About 6.76 lakh Indians gave up the Indian citizenship over the last five years, according to the data by the Ministry of Home Affairs. On the other hand, India has granted citizenship to 18,855 foreigners during the same period.
Number of Indians who gave up Indian citizenship
According to the latest figures, about 1.36 lakh persons renounced Indian citizenship in the year 2019. The number of renouncements saw a major drop after Donald Trump became the US President in 2017. In 2016, about 1.44 lakh Indians gave up citizenship while the number dropped to 1.27 Lakh in the next year.
Number of foreigners granted Indian citizenship
Out of the total grants of Indian citizenship to the foreigners, Bangladeshi citizens form the biggest chunk of about 80 per cent (15,012 persons) of the grants followed by Pakistan nationals which are 14.15 per cent (2,668 persons) of the total grants.
The huge number of Bangladeshis getting citizenship is fallout of the Indo-Bangladesh Land Boundary Agreement. Under this agreement, 14,864 Bangladeshi nationals were granted Indian citizenship under section 7 of the Citizenship Act, 1955 in the year 2015.
Apart from the above two countries, Afghanistan (665 persons), Sri Lanka (109 persons), and the USA (105) were granted Indian citizenship in the last five years. Besides, Nepal, UK, Kenya, Malaysia, and Canada were among the top ten countries on the list.
Number of registered OCI cardholders living abroad
Apart from the citizenship grants, India has also granted Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) to 16.69 lakh persons living abroad. The OCI card grants a permanent residency to people of Indian origin to live or work in India for an indefinite time. Starting from 2005, the Ministry of Home Affairs has granted 36.99 lakh OCI cards to people of Indian origin. The maximum of such cards was given in 2016 and 2017 when the number was more than four lakh cards each year. Even in 2020, despite lockdown 1.91 lakh persons received OCI cards.