The Union home ministry on Tuesday told the Lok Sabha that 6,08,162 persons have given up Indian citizenship between 2017 and September this year.

The data provided by Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai showed that during this period, more than a lakh Indians gave up their citizenship every year, except in 2020.

(Source: Lok Sabha website)

In response to a related question, Rai said that 1,33,83,718 Indian citizens were living in foreign countries. He said that 4,177 foreign residents have been granted Indian citizenship between 2016 and 2020.

During the period, 10,645 people had applied for Indian citizenship. The highest number of applications were from people living in Pakistan (7,782) from Pakistan, followed by Afghanistan (795) and the United States (227).

In his reply, the minister also said that the government has any decision yet to conduct a nationwide exercise to prepare the National Register of Citizens, or NRC.

The National Register of Citizens is a proposed exercise to identify undocumented immigrants. However, its critics fear that the Citizenship Amendment Act, clubbed with the National Register of Citizens, will be misused to target Muslims in the country.

The Citizenship Act introduced a religious criteria to Indian citizenship for the first time by allowing undocumented non-Muslim migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh to apply for Indian citizenship.