Citizenship is the relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance and in turn, is entitled to its protection. Citizenship implies the status of freedom with accompanying responsibilities.
In general, full political rights, including the right to vote and to hold public office, are predicated upon citizenship. The usual responsibilities of citizenship are allegiance, taxation, and military service.
In Kenya, Citizenship may be acquired by birth or registration and is not lost through marriage or the dissolution of marriage.
The Kenyan constitution states that “a person is a citizen by birth if on the day of the person’s birth, whether or not the person is born in Kenya, either the mother or father of the person is a citizen” (Art. 14.1).
Children born abroad and who have at least one parent with Kenyan citizenship, are automatically Kenyan citizens by birth. They may, therefore, apply for a Kenyan passport. It is also recommended that they apply for a “birth certificate for children born abroad”, which serves as the child’s registration in Kenya.
Section 13(3) of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act, 2011 provides: A child of a citizen by registration who was born before the parent acquired citizenship may on application by the parent or legal guardian be registered as a Kenya Citizen upon—
Section 14 of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act, 2011 provides: A child who is not a citizen, but is adopted by a citizen, is entitled on application in the prescribed manner by the adopting parent or legal guardian to be registered as a citizen upon—
Foreign nationals wishing to apply for Kenyan citizenship can apply for registration to be a citizen after having residence in Kenya. Section 13(1) of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act, 2011 provide:
A person who has attained the age of majority and capacity who has been lawfully resident in Kenya for a continuous period of at least seven years may on application be registered as a citizen if that person—
Required documents for application:
NB: Proof of residence may include children’s birth certificates, property ownership, welfare/association membership, utility bills or receipts, school certificates etc
The concept of dual nationality means that a person is a national of two countries at the same time. Each country has its own nationality laws based on its own policy.
Persons may have dual nationality by automatic operation of different laws rather than by choice.
The requirements include:-
Section 8(1) of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Regulation 2012 provides that the passport of any other country that is held by a dual citizen may, upon application by the holder, be endorsed to indicate that the holder is a citizen of Kenya.
Kenyan citizens who hold dual citizenship are exempt from visa requirement when travelling to Kenya using their non-Kenyan passport. They may apply to have their non-Kenyan passport endorsed at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport or at the Department of Immigration (Citizenship Section).
Requirements for endorsement
Section 11 of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act, 2011 provides for a person who has been married to a citizen of Kenya for a period of at least seven years shall be entitled, on application, in the prescribed manner to be registered as a citizen of Kenya, if
Section 10(1) of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act, 2011 provides that: –
The requirements for regaining citizenship include: –
Declaration of Voluntary Renunciation of Kenyan Citizenship proceeds from section 19 (1) of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act, 2011 which provides that where a Kenyan citizen by birth voluntarily makes a declaration of renunciation of Kenyan citizenship, in the prescribed manner, the Cabinet Secretary shall cause the declaration to be registered.
What are the requirements: –
Applicants wishing to regain/renounce their Kenyan citizenship, to disclose their dual citizenship or to have their non-Kenyan passport endorsed at the Kenyan embassy, must present themselves with their original passport/ID card/citizenship certificate, so that the embassy can verify authenticity.
Section 16 of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act, 2011 provides:
The required documents are as follows: