The citizens of India enjoy rights and privileges that aliens [outsiders with no membership but here legally]. Friendly aliens enjoy some additional privileges than enemy aliens [country India is at war with].

Fundamental rights to citizens and aliens

The following rights are not enjoyed by aliens:

        1-      Right against discrimination on any grounds

        2-      equality of opportunity in public service

        3-      Right to freedom of expression, association, movement, profession, residence, assembly.

        4-      right to vote

        5-      right to contest for elections of MP , MLA

        6-      Right to hold office of president, vice president, judges of SC / HC, attorney general or advocate general and governor.

Along with rights, fundamental duties are also applicable to Indian citizens only. In India office of president is available to citizen by birth or naturalization unlike USA [only birth].

Constitutional provisions for citizenship 

Constitution makes provision of people who became citizen on January 26, 1950. It empowers parliament to handle all matters related to citizenship. Under this, parliament has passed the citizenship act which states five ways of acquiring citizenship:


1-      By birth – a person born in India after 26 January 1950 and before 1 July 1987 is a citizen irrespective of the nationality of his parents. Those born after or on 1 July 1987 are citizens only if either parent is a citizen at the time of his birth. Those born on and after 3rd December 2004 are citizens if both parents are citizens or if one are citizen and other isn’t illegal immigrant.

2-      By descent: A person born out of India after 26 January 1950 but before 10 December 1992 is a citizen by descent if his father was a citizen at the time of his birth. A person born out of India after 10 dec 1992 is a citizen if either of his parent is an Indian citizen. A person born out of India after 3 December 2004, is a citizen if his birth is registered at the Indian consulate within 1 year of his birth, this has to be accompanied with an undertaking from parents that she doesn’t hold any other citizenship.

3-      By registration: Central government can register a person as citizen if he has been resident of India for at least 7 years. He has minor children who are citizens of India. He has parents either of who are citizens of India. Who is married to a citizen of India.

4-      By naturalization: Central government can grant on application a certificate of naturalization to a person who is not a citizen of a country where Indians can’t be naturalized citizens.

  1. Is ready to surrender citizenship of other country when he receives Indian citizenship.
  2. Is of good character. Has knowledge of at least one language of 8th schedule.
  3. He has been a resident of India or been in service to Govt of India for a period of 12 months preceding application.
  4. He has been a resident of India or in service to Govt of India during 14 yrs preceding the said period of 12 months.
  5. He shall on grant of naturalization continue to reside in India or serve under Govt of India or society, trust, company run by Indian.
  6. Govt of India can waive of all conditions for a person with distinguished record in field of science, human progress, peace, philosophy, art, literature. Every naturalized citizen must take oath of allegiance to the constitution.

5-      By incorporation of territory: If a foreign territory becomes part of India then the Govt of India can specify who amongst the people of that territory can become citizens of India.

Loss of Citizenship

  1. By renunciation: When a person makes a declaration renouncing citizenship, upon registration of that declaration by Govt of India his citizenship is null and void. Also all minor children of that person also lose their citizenship. Such minor can resume citizenship after 18 years of age.
  2. By termination: If a citizen acquires voluntarily the citizenship of another country then he loses his Indian citizenship automatically.
  3. By deprivation: Govt of India can cancel citizenship if its obtained by fraud, citizen communicates with enemy during war, he is not resident in India for 7 years, he has within 5 years of registration or naturalization been in jail for 2 years, he has shown disloyalty to the constitution.

Single Citizenship

Single citizenship for all citizens is provision made in our constitution unlike USA, Switzerland but same as Canada. This is to prevent discrimination and promote equality and fraternity. Also to build a united and integrated nation.

Exceptions to this rule:

  1. Govt of India can prescribe residence of state or UT for employment in public service for that state or UT.
  2. Constitution doesn’t prohibit discrimination on grounds of residence hence states or UT can give preference or concessions to its residents.
  3. Freedom of residence can be curtailed to protect rights of ST.
  4. The state of J&K can give special rights to its residents in matters of employment, acquisition of immovable property, settlement and scholarships.


People of Indian Origin

Overseas Citizen of India

All are eligible except SAARC countries.

All are eligible except Pak and Bangladesh.

No separate visa required to visit India

Multipurpose, lifelong entry visa

Parity with NRI on economic, financial and educational spheres but can’t buy agro land. No political rights

Parity with NRI on economic, financial and educational spheres but can’t buy agro land. No political rights

All activities except mountaineering, missionary,

research work and visiting protected / restricted

Areas which require specific permit.

All activities except mountaineering, missionary,

research work and visiting protected / restricted

Areas which require specific permit.

Needs to reside in India for 7 years before making application for citizenship

Need to stay in India for 1 year before making application. This can be granted after 5 years of registration.


PIO and OCI to be merged into overseas Indian card holder’s scheme.

Pravasi Bharitya Divas

Pravasi kaushal vikas yojana shall be launched soon. The aim of this is enhancing skills of various persons travelling abroad for employment opportunities. This scheme shall ensure that they get better economic opportunities.

VAJRA [Visiting Adjunct Joint Research Faculty] scheme to enable Indian scientific community abroad to participate in research and development in India by working in an institution in India for 3-4 months.

Investments made by PIO’s and Company’s or trusts owned by them shall be deemed to be on par with investments made by resident indians.


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