not British citizens. The status itself does not grant right of abode in the United Kingdom or any of the territories, though all BOTCs would have had belonger status in a territory on acquisition. Nationals of this class are subject to immigration controls when entering the United Kingdom and do not have the automatic right to live or work there.
Portuguese nationality law is the legal set of rules that regulate access to Portuguese citizenship, which is acquired mainly through descent from a Portuguese parent, naturalisation in Portugal or marriage to a Portuguese citizen.
Maltese nationality law is based primarily on the principles of Jus sanguinis, although prior to 1 August 1989 the principle of Jus soli was the basis of the law.
Icelandic nationality law is based upon the principles of jus sanguinis. In other words, descent from an Icelandic parent is the primary method of acquiring Icelandic citizenship. Birth in Iceland to foreign parents does not in itself grant Icelandic citizenship.
The Nationality Law of the People's Republic of China regulates nationality of the People's Republic of China. Chinese nationality is usually obtained either by birth when at least one parent is of Chinese nationality or by naturalization.
Turkish nationality law is based primarily on the principle of jus sanguinis. Children who are born to a Turkish mother or a Turkish father are Turkish citizens from birth. The intention to renounce Turkish citizenship is submitted in Turkey by a petition to the highest administrative official in the concerned person's place of residence, and when overseas to the Turkish consulate. Documents processed by these authorities are forwarded to the Ministry of Interior for appropriate action.
Singaporean nationality law is derived from the Constitution of Singapore and is based on jus sanguinis and a modified form of jus soli. There are three ways of acquiring Singaporean citizenship: by birth, by descent, or by registration.
British nationality law is the law of the United Kingdom which concerns citizenship and other categories of British nationality. The law is complex due to the United Kingdom's historical status as an imperial power.
The Pakistani nationality law governs citizenship of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The principal legislation determining nationality, the Pakistan Citizenship Act, was passed by the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on 13 April 1951. Since Cambodia changed its laws, Pakistan is the only country in Asia with unconditional jus soli citizenship rights.
The nationality law of Bangladesh governs the issues of citizenship and nationality of the People's Republic of Bangladesh. The law regulates the nationality and citizenship status of all people who live in Bangladesh as well as all people who are of Bangladeshi descent. It allows the children of expatriates, foreigners as well as residents in Bangladesh to examine their citizenship status and if necessary, apply for and obtain citizenship of Bangladesh.
The Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) is an immigration status permitting a foreign citizen of Indian origin to live and work in the Republic of India indefinitely. The OCI was introduced in response to demands for dual citizenship by the Indian diaspora, particularly in developed countries. It was introduced by The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2005 in August 2005. It was launched during the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention held in Hyderabad in 2006.
Ghana amended its nationality law in 2000, to the 2000 Ghana Citizen Act Dual Citizenship Scheme, which came into effect from Friday, 1 November 2002, in accordance with the provisions of the Citizenship Act 2002. Applicants eligible for dual citizenship are those who hold citizenship of any country in addition to the citizenship of Ghana. In these instances, all applicants are required by law to provide evidence of their Ghanaian nationality or their country of birth. Its intention was to increase immigration of skilled labour, but the law has been criticised for not giving full citizens rights as native-born citizens.