The government on Friday, registered a new Citizenship Bill at the Parliament Secretariat’s office, doing away with the June 23, 2020 recommendation proposing a seven year wait for a foreigner woman to avail naturalised citizenship upon marriage to a Nepali national.

The new Citizenship Bill is silent on a foreigner woman marrying a Nepali man, which means, we have reverted to the earlier registered bill (Nepal Citizenship Act, 2063 BS) on this particular clause which says a “foreigner woman marrying a Nepali man can immediately apply for citizenship. Upon receiving a Nepali citizenship, the foreigner woman will have to show evidence of handing over her former citizenship within six months of availing the citizenship”.

Although the bill was registered without the seven year clause, it was sent to the State Management and Good Governance Committee for clause-by-clause discussion. The committee prepared the report with dissenting opinion and submitted it to the parliament on June 23, 202o, in which the seven year wait was included.

The committee had given the report with the provision that if a foreign woman who is married to a Nepali citizen wants to adopt a Nepali citizenship, she can become a naturalised citizen if she has been married for seven years and has continuously resided in Nepal during the period.

The bill had remained stalled at the Parliament for several years as the parties argued on the seven year clause, affecting several others – for example the thousands who are waiting for a Citizenship by Descent. The newly registered bill has paved way for their eligibility to receive a citizenship of Nepal.

The newly registered bill also allows citizenships to NRNs who will be allowed to enjoy economic, social and cultural rights. NRNs will not be allowed to exercise political rights in Nepal. To be eligible for an NRN citizenship, the applicants grandparents or parents must have once been Nepali nationals, and currently holding a foreign citizenship (SAARC countries are not eligible for NRN Citizenship).