Moroccan nationality law

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Moroccan Passeport

Moroccan nationality law is the subject of the Moroccan Dahir (decree) of September 6, 1958, official Bulletin Number 2394. In general, Moroccan nationality is transmitted by filiation (father and mother) or birth in Morocco. However, this gives the right to Moroccan males to transmit citizenship to their children and foreign wives, and since the last update this also possible for women. The aim of this update was to follow Morocco's recent human rights reforms, most notably the Moroccan family code called Mudawana which aimed to fight gender inequality. This has been done after much debate in the media.

The code[edit]

The code covering the Moroccan nationality was issued in 1958, two years after the independence of Morocco. The code has seven chapters and 46 articles. The main blocks of the code are the following:

Nationality by filiation[edit]

Since the last update, the Article 6 of the Moroccan code of nationality says : a child born of a Moroccan father, or a child born of a Moroccan mother is a Moroccan citizen.

Nationality by the effect of the law[edit]

According to Article 7, a child born in Morocco to unknown parents is a Moroccan citizen.[1]

According to Article 9,[2] any child born in Morocco of foreign parents who themselves were born in Morocco can become a Moroccan citizen provided that they make request to that effect. In the case of people originating from a country whose predominant language is Arabic or their predominant religion is Islam, only the father needs to be born in Morocco. The Minister of Justice have to approve of the decision for people who acquire nationality by means of article 9. People who have obtained Moroccan nationality by the effect of the law can claim the same rights as a Moroccan having nationality of origin (by filiation).[2]

Any foreign woman married to a Moroccan citizen and both have regular and continuous residence in Morocco for at least 5 years, can apply for citizenship.(article 10)[2]


Excluding exceptional cases, a foreigner applying for the Moroccan citizenship must fulfill the following conditions(article 11):[2]

  1. Having regular and continuous residence in Morocco during the 5 years preceding the application
  2. Being of Legal age at the time of the application
  3. Being mentally and physically fit
  4. Having a record of good conduct and reputation in addition to not being convicted of crime or any offense punishable by Moroccan law.
  5. Sufficient knowledge of the Arabic language
  6. Being able to provide for themselves

In the case of article 11, citizenship is given by the Ministerial council. For exceptional cases (article 12) it is given by a Dahir (royal decree) for people who are considered as having performed an exceptional service for Morocco or whose naturalization is considered exceptionally beneficial for the country. The only conditions for the article 12 case are (2) and (4) of article 11.[2]

Dual citizenship[edit]

A person having a dual nationality does not lose Moroccan nationality. However, that can create problems for people who also have nationality of countries that do not allow their nationals to have multiple citizenship. Two cases are Japan (Japanese nationality law) and South Korea (South Korean nationality law). Unlike Morocco, South Korea and Japan do not allow their nationals to keep multiple citizenships in their adult years.


On July 2005, following the wide variety of legal and social reforms in Morocco, King Mohammed VI, in a speech given at the occasion of his sixth Enthronement anniversary, declared that Moroccan women will be able to transmit their nationality to children born of non-Moroccan father. He asked the government to submit to him sensible proposals for amending the legislation on citizenship, to make sure that the suggested amendments tally with the Family Law.[3]

External links[edit]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Benjelloun, Ali; "Le Code de la nationalité marocaine", June 1959, p. 241.
  • Guilho, Pierre; "La nationalité marocaine", éd. Laporte, Librairie de Médicis, 1961.

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ "قانون الجنسية المغربية- محين الباب الثاني: في الجنسية الأصلية". Retrieved 2 November 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "الباب الثالث: في اكتساب الجنسية المغربية". 
  3. ^ (English) Kid of Alien Dad May Get Moroccan Nationality - Seoul Times