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Business News – More and more Indians are giving up their citizenship. Check why

Indians who become citizens of another country have to give up their Indian passport because the country does not offer dual citizenship, but they can apply for an Overseas Citizen of India card which would enable them to reside, work or do business in India.

More than six lakh Indians have given up their citizenship in the last five years, according to data by the ministry of external affairs, 40% of them being in the US.

Indians in Australia and Canada came next in the number of renunciation requests. The overall number also included those availing a golden visa – where you invest in countries like, say Portugal, Malta or Cyprus in return for residence or citizenship.

Indians who become citizens of another country have to give up their Indian passport because the country does not offer dual citizenship, but they can apply for an Overseas Citizen of India card which would enable them to reside, work or do business in India.

The number of exits kept rising steadily from 2017, with 2019 seeing the largest number of renunciation requests at 1,44,017. There was a sharp drop to 85, 248 in 2020 possibly because of pandemic lockdowns, but the figures available for nine months this year showed it’s rising again.

High net-worth individuals
2019 also saw 7000 wealthy Indians leave, according to a TOI report quoting Global Wealth Migration Review figures, which is the highest in recent years and would count for 2 % of the high networth individuals in the country.

When it came to migration of HNWIs, China tood first with a total of 16,000, followed by India with 7,000, while Russia came third with 5,500 exits.

Golden visa
Nearly 30 countries offer residence and/or citizenship-by-investment programmes.

Global citizenship and residence advisory Henley & Partners said the number of Indians making enquiries on investment migration programmes have been increasing over the years with more becoming aware of the ease of buying property in countries like Greece or Portugal, in the process getting visa-free access to 26 Schengen zone countries.

While the number of enquiries showed a 30% year on year increase in the first half of 2021, the increase was 62% for the year 2020.

Passport score
Higher your country’s passport index, the better the access you get visa-free to many countries free of the hassles of immigration and bureaucratic delays.

The Henley Passport Index says the Indian passport is currently ranked 85th, offering visa–free/visa-on-arrival access to just 58 destinations. Compared to that, if an Indian becomes a resident of Portugal or Greece, she gets visa-free access to 84 countries.

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