Citizenship is based upon the Malawi Citizenship Act, dated July 6, 1966. Every person who was a citizen of Malawi before July 6, 1966, continues to be a citizen of Malawi. (UKC-Commonwealth Nation)
Birth within the territory of Malawi does not automatically confer citizenship. The exception is a child born of unknown parents.
Children born in Malawi, on or after July 6, 1966, whose father or mother is a citizen of Malawi, are citizens. Children born abroad, on or after July 6, 1966, one of whose parents is a native-born citizen of Malawi, are also citizens of Malawi.
Malawian citizenship may be acquired upon fulfillment of the following conditions:
- Person is of an African race or has Commonwealth or Malawian ties, has resided five years in the country, has adequate knowledge of the English language, intends to reside permanently in Malawi, and will renounce previous citizenship. (Aliens without the national ties must have resided for seven years.)
- Dual citizenship is not recognized in Malawi, exception if a child is born abroad and who obtains citizenship of country of birth, may maintain dual citizenship until age 21. The person must renounce the other citizenship within one year or Malawian citizenship will be revoked.
- A citizen of Malawi, age 22 or older, who obtains new citizenship through other than voluntary means (for example, marriage) has one year to declare a desire to retain Malawian citizenship or it will be revoked.
- Voluntary renunciation of Malawian citizenship is permitted by law. Contact the Embassy for details and required paperwork.
However the following are grounds for involuntary loss of naturalized or registered Malawian citizenship:
- Person exercises rights or privileges of another country.
- Citizenship was obtained through fraud or false statements.
- Person has been arrested and imprisoned within seven years of citizenship.
- Person has shown disloyalty or treason against Malawian government.
- Person has been resident outside Malawi for seven years or more without proper registration with Consulate.