Seeking Dual Citizenship? Experts Share Steps For Acquiring Citizenship In Africa
Photo Credit: Annie Spratt

Photo Credit: Annie Spratt

Seeking Dual Citizenship? Experts Share Steps For Acquiring Citizenship In Africa

Africa , Sierra Leone
Nasha Smith
Nasha Smith Aug 4, 2021

In declaring 2019 The Year of The Return, Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo appealed to African Americans to visit the continent and the country, as well as apply for citizenship and source investment opportunities. The move sparked an increase of visitors to the West African country — 45% according to the Ghana Tourism Authority — and an interest in applying for citizenship in Africa.

The racial reckoning that swept through the United States after the murder of George Floyd also played a part in African Americans considering dual citizenship and finding a haven overseas.

Celebrities also took advantage of the opportunity. Actor Samuel L. Jackson and rapper Ludacris received Gabonese citizenship, actress and comedienne Tiffany Haddish gained citizenship from her father’s homeland Eritrea, and actor Idris Elba became a citizen of his father’s native Sierra Leone.

In partnership with Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Black-owned genetic tracing company AfricanAncestry.com is helping people who can prove their African heritage apply for citizenship in Africa.

As we previously reported, this path to citizenship program was designed by the company’s partnership director and Diallo Sumbry, an architect of Ghana’s Year of Return. The two worked closely with the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs to foster the relationship and establish core guidelines for the now official program.

AfricanAncestry.com’s Nichole Taylor outlined the process for African American’s to apply for citizenship in Sierra Leone.

Use Certified Experts

Anyone interested in acquiring citizenship needs to work with a certified tour operator in Sierra Leone. A list of approved operators is available at www.mrcsl.org, www.ntb.gov.sl/, and www.tourism.gov.sl/.

Citizenship Abroad
Courtesy of Annie Spratt

Collect the relevant documents

A letter of request needs to be sent to the Government of Sierra Leone via the Monuments and Relics Commission showing a desire to acquire citizenship. This letter must include your full name as shown on your passport, current address, phone number, and e-mail address.

Applicants need to prove maternal or paternal lineage through AfricanAncestry.com or a similar company that explicitly states maternal or paternal descent in their results. A copy of the results and certificate of ancestry must be submitted.

Submit a birth certificate and proof of name change on the birth certificate if applicable, a copy of the biodata page on your current, valid passport, at least two references from reputable persons such as your employer, banker, or personal lawyer, and a certified state and federal police report.

Miscellaneous

The government will ensure that the certificate of ancestry provided is authentic, as well as any other certificates presented to support your case.

Once approved, all applicants will need to physically be in Sierra Leone at least five days prior to the conferment ceremony to complete the administrative processes like fingerprinting and immigration interviews. A mandatory two or three-day workshop focused on heritage, investment, and civic education will also be held. Once completed, the request for passport processing will be made.

A conferment ceremony will be confirmed by the authorities and successful applicants will be asked to take an oath of allegiance in front of the president during this time.

For further information about acquiring citizenship abroad in Sierra Leone contact info@mrcsl.org, mfkargbo@gmail.com, or fm.momoh@mrcsl.org and annmariekay81@gmail.com.