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Renunciation of Indian citizenship now simpler

  • IAS NEXT, Lucknow
  • 04, Oct 2021
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New guidelines introduced by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to simplify the process of renunciation of citizenship for Indians who wish to do so.

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  • Some of the simplified provisions in the new guidelines include- Uploading of documents online and completion of the process of renunciation within 60 days
  • The new form also has a provision mandating the Indian citizen to indicate the reason for renouncing the citizenship
  • The uploaded documents have to be submitted to the District Magistrate in case of citizen living in India or an Indian Mission abroad. The applicant will be interviewed before issuing the final certificate
  • Also, the guidelines specify that as per the Citizenship act, 1955- “every minor child of that person shall thereupon ceases to be a citizen of India”.
  • Concern with the guidelines: The guidelines are not clear if minors would also lose citizenship if only one of the parents gives up her/his Indian citizenship.
  • How can citizenship be acquired in India?

Figure: Provisions related to acquiring citizenship

  • The citizenship act, 1955 prescribes three ways of losing citizenship:
  • By renunciation:
  • Any citizen of India of full age and capacity can make a declaration renouncing Indian citizenship
  • Such declaration may not be accepted during war.
  • Even the minor children of the person who renounces citizenship stands to lose their Indian citizenship. However, when their children attain the age of eighteen, he may resume Indian citizenship
  • By termination:
  • If a citizen of India voluntarily acquires the citizenship of another country, then he loses the citizenship of India
  • However, this provision does not apply during times of war
  • By deprivation: Compulsory termination of Indian citizenship by the Central government, in the following conditions:
  • Obtained the citizenship by fraud
  • Citizen has shown disloyalty to the Constitution of India
  • Citizen has unlawfully traded or communicated during the times of war
  • Within 5 years of naturalization, the said citizen is imprisoned for a term of two years
  • Citizen has been ordinarily resident out of India for a period of 7 years