ACQUISITION OF KENYA CITIZENSHIP
The Constitution of Kenya provides for acquisition of Kenya citizenship in two ways namely:
- By Birth
- By Registration
1.Kenya Citizenship by Birth:
This is provided for under Article 14 of the Constitution of Kenya as read together with Clause 30 of the Sixth Schedule:-
- One is a Kenyan by birth if at the time of his/her birth either the mother or father was a Kenyan citizen. This is regardless of where the person was born.
- The following are also Kenyans by birth once their registration formalities are completed:-
- Child found in Kenya who appears to be under 8 years of age and whose nationality and parents are not known is presumed to be a Kenya citizen by birth.
- Person who is a Kenya citizen by birth but ceased to be so on acquisition of other citizenship before the promulgation of the new constitution, such a person is entitled on application to regain Kenya citizenship.
2.Citizenship by Registration:
Spouse of a Kenyan
A person who has been married to a Kenyan citizen for a period of 7 yrs is entitled on application to be registered as a Kenya citizen provided that:-
- The marriage was solemnized (in Kenya or outside Kenya) under a system of law recognized in Kenya.
- applicant is not declared as a Prohibited Immigrant in Kenya; has never been convicted of an offence and sentenced to imprisonment for a term of 3 yrs. or longer
- marriage has not been entered for purposes of acquiring a status or privilege in relations to immigration or citizenship
- marriage is subsisting at the time of application
A person who has been ordinarily resident in Kenya for a continuous period of 7 years under the authority of a work permit and children (under 18 years) of a legal resident are also eligible for registration.
Widows and Widowers of a Kenyan Citizen
Section 12(1) of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act, 2011 provides for:
- A foreign national who has been married to a citizen who but for the death of the citizen would have been entitled, after a period of seven years, to be registered as a citizen of Kenya under section 11, shall be deemed to be lawfully present in Kenya for the unexpired portion of the seven years and shall be eligible for registration as a citizen on application in the prescribed manner upon expiry of the seven-year period.
- The conditions for registration provided in section 11 shall apply to a widow or widower who has applied for registration under this section.
- A widow or widower who marries a non-citizen before the expiry of the period of seven years shall not be entitled to acquire citizenship by registration under this section.
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—
- Production of documents conferring Kenyan Citizenship to any of the parents;
- Production of the child’s birth certificate; and
- Proof of lawful residence of the child in Kenya.
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—
- the production of proof of the Kenyan citizenship of the adopting parent;
- the production of a valid adoption certificate issued in a reciprocating state or other jurisdiction whose orders, decrees are recognized in Kenya; and
- proof of lawful residence of the child in Kenya.
Declaration of Dual Citizenship
The current constitution unlike the previous one, allows for dual citizenship. A Kenyan citizen who acquires citizenship of any other country after 27th, August 2010 does not lose Kenyan citizenship.
He/She, however, is required by law to declare his status immediately by completing:
- Two sets of duly filled Form-2 (Declaration by dual citizen) which must be notarized by the Commissioner of Oaths. Click here to download and attach the following documents:-
- Two copies of proof of Canadian citizenship (bio-data page of Canadian passport and Canadian Citizenship certificate/Canadian citizenship card). Upon declaration, one is issued with an acknowledgement letter which they should retain for record purposes.
- Self-addressed prepaid X-Press Post return courier envelope and mail to the following address:-
- Two copies of proof of previous Kenyan citizenship (copies of passport, Birth certificate and Kenyan ID) and send them to the following address:-
Kenya High Commission, 415 Laurier Avenue East, Ottawa, ON. K1N 6R4
Regaining Kenya Citizenship
Persons who lost Kenyan citizenship under the old constitution by acquiring citizenship of other countries before 27th, August 2010 are entitled to regain on application by filling and attaching the following:-
- Two copies of Form 5 “Regain Citizenship form”: Click here to download and attach the following:-
- Two sets of duly filled Form-2 (Declaration by dual citizen) which must be notarized by the Commissioner of Oaths. Click here to download and attach the following documents:
- Two copies of proof of previous Kenyan citizenship (copy of passport, Birth certificate and Kenyan ID
- A money order of C$80.00 payable to Kenya High Commission.
- Two copies of proof of Canadian citizenship (bio-data page of Canadian passport, Canadian citizenship certificate, and Canadian citizenship card). Upon declaration, one is issued with an acknowledgement letter which they should retain for record purposes.
- Self-addressed prepaid return courier envelope and mail by courier to the following address:-
- Kenya High Commission, 415 Laurier Avenue East, Ottawa, ON K1N 6R4
Voluntary Renunciation Of Kenyan Citizen
The Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act provides for Voluntary Renunciation of Kenya Citizenship for any Kenyan who wishes to do so.
Please attach the following documents:-
- Completed application form Click here to download
- All original documents identifying you as a Kenyan Citizen i.e. Kenya National ID Card, Kenya Passport, Certificate of Registration/Naturalization and Voters Card.
- CDN. $300.00 by Money Order payable to Kenya High Commission.
Revocation of citizenship
(Article 17 of the Constitution of Kenya)
A Kenya citizenship by registration may be revoked if –
- the citizenship was acquired by fraud, false representation or concealment of any material fact;
- the person has during any war in which Kenya was engaged , unlawfully traded or communicated with an enemy or been engaged in or associated with any business that was knowingly carried on in such a manner as to assist an enemy in that war;
- the person is convicted within five years of registration, been convicted of an offence and sentenced to imprisonment for a term of three years or longer;
- the person is convicted of treason or of an offence for which a penalty of at least 7 years imprisonment or a more severe penalty
- A citizenship of a person who was presumed to be a citizen by birth as contemplated in Article 14 (4) of the Constitution may be revoked if :
- the citizenship was acquired by fraud, false representation or concealment of any material fact by any person;
- the nationality or parentage of the person becomes known and reveals that the person was a citizen of another country; or
- The age of the person becomes known and reveals that the person was older than 8 years when found in Kenya.
RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF CITIZENS
Rights: A citizen of Kenya has a right to:
- enter, exit, remain in and reside anywhere in Kenya
- be registered as a voter without unlawful restrictions
- participate in free, fair and regular elections based on universal suffrage and subject to the constitution, to vote and vie for any elective body or any party post where the citizen is a member
- own land and other property in any part of the country in accordance with the law
- be appointed to a public office
- vie for any elective office as president or deputy president subject to Article 78 and 137 of the constitution – NB: – this only applies to citizens by birth with no allegiance to any other country (dual citizenship)
- Any documents of registration or identification e.g. ID cards, birth certificates, passports, voter’s cards (for eligible persons).
- owe full allegiance to the state and the constitution of Kenya
- obey the laws of Kenya
- pay taxes provided for under Kenyan laws
- respect and promote national integration, unity and peaceful co-existence
- promote the values and principles prescribed in the constitution