Union external affairs minister S Jaishankar said the debate on dual citizenship is “still alive” while admitting that there are several challenges in providing dual citizenship to Indians living abroad. He was speaking at an event in Chennai.
EAM Jaishankar responded to a question posed by a participant at the summit on the ease of doing business for Indian entrepreneurs settled in foreign nations by pointing out that there are economic and security challenges as to Indians living in which countries should be provided with dual citizenship. He added that the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) drive is a step towards meeting the demand.Jaishankar was interacting with entrepreneurs at the TAKEPRIDE 2023 summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
Dual Citizenship demand is raised by the Indians living abroad since long. Due to lack of provisions for dual citizenship, many Indians who are settled abroad are compelled to let go their Indian citizenship. Dual citizenship while providing legal status to a person in both the nations simultaneously allows political participation in both nations. More importantly, it helps a person do away the visa procedure and work permit restictions.
The Indian Constitution bars Indian nationals to hold citizenship of another country simultaneously. However, an India settled abroad, except in Pakistan and Bangladesh, can opt for OCI ( Overseas Citizenship Of India) card as a person of Indian Origin (PIO) to avail of multi-purpose and multi-entry to India. However, OCIs are restricted from voting or contesting in Indian elections.
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