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NRI (Non Resident Indian)

August 10, 2009
A Non-Resident Indian (NRI) is an Indian citizen who has migrated to another country, a person of Indian origin who is born outside India, or a person of Indian origin who resides outside India. Other terms with the same meaning are overseas Indian and expatriate Indian. In common usage, this often includes Indian born individuals (and also people of other nations with Indian blood) who have taken the citizenship of other countries.
A Person of Indian Origin (PIO) is usually a person of Indian origin who is not a citizen of India. For the purposes of issuing a PIO Card, the Indian government considers anyone of Indian origins up to four generations removed, to be a PIO. Spouses of people entitled to a PIO card in their own right can also carry PIO cards. This latter category includes foreign spouses of Indian nationals, regardless of ethnic origin. PIO Cards exempt holders from many restrictions applying to foreign nationals, such as visa and work permit requirements, along with certain other economic limitations.
The NRI and PIO population across the world is estimated at over 30 million (not including Pakistan, Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan Diasporas).
The Indian government recently introduced the “Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI)” scheme in order to allow a limited form of dual citizenship to Indians, NRIs and PIOs for the first time since independence in 1947. It is expected that the PIO Card scheme will be phased out in coming years in favour of OCI.
Continent / Country
Overseas Indian Population
Asia
13,700,000
Nepal
4,000,000
Malaysia
2,400,000
Myanmar
2,000,000
Saudi Arabia
1,500,000
United Arab Emirates
1,300,000
Sri Lanka
850,000
Oman
450,000
Singapore
320,000
Kuwait
295,000
Bahrain
150,000
Qatar
125,000
Thailand
65,000
China (PRC, ROC, Hong Kong)
62,300
Philippines
125,000
Indonesia
55,000
Israel
45,000
Pakistan
4,100,000
Japan
16,400
Lebanon
11,000
Maldives
9,000
Yemen
9,000
Brunei
7,600
Cyprus
2000
Syria
1,800
Bhutan
1,500
Kazakhstan
1,200
Afghanistan
1000
Iran
800
Uzbekistan
700
Turkmenistan
700
Vietnam
320
Cambodia
300
Europe
2,300,000
United Kingdom
1,100,000
Netherlands
217,000
Germany
80,000
France
75,000
Italy
71,500
Portugal
70,000
Spain
29,000
Russia
16,000
Switzerland
13,500
Austria
12,000
Sweden
11,000
Belgium
7,000
Greece
7,000
Norway
6,000
Ukraine
3,500
Denmark
2,500
Republic of Ireland
1,600
Finland
1,200
Americas
4,200,000
United States
2,100,000
Canada
960,000
Trinidad and Tobago
525,000
Guyana
327,000
Suriname
175,000
Jamaica
90,000
Guadeloupe
41,000
Brazil
16,900
Panama
9,000
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
21,500
St. Lucia
4,700
Puerto Rico
4,500
Barbados
2,200
Argentina
1,600
Saint Kitts and Nevis
1,100
Belize
500
Mexico
400
Africa
2,800,000
South Africa
1,300,000
Mauritius
855,000
Reunion
220,000
Kenya
100,000
Tanzania
90,000
Uganda
90,000
Madagascar
28,000
Nigeria
25,000
Mozambique
21,000
Libya
20,000
Zimbabwe
16,000
Botswana
9,000
Zambia
6,000
Seychelles
5,000
Ghana
3,800
Oceania
600,000
Fiji
340,000
Australia
235,000
New Zealand
105,000
Total Overseas Indian Population
24,000,000
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