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Myanmar nationality law currently recognises three categories of citizens, namely citizen, associate citizen and naturalised citizen, according to the 1982 Citizenship Law.[1][2] Citizens, as defined by the 1947 Constitution, are persons who belong to an "indigenous race", have a grandparent from an "indigenous race", are children of citizens, or lived in British Burma prior to 1942.[3][4]

Myanmar Citizenship Act
State seal of Myanmar.svg
Parliament of Myanmar
An Act relating to Myanmari citizenship
Enacted byGovernment of Myanmar
Status: Current legislation

Under this law, citizens are required to obtain a National Registration Card (နိုင်ငံသားစိစစ်ရေးကတ်ပြား, NRC), while non-citizens are given a Foreign Registration Card (နိုင်ငံခြားသားစိစစ်ရေးကတ်ပြား, FRC). Citizens whose parents hold FRCs are not allowed to run for public office.[5]

Myanmar has a stratified citizenship system, similar to the distinction between the US nationals/citizenship, however, Burmese persons whose rights are distinctively different depending on the category they belong to and based on how one's forebearers acquired their own citizenship category.

  • Full citizens are descendants of residents who lived in Burma prior to 1823 or were born to parents who were citizens at the time of birth.
  • Associate citizens are those who acquired citizenship through the 1948 Union Citizenship Law.
  • Naturalized citizens are those who lived in Burma before 4 January 1948 and applied for citizenship after 1982.


Dual citizenshipEdit

Dual citizenship is not recognised by Myanmar, and as a result of the acquisition through naturalisation of another country's nationality automatically cancels Myanmar citizenship.


Foreigners cannot become naturalised citizens of Myanmar, unless they can prove a close familial connection to the country.[6]

Rohingya citizenshipEdit

The law does not recognise Rohingyas as one of the 135 legally recognised ethnic groups of Myanmar,[7] thus denying most of their Myanmar citizenship.[8] The official stance of the Government of Myanmar is that the Rohingya peoples are citizens of Bangladesh, as a result of the British partitioning of their Asian possessions.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Tun Tun Aung (March 2007). "An Introduction to Citizenship Card under Myanmar Citizenship Law" (PDF). 現代社會文化研究 (38): 265–290.
  2. ^ "Burma Citizenship Law". Government of Burma. UNHCR. 15 October 1982. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Soe Than Lynn; Shwe Yinn Mar Oo (20 September 2010). "Citizenship criteria trips up election candidates". Myanmar Times. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
  6. ^ "Myanmar Immigration Policies". eHow. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
  7. ^ "Myanmar's Rohingya". The Economist. 20 October 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  8. ^ "Why Buddhists and Muslims in Rakhine state in Myanmar are at each others' throats". The Economist. 3 November 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2017.