The Citizenship Act, 1955, prescribes three ways of losing citizenship whether acquired under the Act or prior to it under the Constitution, viz, renunciation, termination, and deprivation:

1. By Renunciation
  • Any citizen of India of full age and capacity can make a declaration renouncing his Indian citizenship. Upon the registration of that declaration, that person ceases to be a citizen of India.
  • However, if such a declaration is made during a war in which India is engaged, its registration shall be withheld by the Central Government.
  • Further, when a person renounces his Indian citizenship, every minor child of that person also loses Indian citizenship. However, when such a child attains the age of eighteen, he may resume Indian citizenship.
2. By Termination
  • When an Indian citizen voluntarily (consciously, knowingly and without duress, undue influence or compulsion) acquires the citizenship of another country, his Indian citizenship automatically terminates. This provision, however, does not apply during a war in which India is engaged.
3. By Deprivation
  • It is a compulsory termination of Indian citizenship by the Central government, if:
  • (a) the citizen has obtained citizenship by fraud:
  • (b) the citizen has shown disloyalty to the Constitution of India:
  • (c) the citizen has unlawfully traded or communicated with the enemy during a war;
  • (d) the citizen has, within five years after registration or naturalisation, been imprisoned in any country for two years; and
  • (e) the citizen has been ordinarily resident out of India for seven years continuously.


  • Though the Indian Constitution is federal and envisages a dual polity (Centre and states), it provides for only single citizenship, that is, the Indian citizenship. The citizens in India owe allegiance only to the Union. There is no separate state citizenship. The other federal states like USA and Switzerland, on the other hand, adopted the system of double citizenship.

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