Naturalization Office is responsible for facilitating the registration and naturalization of Non-Gambians who intend to become Gambian citizen under the laws of The Gambia as provided by the 1997 Constitution and citizenship and Nationality Act.
Citizenship is the act of being a citizen of a particular country, which entail mutual rights and obligations. Citizenship of Gambia can be obtained in five (4) ways.
1. Citizenship by birth: Born in Gambia to Gambian citizens (parents) or where one of the parents is a Gambian
2. Citizenship by descent: Born outside the Gambia to Gambian citizens (parents) or where one of the parents is a Gambian
If a person in Gambia is not citizen by birth or by descent, he / she can apply for citizenship by naturalization or registration. Gambia citizenship is governed by the Gambia citizenship and nationality act and its regulations; and it is granted by government through the immigration Department under the Ministry of Interior.
The Gambia’s current Nationality and Citizenship Act took effect in 1997. One of the key objectives of the Act is to promote the social integration of those foreign nationals living permanently in The Gambia.
Like any other country, Gambia takes the time to grant citizenship to foreigners that meet certain requirements. The main way for foreigners to obtain Gambia citizenship is via “naturalization”, which requires the following -
The Applicant :
- Must be at least 18 years .
- Must resided in Gambia for at least 15 years.
- Is of good character.
- plans to remain in Gambia.
- Is familiar with Gambia language and customs, has a viable means of support, and has renounced previous citizenship.
Another way is through registration and this mostly applies to both women and men married to a Gambia citizenship, which requires the following.
- Any person who is married to a citizen of The Gambia and has been ordinarily resident in The Gambia for a period of not less than seven (7) years, shall be entitled, upon making application in such manner as may be prescribed by the Act to be registered as a citizen of The Gambia.
The process for obtaining Gambian citizenship by Naturalization/Registration involves the following:
- Get the correct application form from the Gambia Immigration Department in Banjul which has to be filled, signed and endorsed by commissioner of Oath or Justice of Peace and Nineteen Questions to be answered by two responsible Gambians as referees.
To determine the eligibility of the applicant, he/she must satisfy the conditions set out under section 12 (2) of the Citizenship and Naturalization Act.
- Is of full age and Capacity;
- Is of good character;
- Has clearly shown that, if naturalized, he/she intends to continue permanently to reside in the Gambia.
- Is capable of supporting himself or herself and his or her dependent.
- If registration: Marriage certificate, Children’s birth certificates, ‘if any’ and wife’s or husband’s national ID card or Passport must be submitted.
6. Renunciation of other nationality or citizenship held
A person shall not be registered as a citizen of the Gambia or granted a certificate of Naturalization as a citizen of the Gambia unless he/she has made a declaration in such manner as the minister may prescribe renouncing any other nationality or citizenship he or she may possess
The Entry Clearance is usually applied for by a person having difficulties in obtaining the Entry Visa. As stated in the Immigration manual, “Where an applicant resides in an area outside the jurisdiction of the visa issuing office, the application shall be referred to the Director General of Immigration for Clearance”. In this case, someone (Host) must uphold Immigration responsibilities and apply an entry Clearance on behalf of a visitor.
- The host must take financial responsibility for the prospective visitors.
- The passport copy must be attached to the form.
REQUIREMENTS ATTACHED TO THE ISSUANCE OF ENTRY CLEARANCE
- The potential visitor (s) for an entry clearance must be outside the Gambia at the time of the application.
- All application letter for an entry clearance must be written and address to the Director General of Immigration.
- Immigration Responsibility form must be filled and signed by the host.
The Gambian Host must be a responsible person and must provide the following;
- ID Card or Passport copy
- Business registration certificate
Non-Gambian Host must produce the following;
- Residential permits or Non-Gambian ID Card
- Alien Cards
- Pay roll tax
- Business Registration certificate
- Company/Institution/Department’s applications must….
- Be on their letter heads
- Attached Institution valid business or Operational registration plus TIN Certificate copy.
- Must be a well establish business enterprise in the Gambia
- FEE. The fee for an entry clearance is D3000 payable upon application. The fee is Non-refundable
- Not less than a week notice should be given for each application. The issuing of an entry clearance cannot be guaranteed in less than this period. Exception will be made in respect of government institutions and registered charitable organizations only. This does not apply in case of others application.