Citizenship in São Tomé & Príncipe is governed by the 1990 Lei da Nacionalidade and the 2003 Constitution. The Constitution provides for all those born in São Tomé & Príncipe to be citizens, and allows both men and women to transmit their nationality to their children. It also allows for dual nationality. The law confirms very open access to nationality for those born in the territory; for most of those born outside the country, however, nationality is not acquired automatically from the parents, but depends on a declaration that the child wishes to acquire nationality.
The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has indicated that even though progress has been made in improving the birth registration process in Sao Tome & Principe, certain aspects of the process need to be improved upon, such as maintaining sufficient staffing and eliminating arbitrarily-charged fees for birth registration.