Nepal’s Parliament endorses bill to amend Citizenship Act

Long time coming:

Nepal’s Parliament has endorsed the bill to amend its much-awaited Citizenship Act, 2006 through a majority vote, a decisive step that will help grant citizenship to the thousands of children born to naturalised Nepalese citizens.

Various provisions regarding granting status to foreign women married to Nepali men and children born in Nepal or from a Nepali mother were discussed by lawmakers before it was endorsed. The bill was endorsed in the House through a simple majority.

It will now move to the National Assembly before the president enacts this to become a part of the citizenship law. Once it passes the National Assembly, it will pave the way for thousands of children of parents who got citizenship by birth to acquire citizenship by descent.

All eligible Nepalis born before September 20, 2015, the day when the Constitution of Nepal was promulgated, were granted naturalised citizenship, according to media reports.

However, their children haven’t got citizenship in the absence of a law as the Constitution said the provision to grant them citizenship would be guided by federal law, it said. The federal law hasn’t been prepared even seven years after the promulgation of the statute, the report added.

The proposed amendment which takes the form of law and comes into effect, those who have not been able to get their citizenship through their mother will also be given citizenship by descent if he/she is living in Nepal.

The bill has been under discussion in the House of Representatives since 2020, but it failed to be endorsed due to differences among the political parties over various provisions. In 2018, the then KP Sharma Oli government registered the bill at the Parliament Secretariat.

Source: Nepal’s Parliament endorses bill to amend Citizenship Act

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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