Registration is for granting of Indian citizenship to people who have ancestral or marital links with Indian citizens.

  • A Person of Indian Origin (PIO) who is an ordinary resident in India for seven years, preceding the application for the Indian citizenship will be granted Indian citizenship, if
  • He resides in India for twelve consecutive months immediately before his application for citizenship and
  • He has resided in India for a duration of six years in a span of eight years immediately before the last twelve consecutive months.
  • A Person of Indian Origin, who is an ordinary resident in any foreign country other than Pakistan and Bangladesh is eligible for Indian citizenship under registration.
  • A person who is married to an Indian citizen and is an ordinary resident in India for seven years is eligible for Indian citizenship under registration.
  • Minor children whose parents are Indian citizens are eligible for Indian citizenship under registration.
  • A person of full age and capacity, whose parents are registered as Indian citizens is eligible for Indian citizenship under registration.
  • A person of full age and capacity who or either of whose parents were citizens of Independent India and is ordinarily residing in India for one year immediately preceding the application for Indian citizenship is eligible under registration.
  • A person of full age and capacity, who has been registered as Overseas Citizen of India(OCI) for five years and resides in India for one year before applying for registration is eligible for Indian citizenship.
Note: Any minor child can be registered as an Indian citizen if the central government is convinced with the circumstance that necessitates granting of citizenship rights.


Naturalisation is for granting the Indian citizenship rights to foreigners, but not illegal immigrants.

  • A foreigner, who aspires to acquire the Indian citizenship has to ordinarily reside in India for twelve years before applying for citizenship under Naturalisation. He has to reside in India for twelve consecutive months immediately preceding his application for citizenship and has to ordinarily reside in India for eleven years in a span of fourteen years immediately preceding the last twelve consecutive months, before application.
  • He should come from a country where Indian citizens are not barred from acquiring citizenship through naturalisation.
  • He should possess a good characterHe should possess adequate knowledge of any one of the Indian languages listed in Schedule VIII of the constitution.


When India acquires a foreign territory, the Government of India may notify who among the people of the acquired territory shall become Indian citizens.


The Citizenship Act of 1955authorises three grounds on which the citizenship rights of an Indian citizen will cease to exist.

  1. By Renunciation: A person will no longer remain an Indian citizen, if he voluntarily gives up the Indian citizenship.
  2. By Termination: A person on acquiring the citizenship of a foreign country, automatically ceases to be an Indian citizen.
  3. By Deprivation: It is the compulsory termination of a person’s citizenship rights. The person will cease to be an Indian citizen, if
  • He has acquired the Indian citizenship by fraud;
  • He has shown disloyalty to the Indian constitution;
  • He has involved in trade and commerce with the enemy country at the time of war;
  • He has been imprisoned for two consecutive years in a foreign country, within five years of acquiring the Indian citizenship through registration or naturalisation;
  • He has been ordinarily residing in a foreign country for seven years continuously.

Single citizenship can be inferred in two ways.

  1. An Indian citizen on voluntarily acquiring the citizenship of a foreign country will cease to be an Indian citizen according to Article 9. India opted for single citizenship because dual citizenship means owing allegiance to two different countries, which may turn out to be a threat to the unity and the integrity of the country.

Example: If a person holds the citizenship rights in both India and Pakistan, he can enjoy all the political and legal rights in both the countries. He may develop a positive bias over one country and that will be unfavourable to the other country.

  1. All Indians, irrespective of the states that they belong to, enjoy equal citizenship rights throughout the country. This means that all the citizens of India owe their allegiance only to the Indian Union, unlike in the USA where the citizens owe allegiance to both the states and the Union.

Non-Resident Indians(NRIs): NRIs are Indian citizens who live in foreign countries and hold an Indian passport.

People of Indian Origin(PIO): People of Indian Origin are citizens of foreign countries, who trace their root to India and want to have a closer relationship with India.


The Persons of Indian Card(PIO) card was introduced in 2002 to confer an array of benefits to foreign nationals who have ancestral links with India. The Overseas Citizens of India(OCI) card was introduced in 2005 to PIO, conferring more benefits than provided in the PIO card.

The definition of PIO does not include citizens of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.


●      The  PIO cardholders do not require a visa to visit India.

●      It is valid for 15 years.

●      The cardholders do not need employment or education visa to work and study in India.

●      The cardholders need not register themselves with the Foreigner Regional Registration Office (FRRO) during their stay in India.


In addition to the benefits enjoyed by PIO cardholders, the OCI cardholders enjoy the following benefits in India

●    The OCI card is valid for lifetime.

●    The cardholders can open a bank account in India like the NRIs and make investments.

●    The cardholders can buy non-farm properties in India.

●    The cardholders can apply for and acquire a driver’s license and PAN card.

●    The cardholders can adopt Indian children.

●    The cardholders, after remaining as an OCI for five years can apply for Indian citizenship, provided they stay in India for one year immediately preceding their application. But they have to renounce their foreign citizenship.


●    The cardholders are barred from voting in elections; hold public offices; buy farm and plantation lands; visit restricted areas without permission

●    The OCI status is not dual citizenship.



The decision to celebrate PravasiBharatiya Divas was taken in accordance with recommendations of the High Level Committee (HLC) on the Indian Diaspora set up by government of India under the chairmanship of L. M. Singhvi. The then Prime Minister of India, Shri AtalBihari Vajpayee, received the report of the Committee at a public function at VigyanBhavan in New Delhi on 8 January 2002, and announced the “PravasiBharatiya Divas” (PBD) on 9 January 2002. The day was chosen to mark the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa to India in 1915.

The occasion is marked by special programs to recognize the contributions of NRI/PIO individuals of exceptional merit, felicitate NRI/PIO individuals who have made exceptional contributions in their chosen field/profession (PravasiBharatiyaSamman ( NRI/PIO Award)) and provide a forum to discuss issues and concerns of people of the diaspora. The event has been organized every year since 2003, and is sponsored by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs and the CII (Confederation of Indian Industry), initially sponsored by FICCI.

The 8th PravasiBharatiya Divas took place on 7–9 January 2010 and was webcast live at the official Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs website, also covered live on social media via live blogging and live tweeting at PravasiBharatiya Divas, an online platform powered by Kotak Mahindra Bank.

An investment facilitation platform for overseas Indians, the Overseas Indians Facilitation Centre, was launched by India’s Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, with a view of strengthening ties with the diaspora for partnering in India’s growth story on the occasion.

In 2006, the concept of Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) was launched during the PravasiBharatiya Divas convention at Hyderabad on 9 January.

The 2012 PravasiBhartiya Divas was held from 7–9 January 2012. The venue was Jaipur, Rajasthan. Chief Guest of this event was the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Ms KamlaPersad-Bissessar

In 2013, 11th PravasiBharatiya Divas was held in Kochi from 7–9 January, where the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) is organising partner of the summit.[5] The President of Mauritius, RajkeswurPurryag, was the chief guest at the official inaugural session.[6] Canadian Minister Jason Kenney became the first individual of non-Indian heritage to address the gathering.

The 2013 PravasiBhartiya Divas was held from 8–9 January 2013 in KochiKerala. Chief Guest of this event was the President of Mauritius, RajkeshwarPurryag.

In 2014, PravasiBhartiya Divas was held in New Delhi and was attended by 1,500 delegates from 51 countries. President Pranab Mukherjee gave the PravasiBharatiyaSamman Awards.

 The 13th PravasiBharatiya Divas was held during 7–9 January 2015 at Mahatma Mandir, Gandhinagar, Gujarat . The Theme for this year was “Apna Bharat, Apna Gaurav”.

The 2015 PravasiBharatiya Divas was held in Ahmedabad celebrating 100 years of Mahatma’s return to India.

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