Last Updated: Thursday, 26 May 2016, 08:56 GMT

Tajikistan: Whether a residence registration system is in effect, and if so whether it is mandatory for all citizens; whether state agencies enforce the system and whether it places restrictions on the movement of people (2005)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa
Publication Date 23 January 2006
Citation / Document Symbol TJK100698.E
Reference 2
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Tajikistan: Whether a residence registration system is in effect, and if so whether it is mandatory for all citizens; whether state agencies enforce the system and whether it places restrictions on the movement of people (2005), 23 January 2006, TJK100698.E, available at: [accessed 27 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

In 8 November 2005 correspondence to the Research Directorate, a Tajikistan-based representative of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), "the leading international organization" in migration issues (IOM n.d.), stated that the residence registration system is currently in effect and mandatory for all citizens of Tajikistan. According to this representative, the 1997 government resolution "On the Passport System in the Republic of Tajikistan" currently governs the residence registration system (ibid. 8 Nov. 2005). Article 20 of this resolution states that [translation] "citizens must register at their place of permanent residence and register in places where they arrive on a temporary basis" (Tajikistan 1997, Art. 20).

Article 21 of the resolution explains that [translation]:

[t]he residence registration system applies to:

– Citizens of Tajikistan, living permanently in Tajikistan;

– Citizens of Tajikistan, living permanently abroad, arriving in Tajikistan for temporary residence for not more than six months;

– Citizens of Tajikistan, moving from one locality to another locality in Tajikistan for temporary residence for not more than six months;

– Foreign citizens and stateless persons, permanently living in Tajikistan;

– Military personnel, living within a base (ibid., Art. 21).

In answer to whether state agencies enforce the residence registration system, the IOM representative stated the following [translation]:

According to the law, if you move for more than six months, then it is necessary to deregister from the place you were registered and register in the place where you moved to.... But in reality, no one verifies whether you live at the location stated in your residence registration permit. That is, although the resolution stipulates that a citizen must register their place of residence, there is no system of verification for this. Therefore it often happens that people live in one place, but are registered at another. This is not considered a crime.... The important thing is that there is a stamp in your passport. It doesn't matter to anyone where you actually live (that is, it is not strictly enforced)... (8 Nov. 2005).

Similarly, a journalist with Asia Plus, an independent media group in Tajikistan, wrote, [translation] "... many of our citizens have lived for many years at addresses for which they are not registered. That is, this [residence registration] system has not controlled migration processes [in Tajikistan] for a long time" (Asia Plus 19 Feb. 2004).

Regarding the effect of the residence registration system on freedom of movement of citizens in Tajikistan, the same Asia Plus journalist argued that, in principle, the residence registration system contradicts Article 24 of the Constitution of Tajikistan, which states, "[e]ach citizen has the right to free movement, choice of location of residence, departure beyond the borders of the republic and return to the republic" (19 Feb. 2004; Tajikistan 1994, Art. 24). However, Country Reports 2004 stated that "there are no legal restrictions on changing residence" in Tajikistan (28 Feb. 2005, Sec. 1d). This information is corroborated by the IOM representative cited above:


There is no restriction on the movement of people registered at a given residence. [Such persons] have the right to travel abroad; in this respect there is no restriction [of movement] in the law.... If, for example, you move to another place [in Tajikistan], then they will put a deregistration stamp in your passport and fill out a "departure note". This "departure note" is required to register in another city or district....(IOM 8 Nov. 2005).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Asia Plus [Dushanbe, Tajikistan]. 19 February 2004. Marat Mamadshoev. "Istoria poiavlenia propiski..." [Accessed 24 Oct. 2005]

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2004. 28 February 2005. United States Department of State. [Accessed 11 Jan. 2006]

International Organization for Migration (IOM). 8 November 2005. Correspondence from Program Assistant.
_____. N.d. "Mission Statement." [Accessed 12 Jan. 2006]

Tajikistan. 1997. O pasportnoi sisteme v Respublike Tadzhikistan.
_____. 1994. Constitution of the Republic of Tajikistan. Website of the United Nations Online Network in Public Administration and Finance. [Accessed 11 Jan. 2006]

Additional Sources Consulted

Internet sources, including: Amnesty International, Asia Plus (Tajikistan), British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative, Eurasia Net, European Country of Origin Information Network, Factiva, Human Rights Watch, Institute for War and Peace Reporting, International Crisis Group (ICG), International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights, Legislation Online, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Relief Web, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

Search Refworld