Nepal proposes giving citizenship to foreign woman married to Nepali man after 7 years of union

Shirish B Pradhan

Kathmandu, Jun 21 (PTI) Nepal's Parliamentary State Affairs and Good Governance committee has proposed to amend the country's Citizenship Act that would require a foreign woman married to a Nepali national to wait seven years for naturalised citizenship.

However, the foreign woman marrying a Nepali national will get residence permit till she is eligible for citizenship, according to sources in the Parliament Secretariat.

A bill to amend the existing Citizenship Act was registered at the Parliament on Sunday. It includes seven rights that a foreign woman married to a Nepali national can exercise till she acquires citizenship certificates.

The amendment bill proposes changes to Clause 4.1(b) of the Citizenship Act paving the way for women receiving residence permits to exercise economic, social and cultural rights and provide seven different economic, social and cultural rights to such women.

Lack of a citizenship certificate will not bar them from running any businesses and earn, use and sell any fixed and movable assets, make profits through businesses and get involved in transaction of property of any kind.

Such a woman can also set up companies, run businesses as well as other ventures, register vital events such as birth, death, marriage, divorce and migration and avail services, privileges and discounts provided by any organisation established in accordance to the laws.

She will also be entitled to study at any academic institution, obtain academic certificates and exercise economic, social and cultural rights and acquire national identity cards as per the amendment proposal.

The main opposition parties Nepali Congress (NC) and Janata Samajbadi Party (JSP) have written notes of dissent against the amendment bill.

Both parties have argued that such a provision could create inconveniences for the people in Madhes as cross-border marriages are common there.

Both parties are in favour of granting citizenship certificates to foreign women soon after they are married to Nepali men.

The amendment bill has been finalised through majority votes in the parliamentary committee. It will now be presented to the full house of the Parliament for endorsement. PTI SBP IND IND