Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Rimbink Pato, says Papua New Guineans with one foreign parent should be allowed to have dual citizenship.

This follows an announcement of the dual citizenship bill gazette, and to be debated in November parliament sitting and voted upon in the February sitting, next year.
Papua New Guineans living abroad or in the country who have one foreign parent were unfortunate to fully benefit from dual citizenship.

This was brushed aside by the office of Foreign Affairs & Immigration who is now looking at enacting a new law to encourage many successful Papua New Guineans living overseas to re-forge their bonds with their home country.

Rimbink Pato said in a statement that Papua New Guineans want this change to provide equal opportunities to citizens without losing their formal ties to their homeland.

According to Mr. Pato, these people have valuable skills and can help contribute to the development of the country; however, they will not completely give up their rights that they have earned elsewhere.   

He said under the proposed amendments to the constitution, dual citizens will have most of the same rights as other citizens, but will not be permitted to vote, hold public office, own land or have free access to official documents.

The dual citizenship changes have been gazetted alongside proposed constitutional amendments to put beyond doubt the Government’s ability to restrict the personal liberty of people transferred to PNG under regional asylum seeker arrangements or similar agreements. 

The bill will be debated in next month’s parliament sitting, and Mr. Pato is confident that the members of Parliament will support these changes.

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