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What would be the citizenship status of a child born in India to an Indian father and Pakistani mother? My understanding is that he/she will remain both: an Indian and Pakistani until 18/21 years of age.

Will Pakistani citizenship be automatically renounced when an Indian passport is obtained and vice versa?

What happens when the Indian or Pakistani parent switches nationality? Will the child still have the option of choosing at 18/21?

How will the child travel between the two countries? Will he be able to obtain ID documents (besides a passport) for both countries?

If the child remains a dual citizen until 18/21, which of the two's passport is easier to obtain once the other's has been initially chosen?

EDIT: It looks like both the Indian and Pakistani citizenship acts have been drafted by the same person--probably because it is just some tweaking of the relevant British laws.

3) Apparently, Pakistan only allows dual nationality with 19 countries and India is definitely not one of them.

Under normal circumstances, the child would have been able to obtain a NICOP for Pakistan and OCI for India which would have granted him/her all the rights of a citizen except voting. Unfortunately, neither of the two countries will grant this when the applicant has any ties with the other. India won't even grant an OCI to a child who has never held citizenship of Pakistan if any of his grandparents were ever Pakistani.

4) So the child won't be able to chose whether he or she wishes to obtain Indian or Pakistani citizenship when he turns 21 if he/she gets a Pakistani passport? Is the same true for Pakistan? What happens if he/she gets a Pakistani passport before 21 and then decides to renounce it in favour of an Indian passport within the six months?

5) I know people who have been born in India and subsequently obtained Pakistani citizenship while being under 21 who required (and still require) Indian visas to enter. I also know people who have done the opposite. It seems that in practice, if you are an Indian you cannot be a Pakistani at the same time.

Which citizenship would give the child an easier time to switch the other if and when he/she decides to do so?

7A. (1) The Central Government may, subject to such conditions, restrictions and manner as may be prescribed, on an application made in this behalf, register as an Overseas Citizen of India Cardholder— (a) any person of full age and capacity,— (i) who is a citizen of another country, but was a citizen of India at the time of, or at any time after the commencement of the Constitution; or (ii) who is a citizen of another country, but was eligible to become a citizen of India at the time of the commencement of the Constitution; or (iii) who is a citizen of another country, but belonged to a territory that became part of India after the 15th day of August,1947; or (iv) who is a child or a grandchild or a great grandchild of such a citizen; or (b) a person, who is a minor child of a person mentioned in clause (a); or (c) a person, who is a minor child, and whose both parents are citizens of India or one of the parents is a citizen of India; or (d) spouse of foreign origin of a citizen of India or spouse of foreign origin of an Overseas Citizen of India Cardholder registered under section 7A and whose marriage has been registered and subsisted for a continuous period of not less than two years immediately preceding the presentation of the application under this section: Provided that for the eligibility for registration as an Overseas Citizen of India Cardholder, such spouse shall be subjected to prior security clearance by a competent authority in India: Provided further that no person, who or either of whose parents or grandparents or great grandparents is or had been a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh or such other country as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify, shall be eligible for registration as an Overseas Citizen of India Cardholder under this sub-section

Edit: Would the following setup work? 1) Get an Indian passport 2) Apply for a Pakistan CRC (child ID card)--the Pakistani mother's ID is all that is needed to apply for it. 3) Apply for a Pakistan visa

In essence the child will be using a visa to travel into Pakistan where he will exercise the rights of a citizen. This way neither country will know he has documents from the other.

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  1. What would be the citizenship status of a child born in India to an Indian father and Pakistani mother?

Indian citizen by birth. Pakistan would also recognize the child as a citizen.

  1. What happens when the Indian or Pakistani parent switches nationality?

As far as the nationality of the child is concerned, nothing. But this may have some other side effects with regards to travel in and out of the country of residence.

  1. Will Pakistani citizenship be automatically renounced when an Indian passport is obtained? Will the child still have the option of choosing at 18/21?

Pakistan allows dual citizenship and, as far as I'm aware, there is no full-age requirement in this case. However, Pakistan only allows dual citizenship with a limited number of countries (16 - 19 countries depending on the source). India is not one of those countries. So it is most accurate to say that the child will never have been a Pakistani citizen rather than they 'renounced' it.

  1. Will Indian citizenship be automatically renounced when an Pakistani passport is obtained? Will the child still have the option of choosing at 18/21?

Yes, they will lose Indian citizenship upon acquiring a Pakistani passport (or any act of practicing Pakistani citizenship). Since the child was born in India, the child is Indian by birth, but must renounce any other citizenship they might possess within 6 months of their 18th birthday or lose Indian citizenship. A bit strange, but that seems to be the wording of the law. Since Pakistan does not allow dual citizenship with India, this may not apply in your child's case.

  1. Will he be able to obtain ID documents (besides a passport) for both countries?

I can't answer for certain about travel between India and Pakistan as I really don't know. But I can say with certainty that the moment there is any actual practice of citizenship of another country by the child, is the moment the child loses Indian citizenship. This include obtaining a national ID.

Normally I would reference the India Citizen Act, but it is a bit of a difficult read, especially with some of its apparent contradictions and constant references to 'passports' (a passport does not necessarily mean citizenship). There is a good discussion on this thread here that we simply can't have on this site due to our format.

Hopefully somebody will come along and help with the travel questions. I took a poke around and couldn't find any obvious way the child could obtain a right to enter Pakistan (something like the United Kingdom's ROA) without necessarily obtaining a Pakistani passport/ID . I can't imagine Pakistan would issue a visa to a citizen as that is simply non-sensical.

Update: As the OP has updated the question, I'll post the update here.

  1. Travel between the countries?

I know people who have been born in India and subsequently obtained Pakistani citizenship while being under 21 who required (and still require) Indian visas to enter. I also know people who have done the opposite.

So that seems to answer that.

  1. Which citizenship would give the child an easier time to switch the other if and when he/she decides to do so?

This may be impossible to know. You might have to ask around and determine this best by word of mouth.

  • "but must renounce any other citizenship they might possess within 6 months of their 18th birthday or lose Indian citizenship" That only applies to Indian citizens by descent. But the child in question is an Indian citizen "by birth" because they were born in India, and there is no provision in the Citizenship Act for loss of Indian citizenship for an Indian citizen by birth who has dual nationality if they don't do anything within 6 months of turning 18. – user102008 Jul 9 '17 at 16:55

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