What is the change? The National Directorate of Civil Identification has announced that it has suspended the granting of Mozambican citizenship to foreign nationals in order to reorganize the application process.

What does the change mean? Until the process is complete, foreign nationals will not be granted citizenship, even if they meet the qualifying criteria. Citizenship on the basis of marriage to a Mozambican national, however, will continue to be processed by the directorate during the suspension period.

  • Implementation time frame: The suspension has been in force since January and authorities have not indicated when they expect to lift it.
  • Visas/permits affected: Citizenship applications.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals applying for Mozambican citizenship, other than by virtue of marriage to a Mozambican national.
  • Business impact: The suspension is likely to have little business impact, as affected foreign nationals can continue to work in Mozambique on the basis of permanent residence status in the interim.

Background: The directorate announced the temporary suspension last week and confirmed that citizenship applications have been on hold since January. Only applications submitted on the basis of marriage to a Mozambican national will be processed during the suspension period.

BAL Analysis: The suspension is indicative of a wider concern in Mozambique regarding the prevalence of forged immigration and other identity documents. Accordingly, further counter-forgery initiatives are expected to be rolled out by the Mozambican authorities in the coming year.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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