87,000 Indians give up citizenship to move to countries ranging from US to Pakistan: MEA

87,026 Indians have given up their citizenship in 2023, choosing citizenship of 135 countries. The number has increased since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shashank Mattoo
Updated23 Jul 2023
The number of people giving up Indian citizenship has increased in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The number of people giving up Indian citizenship has increased in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eighty seven thousand and twenty-six Indians have given up their Indian citizenship in 2023 (as of June), according to data supplied by the Ministry of External Affairs. These individuals chose to take the citizenship of 135 countries, ranging from the US and Germany to Pakistan and Tonga.

The data was provided in response to a query by Karti Chidambaram, a Member of Parliament in the Lok Sabha.

“The number of Indian nationals exploring the global workplace has been significant in the last two decades. Many of them have chosen to take up foreign citizenship for reasons of personal convenience. The Government is cognisant of this development and has undertaken a range of initiatives centering around ‘Make in India’ that would harness their talents at home,” External Affairs Ministet S. Jaishankar said in his response to Chidambaram’s query.

“Recognising that the Indian community abroad is an asset to the nation, the government has brought about a transformational change in its engagement with the diaspora,” he went on to say.

The number of Indians taking up foreign citizenship remained fairly stable in the previous decade. For example, in 2011, 122,819 persons sought to give up their Indian citizenship. That number had increased marginally to 134,561 in 2018. However, in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, this number witnessed a jump. In 2022, 225,620 persons gave up their Indian citizenship, according to the MEA’s data.

“A successful, prosperous and influential diaspora is an advantage for India and our approach is to tap diaspora networks and utilise their reputation for national gain," Foreign Minister Jaishankar said.

“The government’s efforts are particularly aimed at encouraging the exchanges of knowledge and expertise in a manner that would contribute to India’s national development,” he concluded in his response.

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