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The Bhutan Citizenship Act, 1985


This act may be called the Bhutan Citizenship Act, 1985. It shall come into force from twenty-third day, 4th month of the Wood Bull year of the Bhutanese calender corresponding to June 10, 1985. In case of conflict between the provisions of this Act and the provisions of any previous laws, rules and regulations relating to citizenship, the provisions of this act shall prevail.

2. Citizenship by birth

A person whose parents are both citizens of Bhutan shall be deemed to be a citizen of Bhutan by birth.

3. Citizenship by registration

A person permanently domiciled in Bhutan on or before December 31, 1958 and, whose name is registered in the census register maintained by the Ministry of Home Affairs shall be deemed to be a citizen of Bhutan by registration.

4. Citizenship by naturalization

A person shall be deemed to apply for Bhutanese citizenship to the Ministry of Home Affairs in Forms KA-1 and KA-2 must fulfill all the following conditions to be eligible for naturalization:

i. The person must have attained the age of 21 years, and 15 years in the case of a person either of whose parents is a citizen of Bhutan;
ii. The person must be mentally sound;
iii. The person must have resided in Bhutan for 15 years in the case of Government employees and also in the case of applicants, either of whose parents is a citizen of Bhutan and 20 years in all other cases, and this period of residence must be registered in the records of the Department of Registration;
iv. The person must be able to speak, read and write Dzongkha proficiently;
v. The person must have good knowledge of the culture, customs, traditions, and history of Bhutan;
vi. The person must have good moral character and should not have any record of imprisonment for criminal offenses in Bhutan or elsewhere;
vii. The person must have no record of having spoken or acted against the King, country and people of Bhutan in any manner whatsoever; and
viii. The person must be prepared to take a solemn Oath of Allegiance to the King, Country and People of Bhutan according to the prescribed Form KHA. On receipt of the application Form KA-1 and KA-2 for naturalization, the Ministry of Home Affairs will take necessary steps to check all the particulars contained in the application. The Ministry of Home Affair will also conduct written and oral tests to assess proficiency in Dzongkha and knowledge of the culture, customs, traditions and history of Bhutan. The decision of the Ministry of Home Affairs on the question of eligibility for naturalization shall be final and binding. The Royal Government of Bhutan also reserves the right to reject any application for naturalization without assigning any reason.

5. Grant of citizenship

a. A person whose application for naturalization has been favourably considered by the Ministry of Home Affairs, shall take the Oath of Allegiance according to the Form KHA of this Act.
b. A person shall then be deemed to be a citizen of Bhutan upon receiving a Kashog from His Majesty the King of Bhutan in accordance to Form GA of this Act.

6. Termination of citizenship

a. Any citizen of Bhutan who acquires the citizenship of another country shall cease to be a citizen of Bhutan. The wife/husband and children of that person if they are Bhutanese citizens shall have the right to remain as citizens of Bhutan provided they are permanently domiciled in Bhutan and are registered annually in the Citizenship Register maintained by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
b. Any citizen of Bhutan who has acquired citizenship by naturalization may be deprived of citizenship at any time if it is found that naturalization had been obtained by means of fraud, false representation or the concealment of any material fact.
c. Any citizen of Bhutan who has acquired citizenship at any time, if that person has shown by act or speech to be disloyal in any manner whatsoever to the King, Country and People of Bhutan.
d. If both the parents are Bhutanese and in case the children leaving the country of their own accord, with the knowledge of the Royal Government of Bhutan and their names are also not recorded in the Citizenship register maintained in the Ministry of Home Affairs, then they will not be considered as citizens of Bhutan. (Resolution No. 16(2) adopted by the National Assembly of Bhutan in the 62nd Session.)
e. Any citizen of Bhutan who has been deprived of Bhutanese citizenship must dispose off all immovable property in Bhutan within one year, failing which, the immovable property shall be confiscated by the Ministry of Home Affairs on payment of fair and reasonable compensation.


Citizenship Act of  1958