The methods of securing Indian citizenship are prescribed in the Indian Citizenship Act, 1955, which are given below:
1. Citizenship by Birth: Every person born in India on or after Jan. 26, 1950 shall be a citizen of India by birth, provided his/her father is not an enemy alien or a representative of diplomatic Mission.
2. Citizenship by Descent: A person born outside India on or after Jan. 26, 1950 shall be a citizen of India by descent if his father or mother (as amended in 1992) is a citizen of India at the time of his/her birth; provided such birth is registered in any of Indian consulates.
3. Citizenship by Registration: Many categories of persons, who have not acquired Indian citizenship so far, can acquire citizenship by registering themselves to that effect before the prescribed authority. Such categories of persons are – (i) Persons of Indian origin residing outside the territories of undivided India, (ii) Those persons of Indian origin who are ordinarily residents in India and have been so resident for 6 months immediately before making application for registration; (iii) Women who are married to citizen of India; (iv) Children of Indian citizens; and (v) Adult citizens of UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, Cylone, Zimbabwe, Nyasiland, and Republic of Ireland.
A person of Indian origin means, any person who himself or either of his parents or his grand parents is born in undivided India.
4. Naturalisation: A foreign citizen not covered by any of the above methods, can get Indian citizenship on application of Naturalisation to the Government of India; with the following conditions-
(1) He should not be citizen of a country, with respect to which Government of India has prohibited naturalisation ;
(2) he has surrendered the the citizenship of his country;
(3) he has be ordinarily resident of India for atleast one year before making application or has been in service under the Indian Government;
(4) he has been a resident of India for 7 years or has been in service for four years under the Government of India just before the one year period mentioned above;
(5) he bears a good moral character;
(6) he has the knowledge of any of the Indian languages mentioned in the eighth schedule of the constitution of India;
(7) after getting the citizenship through naturalisation, he intend to reside in India or to serve under the Government of India.
The Government of India has the discretion to relax any or all the above conditions with respect to those applicants for naturalisation, who have made significant contribution in the field of art, literature, science, philosophy, world peace or human progress. As amended in 1985, this provision of relaxing the above condition is also applicable with respect to the person applying for Indian citizenship under Assam Agreement.
(5) Citizenship by incorporation of Territory: If any new territory becomes a part of India shall specify as to which persons of that territory shall be citizens of India. Only such specified persons shall be given citizenship of India.
Amendment in the Citizenship Act -Parliament amended the Citizenship Act (1955) in 1992 to make provisions that child born outside India shall also be the citizen of India, if the mother of such child is a citizen of India. Before this amendment. Only that child was entitled to get citizenship whose father was citizen of India.