Source: Constitutional Review Commission, The Gambia
CHAPTER IV: CITIZENSHIP
Citizens on the commencement of the Constitution
- Every person who, immediately before the coming into force of this Constitution, is a citizen of The Gambia, shall, subject to this Constitution, continue to be a citizen of The Gambia and retain the same status as a citizen –
(a) by birth or, subject to section 14 (2), by descent; or
(b) by registration or naturalisation.
Citizen by birth
- (1) Every person born in or outside The Gambia after the coming into force of this Constitution shall become a citizen of The Gambia at the date of his or her birth if, at the time of his or her birth, one or both of his or her parents or grandparents is or was a citizen of The Gambia.
(2) A person who, prior to the coming into force of this Constitution, was a citizen by descent, is a citizen by birth.
(3) A child of not more than eight years of age found in The Gambia, whose parents are not known, shall be presumed to be a citizen of The Gambia by birth.
Citizenship by registration
- (1) A person who is or has been married to a citizen of The Gambia and has, since the marriage, been ordinarily resident in The Gambia for a period of not less than five years is entitled, on application, to be registered as a citizen.
(2) A person who has been registered as a citizen of The Gambia under subsection (1) shall, unless he or she has renounced that citizenship, continue to be a citizen of The Gambia if the marriage by virtue of which he or she was registered —
(a) is annulled or otherwise declared void by a court or tribunal of competent jurisdiction; or
(b) is dissolved.
(3) Subsection (2) (a) shall not apply if the court or tribunal, in annulling or declaring the marriage void, found that the parties, at the time of the marriage, knew that the marriage was unlawful or fraudulent.
(4) A non-Gambian child who is adopted by a Gambian parent is entitled, on application, to be registered as a citizen of The Gambia.
Citizenship by naturalisation
- (1) Any person who has been ordinarily resident in The Gambia for a continuous period of not less than fifteen years and who satisfies the conditions set out in subsection (2) may apply, in such manner as may be prescribed by or under an Act of the National Assembly, to be naturalised as a citizen of The Gambia.
(2) The conditions referred to in subsection (1) are that the applicant—
(a) is of full age and capacity;
(b) is of good character;
(c) has clearly shown that, if naturalised, he or she intends to continue permanently to reside in The Gambia; and
(d) is capable of supporting himself or herself and, where applicable, his or her dependants.
(3) Subject to subsection (4), no person shall be naturalised until he or she has renounced any other citizenship he or she may have, and taken an oath of allegiance to The Gambia.
(4) A person shall not be required to renounce his or her citizenship if his or her country of origin does not require a citizen of The Gambia to renounce his or her citizenship upon application for naturalisation in that country.
- A citizen of The Gambia by birth may hold the citizenship of any other country in addition to his or her citizenship of The Gambia.
Deprivation of citizenship
- (1) The Minister may revoke the citizenship of a person who has been registered or naturalised as a citizen of The Gambia if the person —
(a) has, since registration or naturalisation as a citizen of The Gambia, acquired by registration, naturalisation or any voluntary means, the citizenship of any other country;
(b) has acquired the citizenship of The Gambia by means of fraud, false representation or the concealment of any material fact;
(c) has, since renouncing his or her citizenship to acquire citizenship of The Gambia, voluntarily claimed and exercised in a country other than The Gambia any rights available to him or her under the laws of that country, being rights accorded exclusively to its citizens;
(d) has during any war in which The Gambia has been engaged, unlawfully traded or communicated with an enemy or been engaged in or associated with any business that was knowingly carried on in such a manner as to assist an enemy in that war;
(e) has, within seven years after registration or naturalisation, been convicted in The Gambia or any other country of an offence which carries a sentence of imprisonment of seven or more years; or
(f) has engaged in an activity that is inimical to the security of the State.
(2) Subsection (1) (e) shall not apply to a naturalized citizen who has renounced his or her foreign citizenship, if deprivation of citizenship of The Gambia will render the naturalised citizen stateless.
(3) The citizenship of a person who was presumed to be a citizen by birth, as contemplated in section 14 (3) may be revoked if –
(a) the citizenship was acquired by fraud, false representation or concealment of any material fact by any person;
(b) the nationality or parentage of the person becomes known, and reveals that the person was a citizen of another country; or
(c) the age of the person becomes known, and reveals that the person was older than eight years when found in The Gambia.
(4) Nothing in this or any other provision of this Constitution or any other law shall be construed as depriving, or authorising any person or authority to deprive, any citizen of The Gambia by birth of his or her citizenship of The Gambia, whether on account of such citizen holding the citizenship or nationality of some other country or for any other cause.
Restoration of citizenship
- A citizen of The Gambia who had lost his or her citizenship of The Gambia as a result of the acquisition or possession of the citizenship of some other country shall, on a written notification to the Minister, have his Gambian citizenship restored.
Act of the National Assembly on citizenship
- An Act of the National Assembly may make provision for –
(a) registration as a citizen of The Gambia of a person who, on or before 15th November, 2019, was born in The Gambia of non-Gambian parents, if the person had, since his or her birth, lived in The Gambia;
(b) the acquisition of the citizenship of The Gambia by persons who are not eligible to become citizens under the provisions of this Chapter;
(c) the renunciation by any person of his or her citizenship of The Gambia;
(d) prescribing procedures for the acquisition and revocation of citizenship; and
(e) generally giving effect to the provisions of this Chapter.
CHAPTER VI: FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS
Rights of children
54. (1) Every child has the right –
(a)to a name and nationality from birth;
Download full text: Gambia CRC Draft Constitution 2019