Egypt: House of Representatives Approves New Amendments to Citizenship Law

Published: 8/Mai/2023
Source: Library of Congress (USA)

On April 12, 2023, the Egyptian House of Representatives approved new modifications to Law No. 26 of 1975 on Citizenship. The new amendments pertain to articles 6 and 11 of the Citizenship Law.

New Amendments

Amendment to Article 6

Under the new amendments, article 6 of the Law on Citizenship allows foreign women who have acquired Egyptian citizenship to pass this citizenship on to their minor children. The new amendment further stipulates that to do this, the foreign women must be from a country where the language is Arabic or the religion of the majority of its population is Islam.

Previously, the same article granted only foreign men who had acquired Egyptian citizenship the right to pass Egyptian citizenship on to their minor children and deprived foreign women of that right. The speaker of the House of Representatives, Hanafi al-Gebaly, declared that article 6 before the new amendment violated the principle of gender equality cited in article 11 of the 2014 Egyptian Constitution.

The new amendment enforces an earlier Supreme Constitutional Court decision issued in April 2019 (Case No. 131 of judicial year 39) in which the court held article 6 of Law No. 26 of 1975 concerning Egyptian Nationality to be unconstitutional. The court determined that article 6 discriminated against foreign women who became naturalized Egyptian citizens by depriving them of the right to pass Egyptian citizenship to their minor children and limiting that right to foreign male naturalized Egyptian citizens.

Amendment to Article 11

Additionally, the new amendments apply to article 11 of the Law on Citizenship. Through this amendment, article 11, which allowed only foreign nationals who purchased real estate from the government or state-owned developers in order to acquire Egyptian citizenship, now applies to foreign nationals who buy real estate from private developers.

Prime Minister’s Decree No. 876 of 2023

On March 2, 2023, Egyptian Prime Minister Mustafa Kamal Madbouly issued Prime Minister’s Decree No. 876 of 2023. This decree set the minimum price threshold for acquisition of Egyptian citizenship through the purchase of real estate at US$300,000. (Prime Minister’s Decree No. 876 of 2023, art. 1.)

The prime minister’s decree also provides foreign nationals with two other options to enable them to apply for Egyptian citizenship. The first option is to establish or participate in an investment project with a minimum investment of $350,000, along with a deposit of an additional $100,000 “as direct revenue in foreign currency that is transferred to the public treasury of the state and is not returned.” (Art. 1(2).) The second option is depositing $250,000 in the Egyptian Central Bank. This amount is likewise a nonrefundable deposit. (Art. 1(4).)

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Themes: Acquisition par les enfants, Discrimination, Sexuelle, Ethnique/Raciale/Religieuse
Regions: Egypte
Year: 2023