All about Indian Citizenship: Acquiring Single Citizenship and Dual Citizenship in India

All about Indian Citizenship: Acquiring Single Citizenship and Dual Citizenship in India

All about Indian Citizenship: Acquiring Single Citizenship and Dual Citizenship in India


The dictionary meaning of a citizen is a native or naturalized member of a state or other political community. The citizenship is a state of being a citizen of a particular social, political, or national community.



Citizenship Act, 1955 was enacted in terms of the powers of Parliament as saved under article 11 of the Constitution. According to that Act, citizenship of India can be acquired-

  • By birth for example the person born in India whose one of the parent is also Indian.
  • By descent for example person born outside India if the parent of such a person was a citizen by birth subject to some exceptions and conditions.
  • By registration for example the person of Indian Origin who choose to get himself registered under the said act;
  • By naturalization for example making an application for obtaining a certificate of naturalization subject to the condition laid in this Behalf ;
  • By incorporation of territory for example the person residing in any territory which becomes part of India, automatically becomes a citizen of India.



Indian Citizenship Forms are in Portable Document Format. For different modes of acquiring citizenship one has to fill different forms. One can access the forms for citizenship of India as per different section from:



For different modes of acquiring citizenship one has to fill different forms. One can access the fees for various forms for citizen as per different section from:



Declaration of renunciation shall be made by any citizen of India:

  • of full age and capacity
  • in the prescribed manner
  • shall be registered by the prescribed authority, and,
  • upon such registration, that person shall cease to be a citizen of India.

Further, every minor child of that person shall thereupon cease to be a citizen of India,

Whose citizenship can be resumed within one year after attaining full age he  make a declaration that he wishes to resume citizenship.

If any such declaration of renunciation is made during any war: registration shall be withheld until the Central Government otherwise directs.



  • After acceptance of the application for grant of Indian Citizenship by the Central Government, the applicant is required to furnish following documents:
  • Certificate of renunciation of his/ her foreign citizenship which shall be issued by the Mission of the concerned country.
  • As mentioned in the acceptance letter, Challan in original as proof of deposit of the prescribed fee.
  • Three passport size photographs duly attested on the backside by a Gazetted Officer
  • Three specimen signature of the applicant
  • Personal particulars of the applicant in form X at the Citizenship Rules, 2009.



According to Article 5 of the Indian Constitution:

From the commencement of constitution, every person shall be a citizen of India who has:

  • his domicile in the territory of India and –
  • was born in the Indian territory; or
  • parents (Either of) born in the Indian territory;or
  • ordinarily resident in the Indian territory for not less than immediately preceding 5 years.



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 and
  • the requirement to renounce one’s existing citizenships when naturalizing in India

There are still some ways in which a person may have dual citizenship of India and another country, as:

  • Children of foreign diplomats, who are born in India, are also given dual citizenship till the period of their parents’ service in India.
  • A minor child of Indian origins may hold  citizenship of India and another country.
  • So that the minor can decide within six months of completing 18 years of age as to whether he/she prefers Indian citizenship.



A PIL seeking dual citizenship for overseas Indians was filed in the Supreme Court. It was filed on 6th January, 2015 on the eve of the inauguration of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Gandhinagar.

Another PIL filed was dismissed by the Supreme Court on 20 April 2015as Mr. Venkat Narayan is not the aggrieved party and those who need to assert their right should come forward cannot plead on behalf of someone else.



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