The Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act which implements Chapter 3 of the New Constitution commenced on 30th August 2011, effectively repealing the Kenya Citizenship Act Cap. 170, the Immigration Act Cap. 172 and the Aliens Restriction Act Cap. 173 Laws of Kenya. Consequently, Kenyans residing in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific region and who also hold Passports of these countries should take note of the following:
- A person born of a Kenyan parent irrespective of the place of birth automatically becomes a citizen of Kenya by birth;
- The Constitution confers automatic recognition to persons holding citizenship of other countires as citizens of Kenya by birth so long as they are able to prove parentage as aforestated (i.e. provide Kenyan National Identity Cards; Passports etc);
Regaining Kenya Citizenship
Kenyan citizens by birth who ceased to be citizens of Kenya by voluntarily acquiring the citizenship of other countries and/or renouncing the citizenship of Kenya in accordance with the repealed (old) Constitution may regain citizenship upon application in the prescribed manner. Applicants wishing to do so should fully complete the Application to Regain Kenya Citizenship (Form 5) (fully completed and in duplicate) ; and enclose:
- certified copies of evidence of citizenship (such as as certified copies of both passports; Kenyan ID, Certificate of Registration etc);
- two (2) current passport photos (the photos should be full face, coloured & 2 by 1 and a half inches);
- a self-addressed registered post/platinum post envelope (in which to return the documents once the Immigration Department has finalised its process)
Send the fully completed form and attachments to the High Commission in a secure manner either by courier or registered/platinum post.
Declaration of Dual Citizenship
It is an offence to fail to declare dual citizenship under Section 8(4) of the Act. Every Kenyan who holds dual citizenship and is 18 years old and above is required by law to declare the other citizenship within three (3) months of becoming a dual citizen. Such declarations may be made through the Declaration made by a Dual Citizen (Form 2) (fully completed and in duplicate). The Form should be accompanied by certified copies of evidence of dual citizenship (such as both passports and certificates of Citizenship etc) and forwarded in a secure manner to the High Commission ; and a self-addressed registered post/platinum post envelope (with which to return back the Dual citizenship declaration slips once processed by Immigration Department)
Persons who enjoyed dual citizenship but who by virtue of the repealed Constitution renounced or lost their Kenyan citizenship upon attainment of the age of twenty three (23) years should automatically be deemed citizens by birth;
Exemption from Visa requirement
Consequently, Kenyan citizens who hold dual citizenship will be exempted from visa requirements irrespective of the passport held(Kenyan or otherwise). Kenyan citizens can therefore opt to use any of the passports they hold to travel to Kenya, provided that they can prove their Kenyan citizenship at the point of entry when using another country's passport. It would nevertheless be adviseable to ensure that the Kenyan passports remain valid at all times.
For additional information on Kenyan citizenship please read The Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act 2011.
Please click here to download a passport application form to renew an expired passport.