Myanmar nationality law

The Nationality law of Myanmar 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]

Citizenship Law of Myanmar
State seal of Myanmar.svg
Parliament of Myanmar
Enacted byPeople's Assembly
EnactedOctober 15, 1982
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 US nationals and US citizenship. Burmese citizens' 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.


Foreigners who have been in the country since 1948 can also apply for nationality. [6]

Denial of citizenship to RohingyaEdit

Burmese law does not consider Rohingyas as one of the 135 legally recognised ethnic groups of Myanmar,[7] thus denying most of them Myanmar citizenship.[8] The official claim of the Government of Myanmar is that the Rohingya people are the "citizens of Bangladesh", however the Government of Bangladesh does not recognize this claim, thus leaving the Rohingya stateless.

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. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 May 2014.
  2. ^ "Burma Citizenship Law". Government of Burma. UNHCR. 15 October 1982. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
  3. ^ Battistella, Graziano (January 2017). "Rohingyas: The People for Whom No One Is Responsible". International Migration Policy Report. Center for Migration Studies of New York. pp. 4–17 – via ResearchGate.
  4. ^ Faruk, Hassan; Imran, Md. Al; Mian, Nannu (2014). "The Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh: A Vulnerable Group in Law and Policy". pp. 226–253 – via ResearchGate.
  5. ^ Soe Than Lynn; Shwe Yinn Mar Oo (20 September 2010). "Citizenship criteria trips up election candidates". Myanmar Times. Archived from the original on 13 March 2012. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
  6. ^ file:///C:/Users/PAEPublic/Downloads/MMR87413.pdf
  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.