Foreigner? New law grants you Rwandan citizenship

A foreign national takes oath after being granted Rwandan nationality. Courtesy Photo

Are you a foreigner who has legally been residing in Rwanda for at least fifteen consecutive years? Do you have sustainable investment activities in the country? Is your spouse Rwandan and you are legally married? Do you have special skills or talent that you are willing to commit to use in the interest of Rwanda?

Rwanda is willing to grant you citizenship.

A new ministerial order relating to Rwandan nationality, which was gazette on March 25, now allows foreign natioanls to apply for nationality on these and other grounds.

In particular, the new legislation introduces additional grounds on which foreigners can apply for Rwandan citizenship including national interest, nationality on grounds of sustainable investment or activities, as well as nationality on grounds of special skills or talent.

Eligible foreigners can submit their applications to the Directorate General in charge of Immigration and Emigration or to the diplomatic mission of Rwanda in a foreign country.

In particular, those seeking nationality on grounds of national interest must have a letter from a relevant government organ describing the national interest that justifies applicant’s granting of Rwandan nationality.

Investors are required to present proof of properties owned; proof of registration as an investor in Rwanda or proof of sustainable activities in Rwanda, while those seeking nationality on grounds of special skills or talent present a commitment letter that affirms the applicant shall use the special skills or talent in the interest of Rwanda.

The Rwanda Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration, which assess the application, may request for additional information from the applicant if considered necessary, according to the law.

Those granted nationality take oath in public by holding the national flag, and their details are published in the official gazette.

Dual nationality declaration

Rwandans are required to declares dual nationality by filling a relevant form that is submitted – to the Directorate General in charge of Immigration and Emigration, or the diplomatic mission for those residing abroad — with proof of acquired nationality of another State.

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