A recent survey conducted by the Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies (FIIDS) USA has revealed that the Indian-American community overwhelmingly supports dual citizenship. The survey, which was conducted ahead of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US, also shows that non-resident Indians (NRIs) prefer proxy voting instead of direct postal ballots.
The survey covered topics ranging from immigration issues, investment, dual citizenship, double taxation and transfer of social security funds. Among those surveyed, the demand for dual citizenship received maximum support with a 4.4 star rating.
"While citizens of many other countries have had the ability to apply for US citizenship without renouncing the citizenship of their home country, non-resident Indians have been requesting this same opportunity from the Indian government for many years without luck," FIIDS said.
The Indian government currently has no provisions for dual citizenship, though the 2005 amendment in the Citizenship Act of 1955 gave non-resident Indians Overseas Citizenship (OCI) which has some features in common with dual citizenship.
"When it came to NRIs voting, 33 per cent preferred proxy voting as declared by the government while 28 per cent preferred a direct postal voting," FIIDS said.
Among various immigration issues, expediting green cards received 80 per cent preference. In their comments, NRIs said that Indian citizens applying for US permanent residency faced years of painful delays in processing by US Immigration due to the "country wise quota policy".
NRIs also expressed hope that the Indian government will discuss these issues with the US in the upcoming visit by PM Modi to the country.