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Renouncing Indian citizenship

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Citizenship


Source: TH

 Context:  A growing number of Indians are relinquishing their citizenship, primarily seeking better economic opportunities and social security abroad.


What does Data show? 

  • Over 15 lakh Indians have given up their citizenship in the past decade, with many heading to the United States.
  • High-net-worth individuals are also leaving India (through investment migration), with around 6,500 expected to move out this year, making it the second-highest net outflow globally after China.
  • The USA remains the most preferred destination, followed by Canada, Australia, and the UK.
  • The MEA estimated the number of Indian nationals living abroad to be around 1.2 crore in 2021


Reasons for Renouncing Citizenship:

Reasons Explanation
Better Economic Opportunities Seeking improved job prospects and higher income abroad.
Improved Social Security Looking for better healthcare, education, and social welfare benefits in the new country.
Lifestyle Considerations Pursuing a better quality of life, safety, and overall living standards.
Friendly Tax Legislation Opting for countries with favourable tax laws and reduced financial burdens.
Education Opportunities Accessing higher education and specialized programs is not available in the home country.
Ease of Mobility Obtaining a passport that allows visa-free travel to more destinations globally.
Political Stability Escaping political instability, conflict, or governance issues in the home country.
Environmental Factors Moving to places with better environmental conditions and climate.
Family Reasons Reuniting with family members already settled in another country.
Investment and Business Opportunities Exploring entrepreneurial ventures or investment opportunities abroad.


What is Citizenship?

Citizenship is the legal and social relationship between an individual and a state, signifying full membership and allegiance to that state.

  • In India, there are citizens and aliens, with citizens being integral members of the nation and enjoying all civil and political rights.
  • This concept of citizenship creates an exclusionary distinction from non-citizens.
  • The Citizenship Act of 1955 prescribes five ways of acquiring citizenship, viz, birth, descent, registration, naturalisation and incorporation of territory.


Principle of Citizenship:

Two widely recognized principles determine the granting of citizenship: “jus soli,” which grants citizenship based on place of birth, and “jus sanguinis,” which considers blood ties.

  • India has leaned towards the concept of jus soli since the days of the Motilal Nehru Committee in 1928, rejecting the racial notion of jus sanguinis as it contradicted Indian values and ethos.


Ways to Renounce Citizenship in India:

Ways Details
Voluntary Renunciation An Indian citizen of full age and capacity can relinquish citizenship through their will.
When an individual gives up citizenship, minor children also lose Indian citizenship but can regain it at 18.
By Termination India follows single citizenship, meaning one can be a citizen of only one country at a time.
If a person becomes a citizen of another country, Indian citizenship automatically ends, except during war.
Deprivation by Government Government can terminate citizenship if a citizen:
o   Disrespects the Constitution
o   Acquired citizenship through fraud
o   Illegally traded or communicated with the enemy during war
o   Is sentenced to over 2 years in prison within 5 years of registration or naturalization
o   Lives outside India for 7 consecutive years



A successful, prosperous, and influential diaspora is an advantage for India, and our approach is to tap diaspora networks and utilise its reputation for national gain. The Government’s efforts are particularly aimed at encouraging the exchange of knowledge and expertise in a manner that would contribute to India’s national development


Insta Links:

 Renunciation of Indian citizenship is now simpler