There are over 13.6 million Indian nationals living abroad, according to data tabled by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs in Lok Sabha, with the highest concentration of NRIs in the Middle East.
The highest number of Indians abroad are living in the United Arab Emirates, where the 3.42 million Indians comprise about one-fourth of all Indians abroad. The UAE is followed by:
- Saudi Arabia (2,594,947)
- US (1,280,000)
- Kuwait (1,029,861)
- Oman (779,351)
- Qatar (756,062)
- Nepal (500,000)
- UK (351,000)
- Singapore (350,000)
- Bahrain (323,292)
Citing RBI data, the ministry said that during 2018-2019, USD 76.4 billion was received as remittances from Indians abroad, the most that any nation’s diaspora had sent back. During 2019-2020 (April-September), USD 41.9 billion was received.
The ministry also replied to a question about the return of the bodies of NRIs who died abroad. Between 2015 until December 2019, the mortal remains of 21,930 Indians from 125 countries have been brought back to India, the MEA stated. It said the Consular, Passport and Visa (CPV) division of the ministry is the nodal division that coordinates with all missions/posts abroad regarding transportation of mortal remains.
The missions/posts also liaise with foreign sponsors and local authorities concerned to expedite procedures for the repatriation of mortal remains to India and extend assistance to families, including financial assistance for deserving cases under the Indian Community Welfare Fund.