The BoI maintains data on the departure and arrival of Indians by manually capturing the purpose of travel. According to MHA, “It is based on their (passengers) verbal disclosure or the type of destination country visa they produced at the time of granting immigration clearance.”
Nearly 40 per cent of all travelers this year – more than 72 lakh – left the country for “residence”, while 71 lakh were tourists or went on visits. Over 21 lakh Indians left the shores for work while other travelers included those going on pilgrimage, medical treatment and so on.
At nearly 6.5 lakh, those who went out for education were the only category of travelers whose numbers exceeded pre-pandemic levels. “While the number of students who have traveled over the past two years has been low, many Indians had enrolled in foreign educational institutions, many of whom have left India this year. The number will increase further,” said an immigration expert.
In 2021, more than 4.4 lakh students left India, up from 2020 (about 2.6 lakh). In the three years preceding the two years of Covid, more than 5.8 lakh (2019), around 5.2 lakh (2018) and 4.5 lakh (2018) left India to study.
Overall, between January 2017 and November 2022, more than 10.3 crore of Indians traveled abroad, of which more than 3.8 crore went abroad in search of residency, 2.4 crore were tourists and 1.6 crore went to visit.
The number of business travelers stood at 1.2 crore, while 51.6 lakh left the country to set up business abroad.
Separate data from the MEA shows that more than 8.4 lakh Indians renounced their citizenship in favor of citizenships of other countries during the same period.
After a significant drop in 2020, when only 85,256 people renounced their citizenship, the number jumped to 1.6 lakh in 2021, about 14% up from 1.4 lakh in 2019. In the first 10 months of this year, over 1.8 lakh people gave Indian citizenship which is almost 28% more than the 2019 figure. Comparatively, India has granted citizenship to 546 people in these years with 2022 having as many report only 60.