CITIZENSHIP ACT, 1994

CHAPTER 30
CITIZENSHIP ACT, 1994

Arrangement of Sections

PART I

PRELIMINARY

1. Short title.

2. Interpretation.

PART II

CITIZENSHIP

3. Citizenship by adoption.

4. Citizenship of a child by registration.

5. Citizenship for distinguished service or under special circumstances.

5A. Citizenship to a person having previously renounced citizenship of Seychelles.

5B. Citizenship to a person who studied and work in Seychelles.

5C. Citizenship to an investor.

6. Registration or naturalisation under the Constitution.

7. Date of acquisition of citizenship.

8. Certificates.

9. Register of citizens by registration and naturalisation.

9A. Citizenship Eligibility Committee.

PART III

RENUNCIATION, DEPRIVATION AND CONCURRENT CITIZENSHIP

10. Renunciation of citizenship.

11. Deprivation of citizenship.

11A. Deprivation of citizenship under certain circumstances.

12. Concurrent possession of citizenship.

PART IV

SUPPLEMENTAL

13. Certificates of citizenship in cases of doubt.

14. Minister’s decision to be final.

15. Evidence.

16. Offences.

17. Manner of making application.

18. Regulations.

19. Repeal and savings.

SCHEDULE

18 of 1994,

11 of 2013.

AN ACT to provide for the acquisition of citizenship of Seychelles by adoption, registration or naturalisation, for renunciation and deprivation of citizenship, for the maintenance of a register of citizenship by naturalisation and registration, for the repeal of the Citizenship of Seychelles Act, 1976 and for connected purposes.

[Date of commencement: 1st January 1996]

PART I

PRELIMINARY

1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Citizenship Act, 1994.

2. Interpretation.

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

“child” means a person, not being a married person, under the age of 18 years;

“citizen” means a citizen of Seychelles;

“Citizenship Officer” means the person designated by the Minister to be the Citizenship Officer;

“legal resident” means a person residing in Seychelles under a permit issued under the Immigration Decree;

[Ins by s 2(a) of Act 11 of 2013 w.e.f. 2 December 2013.]

“permanent resident” means a person who holds a permanent residence permit issued under the Immigration Decree;

[Ins by s 2(a) of Act 11 of 2013 w.e.f. 2 December 2013.]

PART II

CITIZENSHIP

3. Citizenship by adoption.

(1) A child adopted, on or after the commencement of this Act, under any law relating to adoption of children, shall, if the child was not a citizen on the date of adoption, become, on that date a citizen by adoption if, on that date the adopter was, or in the case of a joint adoption, one or both of the adopters were, a citizen or citizens.

(2) A person who immediately before the commencement of this Act was a citizen by adoption shall continue on or after the commencement of this Act to be a citizen by adoption.

4. Citizenship of a child by registration.

(1) This section applies to a child who on the commencement of this Act is not a citizen.

(2) A child of a citizen may, on application made to the Minister in the prescribed manner by the parent or guardian of that child, be registered as a citizen.

(3) A child shall not be registered as a citizen under this section—

(a) unless the child has been a resident in Seychelles for a period of at least two years immediately before the date of making the application; or

(b) if the child is or has been sentenced with an imprisonment of one year or more for an offence punishable under any law of Seychelles.

[S 4(3) rep and subs by s 2(b) of Act 11 of 2013 w.e.f. 2 December 2013.]

5. Citizenship for distinguished service or under special circumstances.

(1) Where the President is of opinion that a person has done signal honour or rendered distinguished service to Seychelles, or the person is otherwise meritorious, the President may, notwithstanding anything in section 9A, with the consent of that person, cause the person to be registered as a citizen.

[S 5(1) am by s 2(c)(i) of Act 11 of 2013 w.e.f. 2 December 2013.]

(2) The President may cause to be registered as a citizen any person, not otherwise entitled to or eligible for citizenship, with respect of whom special circumstances exist which, in the opinion of the President, warrant such registration.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2) the special circumstances are—

(i) —

(a) the person possesses an extraordinary ability in science, arts, education, economics, business, law or sports;

(b) the person holds a university degree at doctorate, master or bachelor level in an area which is likely to contribute significantly to the development of Seychelles;

(c) the person has made significant contribution to the development of Seychelles; or

(d) the person is married to a Seychellois and has one or more children or is unable to have children where the marriage no longer subsists or the spouse is deceased; and

(ii) the person referred to in (i) (a) to (d) fulfils the following conditions—

(a) has been a legal resident for an aggregate period of 15 years or more or permanent resident for a period of 10 years immediately before making an application, and has been physically present in Seychelles for an aggregate period of at least 13 years;

(b) has not been absent from Seychelles for a continuous period exceeding one year without the prior written permission of the Minister;

(c) obtains at least 80 percent of marks in one of the three national languages in a citizenship qualifying examination conducted in the prescribed manner; and

(d) has not been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of one year or more for an offence punishable under any law of Seychelles.

[S 5(3) ins by s 2(c)(ii) of Act 11 of 2013 w.e.f. 2 December 2013.]

5A. Citizenship to a person having previously renounced citizenship of Seychelles.

A person having previously renounced the citizenship of Seychelles for any social or economic reason and acquired citizenship of another country—

(i) has returned to, and settled in Seychelles; and

(ii) he or she fulfils the conditions specified in section 5(3)(ii)(c) and (d) on an application,

may apply for citizenship in the prescribed manner.

[S 5A ins by s 2(d) of Act 11 of 2013 w.e.f. 2 December 2013.]

5B. Citizenship to a person who studied and work in Seychelles.

Any person who, not being a citizen—

(a) has lived and studied in Seychelles up to the level of secondary education;

(b) has returned to work in Seychelles after graduating from a University; and

(c) has been a permanent resident in Seychelles for a period of at least 5 years,

may, if he or she fulfils the conditions specified in section 5(3) (ii) (c) and (d), on an application made in the prescribed manner, be registered as a citizen.

[S 5B ins by s 2(d) of Act 11 of 2013 w.e.f. 2 December 2013.]

5C. Citizenship to an investor.

A person who has invested Seychelles rupees equivalent to 1,000,000 United States dollars or more in a business in Seychelles and demonstrably had the means of supporting himself or herself during 11 years of his or her residence in Seychelles, may, if he or she fulfils the conditions specified in section 5(3)(ii)(c) and (d), on an application made in the prescribed manner, be registered as a citizen.

[S 5C ins by s 2(d) of Act 11 of 2013 w.e.f. 2 December 2013.]

6. Registration or naturalisation under the Constitution.

A person eligible to become a citizen by naturalisation or registration under Article 10 or article 12 of the Constitution may apply to the Minister in the prescribed manner for citizenship by naturalisation or registration and the Minister may, if the Minister is satisfied that the person is eligible to become a citizen, grant the person citizenship.

(3) Subject to article 12 of the Constitution a person shall be eligible to become a citizen by naturalisation where a person—

(a) has been married to a citizen for a period of at least 10 years and whose marriage is still subsisting and has been living in Seychelles for a period of at least five years as a legal resident;

(b) has not been sentenced to a term of imprisonment for a period of one year or more for an offence punishable under any law of Seychelles; and

(c) obtains at least 80 percent of marks in one of the three national languages in a citizenship qualifying examination conducted in the prescribed manner.

[S 6(3) ins by s 2(e) of Act 11 of 2013 w.e.f. 2 December 2013.]

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