The Maldives is one of the most well-liked tourist destinations for several reasons. This nation is the flattest country globally, dominated by white beaches, surprising underwater cabinets, appealing weather, and excellent natural habitat. Despite being a welcoming tourist attraction, the Maldivian constitution is very strict on citizenship.
According to the Maldivian government, only Muslims are eligible to acquire Maldivian citizenship regardless of their birth or descent. Although a person can reside there continuously and become a permanent resident of the country to enjoy certain rights, the citizens have complete freedom to live, work, and have visa-free access to many countries of the world.
However, a person can apply for Maldives citizenship through birth, descent, adoption, marriage, and naturalization. But the applicant should have to accomplish all the requirements, including a residency permit. Secondly, he/she must have a clean criminal certificate. Now, let us look into the article to learn how to obtain Maldivian citizenship.
Ways To Become A Maldivian Citizen
As discussed earlier, a person can apply for Maldivian citizenship in various ways and fulfill the Ministry of Foreign Affairs conditions. Following are some of the procedures to get Maldives citizenship.
Citizenship By Birth
According to the Republic of Maldives constitution, a person can obtain their citizenship by birth only if:
- They are born in the Maldives, with one of their parents having Maldivian citizenship at the time of birth; else, the president denies the application.
- A person can apply for citizenship by birth and be found abandoned when born in the Maldives, but there is no knowledge about both parents.
Citizenship By Descent
Another way to apply for Maldivian citizenship is through descent. A person is not restricted to obtaining their citizenship if they are born outside the Maldives, but one of their parents is Maldivian at the time of their birth.
Citizenship By Marriage
The Maldives does not allow automatic citizenship to foreign spouses, as the acquisition is also not required by the law of the Maldives.
Citizenship By Adoption
A minor adopted by Maldivian residents can easily obtain citizenship. However, the law of Maldives states that a person can apply for citizenship only if one of the adopters is Maldivian at the time of adoption.
Citizenship By Naturalization
Any person who is not eligible either by birth or by descent can apply for citizenship by naturalization if they accomplish all the requirements provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and submit the application to obtain citizenship. However, the following are the conditions or requirements for acquiring citizenship:
- A person must be Muslim; any other religion apart from Islam is restricted.
- A person must have an age limit of 21 years of age.
- He/she should be mentally sound.
- A person must reside in the Maldives for 12 uninterrupted years (but should not leave the country for more than six months during this period) and submit the residency permit beside the application.
- A person must reside in the Maldives for more than ten years and fulfill the above conditions.
- Elementary knowledge of the Maldivian language is a must, along with qualifying for the test, which demonstrates the understanding and knowledge of the Maldivian constitution.
- A person has a clean criminal record and does not commit any offense related to Maldivian politics, drugs, or Islamic shariah.
- A person should renounce their current nationality to become a citizen of Maldives.
Maldivian government grants a person citizenship if they qualify for all the requirements provided by the law, and the person has complete rights to avail of the benefits of Maldives citizenship. Maldivian citizenship is the 62nd most powerful throughout the world, and a person with a Maldivian passport has the right to get visa-free access to 80+ countries of the world.
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