Namibian nationality law

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Namibian Citizenship Act
Coat of arms of Namibia.svg
Parliament of Namibia
An Act relating to Namibian citizenship
Enacted by Government of Namibia
Status: Current legislation

Namibian nationality law regulates who is or may become a citizen of Namibia. The primary source of nationality law in Namibia is Article 4 of the Constitution of Namibia, with additional provisions provided by the Namibian Citizenship Act of 1990.[1]

Citizenship at birth[edit]

A person may be a citizen of Namibia at birth either through operation of Article 4(2) (jus sanguinis, i.e. descent from a Namibian citizen) or a restricted form of jus soli (Article 4(1), birth in Namibia to a citizen parent or to a parent who is ordinarily and legally resident in the country).[1]

Acquisition of citizenship[edit]

Article 4(3) mandates a period of at least two years' wait before a non-Namibian may obtain Namibian citizenship through marriage to a Namibian. In 2010, the Cabinet brought forth a bill to amend Sections 3 and 5 of the Citizenship Act to set the required time to ten years.[2]

Article 4(5) provides for naturalisation. A minimum period of five years of residence in Namibia is required for naturalisation.

Multiple citizenship[edit]

Section 26 of the 1990 Act states that no Namibian citizen may also be a citizen of a foreign country. However, this section of the act states that it is subject to the provisions of other laws. In a 2011 High Court case, Judge Dave Smuts ruled that a Namibian citizen by birth or descent could not be deprived of citizenship without consent, effectively legalising multiple citizenship for those citizens.[3][4] Applicants for naturalisation, however, must still renounce all their other citizenships under Section 5(1)(g) of the Citizenship Act.


  1. ^ a b Chipepera, Faith; Ruppel-Schlichting, Katharina G. "Children's right to citizenship". Children's Rights in Namibia (PDF). Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.
  2. ^ Rhodes, Fifi (2010-07-10). "Namibia: Cabinet Approves Amendment of Namibian Citizenship Act". New Era. Retrieved 2012-06-24.
  3. ^ Menges, Werner (2011-06-07). "Dual citizenship legal for born Namibians". The Namibian. Archived from the original on 2012-01-15. Retrieved 2012-06-24.
  4. ^ Le Roux v Minister of Home Affairs, [2011] NAHC 159 (2011).

External links[edit]