Last Updated: Thursday, 14 December 2017, 13:52 GMT

Tuvalu: Whether a person who holds a Tuvalu passport can sponsor his or her spouse for citizenship and/or residence in Tuvalu

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 8 January 2003
Citation / Document Symbol TUV40418.E
Reference 2
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Tuvalu: Whether a person who holds a Tuvalu passport can sponsor his or her spouse for citizenship and/or residence in Tuvalu, 8 January 2003, TUV40418.E, available at: [accessed 15 December 2017]
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.

According to the section on acquisition of citizenship by marriage in the Constitution of Tuvalu (with amendments as of 31 December 1990):

46. Citizenship by marriage under the Constitution

(1) Subject to subsection (2), a person who, on or after the date on which this Constitution took effect, marries a person who is or becomes a citizen of Tuvalu is entitled, on making application in such manner as is prescribed by law, to be registered as a citizen of Tuvalu.

(2) The right conferred by subsection (1) may be made subject to such exceptions and qualifications as are declared by law to be in the interests of national security or public policy (Tuvalu 1990, Part III, Article 46).

No amendments to this or other constitutional articles related to Tuvaluan citizenship could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

In addition to the above, a United States government agency provides the following information on the loss and acquisition of Tuvaluan citizenship:

[Citizenship by] MARRIAGE: Foreign national, who marries a citizen of Tuvalu, may register for citizenship after the marriage.

BY NATURALIZATION: No information available.



VOLUNTARY: Voluntary renunciation of Tuvaluan citizenship is permitted by law. However, since Tuvalu does not have any diplomatic representation in the United States, the person most likely will have to return to Tuvalu to formally renounce citizenship.

INVOLUNTARY: No information available (US 16 Apr. 2002).

Please note that, further to information provided in TUV33786.E of 22 February 2000, an explanatory memorandum of the Tuvalu Passports (Amendment) Act 1997 reports that

1. The purpose of this Act is to amend the Passports Act so as to provide for the issue of Tuvalu passports to investor immigrants and their spouses and dependant children. The status of investor immigrant will be conferred by the Investment Passport Committee, the composition and functions of which will be set out in a new section 16A.

...The issue of a Tuvalu passport to an investor immigrant, or to a spouse or child, will not confer Tuvalu citizenship ... but such a document will be a valid travel document so far as Tuvalu law is concerned ... Section 4 also amends the Immigration Act to provide that investor immigrants and their spouses and children will be free to enter and reside in Tuvalu.

... In order to make the new scheme gender-neutral, existing references to wives of applicants for passports are amended to refer to spouses. This will not confer citizenship on the husband of a Tuvaluan woman, but will allow either spouse to be included in the other's passport if eligible for one (Tuvalu 1997).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Tuvalu. 1997. Passports (Amendment) Act 1997. Suva, Fiji: School of Law, University of the South Pacific. [Accessed 7 Jan. 2003]

_____. 1990. The Constitution of Tuvalu. Revised edition. Suva, Fiji: School of Law, University of the South Pacific. [Accessed 7 Jan. 2003]

United States of America (US). Defense Personnel Security Research Center (DPSRC). 16 April 2002. Foreign Preference Contents. "Tuvalu." [Accessed 7 Jan. 2003]

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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