Union Public Service Commission Indian Administrative Service (UPSC IAS) Eligibility

Published on : 6th June 2019    Author : Tanvi Mittal
IAS Exam

Candidates who aspire to appear for the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) should ensure that they meet the eligibility requirements as prescribed by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), the exam conducting authority. Not meeting up with the eligibility criteria results in cancellation of candidature. UPSC IAS eligibility criteria for 2018 examination can be categorized as under:

  • Nationality
  • Educational Qualification
  • Age Criteria and Relaxation
  • Number of Attempts

Nationality Requirement

A candidate must fulfill one of these requirements:

  • He should be a citizen of India or 
  • A citizen of Nepal or
  • A citizen of Bhutan or
  • A Tibetan refugee who moved to India before 1 January 1962 with an intention to settle permanently.
  • A person of Indian Origin who has migrated from "Ethiopia, Malawi, Kenya, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zaire, Vietnam or Zambia" with an intention of permanently settling in India.

Educational Qualification

  • Candidate should have a Bachelor’s degree from a recognised institute/university.
  • Candidates who have appeared for final year’s examination of Bachelor’s degree or those who are yet to appear are also eligible for the UPSC IAS preliminary exam. Such candidates are required to provide the proof of passing the qualifying examination while applying for Mains exam.
  • Candidates having a professional and technical qualification or its equivalent from any recognized institute.
  • Candidates who have passed MBBS (or other medical exams) final year but haven’t completed the internship are also eligible. They are required to submit a certificate.

Age Criteria and Relaxation

21 years is the minimum age limit for IAS aspirants. Check out the upper age limit for different categories in the table below:


Upper Age Limit


32 years

Other Backward Castes (OBC)

35 years (3 years relaxation)

Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST)

37 years (5 years relaxation)

Relaxation in age for Jammu & Kashmir Domicile candidates

37 years (5 year)s

Persons with Disability

42 years (10 years relaxation)

Servicemen disabled during duty

35 years (3 years relaxation)

Number of Attempts

The number of times an applicant can appear for IAS exam is pre-defined by UPSC. Even if you appear only for the preliminary examination, it will be counted as an attempt. Check out the table below:


Number of Attempts






till the age limit

Candidates with Jammu & Kashmir Domicile

Up to the age limit

Persons with Disability

9 (for General and OBC)

Unlimited (for SC/ST)

Servicemen disabled during duty

Up to the age limit

Physical Standard

Physical fitness standards will be issued by UPSC in the official notification. Candidates must meet the physical standards in order to get finally selected for Indian Administrative Services.

Restrictions on Applying for UPSC IAS Exam

Any applicant who is already appointed for Indian Administrative Services (IAS) or Indian Foreign Services (IFS) through the previous examination and still continues to be in service will not be eligible to appear in the IAS examination.

Available Application Forms

IAS Exam Previous Years Solved Papers


September 2, 2019
Actually I have passed my degree more than 5 years but not collected certificate yet is there any pri regarding this
Exams Planner
September 10, 2019
You must check with your university and collect the degree.
Ayush Jaiswal
June 6, 2019
I failed in my graduation exam...and now I am doing graduation again. I am 25 years old .. so I am eligible for IAS exam?
Exams Planner
June 12, 2019
May 9, 2019
If i am eligible and not selected as Ias officer