KATHMANDU, June 20 | The ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has decided to make it mandatory for foreign women married to Nepali nationals to wait for seven years after marriage to acquire naturalized citizenship.
A Secretariat meeting of the NCP held at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence in Baluwatar on Saturday reached a decision to this effect, according to NCP Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha.
Any foreign woman marrying a Nepali national must wait for seven years after marriage and furnish documents that show the start of the process to relinquish her foreign citizenship in order to acquire a naturalized citizenship certificate of Nepal, according to the decision of the NCP’s Secretariat meeting.
NCP’s decision on naturalized citizenship comes in the wake of the ruling and the opposition parties standing at odds over the provision of naturalized citizenship to foreign women married to Nepali nationals. At the heart of the dispute is: how long, if at all, a foreign woman married to a Nepali national should wait to acquire naturalized citizenship.
While the ruling NCP lawmakers argue that it is detrimental to the country’s national interests to provide citizenship to foreign women married to Nepali nationals immediately after the marriage, the lawmakers belonging to the main opposition party, Nepali Congress (NC), and Janata Samajbadi Party do not buy such argument of the ruling party lawmakers. The NC and JSP argue that the foreign women marrying Nepali nationals should be provided naturalized citizenship as per the provisions made in the Constitution of Nepal, 2015.
As the differences between the ruling and the opposition parties continue, the State Affairs and Good Governance Committee of the House of Representatives headed by the NCP has recently put forth a proposal to grant citizenship certificate seven years after the marriage, provided she has continuously lived in the country. The house panel has suggested issuing some sort of residence permit until the citizenship certificate is finally issued to such women.