Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press, it has come to the attention of the Ministry of the Interior that there are a number of concerns expressed by the public about the processes of acquiring Dual Citizenship as provided in the 1992 Constitution.
This Press Conference is intended to address a number of such concerns, indicate the processes to be followed in an application for dual citizenship; and some technical legal challenges associated with acquiring dual citizenship under the laws of Ghana.
STATEMENT ON DUAL CITIZENSHIP
Dual Citizenship is regulated by the amended Article 8 of the 1992 Constitution, Section 16 of the Citizenship Act 2000 (Act 591) as well as the Citizenship Regulations 2001 (L. I. 1690) Section 10 and 11.
The new Article 8 States that:
“A citizen of Ghana may hold the citizenship of any other country in addition to his citizenship of Ghana”.
On 31st December, 1996 the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana (Amendment Act, 1996 (Act 527) came into force by publication in the Gazette.
Under Act 527, Parliament enacted the Citizenship Act 2000 (Act 591) and the Citizenship Regulations, 2001 (L. I. 1690). Dual Citizenship is dealt with under Section 16 of Act 591. Regulations 10, 11, 12 and Schedule 1 of L. I. 1690 regulate the procedure for the application and issuance of a certificate of dual citizenship.
I will address these issues in details shortly. The new Article 8 of the Constitution which now allows for dual citizenship came into force from JANUARY, 1997.
Under the old Article 8 of the Constitution when you acquired the citizenship of any other country other than marriage you ceased forthwith to be a citizen of Ghana.
The new law has, therefore, now allowed for dual citizenship. It must, however, be stated that those who acquired their citizenship of any other country other than marriage under the old law cannot qualify under the new law. This is because the new law is not retrospective in operation but rather prospective. This is why applicants who fall under the old law are not given dual citizenship by the Ministry.
In reply to people who do not qualify by the law as stated above, reasons are given explaining why they do not qualify and an alternative to dual citizenship, which is, right of abode is suggested to them.
In the case of people under 18 years of age, especially, people born outside the country, the law under reference, i.e. the new Article 8 does not favour them.
The law says: “A Citizen of Ghana may hold the citizenship of any other country in addition to his citizenship of Ghana”.
This means that the new Article 8 requires a person to be a citizen of Ghana before the person can acquire additional citizenship of another country to register as a dual citizen of Ghana.
In this case a person born outside Ghana will be a Ghanaian citizen by descent and can concurrently hold the citizenship of another country by birth because he was born in that country.
A Ghanaian by descent may hold a Ghanaian passport by virtue of Article 6 (2) of the Constitution as a matter of right as a result of the constitutional fiction conferring a citizenship by descent. He cannot, however, claim dual nationality under Section 16 (3) (b) because his foreign citizenship is not in addition to his Ghanaian Citizenship but concurrent with it.
The problem created by the new Article 8 was, however, communicated to the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General for possible amendment in order that persons in this category may benefit from the dual citizenship.
My understanding is that the matter has been referred to the Constitutional Review Committee for consideration.
It is important for me, at this point, to educate the public, especially, those who qualify to apply, on how to acquire the dual citizenship.
HOW TO APPLY FOR DUAL NATIONALITY
a. Apply to the Hon. Minister for the Interior for the grant of Dual Citizenship or through our Diplomatic Missions abroad that is when outside Ghana.
b. Purchase Form 10 at the Ministry of the Interior or our Diplomatic Missions abroad at the cost of Two Hundred Ghana Cedis (GH¢200.00).
ATTACHMENTS TO FORM 10
• Covering letter (forms submitted locally)
• Evidence of Ghanaian Citizenship (Birth Certificate or Passport)
• Evidence of parent’s citizenship (Passport, Voter ID, Birth Certificate)
• Naturalisation Certificate (copy)
• Four (4) passport sized photographs
• Forms should be sealed by a Notary Public, High/Circuit Court Judge or Head of Ghana’s Mission Abroad.
c. Certificate of Dual Citizenship signed by the Hon. Minister for the Interior (FORM 11) at a statutory fee of Twenty Ghana Cedis (GH¢20.00) before collection.
Beyond the complications in Article 8 of the 1992 Constitution and Section 16 of Act 591, all other issues which may be administrative could be handled.
We have as a matter of urgency created a Dual Citizenship Complaints Unit (DCCU) in the Ministry.
We entreat any member of the public who has applied for Dual Citizenship and is having difficulty obtaining some information should report to this Unit with all relevant documents.
Thank you for your kind attention.