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LIS partners with Criminal Court ‘A’ on reforming naturalization

The Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) in collaboration with the Criminal Court “B” at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia is stepping up reform process on obtaining Liberia citizenship, according to a press release.

Speaking over the weekend, on behalf of all ECOWAS Ambassadors, Guinea Ambassador accredited near Monrovia, Abdoulaye Dore noted that immigration in Africa is complicated, as most neighboring countries have interrelated citizens and as a result, he said to identify the difference between those bearing similar names is challenging.

According to Amb. Dore, laws are different in various ECOWAS Countries, as such, citizens traveling to and fro must abide by these laws.

Therefore, he sees it prudent that procedures on naturalization be explained to those seeking citizenship in ECOWAS states.

At the same time, he wants the government to make the fees leading to the process of naturalization and residency permit affordable for all, including low-income earners.

“If you make the process exorbitant, people will not be able to pay, because we want people to get their original papers,” Amb. Dore averred.

For his part, Deputy Justice Minister Nyante Twan informed the gathering that the world is changing and Liberia must also change to suit current days’ realities.

He said it is upon this backdrop, that the need for changes in the immigration law is important.

Cllr. Twan further noted that the Liberia Immigration Forum will at the same time inform migrants about the laws governing their stay in the country, so they cannot be fooled by anyone.

Also making a presentation at the forum, Liberia Immigration Commissioner-General Robert Budy, said Liberia’s naturalization process had long been an issue that continues to create an argument, for which according to him, the LIS and Criminal Court “B” see it prudent to inform the public on the process leading to obtaining citizenship.

“Lawful and genuine obtaining of Liberia Citizenship begins with the LIS and with all valid documents acceptable to travel through Liberia’s borders,” Commissioner Budy said.

According to him, obtaining a Liberian Naturalization Certificate through fraudulent means is punishable under the Laws of Liberia, as such, he wants those seeking citizenship to follow the rightful process.

Budy further clarified that the increase in fees charge to obtain Liberian Citizenship was discussed and agreed upon by relevant stakeholders.

Currently, according to Commissioner Budy, there are LIS Officers assigned at the Liberia Identification Registry, Birth Certificate Division and Passport Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, respectively, to ensure the right things are done.

Meanwhile, Criminal Court “B” Judge, Ceaineh Clinton-Johnson, said there are several aliens across the country, carrying a citizenship certificate that is not issued by the court.

These people, according to her, are not citizens of Liberia, because they have not complied with the laws of the Country.

“There are unscrupulous people, who are issuing certificates to people, who do not know how to follow the process and they are walking around saying, they are Liberian Citizens when they are not,” Judge Clinton-Johnson clarified

She said people in such category will always face challenges in getting Liberian passports because they will have to come back to the court and pass through the legitimate channel.

Judge Clinton-Johnson warns aliens desirous of becoming Liberian citizens to pass through the rightful means or they will be denied if they carry conflicting information. Press Release


The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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