Constitution of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea/Part IV

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Constitution of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea
The Government of Papua New Guinea
Part IV
Parts:

I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, XI, X, XI, XII, XIII

Schedules:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

PART IV.—CITIZENSHIP[edit]

PART IV.—CITIZENSHIP.

Division 1.—Introductory[edit]

Division 1.—Introductory.

64. Dual citizenship.

  • (1) Notwithstanding the succeeding provisions of this Part but subject to Subsection (2), no person who has a real foreign citizenship may be or become a citizen, and the provisions of this Part shall be read subject to that prohibition.
  • (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person who has not yet reached the age of 19 years, provided that, before he reaches that age and in such manner as is prescribed by or under an Act of the Parliament, he renounces his other citizenship and makes the Declaration of Loyalty.
  • (3) A person who has a real foreign citizenship and fails to comply with Subsection (2) ceases to be a citizen of Papua New Guinea when he reaches the age of 19 years.
  • (4) For the purposes of this section, a person who—
    • (a) was, immediately before Independence Day, an Australian citizen or an Australian Protected Person by virtue of—
      • (i) birth in the former Territory of Papua; or
      • (ii) birth in the former Territory of New Guinea and registration under Section 11 of the Australian Citizenship Act 1948-1975 of Australia; and
    • (b) was never granted a right (whether revocable or not) to permanent residence in Australia,
  • has no real foreign citizenship.

Division 2.—Acquisition of Citizenship[edit]

Division 2.—Acquisition of Citizenship.

65. Automatic citizenship on Independence Day.

  • (1) A person born in the country before Independence Day who has two grand-parents who were born in the country or an adjacent area is a citizen.
  • (2) A person born outside the country before Independence Day who has two grand-parents born in the country is a citizen as from Independence Day if—
    • (a) within one year after Independence Day or such longer period as the Minister responsible for citizenship matters allows in a particular case, application is made by him or on his behalf for registration as a citizen; and
    • (b) he renounces any other citizenship and makes the Declaration of Loyalty—
      • (i) if he has not reached the age of 19 years—in accordance with Section 64(2) (dual citizenship); or
      • (ii) if he has reached the age of 19 years—at or before the time when the application is made.
  • (3) In Subsection (1), "adjacent area" means an area that immediately before Independence Day constituted—
    • (a) the Solomon Islands; or
    • (b) the Province of the Republic of Indonesia known as Irian Jaya; or
    • (c) the islands in Torres Straits annexed to the then Colony of Queensland under Letters Patent of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland bearing date the 10th day of October in the forty-second year of the reign of Her Majesty Queen Victoria (that is, 1878),
  • not forming on Independence Day part of the area of Papua New Guinea.
  • (4) Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply to a person who—
    • (a) has a right (whether revocable or not) to permanent residence in Australia; or
    • (b) is a naturalized Australian citizen; or
    • (c) is registered as an Australian citizen under Section 11 of the Australian Citizenship Act 1948-1975 of Australia; or
    • (d) is a citizen of a country other than Australia,
  • unless that person renounces his right to residence in Australia or his status as a citizen of Australia or of another country in accordance with Subsection (5).
  • (5) A person to whom Subsection (4) applies may, within the period of two months after Independence Day and in such manner as may be prescribed by or under an Act of the Parliament, renounce his right to permanent residence in Australia or his status as an Australian citizen or as a citizen of another country and make the Declaration of Loyalty.
  • (6) Where in his opinion it is just to do so, the Minister responsible for citizenship matters may in his deliberate judgement (but subject to Division 4 (Citizenship Advisory Committee)), extend the period of two months referred to in Subsection (4), but unless the Minister is satisfied that the applicant—
    • (a) assumed in error that he was a citizen; or
    • (b) did not know that he was not a citizen; or
    • (c) had no reasonable opportunity or not enough time to determine his status,
  • the period may not be extended beyond a further two months.

66. Citizenship by descent.

  • (1) A person who—
    • (a) is born in the country on or after Independence Day; and
    • (b) had one parent who was a citizen or who, if he had survived to Independence Day, would have been or would have been entitled to become, such a citizen,
  • is a citizen.
  • (2) A person—
    • (a) who is born outside the country on or after Independence Day; and
    • (b) who had one parent who was a citizen or who, if he had survived to Independence Day, would have been, or would have been entitled to become, such a citizen; and
    • (c) whose birth is registered as prescribed by or under an Act of the Parliament made for the purposes of this subsection,
  • is a citizen.

67. Citizenship by naturalization.

  • (1) A person who has resided continuously in the country for at least eight years may apply to the Minister responsible for citizenship matters to be naturalized as a citizen, and the Minister may, if he is satisfied as to the matters referred to in Subsection (2), in his deliberate judgement (but subject to Division 4 (Citizenship Advisory Committee)), grant or refuse the application.
  • (2) To be eligible for naturalization, a person must—
    • (a) be of good character; and
    • (b) intend to reside permanently in the country; and
    • (c) unless prevented by physical or mental disability, speak and understand Pisin or Hiri Motu, or a vernacular of the country, sufficiently for normal conversational purposes; and
    • (d) have a respect for the customs and cultures of the country; and
    • (e) be unlikely to be or become a charge on public funds; and
    • (f) have a reasonable knowledge and understanding of the rights, privileges, responsibilities and duties of citizenship; and
    • (g) renounce, in such manner as is prescribed by or under an Act of the Parliament, any other citizenship and make the Declaration of Loyalty.
  • (3) If an applicant for naturalization so requests, any child of the applicant who is under voting age at the time when the applicant is naturalized becomes a citizen by naturalization on the naturalization of the applicant.

68. Special provisions relating to naturalization.

  • (1) A person who is eligible to become a citizen under Section 67(1) (citizenship by naturalization) and holds an executive office by virtue of being a member of an elective body shall cease to hold that office at the expiration of a period of two months after Independence Day unless within that time he makes application under that section to be naturalized and that application is granted.
  • (2) Without limiting the matters that may be taken into account in deciding on the application for naturalization, under Section 67 (citizenship by naturalization) the following matters shall be taken into account in deciding on an application that is made during the first eight years after Independence Day:—
    • (a) if the applicant is a person to whom Section 65(4) (automatic citizenship on Independence Day) applies, whether he acquired the right of permanent residence in Australia or became an Australian citizen otherwise than by reason of a voluntary act (other than marriage) on his part; and
    • (b) whether the applicant has at any time accepted pay and conditions of employment that were not in general applicable—
      • (i) before Independence Day, to persons who qualify or would, if they had survived to that day, have qualified for citizenship under Section 65 (automatic citizenship on Independence Day); or
      • (ii) after Independence Day, to citizens; and
    • (c) whether the major part of the investment and business interests of the applicant are and have been in the country; and
    • (d) whether the applicant is or has been married to a citizen or to a person who, if he had survived to Independence Day, would have been, or would have been entitled to become, a citizen, and the nature of the family ties of the applicant; and
    • (e) the length and nature of the residence of the applicant in the country; and
    • (f) any performance by the applicant of services beneficial to Papua New Guinea or its people; and
    • (g) any sacrifices made by the applicant in the interests of Papua New Guinea or its people; and
    • (h) the applicant's knowledge of Pisin or Hiri Motu or of a vernacular of the country; and
    • (i) whether or not the application of the applicant includes the children (if any) under voting age of the applicant; and
    • (j) any references given as to the good character and suitability for citizenship of the applicant; and
    • (k) the place of birth and the parentage of the applicant.
  • (3) Notwithstanding anything in a Constitutional Law, a benefit, right or privilege, directly or indirectly, conferred upon "Papua New Guineans" or "natives" or "local persons" or "non-overseas persons" or "citizens" (where that term is to take effect after the making of a law relating to citizenship) by any pre-Independence law shall continue to be enjoyed only by persons who became citizens of Papua New Guinea under Section 65 (automatic citizenship on Independence Day) but only—
    • (a) for a period of ten years after Independence Day; or
    • (b) until an Act of the Parliament takes away that benefit, right or privilege,
  • whichever first occurs.
  • (4) Notwithstanding anything in a Constitutional Law, during the five years after Independence Day only persons who become citizens of Papua New Guinea under Section 65 (automatic citizenship on Independence Day) shall have the rights conferred by Section 53 (protection from unjust deprivation of property) except that during this period the rights of a person who becomes a citizen otherwise than under Section 65 (automatic citizenship on Independence Day) in respect of his property shall not be less than those accorded by law to non-citizens.
  • (5) Notwithstanding anything in a Constitutional Law, but subject to Subsection (6), an Act of the Parliament made in the period of ten years after Independence Day may confer a benefit, right or privilege on persons who became citizens of Papua New Guinea under Section 65 (automatic citizenship on Independence Day).
  • (6) An Act of the Parliament referred to in Subsection (5)—
    • (a) shall not derogate the rights conferred by Sections 32 to 58 (basic rights) except the rights conferred by Section 55 (equality of citizens); and
    • (b) shall be for the purpose of giving advantage or assistance to persons who become citizens of Papua New Guinea under Section 65 (automatic citizenship on Independence Day).

69. Application for naturalization.

  • (1) Subject to Subsection (2), an application for naturalization under Section 67 (citizenship by naturalization) must be made—
    • (a) in the case of a person who has resided continuously in the country for eight years or more before Independence Day—within two months after Independence Day; and
    • (b) in the case of any other person—within two months after the completion by him of eight years continuous residence in the country.
  • (2) Where in his opinion it is just to do so, the Minister responsible for citizenship matters may in his deliberate judgement, (but subject to Division 4 (Citizenship Advisory Committee)) extend the periods referred to in Subsection (1) where he is satisfied that—
    • (a) the person was unaware of the provisions of Subsection (1); or
    • (b) there are special circumstances.

Division 3.—Loss and Regaining of Citizenship[edit]

Division 3.—Loss and Regaining of Citizenship.

70. Automatic loss of citizenship.

  • (1) A citizen who has reached voting age and is of full capacity who—
    • (a) obtains the nationality or citizenship of another country by a voluntary act (other than marriage); or
    • (b) exercises a right that is exclusive to nationals or citizens of another country, unless the Minister responsible for citizenship matters is satisfied that the right was exercised inadvertently; or
    • (c) takes an oath or makes a declaration or affirmation of allegiance to another country or to the Sovereign or Head of State of another country; or
    • (d) does, agrees to or adopts any act (other than marriage) by which he becomes a national or citizen of another country; or
    • (e) enters or serves in the armed forces of another country, except with the express approval of the Head of State, acting with, and in accordance with, the advice of the National Executive Council; or
    • (f) except as permitted by an Act of the Parliament, votes in a national, provincial, state or local election, or accepts elective office, of another country; or
    • (g) subject to Subsection (3), travels under the protection of a passport or purported passport of another country in which he is described as a citizen or national of that country,
  • loses his citizenship.
  • (2) A person who is found by a court to have obtained citizenship by a false representation, fraud or concealment of a material fact on his part loses his citizenship, unless the Minister responsible for citizenship matters is satisfied that the offence was of a minor nature and that revelation of the true fact would not have affected the grant of naturalization.
  • (3) Subsection (1)(g) does not apply to—
    • (a) a person who is absent from the country on Independence Day, who continues to travel under the protection of a passport of another country, but only until—
      • (i) the expiration of the then-current period of validity of the passport; or
      • (ii) his return to the country,
    • whichever first happens; or
    • (b) a person travelling under the protection of the passport of a parent or guardian; or
    • (c) a person travelling under the protection of a passport of another country with the approval of the Minister responsible for citizenship matters.

71. Acts done under compulsion of law.

The preceding provisions of this Division do not apply to any act done under compulsion of law of another country.

72. Renunciation of citizenship.

  • (1) Subject to Subsections (2) and (3), a citizen who has reached voting age and is of full capacity may renounce his citizenship in such manner and on such conditions as are prescribed by or under an Act of the Parliament.
  • (2) A person may not renounce his citizenship unless—
    • (a) he already holds some other nationality or citizenship; or
    • (b) the renunciation is for the purpose of his obtaining some other nationality or citizenship.
  • (3) During a time of war, citizenship may not be renounced without the prior consent of the Minister responsible for citizenship matters.

73. Regaining citizenship.

  • (1) Subject to Subsection (2), citizenship once lost can be regained—
    • (a) in the case of citizenship by virtue of Section 65 (automatic citizenship on Independence Day) or 66 (citizenship by descent)—only after five years' continuous residence in the country after the loss of citizenship, and in the deliberate judgement (but subject to Division 4 (Citizenship Advisory Committee)) of the Minister responsible for citizenship matters; and
    • (b) in the case of citizenship by naturalization—only in accordance with the law relating to naturalization, for which purpose any period of residence in the country before the loss of citizenship shall be disregarded.
  • (2) Where a person—
    • (a) was a citizen by virtue of Section 65 (automatic citizenship on Independence Day) or 66 (citizenship by descent); and
    • (b) married, before, on or after Independence Day, a person who was a national or citizen of another country; and
    • (c) became, on or during the marriage, a national or citizen of the country of which his spouse was at that time a national or citizen,
  • and the marriage has permanently broken up, the reference in Subsection (1)(a) to a period of five years shall be read as a reference to a period of three years commencing—
    • (d) if the person was, at the time when the marriage broke up, resident in the country—on the date on which it broke up; or
    • (e) if the person was at that time resident outside the country—on his return to reside in the country.

74. Loss and regaining of citizenship by certain children.

  • (1) Where—
    • (a) a parent of a child loses his citizenship; and
    • (b) the Minister is satisfied on application on behalf of the child that it is for the welfare of the child to do so,
  • the Minister responsible for citizenship matters may, by order, deprive the child of his citizenship.
  • (2) A person aggrieved by an order under Subsection (1) may appeal to the National Court.
  • (3) An Act of the Parliament may make special provision to facilitate the regaining of citizenship by persons who lose their citizenship by reason of the loss of citizenship by a parent.

Division 4.—Citizenship Advisory Committee[edit]

Division 4.—Citizenship Advisory Committee.

75. The Committee.

  • (1) An Act of the Parliament shall make provision for a Citizenship Advisory Committee, all of the members of which must be citizens (other than naturalized citizens).
  • (2) The Committee shall consist of—
    • (a) four permanent members, at least two of whom are members of the Parliament other than Ministers; and
    • (b) one ad hoc member to represent the community in which the person to whom a matter before the Committee relates resides.

76. Functions of the Committee.

  • (1)Note-XVII Before taking any action under this Part in relation to a person, the Minister responsible for citizenship matters shall refer the matter to the Citizenship Advisory Committee and receive its advice.
  • (2) If the Minister refuses to accept the advice of the Committee on any matter referred to it under Subsection (1), he shall, if so requested by a person affected or by the Committee, give to the Parliament, as soon as practicable, a statement on the matter setting out the reasons for his refusal, and the Parliament may reverse his decision on such conditions as it thinks proper.
  • (3) The reversal by the Parliament of a decision to grant or to allow the regaining of citizenship, or to grant a certificate under Section 81 (certificate as to citizenship), takes effect, subject to any conditions to which it is made subject, as a deprivation of citizenship on the date of the reversal.
  • (4) The reversal by the Parliament of a decision to refuse to grant citizenship to a person, to deprive a person of citizenship or to refuse to grant a certificate under Section 81 (certificate as to citizenship) takes effect retrospectively to the date of the decision.
  • (5) The Committee has such powers and such other functions and duties as are conferred or imposed by or under an Act of the Parliament.

Division 5.—General[edit]

Division 5.—General.

77. Special provisions for certain persons.

  • (1) A foundling discovered at any time in the country shall, in the absence of proof to the contrary, be deemed to be the child of parents at least one of whom was, or if he had survived would have been, a citizen.
  • (2) Where the identity or the citizenship status of a parent of a child born in the country is unknown or doubtful, the parent shall be deemed to have been, in the absence of proof to the contrary, a person who was, or if he had survived would have been, a citizen.
  • (3) For the purposes of this Part, a posthumous child of a person has the same status as he would have had if he had been born immediately before the date of the death of his father.

78. Effect of adoption.

  • (1) Where the citizenship status or entitlement of a person is to be determined by reference to a parent or grand-parent and the person, or a parent of the person, was adopted under a law at any time in force in the country or any other place, the status or entitlement shall be determined by reference to the natural parents or grand-parents, except that the Minister responsible for citizenship matters may, in his deliberate judgement (but subject to Division 4 (Citizenship Advisory Committee)), allow an adoptive parent or grand-parent to be taken into account where the result would be to recognize citizenship or the entitlement to citizenship.
  • (2) In Subsection (1), a reference to adoption includes a reference to an adoption by custom.

79. Place of birth of certain persons.

For the purposes of this Part—

  • (a) a person born on a registered ship or aircraft shall be deemed to have been born at the place where the ship or aircraft was registered; and
  • (b) a person born on an unregistered ship or aircraft belonging to the government of a country shall be deemed to have been born in that country.

80. "Residence".

Subject to any Act of the Parliament, a requirement in this Part of a period of residence in a place is not satisfied by—

  • (a) residence in custody under sentence awaiting deportation or removal from the country; or
  • (b) residence as an unlawful immigrant.

81. Certificate as to citizenship.

  • (1) A person whose status or entitlement in relation to Citizenship of Papua New Guinea is, or may be, in doubt may apply to the Minister responsible for citizenship matters for a certificate under this section.
  • (2) If the Minister is satisfied that the applicant is, or is entitled to become, a citizen, he may, in his deliberate judgement (but subject to Division 4 (Citizenship Advisory Committee)), grant a certificate stating that the person is or may become a citizen by virtue of a provision specified in the certificate.
  • (3) Subject to Section 76 (functions of the Committee), a certificate under this section is (unless it is proved that it was obtained by means of a false representation, fraud or concealment of a material fact) conclusive evidence that on the material date the person concerned was, is or may become a citizen in accordance with the terms of the certificate.

Notes to amendments[edit]

footnotes to amendments:

Note-XVII[edit]

  • Section 76(1) was amended by Constitutional Amendment No. 5.—Citizenship.Note-XVII

References[edit]