Finally, the Government of Nepal has decided to issue native passports to the Nepali children born in foreign nations.
The government took an official decision in this regard at a council of ministers meeting held in Kathmandu on September 11, 2017.
According to the Information and Communication Minister and Government Spokesperson Mohan Bahadur Basnet, the passports to be granted to the foreign-born Nepali children will have a maximum validity period of four years.
“Once they are adults, they can receive the passport with 10 years validity after receiving citizenship,” says the Minister. Earlier, the Nepali Government thought of setting the validity period of two years to the Nepalese living abroad.
Citizenship Certificates Also a Major Concern
Getting a citizenship certificate has also been a matter of serious concern for many Nepali citizens.
One such case was reported in Kathmandu District Administration Office (KDAO) earlier in July 2017, wherein, a Kathmandu resident Kamal Todi failed to get citizenship certificate for his daughter Natasha even after multiple attempts.
Even though Natasha was entitled to get citizenship by descent under the new constitution, KDAO authorities denied issuing the same citing lack of relevant laws for the same. Even the top Ministry officials cited a similar reason.
Natasha, who was pursuing Bachelors in an Indian university, could not even make her trip to the Philippines due to lack of relevant travel documents or passport. “I have been sending her to India through land route for the same reason,” says Kamal. “People ask me questions as if I am not getting passport or travel documents due to my fault,” says Natasha.
Around 170,042 People Facing Citizenship Issue
Issuing of citizenship certificates remains a problem even after the Supreme Court verdict, which recommends such certificates to the children with parents of Nepali origin.
“Even the Constitution has clearly stated that the children of parents who are Nepali citizens by birth would get citizenship by descent,” says Advocate Meera Dhungana.
According to Advocate Dipendra Jha, around 170,042 Nepali citizens by birth and children of Nepali citizens by birth were facing hurdles in obtaining citizenship certificates.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Home Affairs Spokesperson Deepak Kafle says that the government has started working on amendments to the Citizenship Act.