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Bill on dual citizenship for overseas Indians introduced in Parliament

dual citizenship for overseas Indians

A draft legislation has been introduced in Indian parliament that seeks to allow dual citizenship for overseas Indians who have migrated to other countries. The proposed law, once comes into effect, will benefit millions of overseas Indians, who currently have to renounce Indian citizenship to become citizens of the countries where they have migrated to. It also comes as good news for millions of Indians who will be moving to countries like Canada and Australia in the coming years in search of better opportunities.
The Bill on dual citizenship for overseas Indians moved by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor last week proposes amending of Article 9 of the constitution of India. As per the article, the Indian citizenship of a person who takes up the citizenship of another country is terminated automatically. Shashi Tharoor MP pointed out that Indians constitute the largest diaspora in the world and many of these Indians have migrated abroad looking for better opportunities. “Taking a foreign passport for convenience does not make them any less Indian,” said Mr Tharoor, while introducing the Bill on dual citizenship for overseas Indians.
The UN World Migration Report of 2018 estimates that around 15.6 million Indians are living abroad. Overseas Indians have been raising the demand for dual citizenship for many years. Earlier, the Indian government introduced the OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) card for Indian-origin nationals that allow them to live and work in India for an indefinite period. However, they were not entitled for voting rights and the right to purchase any agricultural land in India.
Tharoor said that in this era of globalization, more Indians would be seeking opportunities abroad. By terminating Indian citizenship, overseas Indians feel cut-off from their roots with no real stake in India.
It is an offence to not surrender Indian passport once a person acquires foreign citizenship as per the Indian Passport Act. The penalty for violating the same is a fine of up to $1,050.
According to a 2016 Census, there were 619,164 Indians in Australia at that point of time. Australia awarded citizenship to 118,000 Indians during the period between 2013 and 2017. Ever since, migration to Australia from India has witnessed an upward trend.
The number of Indians migrating to Canada is also on the rise. It is estimated that around 225,000 Indians would be moving to Canada in the next three years. In 2018, a total of 276,380 new permanent residents moved to Canada in the first 10 months. Of these, 60,915 were Indian citizens, who constituted around 22 percent of the total number of new immigrants.
If the same percentage of Indians moves to Canada in the next two years, around 73000 Indians will be admitted to the country in 2019, close to 75,000 in 2020 and more than 77,000 in 2021. It should also be noted that the percentage of Indians being admitted to Canada increased from 13 percent in 2016 to 22 percent in the first 10 months of 2018.
Canada and Australia have high demand for skilled workers. If you wish to migrate to these countries, there is no better time than now to make your dream come true. Contact us for any assistance on Canada/Australia migration

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