40 Foreigners Seek Rwandan CitizenshipÂ
About 40 foreigners including US nationals have applied for Rwandan citizenship, News of Rwanda reports.
According to the Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration, the applicants on Monday gathered at a hall in Telecom house where they sat for both oral and written exams.
â€œThey have to sit for both written and oral interviews as part of the requirements to be granted Rwandan citizenship,â€ Butera said.
Yves Butera, the spokesman of Rwanda Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration told this website that the exams were aimed at testing applicantâ€™s general knowledge on Rwanda in a language where they are comfortable.
Most of the applicants are emanating from regional countries, including; Burundi, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and citizens from as far as Senegal.
â€œAmong others, they have cited security in the country and good leadership as motivation,â€ a senior leader in the Rwanda Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration indicated.
One of the applicants Roger Martyn Shaw is a US national married to a Rwandan woman. He told News of Rwanda, â€œI was inspired by national vision 2020. I invested my time and resources in Rwanda because I want to be part of the vision.â€
Shaw is impressed by â€œthe country resolve to transform into a middle income economy; itâ€™s a rare opportunity to be part of such a transformation.â€ He operates fish farming on Mirayi Lake located in Bugesera district, Eastern Province.
Dr Salama Hebatallah, an Egyptian medical practitioner and her husband also a medical doctor have been working in Rwanda for the past six years. She says seeking Rwandan nationality is a very good idea.
â€œWe are looking forward to applying for Rwandan nationality. It will give us more stability. You know nationality is a sign of full integration into a society you are serving,â€ she noted.
According to the Rwandan law, after three years of marriage, a foreigner married to a Rwandan can apply for a Rwandan nationality, if the marriage is recorded in the registry of Rwandan civil status. The spouse will not lose acquired nationality if he/she divorces his/her partner.
While for other cases an applicant is required to be aged 18 years, a foreign child adopted by Rwandan parents gets right to Rwandan nationality after adoption.
Rwanda also grants nationality to foreigners by naturalization. The requirements include; having spent at least five years residing in Rwanda and having sustainable activities in the country, on top of being a patriot who respects Rwandan culture.
The organic law dated 2008 provides that an applicant should take an oath after passing the test. He/she commits to â€œbe faithful and bear true allegiance to the Republic of Rwanda and to pay respect to the Constitution of the Republic of Rwanda and other laws, by the help of God.â€
One loses Rwandan acquired nationality if it was proven that he/she used fraudulent information and documents to obtain it.
According to Butera, since 2009 Rwanda has granted nationality to 334 people from across the world.