Any person has the right to be an Ethiopian national by descent, should either of the parents be Ethiopian, or in the case that an infant is found abandoned on Ethiopian soil (unless proven to have a foreign nationality). In addition to these two common grounds of acquisition of Ethiopian nationality, there are other ways by which any foreigner could obtain Ethiopian nationality, one of which includes being married to an Ethiopian national for over two years while having lived in Ethiopia for at least a year.
Foreigners may also acquire Ethiopian nationality upon request, subject to fulfilling certain requirements, including age, residency, and character criteria. The individual must show release from his previous nationality or the possibility of obtaining such a release upon acquisition of Ethiopian nationality.
A child adopted by an Ethiopian national may acquire Ethiopian nationality if the child has not attained the age of majority at the time of adoption, and lives with his/her parents in Ethiopia.
In special cases, a person who has made an outstanding contribution to Ethiopia may be offered Ethiopian nationality without any language and domicile requirements.
The Ethiopian legal system strictly prohibits dual citizenship. Any person will automatically lose his Ethiopian nationality upon acquisition of another nationality.
The nationality laws of Ethiopia require citizens intending to renounce their Ethiopian nationality in the process of acquiring a foreign nationality, to inform the Ethiopian Security, Immigration and Refugee Affairs Authority in advance. However, even if a person renouncing Ethiopian nationality has not informed the Authority of his/her intentions in advance, the person would still be assumed to have renounced his Ethiopian nationality.
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