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Ministry of Justice

Amendments to the Icelandic Nationality Act

1 July 2003 (double citizenship)

The Ministry draws attention to the fact that Parliament has passed an Act amending the Icelandic Nationality Act, No. 100/1952, enabling Icelandic citizens to retain their Icelandic citizenship even if they apply for citizenship of a foreign state.

The amendments will enter into effect 1 July 2003.

In main, the amendments are the following:

A. An Icelandic citizen will retain his citizenship when becoming a citizen of another state, provided that state allows double citizenship. This also applies to any children below the age of 18 years in that person's custody. The conditions set in Article 8 of the Icelandic Nationality Act as regards residence or stay in Iceland prior to the age of 22 years must be fulfilled.

B. In order to acquire citizenship of a state not allowing double citizenship, an Icelandic citizen must apply for release from Icelandic citizenship before the new citizenship can be confirmed. An application for release from Icelandic citizenship shall be lodged with the Ministry of Justice. The application must be accompanied by a confirmation that the new citizenship will become effective when release is obtained from the Icelandic citizenship.

C. An Icelandic citizen who has accepted citizenship of another state and therefore has lost his Icelandic citizenship without the other state having made such a requirement, can apply for renewal of the Icelandic citizenship to the Ministry of Justice. The applicant must be a resident of Iceland or fulfil the requirements of Article 8 of the Act relating to stay in Iceland. Renewal can only be granted if confirmation is available to the effect that the applicant can accept Icelandic citizenship without loss of the present citizenship.
Such applications must be lodged prior to 1 July 2007.

D. The provision of Article 8 of the Nationality Act, to the effect that an Icelandic citizen who was born abroad and has never been domiciled in Iceland or resided in Iceland for any purpose indicating a desire to be an Icelandic citizen, shall lose his citizenship on reaching the age of 22 years, remains unchanged. Loss of Icelandic citizenship will however not occur if the person in question is not a citizen of any other state, and would therefore become stateless. Thus, double citizenship is not allowed for these citizens.

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Disclaimer: This section of the site details available translations on legislation relating to the Government Offices in Iceland. In case of any discrepancies between the translations and the original text in Icelandic, the original text as published in the Icelandic Legal Gazette prevails.

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