Fresh circular for DAOs on citizenship in mother’s name

Kathmandu, January 15

Home Minister Shakti Basnet today said the Ministry of Home Affairs would immediately issue a circular telling all the district administrations to issue citizenship certificates in mother’s name.

Addressing an interaction organised jointly by Sancharika Samuha and Forum for Law, Women and Development here today, Basnet said there were no legal obstacles to grant citizenship certificates on the basis of mother’s nationality if an applicant’s father did not certify the documents, but due to lack of clarity and work burden on the part of government employees, people were facing obstacles.

The minister said MoHA had issued circulars to clear doubts in the past and would do the same again.

Programme was organised to highlight the case of children abandoned by their fathers or both the parents.

Mothers of such children lamented that they could not obtain citizenship certificates for their children.

Basnet said he would try to end the problem facing children abandoned by their fathers. He said the prevalence of old mindset and culture were also at the root of many problems.

Executive Director of FWLD Sabin Shrestha presented a working paper on “citizenship rights in the new constitution and implementation of those rights in practice”. He said the new constitution put daughters at risk of being stateless. “A daughter is not considered a citizen after she marries (a foreigner) but the same principle is not applied to a son,” he argued.

He said street children, children abandoned by father or both parents and children orphaned due to earthquake were not being able to obtain citizenship certificates.

Chair of Sancharika Samuha Nirmala Sharma said many citizens were unable to get citizenship certificates in the absence of new citizenship law. She said citizens should be able to obtain citizenship certificates in the name of their mother in case the father did not show up for signing the document but there were many cases where children of this category were not getting citizenship.

Sushma Gautam of FWLD said 20 people who had not been able to obtain Nepali citizenship in the name of their mother had filed cases at the Supreme Court and those cases were subjudice.


  • Shivani Kharel of Kathmandu said she had been trying to obtain citizenship for the last five years but had not been able to get one. She has also filed a case at the Supreme Court which has been sub-judice for the last three years
  • Biplab Chaulagain said he had been facing difficulties due to lack of citizenship certificate. “I cannot get a job. I cannot do anything without my citizenship. I have been deprived of simple facilities that a citizen is entitled to,” he lamented
  • Arjun Kumar Sah of Mahottari told THT that he visited district administration office 7-8 times after the promulgation of the new constitution but he could not get naturalised citizenship. Sah’s father is an Indian national but his mother is a Nepali citizen by descent. Sah was born in Nepal and has lived here. He said he qualifies for naturalised citizenship under the new constitution. He said CDO of the district told him to go to the home ministry to enquire about his chance of getting a naturalised citizenship but he could not visit Singha Durbar due to lack of an identity card