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Increase in Indians renouncing their Citizenship

Published: 22nd Jul, 2022


According to the latest information provided by theMinistry of Home Affairs (MHA) to the Lok Sabha, over 1.6 lakh Indians renounced their citizenship in 2021, highest in the past five years.


Key-highlights of the development

  • US remain the highest among all countries for acquisition of its citizenship by other Nationals.
    • Over 78,000 Indians acquired S. citizenship by giving up Indian citizenship.
  • As many as 362 Indians living in China also acquired Chinese citizenship.
  • Others: Australia- 23,533, Canada- 21,597, U.K.-14,637, Italy-5,986, Netherlands- 2187, New Zealand- 2643, Singapore- 2516, U.S.A.- 78284, Pakistan-41 and Nepal-10.

The idea of citizenship

  • The Citizenship Act, 1955 provides for the acquisition and renunciation of Indian citizenship.
  • India does not allow dual citizenship.
  • Citizenship signifies the relationship between’individual’and ‘state’.
  • India has two kinds of people—citizens and aliens. Citizens are full members of the Indian State and owe allegiance to it. They enjoy all civil and political
  • Citizenship is an idea of exclusion as it excludes non-citizens.

What does the Constitutional say for Citizenship?

The Constitution does not define the term ‘citizen’ but details of various categories of persons who are entitled to citizenship are given in Part 2 (Articles 5 to 11).

  • Article 5: It provided for citizenship on commencement of the Constitution.
  • Article 6: It provided rights of citizenship of certain persons who have migrated to India from Pakistan.
  • Article 7: Provided Rights of citizenship of certain migrants to Pakistan.
  • Article 8: Provided Rights of citizenship of certain persons of Indian origin residing outside India.
  • Article 9: Provided that if any person voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a foreign State will no longer be a citizen of India.
  • Article 11: It empowers Parliament to make any provision with respect to the acquisition and termination of citizenship and all matters relating to it.

What are the provisions for renunciation of the Citizenship in India?

The citizenship act, 1955 prescribes three ways of losing citizenship:

By renunciation

By termination

By deprivation

Any citizen of India of full age and capacity can make a declaration renouncing Indian citizenship

  • Such a declaration may not be accepted during war.
  • Even the minor children of the person who renounces citizenship stands to lose their Indian citizenship. However, when their children attain the age of eighteen, he may resume Indian citizenship.


If a citizen of India voluntarily acquires the citizenship of another country, then he loses the citizenship of India However, this provision does not apply during times of war.


It causes for compulsory termination of Indian citizenship by the Central government, in the following conditions:

  • Obtained the citizenship by fraud.
  • Citizen has shown disloyalty to the Constitution of India.
  • Citizen has unlawfully traded or communicated during the times of war.
  • Within 5 years of naturalization, the said citizen is imprisoned for a term of two years.
  • Citizen has been ordinarily resident out of India for a period of 7 years.


  • After Renunciation of Indian Citizenship, it is necessary to apply for Surrender or a Renunciation certificate.
  • However, such persons can get Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) status after acquiring foreign citizenship.

Recent changes in the policy

  • The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has simplified the process for Indians who want to renounce their citizenship.
  •  Provisions have been made for applicants to upload documents online, with an upper limit of 60 days for the renunciation process to be completed.
  • According to the 2009 Citizenship Rules, the fee to renounce citizenship for an applicant in India is ?5,000, and for someone applying through an Indian mission in a foreign country is ?7,000.

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