Citizenship Procedures in India and Its Neighborhood (Download PDF)

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By birth in India, By descent, Through registration, By naturalization (extended residence in India) , By incorporation of territory into India.

An Illegal Migrant

  • Without valid travel documents (visa and passport) .
  • Stays beyond the permitted time period.
  • Illegal migrant can be prosecuted in India and deported or imprisoned.
  • Exemption of certain groups of illegal migrants from being imprisoned or deported in September 2015 and July 2016.
  • Illegal migrants who came into India from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan on or before December 31,2014.
  • Belong to the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, or Christian religious communities.
  • Specified class of illegal migrants eligible for citizenship meeting certain qualifications.
  • Person must have resided in India or been in central government service for the last 12 months and at least 11 years of the preceding 14 years.
  • Residency has been relaxed from 11 years to 5 years.


  • No religious test for citizenship
  • Citizenship Act, 1951-Similar to India՚s Citizenship Act.
  • Section 6-any person who migrated to Pakistan before January 1,1952 is a citizen.
  • Section 3- citizenship on the commencement of the Act (April 13,1951) to anyone who or any of whose parents or grandparents were born in the territories included in Pakistan on March 31,1973.
  • Citizenship to any person migrated before April 13,1951 from any territory in the subcontinent.
  • Section 5- citizenship by descent considering one of the parents was a Pakistani citizen at the time of the person՚s birth.
  • J&K migrants to Pakistan are deemed to be Pakistan citizens (Until Kashmir՚s relationship with Pakistan is finally determined) .


  • Article 6-Citizenship in Bangladesh to be regulated by law and people shall be known as “Bengalees as a nation” .
  • December 1972 Bangladesh Citizenship (Temporary Provisions) , conferred citizenship through a Presidential Order.
  • From March 26,1971 on anyone who or whose father or grandfather was born in the territories then comprising Bangladesh.
  • For studies or employment within territories of the country at war or engaged in military operation (Pakistan) prevented from returning to Bangladesh.
  • Citizenship may be granted to a person who is a citizen of Europe, North America or Australia or any other state (Bangla Knowledge necessary) .
  • Women (Foreigner) married to Bangla men can also get citizenship after 2 years of residence.
  • Parents are Bangladeshi irrespective of place of birth.
  • Anyone who invests $ 150,000 can get citizenship as per 2017 directives.


  • Article 8 (1923) -Citizenship to all residents without religious discrimination.
  • Issuance of tazkira, or national identity cards.
  • Any foreigner residing in Afghanistan for five years.
  • Article 28-Afghan retains her citizenship despite marrying a foreigner.
  • Article 9 (2) - A child born in Afghanistan or outside to Afghan parents.
  • A child born in Afghanistan to foreigners can get citizenship on attaining age 18, decides to stay there and within six more months does not apply for the same citizenship as his parents.
  • Article 12- A child is born in Afghanistan is an Afghan citizen though the citizenship documents are not available with the parents.
  • Citizenship given to Non-Afghan women married to Afghan men.
  • Article 4- Afghanistan nation is composed of all individuals who possess Afghan citizenship.
  • Article 28- Citizenship as a Fundamental Right, no Afghan citizen shall be deprived of
  • Citizenship or sentenced to domestic or foreign exile.
  • Afghanistan neither confers nor denies citizenship on the basis of religion.

Regressive Indian Citizenship Procedures

  • A child will be a citizen (born after December 31,2003) only if both parents are Indian citizens.
  • Violation of Article 14 which guarantees equality to people (Indians and foreigners) .
  • Categorizing people along religious lines.

Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)

  • Ends up violating the Assam Accord of 1985.
  • Grants citizenship to illegal immigrants (on the basis of religion) who came here before December 31,2014.
  • Violates the Assam Accord- illegal immigrants from Bangladesh (those who came after March 25,1971) will be deported.
  • Nullify the impact of National Register of Citizen (NRC) in Assam- people who were left out of the final list are given citizenship through it.
  • Dropping all the charges against the Hindus.
  • Muslims will be deemed as ‘foreigners’ by the law.
  • Sri Lankan Tamils have been excluded from the list (more than 2.5 million)

- Published/Last Modified on: March 31, 2020


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