How can you obtain the Lebanese nationality??
It is funny to know that the law that regulates how to obtain the Lebanese nationality dates from the French ruling of Lebanon and before the population census of 1926 and is signed by the French High Commissioner to Lebanon General Maurice Sarrail,
Following the Ottoman Empire’s collapse, the Lausanne Treaty of 1924 had to reorganize the populations of the formerly Ottoman occupied countries, Lebanon had to apply that treaty, so a decree was issued, it has been modified very few times since then and last time was in year 1960, but remains somehow archaic.
So according to the Decree number 15 of 19th January 1925 (yes 1925) you are considered Lebanese when you are born on the “Great Lebanon” territory and it is not proven that you hold another nationality.
Or, you are born on the “Great Lebanon” territory of unknown parents or parents with an unknown nationality.
Also the illegitimate child that has been recognized by one of his parents before adulthood, and that parent holds the Lebanese nationality.
You may find these conditions obsolete and outdated, but you should consider the historical circumstances of that time, and the last condition may seem “politically incorrect” for the 21st century, but for single Lebanese mothers with an unknown (or hidden identity) father, it’s a dream chance to give their children the Lebanese nationality –and this is a hint for all lawyers.
Another way to obtain a Lebanese nationality is for a foreign woman to marry a Lebanese national; she has to register her marriage deed in the Registry office of Civil status, and after one year of this registration she will automatically obtain the Lebanese nationality. But in practice the Lebanese General Security will investigate on that marriage to make sure it’s not a fake marriage thus interrogating family and friends, neighbors, and even all the neighborhood concierges. It’s tough to get away with a cheat.
One other way to obtain the Lebanese nationality is by decree from the president, but the foreigner asking for the Lebanese Nationality has to fulfill one of three conditions:
1- He has to be a resident in Lebanon for more than five years.
2- Be married to a Lebanese woman and be a resident in Lebanon for more than one year.
3- Have done a national favor to the country just as the nationalized American basketball player Joe Vogel that we all remember.
For demographic reasons and considering the number of refugees of many nationalities present in Lebanon, the government is delaying the necessity of modernizing our nationality laws leaving unfortunate those who really deserve it.