Botswana: 2021 Bills Update
Source: Botswana Centre for Public Integrity
Botswana has some of the world’s toughest immigration laws, where citizenship is through either parent being a citizen of Botswana, with no provision for dual citizenship. Further, citizenship for those whose parents are not citizens, even if born in the country, can only be gained through application for naturalisation, and that is not even guaranteed it will be granted.
In the Citizenship Amendment Bill first published on the 30th of October 2020 by Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs, the ministry reduced the age from 21 to 18 in which children under 18 years of age and not citizens of the country by birth or descent to be given citizenship upon application by either parent who has been naturalised. This effectively meant that if a foreigner gains citizenship, their children who are under 18 qualify to be citizens upon an application being made.
Another major change to the Citizenship Act through the Amendment Bill is that children with dual citizenship can elect their preferred nationality or citizenship upon attaining the age of 18 years. Until then, they can have dual citizenship.
While the Bill did not receive resistance from both sides of parliament, a common recurring theme was for the Act to be further amended to allow for dual citizenship instead of having to forego another citizenship in favour of another. The main debate was that the world has become so interconnected in a way that children born between parents of different nationalities should be allowed to retain both citizenships instead of having to choose one as per laws of the country. Nonetheless, the Amendment Bill was passed as proposed on the 16th of August 2021.
[report undated – early 2022?]
Direct link: https://bcpi.org.bw/storage/asset_1651054939.pdf