KATHMANDU, May 1: Sajha Bibeksheel Party has proposed that foreign nationals marrying Nepali citizens should be given Nepali citizenship only after residing in Nepal for seven years.
Making its position on the ongoing citizenship debate, the party has maintained that the government could issue special identity cards for foreign spouses of Nepali citizens for the purpose of managing family relations, fulfilling legal responsibilities and other essential works until they are granted the citizenship certificate.
Currently, a foreign woman marrying Nepali citizen can acquire citizenship certificates immediately after the marriage. However, the laws are silent about the citizenship certificate for foreign man marrying Nepali women.
The proposal of Sajha Bibeksheel comes at a time when women rights activist have been demanding that foreign spouses of both sexes should be treated equally while granting citizenship.
A statement issued by party spokesman Surya Raj Acharya says the provision of seven years residency requirement for foreign spouses of both the sexes could address the demand raised by women rights activists.
Arguing that the provision to disclose the identity of father alone while acquiring citizenship certificate is discriminatory, the party has maintained that it would be better if the identities of both father and mother are made mandatory while issuing citizenship certificates.
The party has suggested the government scrap citizenship granted to some 34,000 people on the basis of their birth in Nepal as per the recommendations made by Jitendra Narayan Dev-led panel. Also, it said that it would be practical to provide citizenship by descent to the children of those acquiring citizenship certificates by birth in 2007.