From Independence to 2010, the Constitution and citizenship laws did not allow dual nationality. While Kenya could not stop its citizens from acquiring other nationalities, it meant automatic loss of their Kenyan citizenship.
However, there were categories of Kenyans who, by default, held dual nationality even under the repealed Constitution: One was a Kenyan child born to say a Kenyan father and a French mother, or mother that holds another nationality.
Such a child in France remained a dual citizen up to the age of 18, when he or she would choose which nationality to retain. Automatically the child was french, hence loosing kenyan, but if they choose kenyan then they lost the french one.
In America such a child remained a dual citizen up to the age of 23, when he or she would choose which nationality to retain. If they chose the other, then they lost the Kenyan one.
Another group of Kenyans that never lost their citizenship was Kenyan women married in countries where automatically they became citizens of those countries that their spouses came from, such as Switzerland.
So if you aquire nationality of another country before 2010
If you aquire French nationality or of another country before 2010 by either marriage or naturalization, you automatically lost your kenyan nationality.
WHAT THE KENYA LAW SAYS
Section 10(1) of the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act, 2011 provides :
- A person who was a citizen of Kenya by birth and who ceased to be a citizen of Kenya because he or she acquired the citizenship of another country may apply in the prescribed manner, to the Cabinet Secretary to regain Kenyan citizenship.
- The application shall be accompanied by—
- proof of applicant’s previous Kenyan citizenship;
- proof of citizenship of the other country
REGAINING KENYA CITIZENSHIP WHILE ABROAD
A citizen by birth who acquired citizenship of another country, and renounced the Kenyan citizenship may apply to regain citizenship according to ARTICLE 14(1), (2) AND (5) OF THE CONSTITUTION OF KENYA.
1. Declaration form duly completed Form 5
2. (Two) 2 Copies of Kenyan passport or identity card previously held
3. (Two) 2 Notarized copies of valid Passport of the other country
4. (Two) 2 Notarized copies of Naturalization Certificate of the other country
5. (Two) 2 passport size pictures. (NB: Most current picture taken maximum within the last one month.)
6. A Money Order or Cashiers Check of $120.00 : (Payable to Embassy of The Republic of Kenya)
DECLARATION OF DUAL CITIZENSHIP
A dual citizen is required to disclose her/his other citizenship within three months of becoming a dual citizen
1. Declaration form duly completed Form 2
2. (Two) 2 Copies of valid Kenyan Passport
3. (Two) 2 Copies of valid Kenyan National I.D and / or Kenyan Birth Certificate
4. (Two) 2 Notarized copies of valid Passport of the other country
5. (Two) 2 Notarized copies of Naturalization Certificate of the other country
6. (Two) 2 passport size pictures. (NB: Most current picture taken maximum within the last one month.)
7.Applicant must be 18 years or above
A child (legitimate or natural) automatically acquires French citizenship at birth if one parent is French (double jus soli- double right of the soil or birthright). Before 2010 children born of one Kenyan parent were allowed dual citizenship up to the age of 18. According to Kenyan law then, such children would then need to choose between Kenyan or French citizenship and in the event where they chose the french one or retained their french citizenship then they would automatically loose the Kenyan one. French nationality law allows dual citizenship of France that is acquired by birth if a child is born to a French parent or by filiation and naturalization; hence one never looses it by the simple fact of holding another nationality. French nationality law is mainly based on the principle of “right of the soil” (jus soli) or birthright citizenship, and has supported dual citizenship since 1970
Thats why children born in France are automatically French, if the two parents are kenyan, at the age of 18 (s)he can opt for kenyan nationality but the necessary procedures must be done to the kenyan authorities.