How to Become an Indian Citizen
If you are seeking to become a citizen of India, you have two main ways to do it. You can either register by proving that you have descended from citizens of India or become naturalized as a citizen. Each of these options has more specific requirements, but once you fulfill those requirements, you can apply online for citizenship.
Deciding on the Correct Form to Use
Use Form-I if you are of Indian descent.If you have been living in India for at least 7 years, you will use section 5(1)(a). If you've lived outside of India, you will use section 5(1)(b)
- Indian descent is defined as a person who was born after August 15, 1947 in India or a territory that became a part of India or if she has a parent that fulfills that qualification.
Use Form-II if you want to gain citizenship by marriage.In other words, you can become an Indian citizen because you are legally married to an Indian citizen. You must have been living in India for 7 years. You will use section 5(1)(c).
Fill in Form-III if you are a child of Indian parents.To use this form, your parents must be registered as citizens, not just born in India. This form can apply to minor children or adult children.
- Parents of minors applying for citizenship should use the plain Form-III under section 5(1)(d).
- If your parents are registered as citizens under 5(1)(a) or 6(1), you should use Form-III-A under section 5(1)(e).
- If your parents were previous residents of Independent India and you have been in India a year prior to applying, you will use Form-III-B and file under section 5(1)(f).
Apply with Form-XII for naturalization.You can become a citizen of Indian by naturalization if you've lived in the country for at least 12 years. You make this application under section 6.
- You may not have been living in India illegally.
- You may be able to file for citizenship earlier if you've made a significant contribution to the world, especially in literature, art, philosophy, or science.
Applying for Citizenship
Find the application online.The easiest way to apply is online on the website for the Foreigners Division, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. Once you click "Apply Online," you'll be taken to a page where you can choose the correct section to apply under.
- If you prefer not to apply online, you can apply in person by first downloading the forms and filling them out.Generally, you apply where you reside in India. You will submit your application to the Collector/District Magistrate.
Pick the appropriate section.Using the information provided in the first section, find the appropriate section. Clicking on that section will bring up a page detailing what documentation you need to provide.
Gather your documentation for citizenship by registration.In general, you need a copy of your passport from another country, as well as a copy of your Residential Permit, otherwise known as an LTV.From there, what you need deviates a bit.
- For section 5(1)(a), you also need proof of your parent's citizenship by having a copy of their passports or birth certificates. You should provide your Declaration and Oath form, from the Citizenship Rules; through these two items, you declare that you are eligible for the type of citizenship you're seeking (basically swear that your statements are true) and pledge allegiance to the Constitution of India.You also need 500 Rupees.You'll need these same items for 5(1)(d), except the fee is only 250 Rupees and proof of guardianship, if applicable.
- For section 5(1)(c), you'll also need a copy of your marriage certificate, plus proof of your spouse's citizenship (copy of passport or birth certificate). In addition, you'll need your Declaration and Oath, as well as 500 Rupees.
- Under section 5(1)(e), you'll also need proof of your parents' citizenship under sections 5(1)a or 6(1), your Declaration and Oath, and 500 Rupees.
- Under section 5(1)(f), you need to provide evidence that your parents were citizens under Independent India (copy of Indian passport or birth certificate), along with your Declaration, Oath, and 500 Rupees.
- For section 5(1)(g), you need to show a copy of your Registration as an Overseas Citizen of India instead of your Registration Permit. You also need your Declaration and Oath, as well as 500 Rupees.
Gather your documentation for citizenship by naturalization.If you are apply for citizenship by naturalization, you will still need to show a copy of a passport from another county, as well as your Residential Permit (LTV). However, you also need three affidavits: one from you and two from other Indians. These affidavits must establish your character, using the specific language provided by the application.
- In addition, you'll also need to show you know at least one of India's languages, proven with two language certificates.
- Finally, you need to provide proof that you made your intentions of applying for citizenship known through the newspaper; you'll need at least two newspaper clippings from your district. The fee for this application is 1500 Rupees.
Scan your paperwork into your computer.When you apply online, you will need to have your documents already scanned into the computer. Ensure the file sizes are under 1 megabyte apiece. Documents can have more than one page if they are longer than a page.
Get a passport-size photo.For uploading, your photo should only be 100 pixels by 100 pixels. It also needs to be a jpg and under 20 kilobytes.
Fill out the application.You will need biographical information about you and your parents, as well as your spouse. You will also need to provide information on your employer and your passport, as well as how long you've resided in India. The application has a section on your criminal background, as well.
Pay the fee.You will pay the fee to the State Bank of India under the heading number of 0070-Other Administration Services-Other Services-Receipts Under the Citizenship Act. You will need the Bank Challan, which is the official receipt of payment.You can download the receipt to be filled out on the same website where you download citizenship forms.
Wait for approval.The government will review your application and determine if you are eligible. If you are missing some paperwork, the government will give you a chance to provide what you are missing. You should be notified within 2 months whether you are accepted for citizenship or not.
Renounce your previous citizenship.Once you have been accepted, you must renounce citizenship through that country. You must prove to the Indian Government that you have made that renouncement, as well as fill out Form-V and pay a fee. Once you have done so, your citizenship will be complete.
QuestionIf I have a girlfriend in India, how can I become a citizen?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can become an Indian citizen if you marry your girlfriend and apply for citizenship.Thanks!
QuestionIs Indian citizenship transferable to a foreign country?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo. If you acquire Indian citizenship, you are Indian and that does not grant you citizenship of any other country, including Nepal. Of course, you can have visa-free travel to Nepal and other countries which India has good relationship with.Thanks!
QuestionIs it possible to gain citizenship through marriage? If so is it possible to hold a dual citizenship?Maisy1258Community AnswerYou will not be able to gain a dual citizenship, however if you are married to someone who is Indian or even half-Indian it is possible to get Indian citizenship.Thanks!
QuestionIs a birth certificate sufficient for getting Indian citizenship?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThanks!
QuestionAfter applying for Indian citizenship, can I visit a foreign country, and for how long?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes. It depends on your country and the duration of your visa for the country you are visiting.Thanks!
QuestionCan a Sri Lankan citizen who also has British citizenship apply for Indian citizenship?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou have to cancel both of the other citizenships. As per Indian law, only single citizenship is allowed. So you have to cancel and apply for a citizenship online and wait until you get info from MHA. Once you are qualified for citizenship, you have to renounce your citizenship from other countries.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I find out if I'm eligible for Indian citizenship?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIndian citizenship can be granted by 4 primary methods: 1. Citizenship by birth: People who were born on or after 26th January, 1950 in India are treated as Indian citizens. 2. Citizenship by descent: A person is born outside India on or after 26th January, 1950 with at least one Indian parent is recognized as a citizen. 3. Citizenship by registration: If you get married to an Indian citizen and reside in India for the next five years, you can then register yourself as an Indian citizen. 4. Citizenship by naturalization: Reside in India for 13 years, renounce the citizenship of any other country, and become fluent in at least one Indian language.Thanks!
QuestionI am an Indian citizen but married to a Nepali spouse and have gained Neplese citizenship. Can I get Indian rights or do I have to take Indian citizenship again for all rights? Can my husband get Indian citizenship?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you are a citizen of Nepal now, then you must cancel your Nepalese citizenship to get Indian citizenship.Thanks!
QuestionI'm born in India. I hold a foreign passport. Now I want to apply for an Indian passport. What can I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you were born in India, you should be able to get a passport.Thanks!
QuestionCan I get an Indian citizenship if I am Hindu?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo, being Hindu does not make you eligible to get Indian citizenship. You can obtain citizenship only by the four ways mentioned above.Thanks!
My grandfather was originally from Surat in India but came to South Africa in the late 1800's. I do believe that we still have family in India. Can I apply for citizenship based on this relationship?
How do I know if I have any entitlements towards being an Indian citizen?
I was born in India in 1980 but my parents are not Indian. Is it sufficient for getting Indian citizenship? If yes, How is the procedure?
Is it possible to qualify for citizenship in India if I'm pursuing an advanced degree there?
My fathers coountry was in India but he was a Bangladeshi I am also Bangladeshi but my All father side blood connected relative live in india as an indian . How can I get Indian citizenship?
- The other two ways you can gain citizenship more easily are by being born in India or being born within certain dates to citizens of India outside of India.
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Video: Short Trick to learn _how to get Indian citizenship by Dr.Saeed
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