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November 14, 2018

MP Birdi petitions Parliament over delayed citizenship for immigrants

Nominated MP Sunjeev Birdi. /FILE
Nominated MP Sunjeev Birdi. /FILE

Nominated MP Sunjeev Birdi wants a committee to investigate the backlog that has delayed immigrants' acquisition of citizenship.

She said on Monday that Parliament's Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security should look into the matter.

Birdi said in a petition that there have been allegations of a high level of corruption at immigration.

“The applicants are not only helpless but frustrated as a result of their delayed citizenship applications," she said.

"This has forced many of them to apply for work permits several times, which is costly."

Article 15 (1) of the constitution states that a person who has been married to a citizen for a period of at least seven years is entitled to citizenship by registration.

Article 15 (2) states that a person who has been a resident in Kenya for a continuous period of at least seven years, and who satisfies the conditions prescribed by an Act of Parliament, may apply to be registered as a citizen.

Birdi said: "Failure to issue applicants with citizenship has violated their rights, equality and freedom from discrimination."

She added that efforts to resolve the matter have not been successful.

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