Nationality and Citizenship
Section 1. Nationality
Are Venezuelans by birth:
- Any person who was born within the territory of the Republic.
- Any person who was born in a foreign territory, and is the child of a father and mother who are both Venezuelans by birth.
- Any person who was born in a foreign territory, and is the child of a father or a mother, who is Venezuelan by birth, provided they have established residence within the territory of the Republic or declared their intention to obtain the Venezuelan nationality.
- Any person who was born in a foreign territory, and is the child of a father or a mother who is Venezuelan by naturalization, provided that prior to reaching the age of 18, they establish their residence within the territory of the Republic, and before reaching the age of 25 declare their intention to obtain the Venezuelan nationality.
Are considered Venezuelans by naturalization:
- Foreign nationals who obtain a naturalization letter. In order to do so, they must have at least ten years of uninterrupted residence immediately preceding the application date. The period of residence shall be reduced to five years in the case of foreign nationals whose original nationality is that of Spain, Portugal, Italy, or a Latin American or Caribbean country.
- Foreign nationals who marry a Venezuelan, upon declaring their wish to adopt the Venezuelan nationality, which may be done at least five years after the date of marriage.
- Minors of foreign nationality, on the date of the naturalization of one of his/her parent who exercises parental authority, provided that such minor declares his or her intention of adopting the Venezuelan nationality before reaching the age of 21, and has resided in Venezuela without interruption throughout the five-year period preceding such declaration.
The Venezuelan nationality is not lost upon electing or acquiring another nationality.
Venezuelans by birth cannot be deprived of their nationality. The Venezuelan nationality by naturalization can be revoked only by a judgment handed down by a court in accordance with law.
Venezuelan nationality may be renounced. A person who renounces the Venezuelan nationality by birth may regain such nationality if he or she establishes a residence within the territory of the Republic for a period of at least two years, and expresses the intention of regaining the Venezuelan nationality. Naturalized Venezuelans who renounce the Venezuelan nationality may regain it by again meeting the requirements prescribed under article 33 of this Constitution.
The State shall promote the celebration of international treaties related to nationality, especially with the bordering countries and those indicated in item 2 of Article 33 of this Constitution.
The substantive and procedural rules relating to the acquisition, election, renunciation and recovery of the Venezuelan nationality, as well as the revocation and withdrawal of naturalization, shall be determined by law, in compliance with the foregoing provisions.
Section 2. Citizenship
Venezuelans who are not subject to political disablement or civil interdiction, and meet the age requirements provided for in this Constitution, can exercise citizenship and therefore are entitled to political rights and duties in accordance to this Constitution.
Political rights are reserved to those who are Venezuelans, with the exceptions established in this Constitution.
Naturalized Venezuelans who have entered the country prior to reaching the age of seven years and have resided permanently in Venezuela until reaching legal age shall enjoy the same rights as Venezuelans by birth.
Only Venezuelans by birth who have no other nationality shall be permitted to hold the offices of President of the Republic, Executive Vice President, Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the National Assembly, Justices of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice, Chairman of the National Board of Elections, Attorney General of the Republic, Comptroller General of the Republic, General Prosecutor of the Republic, People Defender, Ministers with responsibilities relating to national security, finance, energy and mining or education; Governors and Mayors of border States and Municipalities and those contemplated under the Organic Law on the National Armed Forces.
In order to hold the position of member of the National Assembly, Minister or Governors and Mayors of non-border States and Municipalities, naturalized Venezuelans must be domiciled in Venezuela with at least fifteen years of permanent residence, as well as meeting the capability requirements provided for by law.
Anyone who loses or renounces to nationality loses citizenship. The exercise of citizenship or any political rights can be suspended only by final judicial decision in the cases provided by law.