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How to gain Indian citizenship

If you want to become an Indian citizen, then there are two main ways to gain Indian citizenship. The first one is to prove that you are of Indian descent and the second one is through naturalization.

Each one of them has its own requirements. You have to fulfill them to apply for the citizenship online. For your confusion-free understanding, we have given below the whole process to become a citizen of India. however, it’s a must for you to know which form to use, so we have prepared a list of the forms according to every situation that may happen.

1. Form I (if you are of Indian ancestry): if you have been living in India for a minimum of 7 years, then use section 5(1)(a). if outside of India, then use section 5(1)(b).

2. Form II (If using marriage to gain citizenship): if you are legally married to an Indian citizen, then use section 5(1)(c). here, you must have been living in India for 7 years.

3. Form III (if child of an Indian parent): you can use this form if your parents are registered as Indian citizens, not only born in India. This form is for minor and adult children.

  • Parents of minor apply for citizenship need to use the plain Form III under section 5(1)(d).
  • If your parents are registered citizens under 5(1)(a) or 6(1), you need to use Form III under section 5(1)(e).
  • If your parents were previous residents of Independent India and you have been living in India a year before applying, then you need to use Form III B and file under section 5(1)(f).

4. Use Form XII if applying for citizenship through naturalization: if you have lived in India for a minimum of 12 years, then you can become an Indian citizen by naturalization. For this, you need to apply under section 6.

You can apply for it earlier if you have well contributed to the world, especially in the field of literature, art, philosophy or science.

Having known clearly which form to use, you need to know the process to become an Indian citizen, which is given below:

1. Apply online: it’s best to apply online on the website for the Ministry of Home Affairs, Foreigners Division and Government of India. when you click on “Apply Online”, you will have a page on which you can choose the appropriate section to apply.

On the other hand, if you want to apply offline, then you can do so in person by first downloading the forms and filling your details in them. After that, you need to submit your application to the District Magistrate/Collector.

2. Choose the right section: on the basis of the information given in the first section, choose the right section. When you click on that section, you will have a page appearing detailing the documents you need to provide.

3. Documents required for Indian citizenship by registration: The fundamental documents are a copy of your passport from another country and your Residential Permit (LTV) copy. After that, the requirements for other documents vary according to the section.

For section 5(1)(a): you need to provide proof of your parents’ citizenship with a copy of their passports and birth certificates. You should also give your Declaration and Oath form, from the Citizenship Rules. You also need to pay 500 rupees. You will need the same things for 5(1)(d), but the fee will be only 250 along with proof of guardianship.

For section 5(1)(c): you need to provide your marriage certificate and your spouse’s citizenship proof (birth certificate or passport copy). Furthermore, you need to give your Declaration and Oath form and 500 rupees.

For section 5(1)(e): here, you will need your parents’ citizenship proof under sections 5(1)a or 6(1), your Declaration and Oath, and 500 rupees.

For section 5(1)(f): you need to give proof that your parents were citizens under Independent India (copy or Indian passport or birth certificate), with Declaration, Oath and 500 rupees.

For section 5(1)(g): here, you need to provide a copy of your registration as an Overseas Citizen of India rather than your Registration permit. You also need your Declaration and Oath form and 500 rupees.

4. Documents required for Indian citizenship by naturalization: If you are gaining citizenship by naturalization, then you also need to show the basic documents like the copy of your passport of another country and your residential permit (LTV). Apart from that, you need to show three affidavits, one yours and two of other Indians. These affidavits need to establish your character, with the specific language provided by the application.

You also need to prove that you know at least one language spoken in India with two language certificates.

In the end, you need to prove that you are applying for Indian citizenship by knowing through the newspaper; you will need a minimum of two newspaper clippings from your district. This application fee is 1500 rupees.

5. Scan your all documents: before you apply online, your all documents need to be scanned. Make sure the file sizes are under 1 megabyte apiece.

6. Have an appropriate passport size photo: your photo should be only 100 pixels by 100 pixels. It needs to be a jpg and under 20 kilobytes.

7. Fill up the application for Indian citizenship: you will need to provide biographical information about your parents, yourself and your spouse. You also need to share information about your employer and passport, as well as how long you have resided in India. the application also has a section on your criminal background too.

8. Pay the fee: you have to pay the fee to the State Bank of India under the heading number of 0070-Other Administration Services-Other Services-Receipts Under the Citizenship Act. You will need the Bank Challan (the official receipt of payment. You can download the receipt on the same website where you download citizenship forms.

9. Wait for your application approval: the government of India will review your application carefully to decide your citizenship. If you have not provided any necessary document, then the government will let you know and give you a chance to provide what you forgot to give. You will be informed within 2 months whether you are given citizenship or not.

10. Give up your previous citizenship: on your citizenship application acceptance, you will need to give up the previous citizenship. You need to prove it to the government of India and fill out Form V and pay a fee. After doing all this, your citizenship process will complete.


In this blog, we told you about the process to gain Indian citizenship. We also told you about every form, necessary document and fee so that you can apply conveniently and become a citizen of India.

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