• Citizenship is the legal status that establishes an individual’s membership in a nation and signifies the relationship between the individual and the state.
  • The concept of Indian citizenship is based on jus soli, which grants citizenship based on the place of birth.


  • Enshrined in the Constitution: Indian citizenship provisions are explicitly laid out in the Constitution, a unique characteristic not commonly found in other countries.
  • Single Citizenship: India has established a uniform and single citizenship for the entire country, even though it is a federal polity.
  • Equal Civil and Political Rights: All Indian citizens, regardless of their place of birth or residence in any state, enjoy equal civil and political rights. This is unlike countries like the USA, where discrimination can occur based on state citizenship.
  • Rejection of Double Citizenship: India follows a single citizenship model despite being a federal state, whereas countries like the USA and Switzerland adopt double citizenship.
  • Rejection of Multiple Citizenship: If an Indian citizen voluntarily acquires citizenship from another country, they are deemed to have renounced Indian citizenship. In contrast, countries like the USA and Pakistan allow multiple citizenships.
  • Provisions for Overseas Citizens of India: India offers certain privileges and rights to individuals with ties to the country, either through former Indian citizenship or familial connections, which sets it apart from other countries.

Comparison with USA:

  • Acquisition of Citizenship: Both India and the USA allow citizenship through birth or naturalization, but the principle of jus soli is prevalent in the USA, conferring citizenship to those born on American soil regardless of their parents’ nationality.
  • Single vs. Double Citizenship: India follows a single citizenship system, while the USA has a dual citizenship model, recognizing citizenship at both federal and state levels.
  • Honorary and Corporate Citizenship: The USA allows honorary and corporate citizenship, which is not present in India.
  • Presidential Eligibility: The USA restricts presidential eligibility to natural-born citizens, whereas India allows citizens by birth or naturalization to become the president.

Comparison with Pakistan:

  • Methods of Gaining Citizenship: India grants citizenship by naturalization to foreign nationals residing in the country for around 11 years in 14 years, while Pakistan requires foreign nationals to reside in the country for 5 years and demonstrate proficiency in a vernacular language to gain citizenship.
  • Commonwealth Citizenship: India renounced commonwealth citizenship, while Pakistan maintains it.
  • Dual Nationality: Pakistan allows dual nationality, but India does not permit it.


The concept of citizenship in India exhibits distinct characteristics when compared to other countries, such as its single and uniform citizenship for the entire nation. Resolving citizenship-related issues, as seen in the NRC and Assam Accord, is crucial for ensuring harmony and peace within the country.

Legacy Editor Changed status to publish March 6, 2024