Comoros is an island republic in the Indian Ocean, nestled between Mozambique and Madagascar on Africa’s eastern coast. Home to striking white beaches, and a large active volcano, it is one of the world’s poorest countries, with a population of over 800,000 people and a gross domestic product of $1.2 billion, it is one of the least populous countries in the world. On Grande, Comore is Moroni, the capital city. For years, the island has served as a stopping off point on the mercantile routes from the East towards Africa and to the West, making a major contribution to the global economy. After gaining its independence from France on 6th July 1975, the Government has made significant efforts to develop the business environment, to promote favorable investment conditions and tax laws that stimulate foreign investment into the country.
If you are interested in settling permanently here, then it might interest you to know that the nationality law is governed by the Constitution, as amended; the Nationality Code, and its revisions; as well as several international treaties to which the country is a signatory. These laws define who is a citizen and who is not. This guide covers all the basics a foreigner should know before applying for citizenship.
What are the options?
Citizenship in Comoros is usually given based on jus soli, i.e., birth within the territory, or jus sanguinis, i.e., birth outside to native citizens. It may also be obtained by persons with an affiliation here, or by a permanent resident who has resided for a specified period. Sadly, there is room for nationality to be acquired through investment programs.
Citizenship by Birth
Persons who are eligible to acquire this at birth whether they are born on the island or in a foreign nation include:
- Native-born children have at least one parent who is a native-born citizen.
- Children born to foreigners who have remained on the islands for the bulk of their lives
Orphans that have been discovered in the region and whose parentage are unknown
Citizenship by naturalization
The right to be a citizen can be granted to persons who have lived for a stipulated time. They must, however, have a thorough awareness of the people’s culture and customs. Aside from foreigners who meet the requirements, other persons who can apply to be citizens include:
- The legal spouse of a Comorian national after marriage
- The husband of a national who has spent at least five years on the island
- Minor children and a wife whose parent or spouse becomes a citizen
- Persons adopted by a citizen when they are minor can apply when they have attained the legal age, even without the residency period
- Persons who have made significant contributions to the artistic, literary, or scientific development here, may apply after five years of residency
- A foreigner who has provided exceptional services to the government can apply, without meeting residency requirements
The general provisions applicable to applicants interested in settling indefinitely here include having good mental and physical health, being a person of good character and morals, having sufficient and sustainable means to cater for himself or herself, and being a resident that has resided here for at least ten years. Fortunately, there is room for dual citizenship, so a foreigner can retain their previous citizenship even after approval.
Applications for citizenship take time to process. Depending on the type, an applicant might have to wait for as long as two months for processing.
Usually, applicants pay a one-time application fee, and then upon approval, they pay for the certificate of citizenship. Unlike the investment program, which charged a processing fee for each member of the family, there is no fixed price for others.