Review Nepal News

Quandary over New Citizenship Provision

www.reviewnepal.com
  Kathmandu, Nepal      June 23 2020

Kathmandu, Nepal, June, 23, 2020:  With the endorsement of the bill to amend the Citizenship Act 2063 of Nepal from the parliamentary State Affairs and Good Governance Committee, any foreign women married to Nepali men need to wait for seven years to acquire naturalized citizenship of Nepal.

As the committee endorsed the provision through the majority votes on Sunday, federal parliament would move forward the bill for the final endorsement amid the protest from the opposition parties including the main opposition party, Nepali Congress (NC), Samajbadi Party Nepal and Rastriya Janata Party Nepal. 

With the provision, any foreign women, who get married to Nepali men regardless of Indian or others, will have tough time consuming rather than depriving from the citizenship. The provision endorsed by the parliamentary committee states that- foreign woman married to a Nepali man will be granted naturalized citizenship after her continuous stay in Nepal for seven years.

The leaders from the opposition parties, particularly though who hails from the Terai region, have expressed a fear that Nepali men willing to marry India women would deprive from the marriage. Likewise, some leaders have stated that such a provision would sour relationship between Nepal and India.  

The government of Nepal has made the provision following the footsteps of the India over the issue of citizenship to the foreigners. Citizenship Act- 1955 of India has a provision that any foreign person married to a citizen of India and is ordinarily resident of India will have to wait for seven years for making an application for registration.

NC lawmaker Jitendra Dev has accused the government head Nepal Communist Party (NCP) for attacking on the Nepal-India relations by introducing a restrictive provision to grant naturalized citizenship to foreign women married to Nepali men. 

The government should be sensitive over the issue by considering to the facts that cultural relations are about heart to heart, Dev said while addressing the parliament on Monday that such a decision over the issue of citizenship could incite communal violence.  

The NC, Samajbadi Party Nepal and Rastriya Janata Party Nepal have a demand that existing unconstitutional provision that allows foreign women to acquire naturalized citizenship after getting married to Nepali men should be continued. 

As per the clause 5.1 of the Citizenship Act, foreign women are immediately eligible for citizenship upon marriage to a Nepali man.