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The Bhutan Citizenship Act, 1977

Conditions Required for the Grant of Citizenship:


  1. In the case of government servants an applicant should have completed 15 years of service without any adverse record.

  2. In the case of those not employed in the Royal Government, an applicant should have resided in Bhutan for a minimum period of 20 years.

  3. In addition, an applicant should have some knowledge of the Bhutanese language both spoken and written and the history of Bhutan. Only those applicants who fulfill the above requirements may apply for grant of citizenship to the Ministry of Home Affairs, which will ascertain the relevant factors and submit the application to the Royal Government for further action.

Eligibility and Power to Grant Citizenship:


  1. The power to grant or reject an application for citizenship rests .solely with the Royal Government. Hence, all applicants who .fulfill the above conditions are not necessarily eligible for grant of citizenship.

  2. Any applicant holding the citizenship of another country or with criminal records in other countries or those who are related to any person involved in activities against the people, the country and the King shall not be granted citizenship even if all the other conditions are fulfilled.

  3. A person granted citizenship by the Royal Government is required to register his/her name in the record of the Royal Government from the date of the grant of the citizenship.

  4. All those granted citizenship are required to take the following oath to be administered by the Home Minister.

    • Henceforth, I owe allegiance only to His Majesty the Druk Gyalpo of Bhutan.

    • I shall abide by observe and the laws and regulations of the Royal Government with unswerving reverence.

    • I shall observe all the customs and traditions of the people of Bhutan.

    • I shall not commit any act against the TSA-WAS-SUM of Bhutan (the country, the people and the King).

    • As a citizen of Bhutan, I hereby take this oath in the name of Yeshey Goempo and undertake to serve the country to the best of my ability.

Special Grant of Citizenship


  1. A foreigner in possession of special or extraordinary qualifications will be granted citizenship without consideration of the required conditions except for the administration of the oath of allegiance.

Renouncement & Re-application of Citizenship:


  1. In the case of a Bhutanese citizen, who having left the country returns and applies for citizenship, the Royal Government shall keep the applicant on probation for a period of at least two years. On successful completion of the probation period, the applicant will be granted citizenship provided the person in question is not responsible for any activities against the Royal Government.

  2. A foreigner who has been granted Bhutanese citizenship may apply to the Royal Government for permission to emigrate with his/her family. Permission will be granted after an investigation of the circumstances relating to such a request. After grant of permission to emigrate, the same person may not re-apply for Bhutanese citizenship. In the event of adult family members of any person permitted to leave the country, who do not wish to leave and makes an application to that effect, the Home Minister will investigate the matter and will permit such persons to remain in the country after ascertaining that the country’s interest is not harmed.

  3. If anyone, whether a real Bhutanese or a foreigner granted citizenship, applies for permission to emigrate during times of crises such as war, the application shall be kept pending until normalcy returns.


Procedure for Acquisition of Citizenship:


  1. When a Bhutanese woman is married to a foreigner, only she is a citizen, her husband and their children will not be considered as Bhutanese citizens. If they desire Bhutanese citizenship, such cases will be considered in conformity with the procedure laid down in this Act applicable to foreigners applying for citizenship.

  2. When a Bhutanese man is married to foreign woman their children will be considered Bhutanese. The wife will have to fulfil the requirements of this Citizenship Act as applicable to foreigners applying for citizenship.

  3. In the case of Bhutanese citizens residing in other countries, the Citizenship Law subhead KA-12 No. 2 which is reproduced below, shall be applicable.

Reproduction of Thrimyic KA 12-2:


  1. With the exception of a genuine Bhutanese whose family is domiciled in Bhutan but he himself has to stay away in another country in connection with the works of the Royal Government, private business or religious practices, all others who live in foreign countries and serve the government and people of such countries or have settled in a foreign country or are holding official posts in a foreign government are considered non-nationals.

Registration Procedure:


  1. All children born of a father who is a Bhutanese citizen should be registered in the official record within one year of their birth whether the children are born inside or outside the country

  2. All children born within the country are required to be listed with the Dzongkhag or the Dungkhag of their birth. Children of Bhutanese parentage born in other countries should be recorded with the Royal Bhutanese Embassies. Where they are no Embassies nearby the information should be conveyed to the Home Ministry through correspondence.

  3. If a child is more than one year old and still not registered in the official record, registration is not permitted but may be applied for to the Home Ministry by the concerned local authority. The Home Ministry will then investigate the matter before granting permission for the registration.

Validity of Census Record:


  1. All census records must bear the seal of Royal Government and the signature of an officer not lower in rank than a Dzongdag. Other records will not be acceptable.

Enquiry of Kashos:


  1. All Kashos with the people which were not granted by His Majesty the King will be investigated by the Home Minister and reported to the Royal Government.

Penalty of Violation of Rules:


  1. Any one having acquired Bhutanese citizenship if involved in acts against the King or speaks against the Royal Government or associates with people involved in activities against the Royal Government shall be deprived of his/her Bhutanese citizenship.

  2. In the case of any person knowingly presenting false information at the time of applying for citizenship, the Kasho granting him/her citizenship will be withdrawn after due verification of the false information presented.

Status of the Provision:


  1. In case of conflict between the provisions of this Act and the Provisions of any previous laws, rules and regulations, the provisions of this Act shall prevail.





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