EAM clarifies stand on providing dual citizenship to Indians living abroad

Currently, Indians acquiring foreign citizenship can obtain an OCI card.

Union External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar clarifies the government of India’s stance on dual citizenship for Indians residing abroad.

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Addressing a question at the TAKEPRIDE 2023 summit organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), he acknowledges the challenges associated with providing the facility.

Highlighting the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) facility, he said that the debate on dual citizenship is “still alive”.

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Demand for dual citizenship for Indians

There is a growing demand for dual citizenship, allowing Indians to hold one or more nationalities alongside Indian nationality.

Currently, Indians acquiring foreign citizenship can obtain an OCI card, granting them the right to visit, live, and work in India without a visa requirement.

OCI is a form of permanent residency for people of Indian origin and their spouses. However, they are not recognized as Indian citizens and cannot vote in Indian elections or hold public office.

Article 9 of Indian Constitution

Article 9 of the Indian Constitution does not allow dual citizenship as prohibits a person from being a citizen of India if they voluntarily acquire the citizenship of any foreign state.

While the country does not permit dual citizenship, several countries, including Switzerland, Poland, Australia, and others, do provide this option.

Countries that do not allow dual citizenship include Iran, Maldives, Afghanistan, China, and others.

Despite the current absence of dual citizenship in India, there is a substantial demand for its introduction. The possibility of the Indian government allowing dual citizenship in the future is not yet clear.

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