Examine difference between nationality and domicile and describe briefly the ways in which Kenya nationality may be acquired.

Nationality: is a matter of status and it affects a person’s relation with the out-side world. It is a political relationship between a person and a particular State. A person’s domicile is quite distinct from, his nationality. His domicile is a place where he lives permanently, or which he treats as his official home.

Domicile may be of origin or of choice. A person is born with a domicile of origin and it would change if the parents changed their residence or domicile. A domicile of choice may be acquired by a person of full age and capacity, who takes up residence in a different country with the intention to reside there permanently. A woman on her marriage automatically acquires her husband’s domicile , and thereafter her domicile is dependent on, and changes with, that of her husband whilst the marriage subsists.

The citizenship of Kenya may be acquired by one of the following ways:

  1. By Birth. Every person born in Kenya after December, 11, 1963, shall become a citizen of Kenya if at the date of his birth, one of his parents is a citizen of Kenya.
  2. By Descent. Any person born outside Kenya anywhere in the world after 11th December will become a citizen of Kenya if at the date of his birth his father is a citizen of Kenya.
  3. By Registration. Any woman married to a citizen of Kenya is entitled to be registered as a citizen of Kenya.
  4. By naturalization. Naturalization is the process by which a person become a citizen of a country in which he was formerly an alien. Citizenship under this heading is acquired at the discretion of the Minister for Home Affairs by an alien who can show that,
  • he has attained the age of twenty-one,
  • he has resided in Kenya for five years out of the last seven years including the last year preceding application,
  • he has adequate command of Swahili language, and is of good character,
  • he intends to stay in Kenya.
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