Citizenship reforms on the horizon: Easier access expected, says DPM Shrestha

PATAN: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs, Narayan Kaji Shrestha, announced impending regulations to streamline citizenship processes, aiming to eliminate long waits for certificates.

Speaking at a forum discussing Citizenship Act implementation, Shrestha emphasized faster issuance of citizenship certificates by tackling bureaucratic delays. The event, organized by Media Advocacy Group and the Forum for Women, Law, and Development, addressed key concerns in citizenship acquisition.

Shrestha shared, “We’ll soon present the citizenship-related regulations to the Council of Ministers. We’re simplifying the process, minimizing waiting periods.”

He highlighted recent enhancements, enabling naturalized citizenship through self-declaration without extensive documentation, underlining that the Constitution guides these amendments.

Joint Secretary Narayan Prasad Bhattarai suggested implementing biometric systems to expedite citizenship delivery, ensuring efficient tracking. The importance of proper documentation for organizations caring for street children was also emphasized.

Forum’s Executive Director, Sabin Shrestha, critiqued the current system, citing issues faced by single mothers and children of Nepali mothers with citizenship by descent. Participants emphasized providing smoother citizenship access for the LGBTQI+ community.

The event witnessed personal accounts underscoring the necessity of citizenship for essential activities, like job applications and banking, showcasing the imperative for comprehensive reforms.


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