In the last few days, Kenyans have been treated to a lot of discourse around the loss of Kenya citizenship by birth. Without delving into a lot of legal jargon around this, I wish to demystify the process of regaining ‘lost ‘Kenyan citizenship. But before then, allow me to say this…when all is said and done, it boils down to this: The architecture of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 is such that it DOES NOT envisage a situation where a Kenyan by birth can be denied of their birth right when they are willing to have it. However, one can not be forced to retain or reclaim it… it is all up to such would be Kenyan to apply to regain as per article 14(5) of the constitution, Section 10 of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act 2011 and Section 5 of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration regulations of 2012.
How then is the process?
- Confirm that at the time of your birth, one of your parent was Kenyan( either by birth, registration or naturalization)
- Confirm that if you acquired citizenship of another country it was before August 27th 2010 and that by then you were above 21 years.
- If 1 & 2 above is tick, then ensure that you have the following documents: Evidence of your Kenyanness by birth e.g.: National ID or passport previously held, evidence that one of your parent was Kenyan at the point of Birth if you never had Kenyan documents.
- Ensure you get certified copy of the following: Citizenship certificate and copy of passport of your acquired citizenship.
- Log into Kenya foreign nationals management portal (https://fns.immigration.go.ke) and create an account.
- Then go to the dash board and under citizenship you will see regaining citizenship. Please proceed and make the application by providing relevant information as per the guidelines provided thereof.
- Once done, you will save the application, print it, sign and ensure it is submitted to Nyayo House ground floor alongside the relevant documents as per the check list provided. Please note you do not need to do this in person, you can send it to someone to submit on your behalf. I think you can submit through various Kenyan Embassies/consulates near you and this will be relayed to Nairobi for processing.
- Once that is done, you then await communication from the Citizenship section through your email or notifications on the eFNS portal. Please note this may take a while so keep following up and be patient.
- Once this is processed, you will receive a notification in your email or eFNS portal. Log into your account and make payment of government fees of Kshs. 5,000, print the receipt alongside the invoice and submit to Immigration and await processing and issuance of your regaining certificate.
- As you collect your regaining certificate you will be required to declare dual Nationality ( Will write about this at a later date)
- Your are now back to your default Kenyan citizen by birth and can proceed to apply for your ID as well as a Kenyan passport….Karibu nyumbani.
NB: Failure to declare dual nationality is an offense punishable by a fine not exceeding Kshs. 5 Million, 3 years in prison or both! This declaration has to be done within 3 months of becoming dual National.
An immigration consultant/lawyer can also take up such applications on your behalf at a fee as per your agreement.