Dual Citizenship in India

An individual who is a citizen of two different countries is described as a person holding dual citizenship. Such citizens will enjoy the rights and benefits of both countries. The individuals will have passports from both countries. What is Dual Citizenship? Those who are not fully aware of Dual Citizenship can go through this in-depth guide. In this post, we prefaced the complete information about Dual Citizenship, its benefits, drawbacks, and more. Have a look!

What is Dual Citizenship?

Dual Citizenship is referred to as holding two citizenships [nationalities] of two countries at the same time. Some of the countries like the Unites States permit dual citizenship. In that case, the individuals will have two passports. Dual Citizenship India has both benefits and drawbacks as it is considered a complex legal status. The major benefit of holding dual citizenship is that the individual will have two passports. At the same time, dual citizenship has a potential drawback i.e.,  plausible double taxation. Can Indians Have Dual Citizenship? You can get the precise answer to this query in this guide.

Does India Allow Dual Citizenship?

Does India allow Dual Citizenship? If you have this doubt in mind then, you are at the right place. India doesn’t allow dual citizenship. As per the Indian law, constitution, and other existing laws, citizens of India aren’t allowed to hold two citizenships at the same time. The citizens who have dual citizenship can enjoy various privileges and rights in both countries. The person will get two passports from both countries. The individual can also travel, buy property, reside in another country for an extended time duration with dual citizenship. The person can enjoy various basic and special privileges for being a natural-born citizen of the nation. For instance, United States allows dual citizenship.

OCI cards

As mentioned already, India doesn’t allow dual nationality. Despite the provision of dual citizenship is not available in India, the Government of India has rolled various programs such as OCI [Overseas Citizen of India] and PIO [Person of Indian Origin]. However, these two programs of the Indian Government may not be similar to the dual citizenship policy. A person is considered an Indian citizen  only if they meet the following criteria:

  • He or she was born in the territory of India
  • He or she is residing continuously within the Indian territory for at least 5 years.
  • Either his or her parents were born in the Indian territory.

OCI Cards are issued to the foreign nationals who were eligible for Indian citizenship as of 26th January 1950, who became Indian citizens any time after 26th January 1950, and who were the citizens of a territory that seceded into India after 15th August 1947. Any minors of the aforementioned citizens can also apply for OCI cards. However, the citizens of Pakistan and Bangladesh aren’t eligible to get OCI Cards.

The major benefits of OCI cards will mostly remain the same as the Indian citizens in different fields. Some of the key advantages of OCI cards include the following:

  • No need for police reporting during the stay in India
  • Lifelong Visa-free entry into India
  • Unlimited duration of stay in India

Similar benefits as NRIs in respect to property transactions, investments, housing, and other educational schemes from the Indian Government. The key difference between OCI cards and Dual Citizenship is that the individual holding an OCI Card cannot purchase properties for plantation or agricultural purposes in India. Moreover, OCI cardholders are banned from holding public office, working for the government, and voting in elections.

Termination of Indian citizenship

If you don’t want to hold the Indian citizenship seeking for some other country’s citizenship then, the Indian citizen must terminate or renounce his Indian citizenship. The termination of Indian citizenship will happen if the individual has obtained foreign citizenship via registration or naturalization. In that case, the Indian passport must be surrendered. It is an offense to hold both Indian citizenship and foreign citizenship as per Indian laws. The citizens of India can also renounce Indian citizenship. In that case, the individual will lose the Indian citizenship of the minor children of that person. In India, only adults can renounce their citizenship. On the other hand, minor children can restore Indian citizenship when they acquire 18 years.

Key Points to be Noted

Once the Indian citizen tries to obtain the citizenship of any other country across the world, the citizenship of that person in India will no longer be valid. As we all know that the Indian Government doesn’t allow dual citizenship. Some people in Goa earlier demanded to have dual nationality of India and Portugal together. The reason is that the Portuguese ruled the territory a few decades back and hence, they wish to enjoy the dual citizenship privileges and rights of both countries. But, the Indian Government is extremely strict in its laws. Even now, India follows a single citizenship policy in the country.

That’s all! This is everything you need to know about Dual Citizenship. We hope this guide has given enough information about the Dual Nationality benefits, disadvantages, OCI cards, and more. If you have any doubts or queries, just ask us in the comments section. To know more about passports and related articles, just stay tuned to MoneyCompass.

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