Why are so many Indians renouncing their citizenship?
In 2021, a record number of Indian nationals renounced their citizenship. The Minister of State reported the number, totaling 163,370 applications for renunciation. This is the highest number to ever occur. In 2020, renunciations totaled 85,248, about half the number in 2021. The drop in applications in 2020 is likely due to pandemic-related closures and concerns.
Since 2017, nearly a million Indians have renounced their citizenship
This year’s increase brings the total number of people who have renounced their citizenship since 2017 to over 932,000.
Many of the applications to renounce Indian citizenship came from the United States (78,284) followed by Australia, with 23,533, Canada, with 21,597, the United Kingdom, with 14,637, and Italy, with 5,986.
No comments from the Indian Government
The Minister did not comment on the reasons for this massive increase, saying only that these individuals renounced their citizenship for personal reasons. However, we can speculate as to these causes.
Why are people renouncing their citizenship?
Last year, the government eased procedures for Indians to renounce their citizenship by allowing online applications. The ease with which Indians can now renounce citizenship may have facilitated the process, leading to an increase in the number of applications. There may have also been a backlog of applications from 2020.
What countries are Indians immigrating to?
India does not allow for dual citizenship. Therefore, all Indian nationals who acquire foreign citizenship are legally required to renounce their Indian citizenship. In 2020, the United States gave citizenship to 625,400 individuals, of which Indians made up 7.7% (48,125). This number makes up about 40% of the renunciation applications and proves that Indians are choosing to move abroad, especially to the United States.
Australia is the second-most preferred choice for Indians with as many as 23,533 Indians settling there in 2021. According to migration data, Indians are also flocking to countries like Pakistan, China, Canada, New Zealand, Thailand, Germany, and Italy. A smaller number are obtaining citizenship of countries like Kenya, Botswana, and South Korea.