Nationality in Cameroon is governed by the 1968 Code de la Nationalité. The law provides both women and men rights to transmit nationality to children, subject to rules establishing descent for children born out of wedlock. It also provides that a child born in Cameroon who does not acquire any other nationality at birth is Cameroonian. However, a woman has no right to transmit her nationality to a foreign husband.

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has expressed concern regarding the large number of births which are not being registered, despite such registration being obligatory.

Since Cameroon is composed of over 200 different ethnic groups, with many different languages and customs, an increasing concern is the importance of autochthony over citizenship. It is becoming increasingly common that people identify first as being from the area from which the come than being citizens of the same nation, which has led to discrimination of Cameroonians by other Cameroonians from different ethnic areas.

The resolution of the conflict over the oil-rich Bakassi peninsula, which in 2006 was officially transferred from Nigeria to Cameroon territory, has led to the risk of statelessness. The people who left Bakassi to remain in Nigeria have been unable to vote in local elections, as they have no proof of residence in their new localities. Many who have remained in now-Cameroonian Bakassi also have not been able to obtain Cameroonian citizenship, also preventing them from enjoying full citizenship rights.