Citizenship

Chapter 3 Citizenship

Section 8: Retention of existing citizenship

The coming into effect of this Constitution does not affect the citizenship of a person who was a citizen immediately before it came into effect.

Section 9: Way in which citizenship may be acquired

1. Citizenship may be acquired by:
  1. birth:
  2. registration; or
  3. naturalisation.
2. The Parliament may not make a law providing for the acquisition of citizenship in any other way.

Section 10: Citizenship by birth

Every child born in Fiji on or after the date of commencement of this Constitution becomes a citizen at the date of birth unless, at the date of birth:
  1. a parent of the child has the diplomatic immunity accorded to envoys of foreign sovereign powers accredited to Fiji; and
  2. neither parent is a citizen.

Section 11: Infant found abandoned in Fiji

An infant found abandoned in Fiji is deemed to have been born in Fiji, in the absence of proof to the contrary.

Section 12: Citizenship by registration

1. A child born outside Fiji on or after the date of commencement of this Constitution may become a citizen by registration if, on that date, either parent was a citizen.

2. A foreign child adopted by a citizen when the child was under the age of 18 may become a citizen by registration.

3. A child who was under the age of 21 when either parent became a citizen may become a citizen by registration.

4. An application for registration under subsection (1), (2) or (3) maybe made at any time during the child's lifetime and, if he or she is under the age of 21 at the date of the application, may be made on his or her behalf by a parent or guardian.

5. An application for registration under subsection (1), (2) or (3) made by the child concerned after he or she has reached the age of 21 must not be granted unless he or she has been lawfully present in Fiji for a total of 3 of the 5 years immediately before the application.

6. An application for citizenship by registration made by an adult who is a citizen of another country must be granted if:
  1. the person was formerly a citizen of the State; and
  2. he or she renounces the other citizenship.
7. An application for citizenship by registration made by an adult who is or has been married to a citizen must be granted if the applicant:
  1. has been lawfully present in Fiji for a total of 3 of the 5 years immediately before the application: and
  2. complies with such other conditions as the Parliament prescribes.
8. If, in accordance with this Constitution, a person is required to renounce the citizenship of another country in order to become a citizen of the State but the law of that other country effectively prevents renunciation of that citizenship, the person is deemed to have renounced that citizenship if he or she declares, in a form prescribed by the Parliament, an intention not to exercise the entitlements of that citizenship.

Section 13: Citizenship by naturalization

1. A person may become a citizen by naturalization.

2. A condition of naturalization is that the person has been lawfully present in Fiji for a total of 5 of the 10 years immediately before the application for naturalization is made.

Section 14: Loss of citizenship

1. Subject to this section, a person forfeits citizenship if he or she voluntarily acquires the citizenship or nationality of another country.

2. A citizen of the State who, while a minor, acquires the citizenship of another country forfeits his or her citizenship of the State at the age of 22 unless, after reaching the age of 21 and before reaching the age of 22, he or she renounces the other citizenship.

3. An adult who involuntarily acquires the citizenship of another country does not forfeit his or her citizenship of the State unless he or she fails to renounce the other citizenship within 12 months of:
  1. becoming aware of it; or
  2. being required by the Minister to renounce it; whichever first occurs.

Section 15: Renunciation of citizenship

A person may renounce his or her citizenship only if he or she:
  1. has reached the age of 21; and
  2. has been since birth a citizen of another country or has acquired the citizenship of another country by registration or naturalization.

Section 16: Rights to enter and reside in Fiji

The following persons may enter and reside In Fiji so long as they comply with conditions prescribed by the Parliament governing entry and residence:
  1. former citizens;
  2. a foreign wife or widow or foreign husband or widower of a citizen;
  3. a child of a citizen.

Section 17: Powers of Parliament concerning citizenship

Subject to subsections 9 (2) and 12 (6), the Parliament may make laws:
  1. prescribing conditions upon which a person may become a citizen that are in addition to the conditions set out in this Constitution; and
  2. relating to the making of applications for citizenship by registration or naturalization.

Section 18: Laws relating to calculation of periods in Fiji

For the purpose of calculating under this Constitution periods of lawful presence in Fiji, the Parliament may make laws specifying certain periods that are not to be taken into account.

Section 19: Deprivation of citizenship

1. The Parliament may make laws depriving a person of citizenship in the following circumstances only:
  1. If citizenship was obtained by fraud, misrepresentation or the concealment of a material fact;
  2. If the person, in accordance with subsection 12 (8), declared an intention not to exercise the entitlements of citizenship of another country but has, since making that declaration, exercised such an entitlement.
2. A law made under subsection (1) must provide for the according of procedural fairness to the person concerned.

Section 20: Prevention of statements

Despite anything in Chapter IV of the Constitution of 1990:
  1. a person born in Fiji in the period that began on 28 September 1987 and ended on 24 July 1990 is taken to have become a citizen on the date of birth;
  2. a person born outside Fiji in the period that began on 28 September 1987 and ended on 6 October 1987 is taken to have become a citizen on the date of birth if his or her father was a citizen on that date and was not himself born outside Fiji; and
  3. a person born in Fiji in the period that began on 25 July 1990 and ended on the date of commencement of this Constitution is taken to have become a citizen on the date of birth if he or she would otherwise be stateless.