Bahrain King ratifies new nationality law
Manama, July 8, 2014
A law allowing the government more powers to strip naturalised Bahrainis of their nationalities has officially taken effect.
His Majesty King Hamad has issued the law, officially ratifying the new legislation which won the backing of parliament and the Shura Council, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
Under the amended law, citizenship can only be revoked by Royal Decree, based on Cabinet approval and a presentation by the Interior Minister.
The new regulation will be enforced on naturalised citizens who acquire passports through cheating - giving false statements, hiding essential information or submitting forged documents. Naturalised citizens who are convicted, within 10 years, of breach of trust or honour could also have their passports revoked.
This would also apply to those who renounce living in Bahrain within five years without permission from the Interior Minister or a valid cause - except citizens who hold the nationality of any other GCC member state.
Any decision to strip nationality from a naturalised citizen could only be applied on an individual basis, meaning families would not have their passports revoked based on the actions of a single member.
Native Bahrainis may also lose their nationality if they obtain a second nationality without permission from the Interior Minister.
A Bahraini with dual nationality will have to either renounce his second passport or apply to the Interior Minister, within six months, for permission to keep the second nationality, according to the new law.
Any citizen who refuses to renounce his second nationality will then lose his Bahraini passport by royal decree, pending Cabinet approval - except Bahrainis who hold a second GCC nationality.
Bahrainis who renounce their nationality will also lose their passports by royal decree and upon an approval presentation made by the Interior Minister.
Bahrainis will also lose their nationality in case they enroll in a foreign army - refuse to quit despite government's order, as well as those who assist or serve an enemy country or damage Bahrain's vital interests.
Citizenship can be only reinstated through a Royal order to anyone who lost his passport for any of the aforementioned reasons.
Under the amended law, a Bahraini who obtains on his own accord the nationality of a non-GCC country without prior permission from the Interior Minister will be fined BD3,000 ($7,915) to BD10,000 - as well as those who fail to regulate their situation within the six-month deadline. - TradeArabia News Service