163,370 Indians Renounced Indian Passport in 2021

As many as 163,370 Indians gave up their Indian passports in 2021 — the highest since 2015, the Indian Government told Parliament last week. This number was 144,017 in 2019 and 85,256 in Covid-impacted 2020. 

While 41 Indian citizens based in Pakistan gave up their Indian citizenship in 2021, compared to only seven in 2020, 326 living in the UAE renounced their Indian passports.

Data provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs in Lok Sabha disclosed that the US was the top choice with almost half of Indians – 78,284 – preferring to become US citizens.

Overall, 932,276 Indians renounced their citizenships in favor of other countries between 2015 and 2021 — including 1,31,489 in 2015; 1,41,603 in 2016; 1,33,049 in 2017 and 1,34,561 in 2018.

Those giving up their Indian citizenship cited “personal” reasons for renouncing their home country. Indian laws don’t allow dual citizenship. 

India stands at the 84th position in the Henley’s and Partners’ passport index. A higher rank means easy visa and less bureaucratic delays in international travels.

Almost half — 78,284 — became US citizens in 2021 compared to 30,828 in 2020 and 61,683 in 2019. All of them were already based in the US. The other top destination countries were Australia (23,533), Canada (21,597), the UK (14,637), Italy (5,987), New Zealand (2,643) and Singapore (2,516).

Of the 10,645 foreign nationals who applied for Indian citizenship between 2016 and 2020 — 7,782 were from Pakistan and 795 were Afghanistan — 4,177 persons were granted Indian citizenship by the government.

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