The Nepali parliamentary State Affairs and Good Governance Committee has endorsed the proposal to amend the Citizenship Act that mandates a foreign woman marrying a Nepali citizen to wait seven years for naturalized citizenship.
The bill to amend the existing Citizenship Act was earlier proposed by the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP).
Now, the key parliamentary panel will forward the bill to the full House for discussion as the ruling NCP has already decided to endorse the seven-year-period.
However, the main opposition parties, including the Nepali Congress (NC) and the Janata Samajbadi Party (SJP), condemned the move, exclaiming that it would be inconvenient for people living in Madhes as cross-border marriage is prevalent there.
They also said that such regulations could also impact the ‘bread and bride relations’ that Nepal has for ages.
Meanwhile, the panel also proposed granting residence permit to a foreign woman married to a Nepali citizen until she obtained naturalized citizenship.
The proposal to change Clause 4.1(b) of the Citizenship Act will pave the way for foreign women to receive residence permits to exercise seven different economic, social, and cultural rights.
Moreover, the foreign woman can run any business, buy or sell fixed and movable assets, and do any property transaction during the seven years.
However, the amendment bill does not speak about foreign men who are marrying Nepali women.
At present, a foreign man married to a Nepali woman must wait 14 years to get Nepali citizenship.
The move to amend the Citizenship Act came days after the Nepali Government-certified the Constitutional Amendment Bill to place the new political map in the national emblem.
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