Tongan nationality law

Last updated
Tongan Citizenship Act
Coat of arms of Tonga.svg
Parliament of Tonga
An Act relating to Tongan citizenship
Enacted by Government of Tonga
Status: Current legislation

Nationality and citizenship in the Kingdom of Tonga are currently defined and regulated by the Nationality (Amendment) Act 2007.

Tonga country in Oceania

Tonga, officially the Kingdom of Tonga, is a Polynesian country and archipelago comprising 169 islands, of which 36 are inhabited. The total surface area is about 750 square kilometres (290 sq mi) scattered over 700,000 square kilometres (270,000 sq mi) of the southern Pacific Ocean. The sovereign state has a population of 100,651 people, of whom 70% reside on the main island of Tongatapu.

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Obtention of citizenship

Tonga's Constitution [1] does not include a specific clause on nationality or citizenship. However, clause 29 pertains to naturalisation:

Any foreigner after he has resided in the Kingdom for the space of five years or more may with the consent of the King take the oath of allegiance and he may be granted Letters of Naturalization and all naturalized subjects shall have the same rights and privileges as native born subjects of Tonga with the exception that they shall not be entitled to the rights of hereditary tax allotments.

Specific legislation, therefore, defines nationality and citizenship. The most recent piece of legislation, in 2007, was the Nationality (Amendment) Act, designed to revoke the ban on dual citizenship.

At present, Tongan nationality may be obtained by birth in Tonga to a Tongan parent, by birth abroad to a Tongan parent, by marriage, and by naturalisation. A person born overseas to a Tongan parent automatically obtains Tongan nationality, even if he or she also has the nationality of his or her country of birth. [2]

In February 2008, two former Tongan citizens who had lost their Tongan nationality by obtaining the nationality of other countries (one had become an American, the other an Australian) were the first to re-obtain Tongan nationality through application on the basis of the 2007 Nationality (Amendment) Act. [3] Re-obtaining citizenship in this way entails submitting an application to the King, having this application reviewed by the Minister for Immigration, and swearing an oath of allegiance. [4]

United States federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

Tongans and Commonwealth citizenship

Tongan citizens are also Commonwealth citizens, and are thereby entitled to certain rights in the United Kingdom - notably the right to vote and stand for election.

In general, a Commonwealth citizen is a citizen of a member state of the Commonwealth of Nations. This designation is given legal effect in the nationality laws of some Commonwealth countries, and Commonwealth citizens may enjoy some privileges in the United Kingdom and, less commonly, other member states. Each Commonwealth country determines what special rights, if any, are accorded to citizens of other Commonwealth countries. The status is most significant in British law and has little effect in many other Commonwealth countries, such as Canada.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom, officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland but more commonly known as the UK or Britain, is a sovereign country lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state‍—‌the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

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United States nationality law Law of American nationality and citizenship

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Barbadian nationality law

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Australian nationality law

Australian nationality law determines who is and who is not an Australian citizen. The status of Australian nationality or Australian citizenship was created by the Nationality and Citizenship Act 1948, which came into force on 26 January 1949. The 1948 Act was amended many times, notably in 1973, 1984, 1986 and 2002. It has been replaced by the Australian Citizenship Act 2007, commencing on 1 July 2007.

New Zealand nationality law

New Zealand nationality law determines who is and who is not a New Zealand citizen. The status of New Zealand citizenship was created on 1 January 1949 by the British Nationality and New Zealand Citizenship Act 1948. Prior to this date, New Zealanders were only British subjects and New Zealand had the same nationality legislation as the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries.

Irish nationality law

Irish nationality law is contained in the provisions of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Acts 1956 to 2004 and in the relevant provisions of the Irish Constitution. A person may be an Irish citizen through birth, descent, marriage to an Irish citizen or through naturalisation. The law grants citizenship to individuals born in Northern Ireland under the same conditions as those born in the Republic of Ireland.

This article concerns the history of British nationality law.

Dutch nationality law

Dutch nationality law is based primarily on the principle of jus sanguinis and is governed by the Kingdom Act on the Netherlands nationality, which was signed by the monarch on 19 December 1984 and officially promulgated on 27 December 1984. Thus citizenship is conferred primarily by birth to a Dutch parent, irrespective of place of birth. Children born in the Netherlands to two foreign parents do not acquire Dutch citizenship at birth, unless special criteria are met.

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Turkish nationality law

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Ghanaian nationality law

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Nigerian nationality law

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The nationality law of the Federated States of Micronesia determines who is or may become a citizen or national of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). Article III of the Constitution of the Federated States of Micronesia provides the basis for nationality law, while specific provisions are elaborated in 7 FSMC § 201 et seq.

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