Explainer: Laws to acquire Indian citizenship even as anti-CAA and NRC protests escalate

Protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act escalated in the national capital on December 15 and since then the protests have caused major inconvenience to the people with massive traffic snarls and authorities shutting down of metro stations in the national capital.

Explainer: Laws to acquire Indian citizenship even as anti-CAA and NRC protests escalate

The raging protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) have gripped several parts of the nation, days after it was passed in the Parliament. The Act aims to grant citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis, Buddhists and Christians fleeing religious persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh and came to India on or before December 31, 2014.

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Protests escalated in the national capital on December 15 and since then the protests have caused major inconvenience to the people with massive traffic snarls and authorities shutting down of metro stations in the national capital.

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Let's take a look at how a person can acquire Indian Citizenship:

I. Citizenship by Birth:

Article 5 of The Constitution of India provides that any person who was domiciled in India on 26th January 1950 and;

(a) who was born in the territory of India; or

(b) either of whose parents was born in the territory of India; or

(c) who has been ordinarily resident in the territory of India for not less than five years immediately preceding such commencement, shall be a citizen of India.

* Any person born in India on or after the 26th January 1950, but before the 1st July 1987 is a citizen of India by birth.

* Any person who is born between 1st July 1987 and 3rd December 2004 and either of whose parents is a citizen of India is also a citizen of India by birth.

* Any person born after 3rd December 2004 and both of whose parents are citizens of India or one of them isn’t an illegal immigrant at the time of his birth and the other is a citizen of India shall also be a citizen of India by birth.

II. Citizenship by descent:

* A person born outside India on or after the 26th January 1950, but before 10th December 1992 shall be 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 but before 3rd December 2004, if either of his parents was a citizen of India at the time of his birth. A person born outside India after 3rd December, 2004 shall be a citizen of India if either of his parents was a citizen of India and his birth is registered at Indian Consulate.

III. Citizenship by registration:

* Person of Indian origin who is ordinarily resident in India for seven years before making an application for registration is eligible to be registered as a citizen of India.

* A person of Indian origin who is ordinarily resident in any country or place outside undivided India shall be a citizen of India

* 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 is eligible to be registered as citizen of India.

* Minor children of persons who are citizens of India are eligible to be registered as a citizen of India

* A person of full age and capacity whose parents are registered as citizens of India is eligible to be registered as a citizen of India

* A person of full age and capacity who has been registered as an overseas citizen of India for five years, and who has been residing in India for twelve months before making an application for registration is eligible to be registered as a citizen of India

IV. Citizenship by naturalization:

* Any person of full age and capacity on fulfilling the residency requirement of twelve years is eligible for grant of a certificate of naturalization.

V. Citizenship by incorporation of territory:

* If any new territory becomes a part of India, Government shall specify the persons who among the people of the territory shall be the citizen of India. Such persons become the citizen of India from the notified date. This happened in case of Goa, Daman & Diu, Sikkim and many Bangladeshi enclaves which became part of India in 2014.