How can Indian citizenship be acquired and snatched?
After the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 in the country, many people are worried that their citizenship is in danger. In order to clear this confusion, we have explained how a person gets Indian citizenship and how can a person lose Indian citizenship?
The Constitution of India gives the following rights to Indian citizens, which are not available to the foreigners;
1. Equality based on religion, gender, origin, region, lineage (article 15)
2. Right to equality in jobs (article 16)
3. Freedom of expression, freedom of residence (article 19)
4. Right to vote in Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha Elections.
5. Right to be appointed on public posts like President of India, Vice President of India, Judge etc.
What is the Citizenship Act, 1955?
The decision to grant and take away Indian citizenship is made on the basis of the Citizenship Act, 1955. Now let us know what are the provisions in this act?
How can Indian citizenship be acquired?
1. Citizenship by Birth: If a person is born on or after 26 January 1950 in India, he/she is considered a citizen of India.
A person born in India on or after 1st July 1987 is considered as a citizen of India only if either of his parents is a citizen of India at the time of his birth.
If someone is born after 3 December 2004, he/she will be considered a citizen of India only if both 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 their birth.
2. Citizenship by Descent: A person who is born outside India on or after 26 January 1950 but before 10 December 1992 is an Indian citizen by descent if his father was a citizen of India at the time of his birth.
If A person born outside India on or after 10th December 1992 is considered an Indian citizen if either of his parents is a citizen of India at the time of his birth.
A person born outside India after 3 December 2004 cannot be a citizen of India on the basis of descent if he is not registered with the Indian Consulate within one year of his birth.
3. Citizenship by Registration: If a person registers with the Government of India, he can become a citizen of India only when;
A. The person must have lived in India 7 years before applying for citizenship.
B. A person who is married to any Indian citizen and has been living in India for 7 years before applying for citizenship.
C. A person who is of full age and capacity and his parents are registered as citizens of India.
D. Minor children of persons who are citizens of India.
4. Citizenship by Naturalisation: The Central Government may grant citizenship to an individual (not an illegal migrant) on receipt of the application if he/she holds the following qualifications;
A. If he/she is residing in India or serving in the Government of India or has been residing in India for at least 12 months immediately preceding the date of the application for citizenship.
B. He/she must not be from a country whose citizens cannot become citizens of India by natural means.
C. He should have good character
D. Must have a good knowledge of languages mentioned in the 8th schedule of the constitution.
5. Citizenship by Incorporation of Territory: Citizenship can also be obtained by the inclusion of a region in their country. If a foreign area becomes a part of India, then the people of the respective region get citizenship of India.
How can Indian citizenship be snatched?
Abolition of Indian Citizenship
The Citizenship Act, 1955 cites three reasons for the termination of citizenship;
1. Voluntary Renunciation
2. By Termination
3. By Deprivation
1. Voluntary Renunciation: If an Indian citizen wishes, who is of full age and capacity, he can relinquish citizenship of India by his will.
When a person relinquishes his citizenship, every minor child of that person also loses Indian citizenship. However, when such a child attains the age of 18, he may resume Indian citizenship.
2. By Termination: The Constitution of India provides single citizenship. It means an Indian person can only be a citizen of one country at a time. If a person takes the citizenship of another country, then his Indian citizenship ends automatically. However, this provision does not apply when India is busy in war.
3. Deprivation by Government: The Government of India may terminate the citizenship of an Indian citizen if;
(i). Citizen has disrespected the Constitution
(ii). Has obtained citizenship by fraud
(iii). The citizen has unlawfully traded or communicated with the enemy during a war.
(iv). Within 5 years of registration or naturalisation, a citizen has been sentenced to 2 years of imprisonment in any country.
(v). Citizen has been living outside India for 7 years continuously.
Hopefully, after reading this article, you must have understood how the citizenship of an Indian citizen can be terminated and how can any individual get Indian citizenship?