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Acquisition of citizenship
The citizenship Act of 1955 prescribes five ways of acquiring citizenship. They are by birth, descent, registration, naturalisation and incorporation of territory.
1. By Birth
* A person born in India on or after 26th January 1950 but before 1st July 1987 is a citizen of India by birth irrespective of the nationality of his Parents.
* A person born in India on or after1st 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.
* Those born in India on or after 3rd December 2004 are considered 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. By Descent
* A Person born outside India on or after 26th January 1950 but before 10th December 1992 is a citizen of India by descent, if his father was a citizen of India at the time of his birth.
* A person born outside India on or after 10th December 1992 is considered as a citizen of India if either of his parents is a citizen of India at the time of his birth.
* From 3rd December 2004 onwards, a person born outside India shall not be a citizen of India by descent, unless his birth is registered at an Indian consulate within one year of the date of birth.
3. By Registration
* A Person of Indian origin who is ordinarily resident in any country or place outside undivided India.
* A Person of Indian origin who is ordinarily resident in India for seven years before making an application for registration.
* A Person who is married to a citizen of India and is ordinarily resident in India for seven years before making an application for registration.
4. By Naturalisation
The Central Government may, on an application, grant a certificate of naturalization to any person
* if he is not a citizen of any country where citizens of India are Prevented from becoming subjects or citizens of that country
* a citizen of any country, renounce the citizenship of that country
* he has either resided in India or been in the service of a Government in India or throughout the period of twelve months
* he is a good character and has an adequate knowledge of a language specified in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution. (presently 22 languages)
5. By incorporation of Territory
If any foreign territory becomes a part of India, the Government of India specifies the persons who among the people of the territory shall be the citizens of India. Such persons become the citizens of India from the notified date. For example, when Pondicherry became a part of India, the Government of India issued the citizenship (Pondicherry) order, 1962.
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