DUAL CITIZENSHIP FOR HUSBAND OF BANGLADESHI

Publishes by The Daily Star on September 8, 2012 (Link Above)

This week Your Advocate is Barrister Omar Khan Joy, Advocate, Supreme Court of Bangladesh. He is the head of the chambers of a renowned law firm, namely, ‘Legal Counsel’, which has expertise mainly in commercial law, corporate law, family law, employment and labor law, land law, banking law, constitutional law, criminal law, IPR and in conducting litigations before courts of different hierarchies. Our civil and criminal law experts from reputed law chambers will provide the legal summary advice.

Query
I’m a great fan of your well informative and effective responses to various queries over the past few years in”THE DS”, even my elder sister was a beneficiary of your ANSWERS hence, she invariably remembers your honor in her Duahs for your; continuos successes and immense joy in your valued life.

My queries are as under, since I’m a Bangladeshi citizen Holding Bangladeshi Passport and married to an American citizen of Bangladeshi parentage who immigrated to the USA in the early 1990s. My Husband IS Holding an American Passport he can; Read, Write & speak Bangla fluently, so is he entitled to :

1. Dual Citizenship being for married to me a Bangladeshi???

2. If yes, can he apply for his Bangladeshi Pp from the Bangladesh Consulate in New York? or is it mandatory to apply ONLY from Bangladesh???

I remember a specific case of a Lady Bangladeshi Diplomat whose westerner husband was granted Dual citizenship. Is that case specific or Blanket availability to mundane Bangladeshis like myself???

Personally I have no intention whatsoever to renounce my Bangladeshi Citizenship, at this point in time.

While thanking you very much in anticipation, I remain,

Reader Response
Thank you for your queries regarding the rules of dual citizenship in Bangladesh for a male foreign passport holder married to a Bangladeshi woman and whether one must apply for a Bangladeshi Passport only from Bangladesh or can also do so from elsewhere.

According to the Bangladesh Citizenship (Temporary Provisions) Rules 1978, the foreigner wife of a Bangladeshi man can apply for Bangladeshi citizenship, provided she has been living in Bangladesh for two years. Unfortunately, there are no similar provisions in the Rules for the foreigner husband of a Bangladeshi woman. The Government of Bangladesh is planning to review these provisions, but till date this issue has not seen the light of any enactment i.e. any Act of Parliament or Order or Rules as such. It is difficult to predict with precision when such legislative change may be brought.

Nevertheless, if not under the ground of a spouse, your husband can still apply for Bangladeshi citizenship and/or permanent residency on general grounds under the Bangladesh Citizenship (Temporary Provisions) Rules 1978 (herein after referred to as the ‘BC(TP) Rules 1978’) and the Bangladesh Citizenship (Temporary Provisions) Order 1972 (herein after referred to as the ‘BC(TP) Order 1972’) and he can do so under the options set out below:

Option 1: Rule 3(1) of the BC(TP) Rules 1978 provides that if a person wishes to apply for Bangladeshi citizenship within the ambit of Order 2B, Clause (2) of the BC(TP) Order 1972, s/he has to submit Form ‘A’ and do the following:

If the applicant is residing temporarily in Bangladesh, the application shall be submitted directly to the Government and if the applicant is residing outside Bangladesh then it shall be submitted to the Government through the Bangladesh Diplomatic Mission or Consulate in that country or where there is no Bangladesh Mission or Consulate in that country to a Bangladesh Mission or Consulate in the country nearest to that country.

The application shall be accompanied by an affidavit affirming the truth of the statements made before a Magistrate of the 1st Class or a Notary Public and four copies of Passport size photographs duly attested by a Class-1 Gazetted Officer or a Magistrate of the 1st Class or a Notary Public.

The application shall be accompanied by Treasury Chalan of Tk. 200 or equivalent in Foreign Exchange under the heading “65-Misc.-Non-Tax Revenue-Citizenship and Passport.”

The application shall also be accompanied by documentary evidence, if any, regarding remittances in Bangladesh.

It shall also be accompanied by a copy of foreign citizenship documents or birth certificate.

Moreover the concerned Government or the Bangladesh Diplomatic Mission or Consulate may, if need be, call for the submission of other documents related to, for example, when the applicant got current nationality, special qualifications of the applicant, present occupation or trade, income and its source, any relatives living in Bangladesh, knowledge about Bengali language, etc.

Option 2: Rule 4(1) of the BC (TP) Rules 1978 provides that if a person wishes to apply for Bangladeshi citizenship within the ambit of Order 4 of the BC (TP) Order 1972, s/he has to submit Form ‘B’ in the same manner as given in Rule 3(1) of the BC (TP) Rules 1978 above. However, a condition remains that no application will be considered under this Rule if the applicant does not declare, through affidavit, his/her citizenship status and details about leaving his/her main country of residence.

Moreover, it is mentioned in Rule 4 of the BC (TP) Rules 1978 that an application regarding acceptance of citizenship will be considered-

(a) if the applicant is a female overseas citizen married to a Bangladeshi man and is normally living in Bangladesh for two years; or

(b) if the applicant does not fall within clause (a) above, but is normally living in Bangladesh for five years.

Option 3: Other than the above you may consider Rules 4A or 4B of the BC (TP) Rules 1978, which contain the provisions for application for Bangladeshi citizenship by Foreign Traders/Business persons/Investors and application for Permanent Residency by the same respectively.

If the Government is satisfied after considering the Form and all the documents submitted, and is satisfied that your spouse is not incapable of getting Bangladeshi citizenship by or under any law, he will be given Bangladeshi citizenship (or right to permanently live in Bangladesh) and a certificate shall be issued to this effect (Rules 7 and 8 of the BC (TP) Rules 1978). Note that such an order is appealable. Therefore if there is any dissatisfaction with the order of the Government an appeal can be made within 30 days of receiving such order.

In light of the above discussion, you are advised to go to the Home Ministry, Immigration Department, and talk to the concerned officers in detail about the situation and collect the form(s) prescribed by them.

I hope the abovementioned opinion has been helpful and wish you all the best.

For detailed query contact: omar@legalcounselbd.com.