Last Updated: Thursday, 24 April 2014, 11:39 GMT

Law on Lao Nationality

Publisher National Legislative Bodies
Author Lao People's Democratic Republic (Laos)
Publication Date 29 November 1990
Reference LAO-110
Cite as Law on Lao Nationality [Lao People's Democratic Republic],  29 November 1990, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6b4f014.html [accessed 24 April 2014]
Comments This is an unofficial translation. This law was adopted through unanimous vote casting at the 5th ordinary plenary session of the Lao People's Supreme Assembly No. 06/90/PSA (II Legislation).
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Chapter 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1 Lao nationality

Lao nationality is a legal and political relation linking an individual to the Lao People's Democratic Republic and attributing to him the status of Lao citizenship.

A Lao citizen is:

1    An individual bearing the Lao nationality or having legally acquired the Lao nationality before this law is enacted;

2    An individual bearing, the Lao nationality or having acquired the Lao nationality in conformity to this law.

Article 2 Non-authorization for Lao citizens to bear several nationalities

The Lao People's Democratic Republic does not authorize Lao citizens to bear several nationalities at the same time.

Article 3 Preservation of Lao Nationality at Marriage or Divorce

Lao citizens' marriage with or divorce from individuals bearing other nationalities or without nationality will not induce any alteration to their Lao nationality.

A spouse's acquisition or forfeiture of the Lao nationality will not induce any change in the nationality of the other spouse.

Article 4 Preservation of nationality for overseas Lao citizens

Lao citizens residing, overseas may maintain the Lao nationality and will receive protection and care from the Lao People's Democratic Republic.

Article 5 Non-authorization to transfer Lao citizens to foreign states

Lao citizens may not be transferred to other states.

Article 6 Apatrid individuals

Individuals residing in the territory of the Lao People's Democratic Republic who are not Lao citizens and unable to certify their nationality are considered as being apatrid.

Article 7 Right to request the naturalization into other nationalities

Lao citizens have the right to request the naturalization into other nationalities but must relinquish the Lao nationality beforehand.

Relinquishment of the Lao nationality is provided in Article 16 of this law.

Chapter 2 - ACQUISITION OF THE LAO NATIONALITY

Article 8 Basis for the acquisition of the Lao nationality

The Lao nationality is acquired from:

1.   Birth;

2.   Naturalization;

3.   Other basis as mentioned in this law.

Article 9 Nationality of children whose parents are Lao citizens

Children born to parents both bearing Lao citizenship will be considered as Lao citizens without taking into consideration whether they were born inside or outside the territory of the Lao People's Democratic Republic.

Article 10 Nationality of children whose one of the parents is a Lao citizen

If one of the parents is a Lao citizen, children will be considered as Lao citizens by birth if:

1.   They are born within the territory of the Lao People's Democratic Republic;

2.   They are born outside the territory of the Lao People's Democratic Republic, but both parents or one of the parents having at that time a Permanent address in the territory of the Lao People's democratic Republic.

In case the children are born outside the territory of the Lao People's Democratic Republic and both parents have permanent addresses outside the territory of the Lao People's Democratic Republic, their nationality will be decided by their parents.

In case one of the parents is a Lao citizen and the other parents is an apatrid, the children will be considered as a Lao citizen by birth without taking into consideration their place of birth.

Article 11 Nationality of children born to apatrid parents

Children born in the territory of the Lao People's Democratic Republic to apatrid parents permanently residing in the Lao People's Democratic Republic and integrated to the Lao society and culture will be considered as Lao citizens.

Article 12 Nationality of children whose parents' identity is unknown.

Children found in the territory of the Lao People's Democratic Republic and whose parents' identity is unknown will be considered as Lao citizens.

In the instance evidence occurs, while such children are still under age, that their parents are alien citizens and that they bear alien citizenship, they will be considered as alien citizens from birth.

Article 13 Acquisition of Lao nationality

Alien citizens or apatrid individuals may acquire the Lao nationality according to their requests if they answer to all conditions provided in Article 14 of this Law.

Article 14 Conditions for the acquisition of the Lao nationality

Individuals requesting the Lao nationality must meet all the following conditions:

1.   Have eighteen years of age or more when requesting the Lao nationality;

2.   Able to speak, read and write in Lao;

3.   Possess evidence on their social and cultural integration, knowledge and respect of Lao traditions;

4.   Be in good health;

5.   Not under prosecution by the court to custody;

6.   Agree to relinquish the original nationality;

7.   Have permanent residence in the Lao People's Democratic Republic continuously for ten years before requesting the Lao nationality.

Chapter 3 - FORFEITURE AND RE-ACQUISITION OF THE LAO NATIONALITY

Article 15 Causes leading to the forfeiture of the Lao nationality

The Lao nationality will be forfeited if:

1.   The Lao nationality is relinquished.

2.   The Lao nationality is withdrawn;

3.   As provided in this law.

Article 16 Relinquishment of the Lao nationality

Lao citizens may relinquish the Lao nationality with the authorization of the People's Supreme Assembly's Standing Committee of the Lao People's Democratic Republic.

The Lao nationality's relinquishment will not be authorized if the solicitors have not implemented their duties of citizens toward state or social organizations.

Individuals requesting the relinquishment of the Lao nationality becoming accused, defendants or prosecuted by the court of justice which decision is to be executed, or if the relinquishment of their Lao nationality is contrary to the interest or security of the Lao People's Democratic Republic, will similarly be refused the authorization.

Article 17 Withdrawal of the Lao nationality

Acquired Lao nationality may, be withdrawn within a period of ten years from the day it is acquired if it is seen that individuals having acquired the Lao nationality:

1.   Have provided false information when requesting the Lao nationality;

2.   Have dishonored the Lao citizenship.

The withdrawal of Lao nationality will not entail any alteration to the nationality of the concerned individuals' spouse or children.

Article 18 Re-acquisition of the Lao nationality

Individuals having forfeited the Lao nationality may re-enter it according to their requests with the authorization of the People's Supreme Assembly's Standing Committee of the Lao People's Democratic Republic.

Solicitors for the re-acquisition of the Lao nationality must provide evidence of their former Lao nationality.

Chapter 4 - NATIONALITY OF CHILDREN AT THE ALTERATION OF THEIR PARENTS' NATIONALITY

Article 19 Nationality of children at the alteration of both parents' nationality

As both parents acquire or relinquish the Lao nationality, the nationality of their children of less than fourteen years of age will change according to their parents' nationality.

Article 20 Nationality of children whose one parent has acquired the Lao nationality

If one parent acquires the Lao nationality while the other parent bears another nationality, the children may acquire the Lao nationality according to the request of the parent bearing the Lao nationality.

If one parent has acquired the Lao nationality while the other parent is apatrid, children residing in the territory of the Lao People's Democratic Republic will be considered as Lao citizens.

If one parent has acquired the Lao nationality while the other parent is apatrid, children residing outside the territory of the Lao People's Democratic Republic may acquire the Lao nationality at the request of the parent bearing the Lao nationality.

Article 21 Nationality of children whose one of the parents has relinquished the Lao nationality

If one parent has relinquished the Lao nationality while the other parent has maintained the Lao nationality, the children will keep the Lao nationality.

Article 22 Nationality of adopted alien children

Alien or apatrid children adopted by Lao citizens will be considered as Lao citizens.

Alien children adopted by a married couple which one spouse is a Lao citizen and the other spouse a foreign citizen will be considered as bearing Lao nationality according to the agreement of the adoptive parents.

Article 23 Nationality of adopted Lao children

Children bearing the Lao nationality and adopted by aliens or a married couple whereby one is a Lao citizen and the other a foreign citizen will keep the Lao nationality. The People's Supreme Assembly's Standing Committee of the Lao People's Democratic Republic may authorize such children to relinquish the Lao nationality according to the request of the adoptive parents. In case such children are more than fourteen and less than eighteen years of age, their agreement in writing must be provided beforehand.

Children bearing the Lao nationality and adopted by apatrid persons or by a married couple whereby one is a Lao citizen and the other one an apatrid will maintain the Lao nationality.

Article 24 The child's agreement to change nationality

In case the nationality of parents is altering, the nationality of children who are more than fourteen but less than eighteen years of age may change according to their parents' nationality only with their agreement.

Chapter 5 - REQUEST AND CONSIDERATION ON LAO NATIONALITY

Article 25 Empowered body to decide on the Lao nationality

The attribution, withdrawal, relinquishment and reattribution of the Lao nationality is decided by the People's Supreme Assembly's Standing Committee of the Lao People's Democratic Republic.

Article 26 Requests pertaining to the Lao nationality

All requests pertaining to the Lao nationality must be submitted to the Ministry of Justice and forwarded to the People's Supreme Assembly's Standing Committee of the Lao People's Democratic Republic for consideration and decision.

Individuals residing overseas must submit requests on the Lao nationality through the embassy or consulate of the Lao people's democratic Republic in that country. In case there is no Lao embassy or consulate in that country, requests must be sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Lao People's Democratic Republic.

Requests on Lao nationality must ensure the payment of charges to the state according to a specific regulation.

Article 27 Regulations pertaining to Lao nationality

Regulations on matters of Lao nationality are outlined by the Council of Ministers of the Lao People's Democratic Republic.

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