Dual Nationality: India and the United States
The Indian government's Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) and Person of Indian Origin (PIO) programs are often incorrectly described as offering "dual nationality" or "dual citizenship." This is not true, as India does not recognize dual citizenship. The OCI and PIO programs do offer card holders some travel and residency privileges. Read more about the OCI/PIO programs and dual nationality here:
- More Information about OCI and PIO Status
- OCI Information from the Government of India
- General Information on Dual Nationality for U.S. Citizens
Frequently Asked Questions
I was born in the US when my parents were there on assignment. I came back to India when I was a child and have not lived there since. Am I an American citizen? Since you were born in the US, you may be an American citizen. Please note that if your parents were in the U.S. under diplomatic status at the time of your birth then you would not have become a citizen at the time when you were born. Please visit the American Citizen Services office of the Embassy to verify your citizenship. If you are a U.S. citizen, you will need a U.S. passport to travel or move to the United States. Please visit our website for more information on how to receive a passport.
Please also note that India does not allow dual nationality. By asserting your U.S. citizenship, India would expect you to renounce your Indian citizenship.
My mother/father was a U.S. citizen, but I was born outside the U.S. Am I a U.S. citizen, too? Maybe. Please click here for more information. The requirements to pass citizenship to a baby are that the transmitting parent was an American at the time of the baby's birth, lived in the U.S. for at least 5 years prior to the birth, and at least 3 of those 5 years were after reaching the age of 14. For more information about applying for immigration for your baby please contact the Citizenship and Immigration Services office at email@example.com or call them at 2419-8506/8639.
I am an American citizen. I recently had a child born in India. Does s/he have a claim to American citizenship? Possibly. Your child's claim to citizenship depends on several factors. Please read more. The requirements to pass citizenship to a baby are that the transmitting parent was an American at the time of the baby's birth, lived in the U.S. for at least 5 years prior to the birth, and at least 3 of those 5 years were after reaching the age of 14. For more information about applying for immigration for your baby please contact the Citizenship and Immigration Services office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call them at 2419-8506/8639.
If I cannot transmit citizenship to my child, is there any way that s/he may become a U.S. citizen? Yes. If you are not eligible to transmit citizenship to your child, it may be possible for him or her to apply for either expeditious naturalization, if an American citizen grandparent has enough physical presence time in the United States, or an immigrant visa, conferring citizenship upon entry to the U.S.
We are Americans living in India. We just adopted a child and s/he is living with us here. Does that make him/her a U.S. citizen? Adoption by a U.S. citizen parent does not automatically confer citizenship, but it does qualify a child for expeditious naturalization, or citizenship upon entry to the U.S.
Can my spouse obtain a U.S. passport or citizenship through marriage? A U.S. citizen cannot transmit citizenship to a spouse. Your spouse would be required to apply for an immigrant visa and reside in the United States as a lawful permanent resident (LPR). An application for naturalization can be made to the Department of Homeland Security on fulfilling a residency requirement. Once naturalized, your spouse would be eligible to apply for a U.S. passport.