House Bill 11-109-10 seeks to allow non-Palauan citizens to obtain a Palauan passport under certain circumstances.

A passport is a “travel document issued by a country’s government to its citizens that verifies the identity and nationality of the holder for the purpose of international travel,” according to

The bill seeks to provide passports to non-Palauans who Palauans adopted and to provide passports to non-Palauan spouses of Palauans.

Palau Council of Chiefs provided their comments and recommendations to the House of Delegates on the particular bill, saying that the bill may be unconstitutional. The law says only Palauans can hold Palauan passports, and Palauans, during the 2005 Constitutional Convention, did not approve the proposal to confer Palauan citizenship on adopted non-Palauans.

The Council of Chiefs offered a different solution for non-Palauan children adopted by Palauans.  In their letter of recommendation, they directed the delegates to look at the current electronic travel document option instead of bestowing Palauan passports on non-Palauans.

The second part of the bill, which seeks to confer Palauan passports on non-Palauan spouses of Palauans, was also met with resistance from the Council of Chiefs.  The chiefs cautioned that such a proposal is bound to be abused, citing non-Palauan females marrying Palauan men just to get passports in order to travel to the United States.

“We do not support the second objective of the bill first because of its potential for abuse and second because we do not see that it is necessary,” states the chiefs in their letter.

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