What is Citizenship Act 1955?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

The Citizenship Act of 1955 establishes guidelines for obtaining and losing Indian citizenship. Six amendments to the Citizenship Act of 1955 were made in 1986, 1992, 2003, 2005, 2015, and 2019. Indian citizenship is granted and revoked in accordance with the Citizenship Act 1955 and its Amendments.

Citizenship Act 1955: Provisions and Amendments

Having full membership in a state or society and access to all of its civil and political rights is referred to as citizenship. The Constitution has granted citizenship rights to Persons of Indian Origin, Non-Resident Indians, and Overseas Citizens of India.

  • It could be defined as a person’s official affiliation with a certain state, which is proven by swearing allegiance to that state and carrying out duties like paying taxes, offering to serve in the military when called upon, upholding national ideals and values, etc.
  • The Constituent Assembly included a general clause allowing the Parliament to pass laws governing citizenship in Article 11.
  • When it was passed, Articles 5 to 11 of Part 2 of the Constitution for Citizenship, which deals with it, took effect.
  • In the sixth year of the Republic of India, Parliament passed the Citizenship Act of 1955. Broad guidelines for obtaining citizenship, obtaining citizenship abroad, and terminating citizenship are provided under the Citizenship Act of 1955.
  • Commonwealth Citizenship was initially included in the Citizenship Act of 1955. However, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act of 2003 repealed this clause.
  • Due to the recent amendment and controversy surrounding the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019, this topic is significant in the UPSC exam.


What is the Citizenship Act 1955?

The Citizenship Act of 1955 explains the guidelines regarding the granting and losing of Indian citizenship. Six amendments were made to the Citizenship Act of 1955 in 1986, 1992, 2003, 2005, 2015, and 2019. Therefore, the 1955 Citizenship Act and its Amendments are crucial for all Indian citizens and those who wish to gain the citizenship in future.

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