Over 16 lakh Indians renounced citizenship since 2011, 2.5 lakh in 2022 alone: GoI

While canvassing for India as the ‘mother of democracy’ the union government is forced to admit that large sections of middle to high net worth Indians seeking fortunes abroad

Indian Citizenship
Image Courtesy: pgurus.com

The significant number of Indians who gave up Indian citizenship since 2011 totals 16,63,440.

Over 16 lakh Indians have renounced their Indian citizenship since 2011 including 2,25,620 last year. This was admitted by the external affairs minister, S Jaishankar replying to a question in the upper house of Parliament, the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, February 9.

The details were provided in response to a question. The minister said that the number of Indians who renounced their Indian citizenship in 2015 was 1,31,489, while 1,41,603 people gave it up in 2016 and 1,33,049 in 2017. In 2018, the number was 1,34,561 persons leaving for foreign shores. There appears to be a steadfast increase in numbers since 2014 and more especially since 2019, the second term of the present regime. While in 2018, the number for the year was 1,34,561, in 2019 it was 1,44,017. The first year of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown –2020– also saw 85, 256 Indians renouncing their citizenship and then,  1,63,370 in 2021. The number in 2022 was 2,25,620, according to the minister.

Giving a background Jaishankar said that even in previous years like 2011 (the second term of the UPA government) saw 1,22,819 Indians leave while the numbers were 1,20,923 in 2012, 1,31,405 in 2013 and 1,29,328 in 2014. Hence, the total number of Indians who gave up Indian citizenship since 2011 comes to 16,63,440.

To a specific query, he said, according to information, five Indian nationals obtained citizenship of the United Arab Emirates during the last three years. Jaishankar also provided a list of 135 countries whose citizenship Indians acquired.

January 2023

Earlier this year, launching an attack on the hype and propaganda of the NDA 2 government, especially over Indians seeking fortune and home overseas, the Congress on Tuesday, January 10, asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi if he would talk about the issues that are forcing such a “high number” of Indians to move out of the country in search of “achche din” happy days). 

Congress party spokesperson Gourav Vallabh hasd elaborated on the issue and stated that data from the Ministry of External Affairs showed that 1,83,741 people renounced their Indian citizenship in the first 10 months of 2022, which amounts to 604 people leaving the country every day. This figure, he said, is 1.7 times higher than the figure of 2014, when on an average 354 people gave up their Indian citizenship every day.

According toe the Congress, he stated that there were six reasons behind many Indians renouncing their citizenship — the consistent high unemployment rate, low growth opportunities due to demonetisation and flawed implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the country’s poor standings in three global indices related to hunger, gender gap and press freedom, and the country having the maximum number of the poor in the world. He made no reference to the public discourse of hate as also the vendetta-driven regime of the Centre in weaponisation of law enforcement agencies to target voices of dissent and the opposition, however.

Addressing a press conference, Vallabh asserted that the majority of people leaving India are high net worth individuals (HNIs) and asked if the prime minister would address the issues compelling them to leave the country in his ‘Mann ki Baat’ radio address.

Elaborating on the issue, he also said that of those who gave up Indian citizenship in 2022, around 7,000 had an annual income of more than Rs 8 crore.

“Why are 600-plus people giving up their Indian citizenship per day and why the number of Indian people leaving the country’s citizenship increased by 1.7 times,” he asked. Vallabh wondered whether this is “real Amrit Kaal” that the prime minister talks about.

January 2022

Last year, Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai informed the Lok Sabha in the winter session of the Indian Parliament that, over six lakh Indians have given up their citizenship in the past five years,. This data was supported the information available with the Ministry of External Affairs.

The Union MoS was responding to a question and submitted a written reply as well. According to the data, the following is the data of how many people gave up their citizenship each year since 2017. The data for 2021, this year, was only available till September 10. 


Number of people who gave up Indian citizenship









2021(Up till Sept 10)


This shows that 1,33,049 Indians gave up Indian citizenship in 2017, 1,34,561 in 2018, 1,44,017 in 2019, 85,248 in 2020 and 1,11,287 till September 30, 2021.


Where are the ‘ache din’ with number of citizens giving up citizenship 1.7 times higher than 2014? Congress



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