Jordanian nationality law

Jordanian citizenship is the status of being a citizen of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and it can be obtained by birth or naturalisation.

The Jordanian nationality is transmitted by paternity (father) (see Jus sanguinis). Therefore, a Jordanian man who holds Jordanian citizenship can automatically confer citizenship to his children and foreign wives. Under the current law, descendants of Jordanian emigrants can only receive citizenship from their father as women cannot pass on citizenship to their children or foreign spouses. Since 2010, there has been an increasing public demand for giving the opportunity for Jordanian women to transmit their Jordanian nationality to their children and also to their husbands.

In recent years, Jordan, the only Arab country with a significant population of assimilated Palestinian refugees that provides citizenship, has been found to be unexpectedly stripping Jordanian citizenship from citizens of Palestinian origin, leading to growing concerns and amplifying the national debate over the Palestinian presence in Jordan and the Palestinian right of return in relation to the preservation of Palestinian territories from Israeli forces.

Rights and responsibilities of Jordanian citizens

Rights of citizens

Citizens of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan by law have the legal right to:

Responsibilities of citizens

In a state of necessity, all Jordanian citizens are required, when prescribed by the law of the Jordanian government, to bear arms on behalf of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, to perform noncombatant service in the Jordanian Armed Forces, and to perform work of national importance under civilian direction.

Under the supervision of an official authority, a person convicted by a court of law may be required to do any work or to render any service provided that the person is not hired to or placed at the disposal of any persons, companies, societies or public bodies.

The code

The code covering the Jordanian nationality was issued on 1 January 1954 as the Jordanian Nationality Law of 1954 and was last amended in 1987.

Dual nationality

According to the Jordanian government, there have been no restrictions on multiple citizenship in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan since its 1954 law on Jordanian nationality. Thus, foreigners who acquire Jordanian citizenship and Jordanian citizens who voluntarily acquire another citizenship keep their previous citizenship (subject to the laws of the other country).

Acquisition of Jordanian citizenship

Jus sanguinis

A child is Jordanian at birth if:


1- Arab nationals may become naturalized Jordanian citizens given they have legally resided within Jordan for a period of at least 15 years.

2- Other Foreign nationals may become naturalized Jordanian citizens given they have legally resided within Jordan for a period of at least 4 years.

Simplified naturalization by virtue of marriage

A foreign wife married to a male Jordanian citizen may apply for Jordanian citizenship by facilitated naturalization after having been married for at least 3 years provided is she is an Arab otherwise it is 5 years if she is not an Arab.

Birth in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Birth in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan does not in itself confer Jordanian citizenship. Therefore, Jus soli does not apply.

Loss of Jordanian citizenship

A Jordanian may neither lose Jordanian citizenship nor acquire the nationality of another nation without the consent of the Board of Ministers, unless that other nation is an Arab state.


Jordanian law permits voluntary renunciation of Jordanian citizenship, with the permission of the Board of Ministers. Someone wishing to renounce their citizenship must contact the a Jordanian consular or diplomatic officer or a Jordanian embassy within a foreign nation and pay the required fee and further be approved by the Ministry of the Interior.

Loss due to cessation of paternity

A child whose Jordanian citizenship depends on paternal links loses citizenship when those are cut.

Loss due to adoption

A Jordanian child adopted by foreign parents is considered to have lost Jordanian citizenship.

Annulled adoptions

Where a former Jordanian citizen lost citizenship due to adoption by foreign parents and that adoption is later annulled, the Jordanian citizenship is considered to never have been lost.

Dual Citizenship

Even though Jordanian nationality law permits multiple citizenship, a Jordanian national who also holds another country's citizenship may be required to renounce the foreign citizenship, under the foreign country's nationality law. A dual Jordanian-Japanese national must, for instance, make a declaration of choice, to the Japanese Ministry of Justice, before turning 22, as to whether he or she wants to keep the Jordanian or Japanese citizenship.

Loss due to misconduct

A person who commits misconduct that undermines the security of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan may be stripped of their citizenship.

Loss due to foreign defense registration

A person who joins the Armed Forces of another state will lose their Jordanian citizenship.


Since 2010, there has been an increasing public demand for giving the opportunity for Jordanian women to transmit their Jordanian nationality to their children and also to their husbands. In recent years, growing domestic pressures and foreign concerns have demanded the Jordanian government to grant civil rights to the children of Jordanian women married to foreigners, including the right to receive treatment in hospitals affiliated with the Ministry of Health, the right to obtain residency permits and the right to education in public schools and universities. This is in addition to their right to work, obtain driver’s licenses and perhaps grant them ordinary passports (without a national number) to facilitate their travel outside the country.[1]

On 7 September 2014, amidst growing public outcry and pressures from foreign leaders such as the United States Secretary of State John Kerry, Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour announced the government's approval to grant children of Jordanian women married to foreigners certain privileges and facilities to ease their lives within Jordan.

Today we meet to fulfil our pledge to the children of our Jordanian daughters by accepting many of what the parliamentary committee suggested by facilitating numerous official matters for their children from a foreign marriage.

The regulations were issued on 4 January 2015 and, near the end of the month, the Civil Status and Passports Department (CSPD) had received 9,741 applications to issue special identification cards for children of Jordanian women married to foreigners. Marwan Qteishat, director of the CSPD, told The Jordan Times near the end of January 2015 that they had issued 965 identification cards and processed 2,148 applications.[2]

Revocation of citizenship from Jordanian citizens of Palestinian origin

Since 1988, and especially over the past few years, the Jordanian government has been arbitrarily and without notice withdrawing Jordanian nationality from its citizens of Palestinian origin, making them stateless.[3] As Human Rights Watch has stated, this is in direct violation of Jordan's nationality law of 1954 which provides that Palestinian residents of the West Bank in 1949 or thereafter received full Jordanian nationality following Jordan's incorporation of the West Bank in April 1950.

Palestinians who moved from the West Bank (whether refugees or not) to Jordan, are issued yellow-ID cards to distinguish them from the Palestinians of the "official 10 refugee camps" in Jordan. From 1988 to 2012, thousands of those yellow-ID card Palestinians had their Jordanian citizenship revoked.[4] Jordan's Interior Minister Nayef al-Kadi said:

"Our goal is to prevent Israel from emptying the Palestinian territories of their original inhabitants," the minister explained, confirming that the kingdom had begun revoking the citizenship of Palestinians. "We should be thanked for taking this measure," he said. "We are fulfilling our national duty because Israel wants to expel the Palestinians from their homeland."[5][6]

Human Rights Watch estimated that about 2,700 Palestinians were stripped of Jordanian nationality between 2004 and 2008.[7] It is estimated that over 40,000 Palestinians were affected by this policy.[8]

The Jordanian government has said that these actions are akin to those of other Arab nations with the intention of helping Jordanians of Palestinian descent by requiring those who fled the West Bank or Jerusalem after the war in 1967 to keep their Israeli documents valid since the Israeli government continues to shift further right-wing under the leadership of its conservative foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman. Nabil Sharif, the former minister of state for media affairs and Jordanian ambassador to Morocco, said:

It is no secret that some elements in Israel would like to see the Palestinian areas without the people. We do not want to be party to this.

In 2012, the Jordanian government promised to stop revoking the citizenship of Palestinians, and restored citizenship to 4,500 Palestinians who had previously lost it.[9]

However, many have criticized the actions of the Jordanian government as an underhanded move to preserve the government's own interest by trying to appease non-Palestinian Jordanians concerned about the growing economic and political influence of citizens of Palestinian descent, which Nabil Sharif had denied. It has also been speculated that the government of Jordan is troubled by talks of declaring Jordan a Palestinian homeland as an alternative to a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

See also


  1. Abu toameh, KHALED (20 July 2009). "Amman revoking Palestinians' citizenship". The Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on April 29, 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2009.
  2. Demonizing Israel is bad for the Palestinians, by Mudar Zarhan, 01/08/2010, Jerusalem Post
  3. Jordan: Stop Withdrawing Nationality from Palestinian-Origin Citizens - Human Rights Watch.
  4. KHALED ABU TOAMEH and YAAKOV KATZ (12 August 2009). "Israel: We 'won't make Jordan Palestine'". The Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on 29 September 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2009.
  5. Jordan promises to stop revoking citizenship from Palestinians - Times of Israel

External links

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