Legal Alert: Acquisition of Kenyan Citizenship by Marriage
Article 15(1) of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 and Section 11 of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act, 2011 (the “Act”) provide that a person who has been married to a Kenyan citizen for a period of at least Seven (7) years is eligible to apply for Kenyan citizenship upon meeting all the prescribed requirements and availing the requisite documentation.
It is noteworthy that, unlike under the repealed Kenyan Constitution, the 2010 Constitution allows Kenyan female spouses to confer citizenship to their foreign male spouses.
Also worth noting is the fact that widows and widowers who, were it not for the death of their Kenyan spouses, would have been eligible for citizenship by registration may upon the lapse of the said seven years be eligible to apply for Kenyan citizenship.
Key Requirements for Citizenship by Marriage
The marriage must be solemnized under a system of law recognized in Kenya, whether solemnized in Kenya or outside Kenya.
Apart from providing a valid marriage certificate applicants are also required to demonstrate family life e.g. by providing copies of birth certificates of their children, evidence of properties owned together among others.
Proof that marriage was not contracted 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.
The applicant must be of good standing and must not have been convicted and sentenced imprisonment for a term of three (3) years or more.
The applicant must not be a prohibited immigrant.
- A printed online application form 8 or 9 as the case may be (print the form after completing your application on the foreign nationals’ services portal (Efns).
- Questionnaire for intending applicants (print the questionnaire after completing your application).
- 2 passport size photographs taken against a white background.
- Copy of marriage certificate.
- Certificate of good conduct/Police Clearance Certificate.
- A joint sworn affidavit between the Kenyan spouse and the foreign spouse.
- Current immigration status for instance copy of dependent’s pass/permit.
- Copy of applicant’s national passport.
- Copy of passport and National ID for the Kenyan spouse.
- Copy of the Police Clearance Certificate.
N/B Please note that the Director of Immigration is entitled to ask for any other additional documents apart from the ones listed herein.