A total of 232,534 Indians surrendered their passports across the country from 2014 to 2022, with the highest numbers reported from Delhi (60,414), Punjab (28,117) and Gujarat (22,300), according to data provided by the government in Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
Other states and Union territories that recorded large numbers of passports being surrendered included Goa (18,610), Maharashtra (17,171), Kerala (16,247), Tamil Nadu (14,046), Karnataka (10,245), Andhra Pradesh (9,235), Telangana (7,256), Daman and Diu (4,722) and Rajasthan (3,940), according to the data given by minister of state for external affairs V Muraleedharan in a written answer to a question.
A total of 24,730 Indian nationals also surrendered their passports at Indian missions abroad between 2019 and 2022, the data showed.
The total number of passports surrendered abroad in 2019 was 71 and it increased to 522 in 2020.
The number further increased to 6,580 in 2021 and then to 17,557 in 2022.
During 2019-22, Indian nationals surrendered their passports in a total of 38 countries.
The countries where the highest number of passports were surrendered were the US (13,044), Canada (7,472), the UK (1,711) and Australia (1,686).
Other countries where Indians had surrendered their passports included Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain and Sweden. The data provided by Muraleedharan also showed that a total of 1.66 million Indians had renounced their citizenship from 2011 to 2022.
A total of 122,819 Indian renounced their citizenship in 2011, followed by 120,923 in 2012, 131,405 in 2013, 129,328 in 2014, 131,489 in 2015, 141,603 in 2016, 133,049 in 2017, 134,561 in 2018, 144,017 in 2019, 85,256 in 2020, 163,370 in 2021 and 225,620 in 2022.
To be sure, in many cases, people renounce their citizenship after living and working abroad for some time, which makes it difficult to establish a relationship between the year when they renounced their citizenship and the year they left the country.
In response to another question, Muraleedharan said another 87,206 Indians had renounced their citizenship till June this year.
Asked for the reasons behind the surrender of passports and citizenship, Muraleedaharan replied: “Individuals have given up their Indian citizenship for acquisition of foreign nationality because of reasons personal to them.” Muraleedharan also listed 114 countries where Indians renounced their citizenship between 2018 and June 2023. During this period, the countries where sizeable numbers of Indians renounced their citizenship included the US (328,619), Canada (161,917), Australia (131,883), the UK (83,468), Italy (23,817), New Zealand (23,088), Germany (13,363), Singapore (13,211), the Netherlands (8,642), Sweden (8,531), Spain (7,282), and Ireland (3840).