New Delhi: Nearly 70,000 Indians surrendered their passports between 2011 and 2022, The Indian Express reported on Tuesday, citing the government’s reply to a Right to Information application. The number only includes passports surrendered at the regional offices, and not those given up at Indian embassies and High Commissions in foreign countries.
Of the 69,303 passports that were given up, the highest number – 28,031 (40.45%) – was recorded at the Goa office. Punjab was next on the list with 9,557 passports (13.79%) passports surrendered at the Amritsar, Jalandhar and Chandigarh offices, followed by Gujarat, according to The Indian Express.
However, the number of passports surrendered since 2011 represents only a small fraction of the number of people who gave up Indian citizenship during the period.
In March, Minister of State in the foreign ministry V Muraleedharan had told the Lok Sabha that more than 16.21 lakh Indians renounced their citizenship between 2011 and October 31 last year. “The reasons for renouncing/taking citizenship are personal,” the foreign ministry had said.
Indian laws do not allow dual citizenship for persons of Indian origin. Those who obtain the passport of some other country are required to surrender their Indian passport.
The RTI response to The Indian Express showed that only 239 passports were relinquished in 2011. In the next two years, the number shot up to 11,492 in 2012 and 23,511 in 2013. Since then, the number has stayed within the range of 2,000 to 4,000 passports every year. Goa has topped the list among all states in all these years, except in 2012 and 2013, the data showed.
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