Up to 6,08,162 Indian citizens have relinquished their citizenship for foreign nationality since 2017, the Ministry of External Affairs informed the Rajya Sabha.
Indian nationals received the highest number of citizenships from the US, Canada, Australia, and England. Data suggest a decline in citizenships offered after 2019 amongst all the countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The US has offered the highest number of foreign citizenships to 2,56,476 Indian people in the last five years. In 2020-21, the US offered 86,387 citizenships to Indian nationals. The US had given 61,683 citizenships in 2019, which was halved to 30,828 in 2020 due to the pandemic but has recovered to 55,559 in 2021.
Notably, there were only 24 people that renounced their Indian citizenship for Pakistan in five years, according to MEA.
Canada welcomed 91,429 Indian nationals as Canadian citizens from 2017-21. In 2020-21, Canada offered 28,962 citizenships to Indian nationals. Canada gave 25,381 citizenships in 2019, which decreased to 17,093 in 2020 due to the pandemic, and saw a further downfall to 11,869 in 2021.
Australia offered 86,933 citizenships to Indian nationals from 2017-21. In 2020-21, Australia offered 27,934 citizenships to Indian nationals In 2019, the country gave 21,340 citizenships, which decreased to 13,518 in 2020 due to the pandemic. In 2021 alone, 14,416 people have relinquished their Indian citizenship for Australia.
Further, England has offered the fourth-highest number of citizenships. Up to 66,193 Indians accepted British citizenship since 2017. In 2020-21, England offered 15,788 citizenships. The US had given 14,309 citizenships in 2019, which was only 6,489 and 9,299 in 2021.
Data from the Global Wealth Migration Review showed that two per cent of India’s millionaires had migrated overseas in 2020. China topped the migration list with 16,000 High Networth Individuals exits. India came in second with 7,000 exits.
Other countries that were top on the list for Indians were Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Italy and Netherlands.
In its written reply, the government said that individuals relinquished Indian citizenship for personal reasons. It said that "the details sought, regarding assets owned in India and number of tax payers who relinquished Indian citizenship, are not maintained by the Ministry of External Affairs."
India does not offer dual citizenship, because of which people seeking citizenship in other countries have to give up Indian passports.
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