Last Updated: Thursday, 17 April 2014, 13:11 GMT

Kenya Citizenship Act, Cap 170

Publisher National Legislative Bodies
Author Kenya
Publication Date 12 December 1963
Citation / Document Symbol Cap 170
Reference KEN-125
Cite as Kenya Citizenship Act, Cap 170 [], Cap 170, 12 December 1963, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6b4ef3c.html [accessed 18 April 2014]
Comments This is the official text of legislation as printed and published by the Government Printer, Nairobi, in 1967. The Kenya Citizenship (Forms and Fees) Regulations are attached at the end for reference. Please note that the forms mentioned in the Regulations are not reproduced here.
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.

An act of parliament to make provision for the acquisition of citizenship of Kenya by registration in certain cases; to regulate the manner and circumstances in which aliens may be naturalized as citizens of Kenya and in which citizens of Kenya may renounce or be deprived of their citizenship; and to make provision for certain other matters relating to citizenship of Kenya and for matters incidental to and connected with the aforesaid purposes

PART I—PRELIMINARY

1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Kenya Citizenship Act.

2. Interpretation.

(1)        In this Act, except where the context otherwise requires-

"certificate of naturalization" means a certificate of naturalization granted under this Act;

"Constitution" means the Constitution of Kenya in operation on the 12th December 1963;

"Kenya consulate" means an office of a consular officer of the government of Kenya where a register of births or residents is kept, or, where there is no such office, such office as may be prescribed;

"minor" means a person who has not attained the age of twenty-one years.

(2)        For the purposes of this Act, a person born aboard a registered ship or aircraft or aboard an unregistered ship or aircraft of the government of any country, shall be deemed to have been born in the place in which the ship or aircraft was registered or, as the case may be, in that country.

(3)        Notwithstanding the Age of Majority Act, a person shall, for the purposes of this Act, be of full age if he has attained the age of twenty-one years, and of full capacity if he is not of unsound mind.

(4)        For the purposes of this Act, a person shall be deemed not to have attained a given age until the commencement of the relevant anniversary of the day of his birth.

PART II—CITIZENSHIP BY REGISTRATION

3. Registration of persons of African descent.

(1)        Subject to subsection (2) of this section, a person of full age and capacity, on making application to the Minister in the prescribed manner, may be registered as a citizen of Kenya is he satisfies the Minister—

(a)        that he is of African descent;

(b)        that either—

(i)         he was born, and one of his parents was born, in a country to which this section applies; or

(ii)        he has been resident for a period of not less than ten years in a country to which this section applies and he is not a citizen of an independent state on the Continent of Africa;

(c)        that he is ordinarily resident in Kenya and has been so resident for a period of five years;

(d)        that he has an adequate knowledge of the Swahili or the English language or such language as the Minister may prescribe;

(e)        that he is of good character; and

(f)         that he would be a suitable citizen of Kenya.

(2)        A person shall not be registered as a citizen of Kenya under this section unless and until he has made a declaration in writing in the prescribed form of his willingness to renounce any other nationality or citizenship he may possess and to take an oath of allegiance in the form specified in the First Schedule.

(3)        The Minister may, by order in the Gazette, made with the prior approval signified by resolution of the National Assembly, declare any countries to be countries to which this section applies.

4. Registration of minors.

(1)        The Minister may cause the minor child of any citizen of Kenya to be registered as a citizen of Kenya upon application made in the prescribed manner by a parent or guardian of the child.

(2)        The Minister may, in such special circumstances as he thinks fit,, cause any minor to be registered as a citizen of Kenya.

5. Effect of registration as a citizen.

A person registered as a citizen under section 3 or section 4 of this Act shall become a citizen of Kenya by registration on the date on which he is registered:

Provided that—

(i)         where a person of full age who is registered as a citizen under this Act fails to renounce the nationality or citizenship of any country other than Kenya and to take an oath of allegiance in the form specified in the First Schedule, and to provide evidence thereof to such person as the Minister may appoint in that behalf, within twenty-eight days of being so registered as a citizen, or such further time as the Minister or such appointed person may allow, his registration shall be cancelled and he shall be deemed never to have been so registered;

(ii)        where any person who, not being able to renounce his citizenship of some other country, is registered as a citizen of Kenya after making the declaration prescribed by section 11 of this Act, and is, thereafter, able to renounce such first-mentioned citizenship, the Minister may require him to renounce such first-mentioned citizenship; and if such person fails to do so, within the period (not being less than twenty-eight days) specified by the Minister, his registration may be cancelled.

PART III—RENUNCIATION AND DEPRIVATION OF CITIZENSHIP

6. Renunciation of citizenship

(1)        If any citizen of Kenya of full age and capacity who is also—

(a)        a citizen of any country to which section 9 of the Constitution applies, or of the Republic of Irelalnd; or

(b)        a national of a foreign country, makes a declaration in the prescribed manner of renunciation of citizenship of Kenya, the Minister may cause the declaration to be registered; and upon registration, that person shall cease to be a citizen of Kenya.

(2)        The Minister may refuse to register any such declaration if it is made during any war in which kenya may be engaged on if, in his opinion, it is otherwise contrary to public policy; but notwithstanding the refusal of the Minister, such person as aforesaid shall cease to be a citizen of Kenya at the time prescribed in section 12 of the Constitution.

7. Effect of renunciation or deprivation of citizenship.

(1)        A citizen of Kenya who is deprived of his citizenship by an order of the Minister under section8 of the Constitution shall cease to be a citizen of Kenya upon the making of the order.

(2)        The renunciation by any person of his Kenya citizenship or the deprivation of any person's Kenya citizenship under this part shall not affect the liability of that person for any offence committed by him before the renunciation or deprivation of his citizenship.

PART IV—SUPPLEMENTAL

8. Married women.

For the purposes of Parts II and III of this Act, any woman who has been married shall be deemed to be of full age.

9. Decision of Minister to be final.

The Minister shall not be required to assign any reason for the grant or refusal of any application under this Act and the decision of the Minister on any such application shall not be subject to appeal to or review in any court.

10. Manner of making applications.

(1)        Every application under section 2, section 5, section 6 or section 7 of the Constitution shall be made to the Minister.

(2)        Every application under section 2, section 5, 6 or section 7 of the Constitution, or under this Act-

(a)        shall be accompanied by the prescribed fee (if any);

(b)        where the form of any such application is prescribed under this Act, shall be made in such form with such variations as the circumstances require and the Minister accepts;

(c)        shall be supported by such evidence of the statements made therein as may require; and

(d)        shall be verified by a declaration made before a magistrate or commissioner for oaths.

11. Renunciation of citizenship of other countries and declarations relating to residence.

(1)        Where, under the citizenship provisions of the Constitution or the foregoing provisions of this Act, a person is required to renounce the nationality or citizenship of any country other than Kenya and the law of such other country makes no provision for 5the renunciation of nationality or citizenship, such person shall make the appropriate declaration specified in the Second Schedule to this Act; and a person who makes such declaration shall, subject to the second proviso to section 5 of this Act, be treated as having complied with any such requirement.

(2)        Where, under the citizenship provisions of the Constitution, a person is required to make any declaration of his intentions concerning residence, he shall make a declaration in the form specified in the Third Schedule, with such variations as the circumstances of the case require, and the Minister accepts.

12. Evidence.

(1)        Every document purporting to be a notice, certificate, order or declaration, or any entry in a register, or a subscription of an oath of allegiance or declaration of renunciation, given, granted or made under the citizenship provisions of the Constitution or under this Act, shall be received in evidence, and shall, unless the contrary is proved, be deemed to have been given, granted or made by or on behalf of the person by whom or on whose behalf it purports to have been given, granted or made.

(2)        Prima facie evidence of any such document as aforesaid may be given by production of a document purporting to be certified as a true copy thereof by such person and in such manner as may be prescribed.

(3)        Any entry in a register made under the citizenship provisions of the Constitution or under this Act shall be received as evidence of the matters stated in the entry.

13. Offences.

(1)        Any person who, for the purpose of procuring anything to be done or not to be done under the citizenship provisions of the Constitution or under this Act, makes any statement which he knows to be false in a material particular, shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding two thousand shillings or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

(2)        Any person who fails to comply with any requirement imposed on him by regulations made under this Act with respect to the delivering up of certificates of naturalization or certificates of registration shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding two thousand shillings or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

(3)        Any person printing, publishing, uttering or knowingly being in possession of a document, card, booklet or paper, purporting, either by reason of the use of the word passport or by reason of the contents thereof, to be a passport, other than a passport lawfully issued by the Government of Kenya or by the government of any other country, shall be guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding five thousand shillings, or to both such imprisonment and such fin.

14. Regulations.

(1)        The Minister may make regulations to make provision generally for carrying into effect the purposes of the citizenship provisions of the Constitution and this Act, and in particular-

(a)        for prescribing any matter which is to be prescribed under this Act or under the Constitution;

(b)        for the registration of anything required or authorized under the said citizenship provisions or this Act to be registered;

(c)        for the administration and taking of oaths of allegiance under the said citizenship provisions or this Act, for the time within which oaths of allegiance shall be taken and for the registration of oaths of allegiance;

(d)        for the giving of any notice required or authorized to be given to any person under this Act;

(e)        for the cancellation of the registration of, and the cancellation and amendment of certificates of naturalization relating to, persons deprived of citizenship under this Act, and for requiring such certificates or certificates of registration to be delivered up for those purposes;

(f)         for the registration of the births and deaths of persons of any class or description born or dying elsewhere than in Kenya, and otherwise for registration at Kenya consulates;

(g)        for enabling the births and deaths of citizens of Kenya born or dying in any country in which the government of Kenya has for the time being no diplomatic or consular representative to be registered by persons serving in the diplomatic, consular or other foreign service of any country which, by arrangement with the Government of Kenya, has undertaken to represent that Government's interest in that country, or by a person authorized in that behalf by the President, and for the registration thereby of citizens of Kenya ordinarily resident outside Kenya.

(2)        The Minister may make regulations prescribing forms, and for the imposition and recovery of fees in respect of any application made to the Minister or in respect of any registration, or the making of any declaration, or the grant of any certificate, or the taking of any oath of allegiance, authorized to be made, granted or taken by or under the citizenship provisions of the Constitution or this Act, and in respect of supplying a certified or other copy of any notice, certificate, order, declaration or entry, given, granted or made as aforesaid.

15. Inconsistency with Constitution.

This Act shall have effect subject to any provision inconsistent therewith for the time being contained in the Constitution.

PART V—PROVISIONS RELATING TO TIME

16. Provisions relating to section 2 of the Constitution

(1)        The period during which any woman to whom section 2 (3) of the Constitution applies may register under that subsection shall be the lifetime of the husband to which that subsection refers, and for the purposes of subsection (6) (b) of that section, that period is hereby prescribed.

(2)        The Minister, and any public officer authorized in that behalf by the Minister, may-

(a)        declare that the specified date for the purposes of subsection (6) of section 2 of the Constitution shall, in relation to a person who is of unsound mind during any period between the 12th December 1963 and the date declared by that subsection to be the specified date, shall be such later date as will, in the opinion of the Minister or such authorized officer, give such person when of sound mind an opportunity of making application for registration under section 2 of the Constitution;

(b)        in any other case in which he is satisfied that a person is, by reason of any circumstances not attributable to his default or neglect, unable to make application within the time prescribed in relation to that person in section 2 (6) of this Act in subsection (1) of this section, declare that the specified date in relation to that person shall be such later date as will permit such person an opportunity of making application for registration under section 2 of the Constitution.

(3)        The power of the Minister or a public officer under this section may be exercised before or after the relevant date declared by section 2 of the Constitution to be the specified date.

17. Provisions relating to section 6(1) of the Constitution.

A person to whom section 6 (1) of the Constitution applies shall be eligible to be registered as a citizen of Kenya if such person-

(a)        has been ordinarily resident in Kenya for a period of five years immediately preceding the date of application for registration; and

(b)        has been so resident under the authority of a valid entry permit or certificate of exemption issued under the law relating to immigration.

18.Provisions relating to section 12 of the Constitution

(1)        The specified date for the purposes of subsection (6) of section 12 of the Constitution in relation to any person who is of unsound mind during any period commencing

(a)        on the date on which he attains twenty-one years of age; or

(b)        on the date on which, having first attained the age of twenty-one years or, in the case of a woman, having first married, he acquires the citizenship of some country other than Kenya otherwise than in the circumstances described in subsection (3) (a) of the said section,

and ending on the date declared to be the specified date by subsection (6) of the said section, shall be the first anniversary of the date on which such person ceases to be of unsound mind; and where before the first anniversary of that date, or any later date which may be taken for the purpose under the succeeding provisions of this subsection, such person again becomes of unsound mind, the specified date shall be the first anniversary of the date on which he subsequently ceases to be of unsound mind.

(2)        The Minister, or any public officer authorized in that behalf by the Minister, may, in any case in which he is satisfied that a person to whom subsection (6) of section 12 of the Constitution refers is, by reason of any circumstances not attributable to such person's default or neglect, unable to renounce his citizenship of some country other than Kenya or take the oath of allegiance, or to make or register any such declaration as is specified in the Fourth Schedule, within the time prescribed in relation to that person in the said subsection, or any later date declared under this subsection, declare that the specified date in relation to that person shall be such later date as will permit that person an opportunity of doing all such acts, or all such acts as remain to be done:

Provided that nothing in this subsection shall confer on the Minister or any such authorized officer power to make any such declaration in relation to any such person after he has ceased to be a citizen of Kenya.

SCHEDULE

FIRST SCHEDULE
OATH OF ALLEGIANCE

I....................................do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Republic of Kenya and that I will support and uphold the Constitution of Kenya as by law established.

SO HELP ME GOD

SECOND SCHEDULE (S. 11 (1))
DECLARATION CONCERNING CITIZENSHIP

(Under section 12 of the Constitution)

I............................................[full name in block capitals] do solemnly and sincerely declare:-

1.That I was born at ......................................in[insert name of country] and am of or over the age of 21 years.

2.That I am a citizen of Kenya by *birth/ descent/ registration/ naturalization and am also a national of[insert name of country] by *birth/ descent/ registration/ naturalizaiion/ marriage.

3.That as I am desirous of retaining my status as a citizen of Kenya, I hereby renounce so far as it lies within my power my status as a citizen/ national of[insert name of country] and any claim I have to the protection of that country.

Signature of Applicant.

Declared at ........................ this day ....................................of 19 .................................before me.

*Magistrate /Commissioner for Oaths.

*Delete as applicable.

OR (Under section 3 of the Act)

I................[full name in block capitals] do solemnly and sincerely declare: -

1.That I was born at [insert name of country] and am of or over the age of 21 years.

2.That I have been granted Kenya citizenship by registration on condition that I renounce my citizenship/ nationality of [insert name of country.]

3.1 hereby renounce so far as it lies within my power my status as a citizen/ national of .............................[insert name of country] and any claim I have to the protection of that country.

Signature of Applicant.

Declared at this .............................day of ...............................19 ..................................before me.

*Magistrate/ Commissioner for Oaths.

*Delete as applicable.

THIRD SCHEDULE(s. 11 (2))
DECLARATION CONCERNING RESIDENCE (Under section 12 of the Constitution)

I....................................................of ............................................................................................. do solemnly and sincerely declare: -

*1.That so far as it lies within my power, I have renounced my citizenship/ nationality of .........................................[insert name of country] and intend to reside permanently in Kenya if permitted.

*2.That although I have renounced my citizenship/ nationality of .................................... [insert nambe of country] and intend my domicile of choice to be Kenya, it may be necessary in the course of my employment as /as self-employed to be absent from time to time from Kenya.

Signature of Applicant.

Declared at this ................................day of ...............................................................................19.

*Magistrate/Commissioner for Oaths.

*Delete paragraphs or words not applicable.

Regulations under section 14

THE KENYA CITIZENSHIP (FORMS AND FEES) REGULATIONS

1.         These Regulations may be cited as the Kenya Citizenship (Forms and Fees) Regulations.

2.        

(1)        The forms in the First Schedule to these Regulations shall be used with such modifications or variations as the circumstances require for the purposes to which they are applicable. ,

(2)        Every application made under the Constitution or the Act shall be supported by the documents (if any) specified in the appropriate prescribed form.

3.         The fees specified in the Second Schedule to these Regulations shall be paid for the matters respectively specified therein.

FIRST SCHEDULE

[forms are not reproduced here]

SECOND SCHEDULE

Matter in which fee may be taken

Fee payable

Sh. Cts.

Registration of a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies or a British protected person born in Kenya

50 00

Registration of a married woman.

50 00

Registration of a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies who became such a citizenby virtue of being naturalized or registered in Kenya.

50 00

Registration under section 3 of the Act.

50 00

Registration of a minor child-

 

(a) if the minor is a Commonwealth citizen, a British protected person or a citizen of the Republic of Ireland or a declared African State.

50 00

(b) if the minor is an alien

20 00

Naturalization of an alien

400 00

 

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