President Ram Chandra Paudel/File Photo
KATHMANDU: President Ram Chandra Paudel certified the Citizenship Bill on Wednesday.
The Citizenship Bill, which was passed twice by the previous Parliament, was stopped at the President’s Office after the then President Bidya Devi Bhandari did not certify it.
The current government led by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda urged President Paudel to authenticate the Citizenship Bill.
The Council of Ministers meeting last week decided to send the Citizenship Bill to the President for authentication.
According to Jitendra Basnet, Spokesperson of the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Bill, authenticated by the President, will be implemented once it is published in the Nepal Gazette.
The authenticated Bill provides a provision for granting citizenship to the children of individuals who have acquired citizenship by birth.
A person who was born in Nepal before the end of Chitra 2046 BS (April 13, 1990) and subsequently became a permanent resident of Nepal was previously granted citizenship based on their birth in the country.
In Nepal, approximately 170,000 individuals have acquired citizenship by birth. The existing Constitution of Nepal includes provisions for granting citizenship to the children of natural-born citizens.
However, due to the absence of relevant law, the children of natural-born citizens have been unable to acquire citizenship.
For a long time, the non-passage of the Citizenship Law by the parliament has significantly impacted their daily lives.
With the authentication, it will resolve the challenges faced by these individuals in various aspects of their lives. They will be able to open bank accounts, pursue higher education, and secure employment without hindrance caused by the lack of citizenship.
Similarly, the Bill introduces provisions for obtaining citizenship through the mother’s name.
However, there are four conditions set forth in the Bill for acquiring citizenship through this method.
A person who is born in Nepal to a mother who is a Nepalese citizen, resides in Nepal, whose father’s identity is not established, and declares that identification is not possible, will be eligible to acquire citizenship solely through the mother’s name.
Furthermore, the Bill includes a provision that requires individuals to declare themselves if they seek to obtain citizenship through a person whose father’s identity is not established or through their mother.
Thirdly, the Bill paves the way for non-residents to obtain Nepalese citizenship for the first time.
If there is evidence to demonstrate that a person’s father, mother, grandfather, or great-grandfather is a citizen of Nepal, that person will be granted non-resident citizenship.
However, individuals residing in SAARC countries will not be eligible to obtain such citizenship.