Moroccan nationality law
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, it gives the right to Moroccan males to transmit citizenship to their children and foreign wives, and since the last update, that is possible for women. The aim of the update was to follow Morocco's recent human rights reforms, most notably the Moroccan family code called, Mudawana, which aimed to fight gender inequality. It has been done after much debate in the media.
Between 1958 and until 1978, The Moroccan citizenship was granted to the kids of both moroccan men and women but went through diverse changings.
The code covering the Moroccan nationality was issued in 1958, two years after the end of the French protectorate over Morocco. The code has seven chapters and 46 articles. The main blocks of the code are the following:
Nationality by filiation
Since the last update, the Article 6 of the Moroccan code of nationality says that 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
According to Article 7, a child born in Morocco to unknown parents is a Moroccan citizen.
According to Article 9, 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 must 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).
Any foreign woman married to a Moroccan citizen, with regular and continuous residence in Morocco for at least 5 years, can apply for citizenship.(article 10)
Excluding exceptional cases, a foreigner applying for the Moroccan citizenship must fulfill the following conditions (article 11):
- Have regular and continuous residence in Morocco during the 5 years preceding the application
- Be of Legal age at the time of the application
- Be mentally and physically fit
- Have a record of good conduct and reputation in addition to not being convicted of crime or any offense punishable by Moroccan law
- Have sufficient knowledge of the Arabic language
- Be 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.
A person having a dual nationality does not lose his Moroccan nationality. However, that may cause problems for people who also have nationality of countries that do not allow their nationals to have multiple citizenship.
In a 1978 reform, Moroccan women were denied the right to transmit their citizenship due to Hassan II's hostility toward mixed marriages, hinted at the new wave of conservatism that appeared in the land. Until then, women could transmit it.
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 a non-Moroccan father. He asked the government to submit to him sensible proposals for amending the legislation on citizenship to ensure that the suggested amendments tally with the Family Law.
- (French) Dahir n° 1-58-250 du 21 safar 1378 (6 septembre 1958) portant la Code de la nationalité marocaine (revisée 2007)
- Benjelloun, Ali; "Le Code de la nationalité marocaine", June 1959, p. 241.
- Guilho, Pierre; "La nationalité marocaine", éd. Laporte, Librairie de Médicis, 1961.
- "قانون الجنسية المغربية- محين الباب الثاني: في الجنسية الأصلية". Retrieved 2 November 2012.
- "الباب الثالث: في اكتساب الجنسية المغربية".
- (English) Kid of Alien Dad May Get Moroccan Nationality - Seoul Times