Panel to decide on naturalised citizenship

Foreign nationals married to Nepali citizens maybe deprived of their rights

Kathmandu, September 12

Parliamentary State Affairs and Good Governance Committee is likely to finalise provision on naturalised citizenship, which will allow citizenship through mother in National Citizenship Bill. State Affairs and Good Governance Committee Chair Shashi Shrestha has asked panel members to finalise the bill.

The panel might come up with provision which will bar foreign nationals married to Nepali citizens from obtaining naturalised citizenship for at least seven years from the date of their marriage registered.

Such provision could curtail political rights of people though one can enjoy cultural, social and economic rights in the country. Most of the lawmakers from the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) and the main opposition Nepali Congress concluded that there should be a gap of certain years before granting naturalised citizenship for foreign nationals married to Nepali citizens.

Lawmakers from Tarai belt like NC Lawmaker Amresh Kumar Singh and Samajwadi Party-Nepal Lawmaker Ram Sahaya Prasad Yadav said the provision will affect foreigners married to Nepali men or women as they will be deprived of their rights.“Foreign men and women could be subjected to many complications if government did not grant naturalised citizenship right after marriage with Nepali citizens,” said Singh, adding that the government should first consider about possible difficulties people can face before deciding on naturalised citizenship.

The proposed bill stated that for a foreign woman to get naturalised citizenship after getting married with a Nepali man, she should present evidence which stated that she was no more the citizen of the country of her birth.

The bill was silent regarding a foreign man married to a Nepali woman. Secretary for Ministry of Home Affairs Prem Kumar Rai said the government will accept the decision of the panel on contentious issues of citizenship.