Jordanian nationality law
|Jordanian Citizenship Act|
|Parliament of Jordan|
|Enacted by||Government of Jordan|
|Status: Current legislation|
The Jordanian nationality is transmitted by paternity (fatherhood) (see Jus sanguinis). Therefore, a Jordanian man who holds Jordanian citizenship can automatically confer citizenship to his children and foreign wives. Under the current law, descendants of Jordanian emigrants can only receive citizenship from their father as women cannot pass on citizenship to their children or foreign spouses. Since 2010, there has been an increasing public demand for giving the opportunity for Jordanian women to transmit their Jordanian nationality to their children and also to their husbands.
Rights and responsibilities of Jordanian citizens
Rights of citizens
Citizens of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan by law have the legal right to:
- Live freely in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan without any immigration requirements
- Gain access to free education covering primary, and secondary education. University education is not free.
- Receive all health-care benefits at any public health institution
- Participate in the Jordanian political system
- Benefit from the privileges of the free trade market agreements between the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and many Arab countries
- Get exempted from taxes with no condition of reciprocity
- Own and Inherit property and values in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
- Enter to and exit from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan through any port
- Travel to and from other countries in accordance with visa requirements
- Seek consular assistance and protection abroad by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan through Jordanian embassies and consulates abroad and others
Responsibilities of citizens
In a state of necessity, all Jordanian citizens are required, when prescribed by the law of the Jordanian government, to bear arms on behalf of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, to perform noncombatant service in the Jordanian Armed Forces, and to perform work of national importance under civilian direction.
Under the supervision of an official authority, a person convicted by a court of law may be required to do any work or to render any service provided that the person is not hired to or placed at the disposal of any persons, companies, societies or public bodies.
The code covering the Jordanian nationality was issued on 1 January 1954 as the Jordanian Nationality Law of 1954 and was last amended in 1987.
According to the Jordanian government, there have been no restrictions on multiple citizenship in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan since its 1954 law on Jordanian nationality. Thus, foreigners who acquire Jordanian citizenship and Jordanian citizens who voluntarily acquire another citizenship keep their previous citizenship (subject to the laws of the other country).
Acquisition of Jordanian citizenship
A child is Jordanian at birth if:
- Their father is a Jordanian citizen
- Restricted maternal transmission of Jordanian citizenhip may only occur if, the woman is not married (and therefore her children are legally fatherless/illegitimate). Should a child be born legitimately to a non-citizen father, the shall be deemed to have acquired the citizenship of their father, this may result in cases where, children born to legitimate Palestinian fathers for instance, may be rendered stateless.
As per law No. 6 of 1954 on Nationality (last amended 1987).
Article 4: Any Arab who has resided continuously in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for not less than 15 years may acquire Jordanian nationality, by decision of the Council of Ministers taken on a proposal by the Minister of Internal Affairs, if he renounces his nationality of origin and the law of his country permits him to do so, provided that:
(1)He is of good conduct and has never been convicted of an offence involving his honour or morals;
(2)He has lawful means of livelihood;
(3)He is of sound mind and does not suffer from any impairment that would make him a burden on society;
(4)He takes an oath of allegiance and loyalty to his Majesty before a justice of the peace.
Article 12: Any person other than a Jordanian who is not incapable by law may apply to the Council of Ministers for grant of a certificate of Jordanian naturalization if:
(1)He has been regularly resident in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for a period of four years preceding the date of his application;
(2)He intends to reside in the Hashemite Kingdom of the Jordan.
Birth in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Birth in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan does not in itself confer Jordanian citizenship. Therefore, Jus soli does not apply.
Loss of Jordanian citizenship
A Jordanian may neither lose Jordanian citizenship nor acquire the nationality of another nation without the consent of the Board of Ministers, unless that other nation is an Arab state.
Jordanian law permits voluntary renunciation of Jordanian citizenship, with the permission of the Board of Ministers. Someone wishing to renounce his/her citizenship must contact the a Jordanian consular or diplomatic officer or a Jordanian embassy within a foreign nation and pay the required fee and further be approved by the Ministry of the Interior.
Loss due to cessation of paternity
A child whose Jordanian citizenship depends on paternal links loses citizenship when those are cut.
Loss due to adoption
A Jordanian child adopted by foreign parents is considered to have lost Jordanian citizenship.
Where a former Jordanian citizen lost citizenship due to adoption by foreign parents and that adoption is later annulled, the Jordanian citizenship is considered to never have been lost.
Even though Jordanian nationality law permits multiple citizenship, a Jordanian national who also holds another country's citizenship may be required to renounce the foreign citizenship, under the foreign country's nationality law. A dual Jordanian-Japanese national must, for instance, make a declaration of choice, to the Japanese Ministry of Justice, before turning 22, as to whether he or she wants to keep the Jordanian or Japanese citizenship.
Loss due to misconduct
A person who commits misconduct that undermines the security of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan may be stripped and his family of their citizenships
Loss due to foreign defense registration
A person who joins the Armed Forces of another state will lose his/her Jordanian citizenship.
Since 2010, there has been an increasing public demand for giving the opportunity for Jordanian women to transmit their Jordanian nationality to their children and also to their husbands. In recent years, growing domestic pressures and foreign concerns have demanded the Jordanian government to grant civil rights to the children of Jordanian women married to foreigners, including the right to receive treatment in hospitals affiliated with the Ministry of Health, the right to obtain residency permits and the right to education in public schools and universities. This is in addition to their right to work, obtain driver’s licenses and perhaps grant them ordinary passports (without a national number) to facilitate their travel outside the country.
On 7 September 2014, amidst growing public outcry and pressures from foreign leaders such as the United States Secretary of State John Kerry, Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour announced the government's approval to grant children of Jordanian women married to foreigners certain privileges and facilities to ease their lives within Jordan.
|“||Today we meet to fulfil our pledge to the children of our Jordanian daughters by accepting many of what the parliamentary committee suggested by facilitating numerous official matters for their children from a foreign marriage.||”|
The regulations were issued on 4 January 2015 and, near the end of the month, the Civil Status and Passports Department (CSPD) had received 9,741 applications to issue special identification cards for children of Jordanian women married to foreigners. Marwan Qteishat, director of the CSPD, told The Jordan Times near the end of January 2015 that they had issued 965 identification cards and processed 2,148 applications.
Revocation of citizenship from Jordanian citizens of Palestinian origin
Since 1988, and especially over the past few years, the Jordanian government has been arbitrarily and without notice withdrawing Jordanian nationality from its citizens of Palestinian origin, making them stateless. As Human Rights Watch has stated, this is in direct violation of Jordan's nationality law, which provides that non-Jewish Palestinian residents in 1949 or thereafter received full Jordanian nationality following Jordan's incorporation of the West Bank in April 1950.
Palestinians who moved from the West Bank (whether refugees or not) to Jordan, are issued yellow-ID cards to distinguish them from the Palestinians of the "official 10 refugee camps" in Jordan. From 1988 to 2012, thousands of those yellow-ID card Palestinians had their Jordanian citizenship revoked. Jordan's Interior Minister Nayef al-Kadi said:
"Our goal is to prevent Israel from emptying the Palestinian territories of their original inhabitants," the minister explained, confirming that the kingdom had begun revoking the citizenship of Palestinians. "We should be thanked for taking this measure," he said. "We are fulfilling our national duty because Israel wants to expel the Palestinians from their homeland."
Human Rights Watch estimated that about 2,700 Palestinians were stripped of Jordanian nationality between 2004 and 2008. It is estimated that over 40,000 Palestinians were affected by this policy.
The Jordanian government has said that these actions are akin to those of other Arab nations with the intention of helping Jordanians of Palestinian descent by requiring those who fled the West Bank or Jerusalem after the war in 1967 to keep their Israeli documents valid since the Israeli government continues to shift further right-wing under the leadership of its conservative foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman. Nabil Sharif, the former minister of state for media affairs and Jordanian ambassador to Morocco, said:
|“||It is no secret that some elements in Israel would like to see the Palestinian areas without the people. We do not want to be party to this.||”|
However, many have criticized the actions of the Jordanian government as an underhanded move to preserve the government's own interest by trying to appease non-Palestinian Jordanians concerned about the growing economic and political influence of citizens of Palestinian descent, which Nabil Sharif had denied.
- Abu Toameh, Khaled (20 July 2009). "Amman revoking Palestinians' citizenship". The Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on 29 April 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2009.
- Demonizing Israel is bad for the Palestinians, by Mudar Zarhan, 01/08/2010, Jerusalem Post
- Jordan: Stop Withdrawing Nationality from Palestinian-Origin Citizens - Human Rights Watch.
- Abu Toame, Yaakov; Katz, Khaled (12 August 2009). "Israel: We 'won't make Jordan Palestine'". The Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on 29 September 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2009.
- Jordan promises to stop revoking citizenship from Palestinians - Times of Israel