Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Bangladeshi nationality law

 The Nationality Act of Bangladesh governs the issues of citizenship and nationality of the People's Republic of Bangladesh . This law regulates the nationality and citizenship status of all residents of Bangladesh and people of Bangladeshi descent. It allows expatriates, foreigners as well as children of Bangladeshi residents to check their citizenship status and, if necessary, apply for and obtain Bangladeshi citizenship. Regarding the determination of citizenship of Bangladesh, Article 7, sub-article 1 of the Constitution of Bangladesh states that "Citizenship of Bangladesh shall be determined and regulated by law."  Article 7, sub-article 2 of the Constitution of Bangladesh states that "the people of Bangladesh shall be known as Bengalis as a nation and the citizens as Bangladeshis."  

The primary law on Bangladesh citizenship is the Citizenship Act 1951, originally the Pakistan Citizenship Act 1951, which was later amended by a number of statutory orders introduced by the Government of Bangladesh.

After the establishment of the state, the law of Bangladesh granted citizenship to persons permanently residing in the territory called Bangladesh, which declared independence on March 25, 1971.The order specifically mentions their fathers or grandfathers and others born in the region, but it is unclear whether there is a legal difference between these groups. The law also describes Bengalis who were in West Pakistan during the 1971 war and faced obstacles in returning to Bangladesh as permanent residents eligible for citizenship.


According to the Bangladesh Citizenship Act, 2016, Bangladeshi citizenship can be acquired in seven ways. These are: -

1. Children of Bangladeshi citizens and their offspring (in lineage)

2. Born in Bangladesh or born in any embassy or ship or aircraft of Bangladesh (by birth)

3. Matrimonial Formula / Indigenization

4. Dual citizen

5. Acquired citizenship

. Residents of the newly annexed territory and persons applying for permanent residency in Bangladesh and

. Honorary citizenship.

Citizenship by descent

According to the Citizenship Act 1951, one of the methods of acquiring Bangladeshi nationality is Just Sanguinis (citizenship by right of blood) . This means that anyone can acquire citizenship regardless of whether or not they were born in a Bangladeshi sovereign territory. Citizenship of Bangladesh is granted mainly by birth or blood relation, irrespective of place or birth validity.  Thus, any child born illegally to a Bangladeshi woman outside the territory of Bangladesh will be a Bangladeshi citizen, while a child born to two non-citizens in Bangladesh will not be a child. This method is limited if the child's parents acquire their nationality through naturalization or by descent.

Citizenship by birth 

Citizenship jus Soli (born in its territory, the right to citizenship) , or the time of birth is achieved, while the identity or nationality of the parents is unknown.  In this case, the child is considered to have been born to a Bangladeshi citizen and therefore citizenship is granted after birth. If a child is found abandoned in Bangladesh up to the age of two years and if the complete opposite is not revealed then the child can be made a citizen of Bangladesh by birth on the assumption that he was born in Bangladesh. However, it does not apply to the children of hostile foreigners born in Bangladesh and it does not apply to those living illegally in Bangladesh or refugees in Bangladesh. Enemy foreigners are people who do not recognize or deny the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of the People's Republic of Bangladesh. Besides, the enemy foreigners are the people who have been or are at war against Bangladesh since the declaration of independence by the Father of the Nation Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in March 1971 . Since May 2006 , some Urdu-speaking people in Bangladesh have been granted Zoo Soli citizenship by a High Court ruling.


Nationalization is permitted by the Citizenship Act of Bangladesh. Any adult of good character, who is married to a Bangladeshi and has been living legally in Bangladesh for five years; Proficient in Bengali  ; And if he wants to live in Bangladesh, he can apply for naturalization. Nationalization may be granted on a class basis or without certain rights or privileges, such as the right to stand as a candidate in parliamentary elections. It is also awarded at the discretion of the Government of Bangladesh. Citizens of any country where Bangladeshis are not allowed to be deported (for example, Saudi Arabia) are not eligible for deportation. The naturalization of a foreigner does not automatically extend to his foreign child. However, they can apply as soon as the naturalized person takes the oath of citizenship.

If not approved, a person can appeal against the decision within thirty days, where they will have a hearing. They will not be able to appeal if citizenship is granted without certain rights or privileges. If accepted, the favored citizen must take an oath of allegiance within thirty days of the grant. A person is considered a native only after taking the oath. 

 Dual citizenship 

Dual citizenship is allowed for a person who is not a SAARC citizen in certain circumstances . Dual nationals of Bangladesh can apply for a dual nationality certificate that would legalize the use of a foreign passport, but they are not prosecuted if they do not apply for such a national certificate. As a person of Bangladeshi descent or as a spouse or child of a person of Bangladeshi descent, they do not need a visa in their foreign passport (NVR) to enter Bangladesh through seals, stamps or stickers. A qualified person can apply for an NVR stamp / sticker in any Bangladeshi mission abroad. Apart from NVR, citizens of SAARC countries are also included.

Citizenship by investing in 

Investors in Bangladesh can achieve permanent residency by investing a minimum of $ 75,000 in a non-repatriable fund. In addition to many other benefits, permanent residence allows a person to stay in Bangladesh for as long as he wants, as well as to enter and exit Bangladesh without a visa. Citizenship is obtained by investing a minimum of US 500,000 or by transferring US 1,000,000 to a non-refundable fund of any recognized financial institution in Bangladesh. Profits, dividends and salaries are repatriable abroad, even if the initial investment in permanent residence or citizenship is not repayable. Under the export-oriented, private sector-led growth strategy and liberal industrial policy, Bangladesh offers generous opportunities, tax breaks and many other investment opportunities to potential investors and entrepreneurs.

Honorary citizenship 

The Government of Bangladesh reserves the right to grant honorary citizenship to foreign nationals who have made outstanding contributions to Bangladesh or achieved outstanding achievements for Bangladesh. For example, awarding Father Merino Reagan or Gordon Greenidge is an honor. Gordon Greenidge became the head coach of the Bangladesh national cricket team in 1996. His guidance helped Bangladesh's men's cricket team beat 22 other countries to win the 1998 ICC Trophy , which also qualified for the 1999 ICC Cricket World Cup . Bangladesh took part in the first Cricket World Cup which changed Bangladesh cricket forever and it was the first Test cricket match for the Bangladesh national cricket team in 2000.Helps to gain dignity. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina granted honorary citizenship of Bangladesh to Gordon Greenidge for his outstanding achievement in winning the ICC Trophy in 1996 and at the same time qualifying for the Cricket World Cup.

Leave nationality 

A person's nationality can only be revoked if it is given to him by naturalization. Citizenship obtained through naturalization can also be relinquished voluntarily.  

If the naturalized foreigner provides false information in his application, it may be withdrawn. In addition, within five years of obtaining citizenship, a person was sentenced to prison for at least one year, or at least 1,000 taka fine, received, or the person does not communicate with at least seven years in Bangladesh, but his citizenship is revoked. Citizenship will also be revoked by trade and communication with the enemy of war or by being a citizen of an enemy state at war.

Controversial issues

Ghulam Azam

Ghulam Azam was the leader of Jamaat-e-Islami during the liberation war of Bangladesh . He moved to Lahore , Pakistan during the war , had a Pakistani passport and, until returning to Bangladesh on a tourist visa in 1986, repeatedly applied for Bangladeshi nationality. Until 1994, he was on the same visa for 18 years. He then got Bangladeshi citizenship and a Bangladeshi passport during Khaleda Zia's tenure .

In a controversial judgment, the High Court and later the Supreme Court ruled that Golam Azam was a citizen of Bangladesh on the basis of descent and permanent residence since the enactment of the Bangladesh Citizenship Order.

Stuck Pakistani

During Bangladesh's independence from Pakistan in 1971, about half a million " Pakistanis " were trapped in the Bengali- speaking region , called Biharis , who inherited their ethnic-linguistic heritage from the Bihar region. Biharis who said they were Bangladeshis were granted citizenship by the Bangladesh Citizenship Order 1972.

Those who said they were Pakistanis and those who wrote their names on the Red Cross list of refugees were considered non-citizens. The government, despite promises, 008 in May as a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh, both of them did not recognize, 008 the High Court in May 1971, was born in the territory of all the Urdu-speaking people who live and equitable citizenship is provided. 

Rohingya peopleAs a result of the King Dragon operation in Arakan , a total of several thousand Rohingyas, including two and a half lakh , fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh in 1986. In an effort to prevent the Burmese from claiming that the Rohingyas were Bangladeshis, the Bangladesh government amended the Citizenship Order in 1972 to officially declare all Rohingyas refugees. Rohingya refugees are unable to return to Myanmar for fear of a military junta.

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