Firudin Nabiyev: Citizen of the Republic of Azerbaijan who acquired citizenship of a foreign country should give information about it within a month  


 

 

Amendments were made to the Criminal Code according to the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan “On amendments to the Criminal Code” dated from April 28, 2015. President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev signed a decree dated from May 22, 2015 on application of the mentioned Law. In accordance with new Article 318-2 of the Criminal Code (About not giving information by the citizen of the Republic of Azerbaijan who acquired citizenship of a foreign country) a fine in the amount from 3 thousands to 5 thousands manats or punishment in the form of community works from 360 hours to 480 hours is considered for not giving written information by the citizen of the Republic of Azerbaijan who acquired citizenship of a foreign countryto the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the State Migration Service information about it within a month.

Chief of State Migration Service Firudin Nabiyev answered questions of AZERTAG regarding the topic.

-         According to the Law “On Citizenship of the Republic of Azerbaijan” citizen of the Republic of Azerbaijan who acquired citizenship of a foreign country should give written information about it within a month. Otherwise they bear liability in a way envisaged by the Criminal Code. Relevant amendments have already been made to the Criminal Code. What can you say about the activities done in this regard?

-         Amendments have been made to the Law “On Citizenship of the Republic of Azerbaijan” with the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated from May 30, 2014. According to the mentioned amendments citizen of the Republic of Azerbaijan who acquired citizenship of a foreign country should give written information about it to relevant executive authority - the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan within a month.  The persons who do not give information about it bear liability in a way envisaged by the Criminal Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

I should note that the aforementioned provision is not applied to the citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan who acquired citizenship of another country after the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated from May 30, 2014 entered into force, namely since July 1, 2014.

I should mention that as an issue stemming from application of the Law, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan was charged with the task to ensure that therelevant electron Application Form was placed at the official webpages_old of the both entities for the citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan who acquired citizenship of a foreign country in order to provide information about it. Relevant Application Form was approved with the Decision№18 of the Cabinet of Ministers dated from January 29, 2015 and was placed at the official webpage of the State Migration Service.

Along with the aforementioned a new Article 318-2 was added to the Criminal Code with the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated from April 28, 2015.According to the mentioned Article in case the citizen of the Republic of Azerbaijan who acquired citizenship of a foreign country does not give written information to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the State Migration Service about it within a month, he/she is punished with fine in the amount from 3 thousands to 5 thousands manats or community works from 360 hours to 480 hours.

At the same time, in compliance with Item 1, Part 1 of the Article 18 of the Law “On Citizenship of the Republic of Azerbaijan” voluntary acquisition of the citizenship of another country by the citizen of the Republic of Azerbaijan is considered as a ground for losing citizenship of the Republic of Azerbaijan. In this case provisions of Convention on the Reduction of Statelessnessdated from August 30, 1961 are taken into consideration.

Taking into account the abovementioned the citizen who acquired citizenship of a foreign country should give information to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the State Migration Service within a month.

-         In general I request you to give information about the role of the State Migration Service in citizenship issues and eradication of statelessness.

-         At the initiative of Great leader Heydar Aliyev the Republic of Azerbaijan acceded to a number of international documents regarding eradication of statelessness and numerousnormative legal acts regulating relations related with stateless persons were adopted in our country. In 1996 the Republic of Azerbaijan acceded to 1954 Convention on the Status of Stateless Persons and 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.  Moreover, adoption of the Law “On Citizenship of the Republic of Azerbaijan” dated from September 30, 1998 should be specially noted as a significant step towards eradication of statelessness. According toItem 1 Part 2 of the Article 5 of the same Law persons, who do not bear citizenship of Azerbaijan Republic or any other country but are registered upon place of residence in the Republic of Azerbaijan until January 1, 1992, are allowed to adopt citizenship of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Moreover, according to mentioned law refugees residing in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan from January 1, 1988 till January 1, 1992 also acquired citizenship of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

But absence of single state authority to execute state policy in migration sphere and manage migration processes was also creating problems related with citizenship issues. With Decree 560 of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated March 19, 2007 establishment of the State Migration Service and determining, protection of rights of migrants,namely foreigners and stateless persons, participation in citizenship issues procedures, as well as assurance of execution of obligations rising from international agreements that Azerbaijan Republic is a party to, as main responsibilities of the Service strengthened management in this sphere. Necessary measures by the Service are being continued in the direction of improvement of legislation, as well as organizational issues. In this regard State Migration Service constantly cooperates with relevant state authorities, UNHCR and civil society institutions.

According to March 6, 2008 dated Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan participation of State Migration Service in citizenship issues was ensured. Since then the Service have started to process applications from individuals and different organizations on admission to, restoration, revocation of the citizenship of the Republic of Azerbaijan, as well as establishment of a persons’ citizenship of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

As you know several changes took place regarding harmonization of national legislation, regulating procedures related with stateless persons, to international documents the Republic of Azerbaijan is a party to in this sphere.

Definition of stateless person in Article 3.0.2 of the Migration Code, which entered into force on August 1, 2013, is adjusted according to 1954 Convention Relating to the “Status of Stateless Persons”. According to that Article stateless person is a person who is not considered as a citizen by any State under the operation of its law.

According to the Code permission card for temporary and permanent residence in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan has been defined as the document allowing foreigners and stateless persons to leave and return to the Republic of Azerbaijan without obtaining visa, confirming registration upon place of residence and identity of those persons in territory of the country.

I would like to note that the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev always approach to the State Migration Service with attention and care. Relevant decrees and orders signed for the purpose of timely and high quality execution of tasks entrusted to the State Migration Service can be shown as the example of this. With December 29, 2014 dated Order of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan changes were made in the structure of the State Migration Service and Citizenship issues department was given status of head department. This is the sign of great care of head of our State to citizenship issues, assurance of human rights and liberties, as well as to more profound realization of activities related with citizenship issues by the Service. Furthermore, according to February 11, 2015 dated Decree of the President of Azerbaijan establishment of persons’ citizenship of the Republic of Azerbaijan has been determined as direct responsibility of the State Migration Service.

-         Talking about establishment of citizenship, recently Cabinet of Ministers approved “Rules on establishment of person’s citizenship of the Republic of Azerbaijan”. Please give information about this Rule.

-         Yes, besides adoption of  mentioned normative legal acts on citizenship issues, one of the main steps taken in this direction is “Rule on establishment of person’s citizenship of the Republic of Azerbaijan” approved with March 18, 2015 dated Decision 84 of the Cabinet of Ministers. In that Rule provisions of August 30, 1961 dated Convention “on the Reduction of Statelessness”, as well as Law “on the Citizenship of the Republic of Azerbaijan” was taken into account when establishing person’s citizenship of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Thus, according to Item 4.3 of the mentioned Rule,until the date of entry into force of Law “On Citizenship of the Republic of Azerbaijan”, namely October 7, 1998, ifunregistered personsupon place of residence till the date of entry into force of the Law, who have been citizen of the Republic of Azerbaijan and have not left the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan till the mentioned date, lose their citizenship, they arerecognized as citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan.This complements Article 7.3 of the Convention “On the Reduction of Statelessness”.

In this Rule, problems, which children who lost their parents and deprived from parental care, persons who served sentence in penitentiary facilities and military personnel in military service face in obtaining identity card, have been taken into account.

-         What measures are being taken by the Service in fight against statelessness in the Republic of Azerbaijan?

-         Relevant measures are being taken constantly in the direction of documenting stateless persons by Azerbaijan Government and by the State Migration Service as the state authority implementing state policy in this sphere. As a result of work done during 2008-2014, 852 stateless persons and in total 1164 persons were admitted to the citizenship of the Republic of Azerbaijan with relevant orders of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Only in 2014 out of 286 persons applied to the State Migration Service regarding citizenship186 persons were admitted to the citizenship of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Currently, applications of 157 stateless persons are being processed by the Service. Furthermore, 18254 persons’ citizenship of the Republic of Azerbaijan were established and they were provided with identity documents of the citizen of the Republic of Azerbaijan by the relevant state authorities of Azerbaijan Republic.

State Migration Service successfully continues its work in the direction of legalizing stateless persons in the country, as well as fulfilling requirements of international conventions, which the Republic of Azerbaijan is a party to, in the sphere of fight against statelessness. From this aspect it is worth to mention measures taken in the direction of determining legal status of persons residing in the territory of Azerbaijan Republic for a long time and having no documents confirming their citizenship of any country and in the direction of reduction of statelessness. As a result of joint cooperation between regional migration departments of the Service and local executive authorities in the direction of identifying and documenting persons from this category residing in different regions of the country, during I quarter of 2015 excluding city of Baku and Absheron region 759 persons residing illegally in the Republic of Azerbaijan were revealed. Considering that some of those persons are citizens of a foreign country relevant measures are being taken in the direction of legalizing their residence in the territory of the country. For the purpose of establishing citizenship of the rest relevant requests have been addressed to the diplomatic representations of possible countries. In order to ensure satisfaction of applicants, State Migration Service held meeting in Khachmaz with foreigners and stateless persons living in north regions in recent days.

At present measures are being continued in Baku city and Absheron region by the State Migration Service in the direction of identifying and documenting persons residing illegally with undetermined legal status in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Taking into account abovementioned, we can value measures taken by our State in the sphere of eradicating statelessness and fighting against factors causing this situation as a result of purposeful and humanitarian policy of our country.

-         According to the legislation in order to be admitted to the citizenship of the Republic of Azerbaijan a person has to live 7 years uninterruptedly in the territory of the country. Can foreigners and stateless persons be admitted to the citizenship of the Republic of Azerbaijan without consideration of that period in a privileged order?

-         According to Article 14, Part 4 of the Law “On citizenship of the Republic of Azerbaijan”in the following cases foreigners and stateless persons can be admitted to the citizenship of the Republic of Azerbaijan without consideration of indicated period:

1.     If a persons has distinguished achievements in the spheres of science, technology, culture or sports;

2.     If a persons is of special interest for the Republic of Azerbaijan and in other exceptional cases.

-         How a person revoked his citizenship of the Republic of Azerbaijan can be restored to the citizenship of the Republic of Azerbaijan?

-         According to Article 15, Part 1 of the Law “On the citizenship of the Republic of Azerbaijan” a person, who previously have been citizen of the Republic of Azerbaijan or whose citizenship have been revoked,can be restored to the citizenship of the Republic of Azerbaijan upon his/her petition.

In order to be restored to the citizenship of the Republic of Azerbaijan persons residing in the territory of Azerbaijan Republic can apply to the State Migration Service, persons living in foreign countries can lodge application to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan via diplomatic representations and consulates of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Thank you.