Application for Kenyan Citizenship by a Foreign Male Spouse
The promulgation of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 brought to an end the discriminatory provisions under the repealed Constitution of 1969 regarding acquisition of citizenship by marriage.
Notably under the repealed Constitution and Immigration laws male spouses could pass citizenship to their foreign female spouses however women who were Kenyan citizen could not confer citizenship to their foreign male spouses.
Well under the new Constitution of 2010 and Immigration laws even a foreign male spouse who has been married to a Kenyan Citizen for a continuous period of seven (7) years can acquire citizenship upon application and meeting all the prescribed requirements.
It is also worth noting that even a foreign widower who but for death of his spouse would have been entitled to citizenship by marriage is eligible to application acquire Kenyan citizenship by marriage PROVIDED he doesn’t prior to expiration of the period of seven (7) years get remarried to a foreigner.
The procedure for acquisition of Citizenship by marriage is specifically governed by the provisions of article 15(1) of the Constitution of Kenya, Section 11 of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act 2011 and the underpinning Immigration Regulations of 2012.
Key requirements that a male spouse must meet: –
- The marriage must be solemnized under a system of law recognized in Kenya, whether solemnized in Kenya or outside Kenya.
- A jointly sworn affidavit if the marriage was celebrated abroad.
- Apart from providing a valid marriage certificate, applicants are also required to demonstrate family life e.g by providing copies of birth certificates for their children, evidence of properties owned together among others.
- The marriage wasn’t entered for purposes of acquiring status or privilege in relation to citizenship, and in addition to this the marriage must be subsisting at the time of the application.
- In case of widowers, a copy of the death certificate for their wife must be provided alongside a valid marriage certificate.
- Proof of residence status preferably a valid work permit.
- Proof that one is not bankrupt through provision of bank statements.
- Applicant must be of good standing and hasn’t been convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for a term of three (3) years or more.
- The applicant must not be a prohibited immigrant
- Valid identification documents e.g national passport
- Relevant application forms
N/B Please note that the Cabinet Secretary and Director of Immigration services are entitled to request for any other additional requirements apart from the ones listed herein.
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Written By: Miriam MUGO – Senior Associate & Wahu Wambugu – Legal Assistant