Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Indian Citizenship, Indian Passport and Visa free travel

Indian Citizenship Act, 1955 defines an Indian citizen by the following terms:

Citizenship by Birth
Citizenship by Descent
Citizenship by Registration
Citizenship by Naturalization

And Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2005 defines Indian citizen by the policy known as Jus Sanguinis (Latin for: right of blood). Which means an Indian citizenship is not determined by place of birth, but by having a parent(s) who are citizens of India. In contrast with Jus Soli (Latin for: right of the soil)

As Indian citizens, we can acquire an Indian passport. With an Indian passport we are allowed to travel to some countries without visa, and some countries offer us visa-on-arrival.
Through a very few countries offer them to Indian passport holders, some of these countries are good for holiday visit.

I would list some of the countries I find interesting below, however it is always advisable to check with a travel agent or the country's embassy to confirm before taking off.

There are three types of Indian passports, these are:
1) Regular Passport: they are ordinary passports issued to ordinary citizens for ordinary travel; they are of deep blue color.
2) Official Passport: they are issued to government employees representing Indian government on official business; they are of white color.
3) Diplomatic Passport: they are issued to the top ranking Indian officials and Indian diplomats; they are of maroon color.

Currently (as on 24-Nov-2011) Indian government issues normal paper passports but soon start issuing biometric passports.
Biometric passports would contain a chip which would have all your data written on it, so these passports would be computer readable.

Permanent Residency or PR:
Acquiring a PR of another country has some advantages. PR status lets you stay in that country indefinitely without acquiring its citizenship.

According to the Indian Nationality Law you can not have dual citizenship so if you accept a citizenship of any other country your Indian citizenship is automatically terminated, under section 9(1).
Even acquiring and passport of another country is deemed to be a voluntary acquisition of another country's citizenship.

PR is also known in USA as Green Card, which is hard to get. If you get a PR of another country you become NRI (Non-Resident-Indian).
With PR you get the benefit to live and work in that country. is a good website which host information on tourist visas, work visas and PR of some countries.

According to an Indian citizen as acquire Singapore PR after staying in Singapore for at least 6 months on P, Q or S work pass. This would make it the easiest PR to obtain if this information is correct.
Similarly they also say that after staying in Canada for 1 year on continuous full time work experience you can acquire Canada PR.

For travel purpose there are many countries where Indian citizens can travel without Visas or Visas are issued on arrival plus some country's tourist visas are easily obtained.

All the countries offering visa free and visa-on-arrival to Indian Passport holders can be found on various websites including but not limited to:
This Wikipedia page shows the countries list according to its continent.
Please note that wiki page may have some mistakes so its advisable to cross check all the info.
i.e. I couldn't find and info on Tajikistan giving visa free and visa-on-arrival to Indian Passport holders. This is actually a good country to visit if you like natural beauty, even through its not political stable.

Other good website is
This website give you visa related info many countries, through unlike its U.S. counterpart you can't apply for visas through them.

Very few of these countries are reasonable for a normal Indian citizen for vacation.
Some of the countries I think are worth looking into are mentioned below in no particular order.

Macau is one of the two Special Administrative Region of China the other being Hong Kong.
Currently they offer 30 days visa free travel to Indian citizen which is mentioned on Macau embassy website.
It’s a nice country to travel and vacation, the small island's main source of income is tourism and gambling being its main attraction in fact gambling is an important part of Macau's economy.  

Similarly Hong Kong offers visa free travel for 14 days to citizens of all commonwealth countries, India being one of them.
It's a nice place to visit with great culture and tourist attraction, Hong Kong film industry being one.

Even through they are separate nations they are also part of China and current tension between India and China may cause some tension between Indian and Hong Kong & Macau too.

Indonesia provides visa-on-arrival valid for 30 days for a fee of US$ 25.
Indonesia offers great urban and rural locations as well as great culture, its worth visiting.

Thailand provides visa-on-arrival valid for 15 days for a fee of 1000 THB.
Thailand has great locations and culture, its capital city Bangkok is a nice place to vacation.

Singapore, though they only give a 4 days transit visa upon arrival if holding ticket and visa for traveling to another destination. It is better to apply for a Singapore tourist visa and travel to this great nation.
Former Indian National Army Memorial is a must visit for every Indian, it is build at the same location of the INA War Memorial which was destroyed.

Through I have my likeness inclined towards to Asian countries as they are closer to home and are much safer, there are some Caribbean countries which are worth traveling to as they offer great natural beauty and awe inspiring view though they are very far away for home and are high in poverty.

Jamaica offers 90 days visa free travel.
It’s a beautiful country, with spectacular natural landscapes. Its a country deep in poverty so it is advisable to keep a safe guard from local thugs.

Trinidad and Tobago also offers 90 days visa free travel
Trinidad and Tobago is a country consist of two islands, it has a good share of Indian culture and Indian people however there is also an a minor Indian-African clash.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines offers 1 month visa fee travel
A beautiful country with a great natural beauty, It has been one of the location of The Pirates of The Caribbean movies.

Please note again: do check with your travel agents and embassies before you plan your visit to avoid any complications.

You can check out more info on these countries and other countries, also check the pictures of the locations, on The Lonely Planet's website.

A good website to visit for travel related information and a must for travelers.