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Uganda: New Law to Allow Dual Citizenship

(Aug. 28, 2008) On August 17, 2008, the Ugandan Citizenship and Immigration Control (Amendment) Bill of 2008 was introduced on the floor of the Ugandan Parliament. The bill will give effect to the Constitution (Amendment) Act (No. 2) of 2005, which allows acquisition of dual citizenship. This bill permits Ugandan citizens 18 years and older who acquire the citizenship of another country to keep their Ugandan citizenship. It also allows non-Ugandans to acquire Ugandan citizenship without having to forfeit other citizenships.

According to the new bill, non-Ugandans seeking Ugandan citizenship are required to prove residency of over 20 years in Uganda and a continuous presence in the country for the 24 months preceding their application. An applicant must also have knowledge of either English or Swahili.

The bill specifies government positions that a person holding dual citizenship is deemed unfit to hold. It also states that a person who holds dual citizenship is not qualified to run for the Ugandan presidency or operate a security office.

The bill allows for the maintenance of property rights acquired during the enjoyment of Ugandan citizenship, even after its loss. (Rules Set for Dual Citizens, THE NEW VISION, Aug. 18, 2008, available at