Single Citizenship: Difference from Dual Citizenship, Benefits, Articles

5 minute read

In the diversity of nations across the world, citizenship has an important part in defining the identity, rights, and responsibilities of people within a particular country. Additionally, India with its rich cultural heritage and vast population, follows a unique system of Single Citizenship as outlined in the Indian Constitution. Let us dive deeper into what Single Citizenship is when it comes to India and the Indian Constitution.

Why does the Indian Constitution provide Single Citizenship?

The framers of the Indian Constitution, led by Dr. Babasaheb Rao Ambedkar and other visionaries, carefully pondered on various aspects of governance, including citizenship. One of the primary reasons for adopting a Single Citizenship model was to encourage national unity and integrity. Furthermore, given the immense diversity across states, languages, cultures, and religions within India, a Single Citizenship makes sure that all citizens are equal before the law, regardless of their state of origin.

Also Read: What is Democracy?

Which Articles deal with Single Citizenship?

Furthermore, the concept of Single Citizenship in India is written in Article 5 to Article 11 of the Indian Constitution. 

  • Article 5 defines the criteria for Indian citizenship at the commencement of the Indian Constitution.
  • Moreover, the other articles tell us the provisions related to the rights of citizenship of certain migrants to Pakistan and other related matters.

What is the Basic Feature of Single Citizenship?

The basic feature of Single Citizenship denotes the unity of the nation and the equality of all citizens irrespective of where they live in the country. 

  • Additionally, it makes sure that every person enjoys the same rights, duties, and protections under the law, regardless of the State they belong to. 
  • This unifying principle helps encourage a sense of belonging and national identity among citizens, which goes beyond the barriers of language, culture, and geography.

The Citizenship Act of 1955

The Citizenship Act of 1955 is the legal framework governing the acquisition and loss of citizenship in India as per the Indian Constitution. Moreover, this legislation has undergone many Amendments over the years to adapt to ever-evolving societal needs and circumstances. The Act outlines different ways through which people can get citizenship, which include by birth, descent, registration, naturalisation, and through the incorporation of territory.

Citizenship of India by Birth

According to the Citizenship Act, people born in India on or after the 26th of January 1950, but before the 1st of July 1987, are considered Indian citizens, irrespective of their parents’ nationality. 

  • However, for those born after the 1st of July 1987, citizenship is granted only if at least one parent is an Indian citizen at the time of birth. 
  • Additionally, for people born after the 3rd of December 2004, both or at least one parent must be an Indian citizen at the time of birth, and neither should be an illegal migrant in India. 
  • It is to be noted that this provision does not apply to foreign diplomats here in India.

Also Read: Important Articles of the Indian Constitution

Citizenship of India by Descent

The Citizenship Act outlines provisions for citizenship by descent. 

  • People born on or after the 26th of January 1950, but before the 10th of December 1992, whose fathers were Indian citizens at the time of their birth, are considered Indian citizens by descent. 
  • For those born outside India on or after the 10th of December 1992, citizenship by descent is granted if at least one parent is an Indian citizen at the time of birth. 
  • However, as of 3rd December 2004, people born outside Indian territory are not automatically granted citizenship by descent unless their birth is registered at an Indian Consulate within one year, after which the Central Government’s permission is a must.

Citizenship of India by Registration

The Indian government has the authority to register people as Indian citizens under certain circumstances, which are:

  • This includes people of Indian origin who have:
    • Resided in India for at least 7 years before their application. 
    • Spouses of Indian citizens who have lived in India for 7 years before applying.
    • Children of Indian citizens.
    • People whose parents have successfully registered themselves as Indian citizens. 
  • Additionally, people of Indian origin residing outside undivided India may also be eligible for registration.

Also Read: Making of the Indian Constitution

Citizenship of India by Naturalisation

Naturalisation is another pathway to Indian citizenship as per the Citizenship Act. 

  • People not categorised as illegal migrants and after meeting established qualifications can apply for naturalisation. 
  • Additionally, these qualifications include:
    • Not being a citizen of a country where Indian citizens are barred from naturalisation
    • Renouncing current citizenship if accepted for naturalization
    • Possessing good character
    • Demonstrating proficiency in a language listed in the Indian Constitution’s Eighth Schedule. 
  • However, the Government has the authority to waive these conditions for people who have made significant contributions in fields such as science, literature, art, or philosophy.

Citizenship of India by Incorporation of Territory

Lastly, the Citizenship Act of 1955 addresses citizenship in cases where a territory once belonging to a foreign country becomes part of India. In such circumstances, the Indian government decides the citizenship status of the inhabitants of that territory.

Also Read: What Is An Authoritarian Government?

What are the Benefits of Single Citizenship?

Furthermore, the adoption of Single Citizenship in India brings forth many benefits such as:

  • National Unity: Single citizenship promotes a sense of belonging to the nation as a whole, thereby promoting national unity as well as integration.
  • Simplicity: Moreover, Single citizenship simplifies the legal framework related to citizenship matters, thus avoiding complexities that may arise from recognising Dual Citizenship.
  • Equal Rights: In addition, it makes sure that every citizen enjoys the same Fundamental Rights and protections guaranteed by the Indian Constitution, irrespective of their place of residence.
  • Administrative Efficiency: Single citizenship also helps with administrative processes and governance. Since there is no need to differentiate between citizens based on their state of origin.

Will India get Dual Citizenship?

The following video will give you information on the talks revolving around Indians getting dual citizenship.

Source: Hindustan Times


Why does India follow single citizenship?

India follows single citizenship to boost national unity, ensuring equality and a sense of belonging among its diverse population across states and regions.

Is India a single or dual citizenship?

India follows a single citizenship model, wherein every individual is considered a citizen of the entire country, regardless of their state or regional affiliations. Dual citizenship, or holding citizenship of more than one country simultaneously, is not recognized in India.

Who is the first citizen of India?

The President of India is the first citizen of India. 

Lastly, we hope you liked our blog and gained an understanding of Single Citizenship. Moreover, you may even read more blogs and empower yourself with knowledge regarding Civics and Polity! 

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