Over 450,000 Indians have acquired foreign citizenship in 117 countries since 2014 till date, the government said in response to a question in Parliament.
In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, Indian Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh also said a total of 46,188 Indians were naturalised during 2016 as compared to 42,213 in 2015.
"As per the information available with the ministry, 452,109 Indian nationals have acquired foreign citizenship in 117 countries from 2014 to 2017 (till date)," he said.
According to the 2016 yearbook of immigration statistics published by the US department of homeland security, highest number of Indians were naturalised in California (10,298), followed by New Jersey (5,312), Texas (4,670) and New York (2,954), the minister said. According to MEA records, 18,874 Indians acquired US citizenship in 2015, while 22,999 acquired US citizenship in 2016, and 20,327 in 2017.
Replying to another question, the minister said as many as 4,052 Indian nurses have travelled after taking emigration clearance.
There was a sharp fall in the number of Indians who received citizenship in 2017 in the United Kingdom in recent years, according to the MEA. While in 2014, 37,693 acquired citizenship, the number went down in 2015 to 27,771. In 2016, 28,720 Indians got citizenship in UK while in 2017, the corresponding number was only 19,882.
In Australia, 20,948 Indians acquired citizenship in 2017, a decline from previous years. In 2016, 23,073 received citizenship, while the number in 2015 was 23,365.
Of an estimated 31 million overseas Indians across the world, including 18 million persons of Indian origin and 13 million NRIs, nearly 3.3 million NRIs live in Saudi Arabia, the largest in any country, and the fewest, just one, in Micronesia, according to the MEA. The US has the most overseas Indians, with 1.3 million NRIs and 3.2 million Indian-Americans.