CITIZENSHIP AND NATIONALITY.

The Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act, 2011 which implements Chapter 3 of the Kenya Constitution 2010 (Citizenship), commenced on 30/08/2011. Under the Act;

  1. A person born of a Kenyan parentage irrespective of the place of birth automatically becomes a citizen by birth (jus sanguinis).
  2. The Constitution confers automatic recognition of persons who hold the citizenship of other countries as citizens of Kenya by birth provided that at the time of birth, one of the parents was a Kenyan. (so long as they are able to prove parentage through production of evidence in the form of either parent’s Kenya National Identification card or passport.
  3. Kenyan citizens by birth who ceased to be citizens of Kenya by voluntarily acquiring the citizenship of other countries in accordance with the repealed Constitution are entitled to regain their Kenyan citizenship upon application in the prescribed manner (application form may be down loaded from this website).
  4. A person who enjoyed dual citizenship but who by virtue of the repealed Constitution renounced or lost their Kenyan citizenship upon attainment of the age of twenty-three (23) years would automatically be deemed to be a citizen by birth.

Requirements for Citizenship

Requirements for Kenya Citizenship.

Kenyan citizenship is conferred by the Constitution by;

  • Birth or
  • Registration.

Citizenship by Birth: Sec 14 (1-5) of the Constitution

A person is a citizen by birth if at the date of his or her birth; one of the parents is or was a citizen of Kenya. This is regardless of where the person is or was born.

Regaining Kenya Citizenship

A citizen by birth who acquired citizenship of another country, and renounced the Kenyan citizenship may apply to the Cabinet Secretary to regain citizenship.

The requirements for regaining include;

  • Application form duly completed
  • Copies of Kenyan passport or identity card previously held
  • Passport or citizenship certificate of the other country
  • 2 passport size photographs

Citizenship by Registration

The following persons are entitled/eligible for registration as citizens of Kenya by registration.

Spouses, Widows and Widowers of Kenya Citizens
 The applications under this category are made by persons who have been married to citizens of Kenya for a period of at least seven years.

The requirements include;

  • Application form duly completed.
  • Marriage certificate.
  • Certificate of good conduct.
  • Proof that the marriage was not entered into for the purpose of acquiring immigration or citizenship status (sworn affidavit).
  • Proof that the marriage is subsisting (applicable to spouses).
  • Copy of national passport.
  • Copy of Kenyan passport or identity card of the Kenyan spouse.
  • Copy of death certificate (applicable to widows and widowers).
  • 2 passport size photographs.
Lawful Residents
Applications under this category are made by persons who have been ordinarily resident in Kenya for a period of seven years immediately preceding the date of application and must have been so resident under authority of an entry permit or exemption.

The requirements include;

  • Application form duly completed.
  • 2 passport size photographs.
  • Copy of national passport.
  • Certificate of good conduct.
  • Copy of the permit held for the last 7 years.
  • Proof that the applicant is not adjudged bankrupt (personal bank statement).
  • Proof of contribution made to the progress or advancement in any area of national development within Kenya or capability to do so.
  • Applicant should be able to understand and speak Kiswahili or local dialect.
  • Have adequate knowledge of Kenya.
  • Knowledge of the duties and rights of citizens as contained in the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act, 2011.
  • Understand the nature of the application.

(The last 3 requirements are demonstrated during interview before the Citizenship Advisory Committee).

Children and Persons With Disabilities
Applications under this category are made for the biological or legally adopted children of Kenyan citizens (for human being under the age of eighteen years).

The requirements include;

  • Application form duly completed.
  • 2 passport size photographs.
  • Kenyan passport or identity card of the parent.
  • Birth certificate.
  • Immigration pass or permit.
  • Medical certification (applicable to persons with disabilities).
  • Adoption certificate (applicable to adopted children).
  • Copy of national passport.
Stateless and Migrant Persons
Applications under this category are made by persons who voluntarily migrated to Kenya before 12th December,1963 and/or have continuously lived in Kenya.

The requirements include;

  • Application form duly completed.
  • 2 passport size photographs.
  • The applicant should not hold a passport or an identification document of any other country.
  • The applicant must have adequate knowledge of Kiswahili or a local dialect.
  • Certificate of good conduct.
  • The applicant should understand the rights and duties of a citizen.
  • Proof of continuous residence in Kenya since 12th December 1963.
Descendants of Stateless and Migrant Persons
Applications under this section are made by persons who have attained the age of eighteen years and whose parents had voluntarily migrated to Kenya before 12th December, 1963 and has continuously lived in Kenya.

The requirements include;

  • Application form duly completed.
  • 2 passport size photographs.
  • Proof that the parents are stateless or migrants.
  • The applicant should not hold or have held a passport or an identification document of any other country.
  • The applicant must be able to understand and speak Kiswahili or a local dialect.
  • Certificate of good conduct.
  • The applicant should understand the rights and duties of a citizen.
Renunciation of Kenya Citizenship
Declarations for renunciation are made by citizens of Kenya who wish to voluntarily renounce their Kenyan citizenship. The requirements include;
  • Original Kenya passport and identity card.
  • Renunciation form duly completed.
  • Copy of passport or citizenship certificate of the other country.
Disclosure/ Declaration of Dual Citizenship
A dual citizen is required to disclose her/his other citizenship within three months of becoming a dual citizen. The requirements include;
  • Declaration form duly completed.
  • 2 passport size photographs.
  • Kenyan identity card and passport (original and copies).
  • Non-Kenyan passport and certificate of citizenship (original and copies) with a certified translation of the Certificate into the English language.

Failure to disclose dual citizenship is an offence punishable by law under Sec 8(4) of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act, 2011.

Possession of dual citizenship should not be used in the commission of a criminal offence