The Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act (KCI Act) No 12 of 2011 came into force to regulate matters relating to citizenship and the issuance of travel and immigration documents.
This act thus amended the previous regulation being the Kenya Citizenship Act, the Immigration Act and the Aliens Restriction Act.
The Act in section 4 provides for a director who is in charge of matters relating to citizenship and immigration and whose functions are not only advising the Cabinet secretary on matter relating to issuing, granting and revoking citizenship but is also in charge of the issue of passport, travel documents, is in charge of border control and management, regulates and controls issues on residency and provides services related to travel into Kenya in mission offices based in other countries.
The main issues addressed by this act relate to obtaining Kenyan citizenship, travels document, matters concerning entry and exit into and from Kenya as well as the procedures followed and the crimes that one may be convicted of if found guilty of non-compliance.
The Kenyan Citizenship and Immigration Act regulations 2012 lay out and details the procedure to be followed including but not limited to the forms to be filled for each application and the fees to paid in each case.
The benefits enjoyed by a Kenyan Citizen under section 22 are:
On the other hand, rights come with duties which are laid out under section 23 to include:
Citizen by birth
Section 6 of the Act makes reference to Article14 read together with clause 30 of the sixth schedule to the constitution of Kenya 2010 which states that one becomes a citizen of Kenya by birth if born of a Kenyan parent whether in Kenya or not . this also applies to a child found in Kenya whose nationality is unknown and the child appears to be aged below 8 years.
Citizenship by registration
One becomes a citizen of Kenya by registration by making an application to be registered as a Kenyan citizen under any of the following categories:
Where one is registered as a Kenyan citizen, Section 18 provides that an oath (swearing while a religious book attributed to one’s faith) oraffirmation (swearing by lifting your right and) in both cases the words to swear by are availed ] after which a certificate of registration as a Kenyan Citizen is issued in accordance with form 16 in the first schedule to the regulations .
One can however cease being a Kenyan citizen on occurrence of the following:
The act further regulates the entry and exit into and from Kenya but creating the following;
Types, cost and validity of passports as per section 25 & 26 of the Act and ninth schedule to the regulation
Replacement of lost stolen or mutilated passports
Where one losses their passport, section 28 provides that they shall report the loss to the nearest police station or if outside Kenya the nearest Kenya Mission. They shall then make an for application for a replacement at a cost of 12,000/=- where as a mutilated valid passport the holder shall report to the immigration office and can be replaced at 10,000/-.
Rejection of an application for passport
An application for a passport may be rejected as per the provisions of section 30. The immigration officer is required to notify the applicant of the rejection withi 14 days. The reason for rejection may be due to;
Confiscation of passports
Visas section 33 regulation 18
This is a form of permission to enter into Kenya. The person who obtains a visa to enter into Kenya is required to comply with the regulations. The applicant is required to fill form in the first schedule to the regulations
How does a permit become invalid?
Who can apply for permanent residency? Section 38
The following persons, their children and spouses shall be eligible upon application in for grant of permanent residence status in Kenya—
Rights enjoyed by a permanent resident
How can one may lose it their right to permanent residency? Section 39
Section 33 outlines the crimes which if a person is suspected to have committed prior to their entry into Kenya, and they have not received pardon, they are not allowed to enter into Kenya. They include human trafficking, smuggling, trafficking narcotics and controlled substances, crimes related to patents, copyrights, intellectual property rights, cybercrimes, piracy, crimes offending public morality, a fugitive of justice, sexual crimes among others.
Removal of persons unlawfully in Kenya: Under section 34, the cabinet secretary has the power to require the removal from Kenya of persons unlawfully in Kenya
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