Namibian nationality law

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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).

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