The objective of immigration is gaining citizenship or nationality in a different country. In India, the law relating to citizenship or nationality is mainly governed by the provisions of the Constitution. The Constitution of India provides for single citizenship for the entire country. The provisions relating to citizenship are contained in Articles 5 to 11 in Part-II of the Constitution of India. Articles 5 to 9 of the Constitution determine the status of persons as Indian citizens at the commencement of the Constitution. Article 10 provides for their continuance as such citizens subject to the provisions of any law that may be enacted by the legislature. Under Article 11, the Constitution expressly saves the power of Parliament “to make any provision with respect to the acquisition and termination of citizenship and all other matters relating to citizenship”. Article 5 states that at the commencement of this Constitution, every person belonging to the following categories, who has his domicile in the territory of India, shall be a citizen of India:
1) Who was born in the territory of India; or
2) Either of whose parents was born in the territory of India; or
3) Who has been ordinarily resident in the territory of India for not less than five years immediately preceding such commencement;
Article 6 of the Constitution provides for the rights of citizenship of certain persons who have migrated to India from Pakistan. Article 7 of the Constitution has made provisions for citizenship of certain migrants to Pakistan and Article 8 of the Constitution provides for the rights of citizenship of certain persons of Indian origin residing outside India.
Indian immigration is in a state of flux. The Indian Government has been increasingly faced with the challenge of combating terrorist activity, illegal immigration in India and rampant abuse of certain visa categories like business visas, thereby resulting in the tightening of immigration procedures in India. The changes are not all clearly stated nor have many been formally notified to visitors. Many changes are the net result of notifications issued by the Indian Government to various Indian Consulates abroad, laying down strict criteria that must be met to obtain business and employment visas.