More than six lakh Indians renounced citizenship in the past five years, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) informed the Lok Sabha on Tuesday. This year, till September 30, 1,11,287 Indians gave up their citizenship.
The reason for a large number of Indians surrendering their citizenship was not stated in the reply. Though, in 2018, the MHA revised Form XXII under Citizenship Rules for declaration of renunciation of citizenship, which, for the first time, included a column on “circumstances/reasons due to which applicant intends to acquire foreign citizenship and renounce Indian citizenship”. Recently, the MHA had simplified the process and provisions were made for the applicants to upload documents online and an upper limit of 60 days was fixed for the renunciation process to be completed.
Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai, in a written reply, said that in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, the number of Indians who gave up citizenship stood at 1,33,049, 1,34,561, 1,44,017 and 85,248, respectively.
According to a Global Wealth Migration Review report, in 2019, India came second only to China when it came to high net worth individuals (HNIs) leaving the country. As many as 7,000 HNIs left India in 2019.
In October, Amit Mitra, former Finance Minister of West Bengal, quoting a Morgan Stanley report, tweeted that “35,000 Indian Entrepreneurs of High Net Worth LEFT India between 2014-2020, as NRI/Immigrants. India RANKED No 1 IN EXODUS IN THE WORLD”.
Mr. Rai added that in the period 2016-20, 10,645 foreigners applied for Indian citizenship, of which more than 7,782 were from Pakistan and 452 were stateless. During the same period, 4,177 persons were granted Indian citizenship but the country-wise breakup was not provided. A total number of 1,33,83,718 Indian nationals were living in foreign countries, the reply stated.
The Minister said the persons covered under the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) might apply after the rules were notified.
“Till now, the Government has not taken any decision to prepare the National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC) at the national level,” the reply said.