A noncommercial collection of information about citizenship, dual citizenship and multiple citizenship

[Please refer to How to Read a Country Entry for help interpreting this material. It was produced prior to March 2001 as part of a US government report entitled Citizenship Laws of the World. The accuracy and depth of these country listings varies significantly, and some information may be incorrect. At best, this page presents only part of the story for a particular country. Additional information for this country may be available in Country Information]


CITIZENSHIP: Information is based upon the Nationality Law #17, dated 1954, and Law #3, dated 1979. Persons born before October 7, 1951 (date of Libyan Constitution), who did not have a previous citizenship and had been residing in Libya, obtained citizenship under the following conditions: Person was born in Libya. Person was born abroad of a mother or father born in Libya. Person had been living in Libya for at least 10 years before October 7, 1951.

BY BIRTH: Birth within the territory of Libya, on or after October 7, 1951, does not automatically confer citizenship.

BY DESCENT: Child born on or after October 7, 1951, of a Libyan mother, father, grandmother, or grandfather, regardless of the child's country of birth.

MARRIAGE: A foreign woman who marries a citizen of Libya may obtain Libyan citizenship if she renounces former citizenship, resides with her husband in marriage for at least two years, and notifies the Minister of Foreign Affairs of her desire to obtain Libyan citizenship. If the marriage ends in divorce, the woman's citizenship will only be removed if she remarries a non-Libyan and leaves the country.

BY NATURALIZATION: Libyan citizenship may be acquired upon fulfillment of the following conditions: Person has renounced previous nationality, is a legal adult, has good morality and mental health, and desires to remain in Libya. Residency requirements vary: Arab man married to a Libyan woman -four years. Person of Arab descent -five years. Children (of father's nationality) of Libyan mother and foreign father -three years.



VOLUNTARY: No information was provided.

INVOLUNTARY: The following are grounds for involuntary loss of Libyan citizenship: Person obtains new citizenship without government permission. Person enlists in foreign military or attempts to avoid Libyan conscription. Person seeks asylum in another country. Person attempts to smuggle money out of the country. Person converts to a religion other than Islam. Person deserted country after 1969 revolution. Person refuses to return home within 6 months of state request. Person commits treasonous acts against the state.

Additional grounds for a naturalized citizen: Person commits crimes against the security of the state. Person remains outside the country more than two years. Person obtained citizenship through fraud or false statement.

ANY QUESTIONS concerning Libya should be directed to the address below:

NEA/MAG Rm 5250 U.S. Department of State 2201 C St., NW Washington, DC 20520

Telephone: 202-647-4674 Fax: 202-736-4458

Questions concerning Libyan Citizenship law should be directed to:

Law Library Near Eastern and African Law Division Madison Building RM LM 240 101 Independence Ave., NW Washington, DC 20540-3060

Telephone: 202-707-5073 Fax: 202-707-1820


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