New amendment likely to favor foreign nationals « Khabarhub
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New amendment likely to favor foreign nationals



Amendment on the citizenship bill under deliberation has raised the concern of some lawmakers. They fear that the bill might facilitate foreigners into getting Nepali citizenship.

Deliberation on the bill on the amendment of Nepal Citizenship Act 2063 at the State Affairs Committee of the lower house is in its final stage.

The amended bill has revoked the provision in section 4 of the Citizenship Act 2063, which states that a person born or residing in Nepal prior to March 1990 will be granted the citizen of Nepal by descent or blood.

Earlier, some leaders of the civil society had submitted a letter of memorandum to the Speaker of the parliament, Krishna Bahadur Mahara asking him to repeal the bill stating that it would facilitate foreigners to obtain Nepali citizenship.

The amended bill has revoked the provision in section 4 of the Citizenship Act 2063, which states that a person born or residing in Nepal prior to March 1990 will be granted the citizen of Nepal by descent or blood.

Citizenship was then distributed to people deprived of citizenship certificates on the basis of the act upon the promulgation of the constitution of Nepal 1990.

Citizenship was again distributed targeting such people in 2008. In 2008, a mobile team had doled out citizenship certificates to total 1,90,000 people. There has been criticism from different quarters that the citizenship certificate was then distributed to a significant number of foreigners.

Even a record by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that 400 foreign nationals had obtained Nepali citizenship during that time. The ministry says that it is initiating action against foreign nationals taking advantage of the citizenship certificate.

The current amendment has a provision to grant citizenship certificate based on descent or blood relation to the children of those who had obtained citizenship certificate as per section 4 of the Citizenship Act 2063.

However, if the identity of the father is established upon a child having obtained the citizenship certificate and if the father happens to be a foreign national, the person in question becomes a naturalized citizen.

Some law makers including Prem Suwal of Nepal Workers and Peasants Party (NWPP) fear that the bill if passed will result in foreign nationals holding Nepali citizenship.

The bill also has a provision that either the father or the mother can hand over rights to citizenship to his/her children. In the absence of the father or where the whereabouts of the father is not known, children can obtain citizenship from the mother.

However, if the identity of the father is established upon a child having obtained the citizenship certificate and if the father happens to be a foreign national, the person in question becomes a naturalized citizen.

The bill has a challenging provision to a foreign woman married to a Nepali man. Though the women is entitled to naturalized citizenship, according to the bill, her citizenship status will be revoked in her failure to present the proof that she had given up the foreign citizenship within six months of obtaining the Nepali citizenship.

Publish Date : 19 March 2019 15:45 PM

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