Giving dual citizenship to Indians poses challenges: Jaishankar. Know the rules | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Giving dual citizenship to Indians poses challenges, says EAM Jaishankar. Know the rules

Dec 24, 2023 11:07 AM IST

EAM Jaishankar said there are several challenges in providing dual citizenship to Indians living abroad, however, debate on the matter is still alive.

There are a lot of challenges in providing dual citizenship to Indians settled abroad, Union external affairs minister S Jaishankar said at an event in Chennai. He pointed out that the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) drive is a step towards meeting the demand, however, the debate on dual citizenship is “still alive”.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar(S Jaishankar/X)
External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar(S Jaishankar/X)

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“There are economic and security challenges as to Indians living in which countries should be provided with dual citizenship,” Jaishankar said while interacting with entrepreneurs at the TAKEPRIDE 2023 summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). His response came after a participant at the summit posed a question on the ease of doing business for Indian entrepreneurs settled in foreign nations.

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What is dual or multiple citizenship?

Dual or multiple citizenship provides legal status to a person having two or more nationalities at the same time. Dual citizenship allows a person to participate completely in the political functions of both nations and enjoy exemptions from visa requirements while travelling as well as get an automatic work permit. They can also hold passports of both countries and enjoy social and legal rights just as equally as other citizens there. Some countries have certain restrictions on the rights one can avail as a dual citizen.

Countries such as the United States, Finland, Albania, Israel and Pakistan provide dual citizenship, however, they have their respective laws on the scheme provided both nations allow having dual nationalities.

Dual citizenship in India

The Indian Constitution doesn't allow Indian nationals to hold citizenship of another country simultaneously. However, the Indian government runs the OCI programme for Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) who migrated to other countries, other than Pakistan and Bangladesh. An OCI cardholder can avail of multi-purpose and multi-entry to India. They can also have a lifelong visa facility for visiting India, and have a specific right to become Indian citizens upon meeting certain conditions, as opposed to PIO card holders.

However, OCIs will not have voting rights in India. They also cannot contest elections for any legislative or constitutional posts in the country.

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