Over six lakh Indians have surrendered their citizenship in the last five years to settle in a foreign country, data by the ministry of external affairs showed. Around 40 percent of them are living in the US, The Economic Times reported.
As India does not have the provision for dual citizenship, those who become citizens of other countries have to surrender their Indian passport. However, they can also apply for an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card, which would allow them to stay, work or conduct business in India.
After the US, the highest number of renunciation requests came from Indians in Australia and Canada, which amounts to about 30 percent of such requests, The Times of India reported. Some Indians also accepted the golden visa, which is given to those who invest in countries like Portugal, Malta or Cyprus in return for residence or citizenship.
In 2019, 1,44,017 Indians had given up their citizenship, the highest in the last five years. The number has been rising steadily from 2017. The year 2020 saw a sharp drop in renunciations to 85,248 which is likely owing to the pandemic lockdowns, ET reported. However, the numbers are on the rise again in the first nine months of this year at 111,287.
According to statistics by the Global Wealth Migration Review, 2 percent of India’s millionaires or 7,000 high net worth individuals (HNWIs) exited the country in 2019, The Times of India reported. The highest number of HNWI exits came from China at 16,000. India stood second, while Russia came in third with 5,500 exits.
Meanwhile, the number of Indians enquiring about investment migration programmes or the golden visa has gone up over the years, TOI quoted global citizenship and residence advisory Henley & Partners as saying.
The number of enquiries increased 30 percent year-on-year in the first six month of 2021 against 62 percent for 2020.
(Edited by : Shoma Bhattacharjee)