Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Requests for change of citizenship status hindered by conflicts in laws

  • The current obstacle in changing citizenship status is caused by amendments made to citizenship laws, and the lack of detailed regulations
  • These amendments are in conflict with the constitution, putting a halt in the processing of citizenship change requests
  • Many Maldivians request to change citizenship to access certain services of the resident country's

Mariyam Afaaf Adam
bulhaakalo

K. Male' 2019 Nov 21 | Thu 22:56 2,428 local

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdulla Humaid - Raajjemv

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has stated that applications of Maldivians who want to change their citizenship status can only be granted after amending the current citizenship laws.

While appearing on RaajjeTV's "FalaSuruhee" programme on Wednesday, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdulla Humaid said that many Maldivians have applied to change their citizenship status, usually after marrying a foreigner and settling in their spouse's native country. Nevertheless, their requested have not been granted due to conflicts in our country's citizenship legislation, said Humaid.

Many Maldivians are living abroad due to different circumstances. There are cases of Maldivians marrying a foreigner and settling in their spouses native country for more than half of their life. There are circumstances where these people need to change their citizenship status in order to access certain services of that country.

~ Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdulla Humaid

According to Humaid, the current obstacle in changing citizenship status is caused by amendments made to citizenship laws, and the lack of detailed regulations associated with these amendments.

He explained that these amendments are in conflict with the constitution, therefore, putting a halt in the processing of citizenship change requests.

He also added that there have been many applications for Maldivian citizenship by people settling in the Maldives. However, their requests have not been granted due to the our citizenship laws that demands several requirements to qualify. Humaid explained that the ministry's role in these circumstances is to check if the applicant meets the specified requirements, and forward eligible applicants to the President's Office as they are responsible for the final decision.

The president decides whether someone is granted Maldivian citizenship or not. Likewise, several people have been granted Maldivian citizenship in the past few years as well as a long list of people that were denied.

~ Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdulla Humaid

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also revealed that several people have applied for Maldivian citizenship after residing in the Maldives for a certain period of time and fulfilling all the requirements. The ministry states that they advocate on behalf of such applicants and as such, two people have recently been granted citizenship.

Last updated at: 3 weeks ago | Reviewed by: Aishath Shaany

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