Is your concern about dual citizenship Ghana procedure? And do you need information on how to apply for it in the country? Then this article is for you. Dual citizenship is not bad, in fact, its application is possible and can be applied for by anyone. The important thing is just that you need to understand how to go about the process. When you become a citizen of the country, it invariably means that you have an equal right and enjoy the same benefits that other citizens enjoy irrespective of where you are coming from. While qualifying for dual citizenship does not necessarily have to be by birth, marriage or adoption alone, this article looks into another procedure that can be followed to acquire the right. But then, we try to explain dual citizenship definition among other things. Simply read on to discover more.
Bear in mind that dual citizenship countries defers based on the policy that each country operates with. While the process can be tasking in some countries, in another, the process involved can be very easy. For instance, there are some countries that assume that once a person from another country marries a citizen of their country, that person automatically becomes a citizen of their country. This means that if a Togolese marries a Ghanaian, for example, the Togolese can claim to be a citizen of Ghana following certain steps. There are some countries that also do not deter their citizens from becoming citizens of another country through a process known as naturalisation. What they only forbid is the person giving up citizenship of their original country.
Dual citizenship meaning
When we talk about dual citizenship, it simply means that while one is duly recognised as the citizen of a country, enjoying the same rights, privileges, and responsibilities as any other citizen, it is possible to also be recognised as the citizen of another country. In other words, dual citizenship means the status that an individual assumes so that he or she is recognised and also becomes a citizen of two or more nations.
By implication, when a person is referred to as a dual citizen, it means such a person is a citizen of two countries or more at the same time. Based on this, it connotes that such a person has legal rights and obligations in connection with the two countries that they claim or represent. So, whatever programs that the government of each country has for their citizens, such a person is entitled to them. There is also the opportunity to easily reside in more than a country of choice. There are other benefits of dual citizenship which we will discuss later on in this article. But for now, let us consider what it means to a dual citizen in Ghana.
Dual citizenship Ghana
Just as it operates in other countries, dual citizenship in Ghana is also possible. In fact, according to the constitution of the country, there is provision for anyone to become a citizen not necessarily minding the citizen of whatever country they belong to before. As spelt out in chapter three of the 1992 constitution, Article 6 clause (1), it explains that “Every person who, on the coming into force of this Constitution, is a citizen of Ghana by law shall continue to be a citizen of Ghana”.
More so, in Clause (2), it is also stated that “Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, a person born in or outside Ghana after the coming into force of this Constitution, shall become a citizen of Ghana at the date of his birth if either of his parents or grandparents is or was a citizen of Ghana”. And then, Clause (3) explains that “A child of not more than seven years of age found in Ghana whose parents are not known shall be presumed to be a citizen of Ghana by birth”.
From all that have been explained in the Ghanaian constitution, it is evident that there up to four ways in which one can claim be a citizen. Consequently, anyone can claim to be a citizen of Ghana as a result of birth, registration by marriage, by naturalisation process or adoption.
1. Citizenship by birth
According to the law of the country, before anyone can claim to be a citizen because they were born there, the date and year that such was born would be put into consideration. According to Section 3 of the CITIZENSHIP ACT, 2000 (ACT 591), it is stated that “A person born before 6th March 1957 is a citizen of Ghana by birth if (a) he was born in Ghana and at least one of his parents or grandparents was born in Ghana, or (b) he was born outside Ghana and one of his parents was born in Ghana”. Then, Section 4 of the same Act also states that “A person born on or after 6th March 1957 and before 22nd August 1969 is a citizen of Ghana by birth if; (a) he was born in or outside Ghana and either of his parents and also one at least of his grandparents or great-grandparents, was born in Ghana; or (b) in the case of a person born in Ghana neither of whose parents was born in Ghana, at least one of his grandparents was born in Ghana".
2. Citizenship by registration and marriage
Under this, when the citizen of any country marries a Ghanaian, such a one can register following the proper application to become a Ghana citizen. Even after the marriage is dissolved, the citizenship right is not terminated except they renounce it. Upon registration, such is given a certificate of registration. The other way is after someone has resided in Ghana for a minimum of five years, then that person can apply for the citizenship right.
3. Citizenship by naturalisation
Before anyone can become a citizen of Ghana by naturalisation, it is expected that they must have applied to the Minister of Interior and also gotten the approval of the President of Ghana. After going through all the processes involving in the application, Section 13 of the Citizenship Act 2000 (ACT 591) states that “The Minister may with the approval of the President grant a certificate of naturalisation to a person of age and capacity who satisfies the Minister that he is qualified under section 14 of this Act for naturalisation".
More so, in clause (2), it is stated that “A person to whom a certificate of naturalisation is granted under subsection (1) shall take the oath of allegiance and become a citizen by naturalisation from the date on which the oath of allegiance is taken”. This then means that upon completing the process, a person becomes a dual citizen after receiving the certificate of naturalisation and sworn to the oath of allegiance.
4. Citizenship by adoption
In simple terms, anyone that is less than sixteen years of age and adopted by parents who are Ghanaians, such a person automatically assumes the right of a citizen of Ghana.
Dual citizenship application
The Citizenship Act (Act 591 of 2000), among other things, explains that, "A citizen of Ghana who acquires the citizenship of another country in addition to his Ghanaian citizenship shall notify in writing the acquisition of the additional citizenship to the Minister in such form and in such manner as may be prescribed." As such, there are certain requirements that anyone applying for a dual citizenship either as a Ghanaian or non-Ghanaian, must meet. The Ghana High Commission explains the following as the requirements that must be met.
a. Citizen of Ghana who holds citizenship of another country
Anyone in this category must, in addition their citizenship, provide the following:
- Evidence of Ghanaian nationality i.e current Ghanaian Passport and photocopy;
- Evidence of citizenship of other country which are the current passport and photocopy or the certificate of naturalisation (where applicable) and photocopy;
- Four (4) photographs (the applicant's name must be clearly written behind the photographs).
b. Citizen of other country who also qualifies for Ghanaian citizenship
If the person applying qualifies for Ghanaian citizenship by descent, then such should provide the following:
- Evidence of descent such as a current passport of their Ghanaian parent and photocopy;
- Evidence of citizenship of the other country which includes Birth Certificate, and current passport and its photocopy;
- Four (4) photographs. While submitting, the person's name must be clearly written behind the photographs.
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c. Submitting your application
After all the requirements mentioned above have been made available, it is expected that the person applying for dual citizenship would submit the application in person. While doing this, they must go with other supporting documents and photocopies so that they can be examined and also endorsed. The original receipt collected must not be detached from the application forms but submitted together. What is only expected is that a copy of the receipt and the application forms may be made for personal record purpose.
While submitting these, the applicant is expected to submit the names, postal addresses and telephone numbers of two (2) close relatives that reside in Ghana. These are people that can be contacted for further information. Remember that the dual citizenship applications are usually processed by the Ministry of Interior. Therefore, upon the completion of the whole process, a dual citizenship certificate as well as a dual citizenship ID card are usually issued to the applicants. But the process can take up to six months.
Dual citizenship benefits
Even though there are little contentions about the benefits attached to dual citizenship policy, yet it has been arguably said that one of the benefits is that it provides an individual the right to obtain passports from any of the country where such is a citizen. Moreover, dual citizenship benefits so well in that a person with the right does not have to struggle when he or she chooses to revisit former homelands for a long periods of time.
Then, there is the opportunity to pursue employment opportunities in any of the countries where the person is a citizen. Other benefits can include an entitlement of transferring the nationality rights to one's descendants and it improves their right to social benefits available in both countries.
However, a few of the concerns about dual citizenship are that more responsibilities can be reposed on dual citizens such as through national service and/or taxation expected by their former countries. It can also possibly complicate some domestic legal issues like custody disputes, and no matter what, allegiance to more than a country becomes impossible.
From all that have been discussed so far, it is evident that there is provision for dual citizenship Ghana and that anyone who wants to apply for it must go through the Ministry of Interior. Then we saw that, according to the constitution of Ghana, while citizenship can be by birth, it can also be by registration and marriage, naturalisation and also by adoption.