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Djibouti: Whether an individual who acquired French citizenship because he was born in Djibouti before its independence in 1977 would still have French citizenship today; if not, whether the same individual would be eligible for French citizenship today and if so, the criteria that must be fulfilled and procedures that must be followed

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa
Publication Date 9 February 2006
Citation / Document Symbol DJI100940.E
Reference 7
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Djibouti: Whether an individual who acquired French citizenship because he was born in Djibouti before its independence in 1977 would still have French citizenship today; if not, whether the same individual would be eligible for French citizenship today and if so, the criteria that must be fulfilled and procedures that must be followed, 9 February 2006, DJI100940.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/45f147252d.html [accessed 24 July 2014]
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 a 6 January 2006 telephone interview with the Research Directorate, the honorary consul general of the Republic of Djibouti in Canada affirmed that an individual born in Djibouti, who had been naturalized French prior to the independence of Djibouti in 1977 had the right to keep this nationality after independence (6 Jan. 2006, Djibouti Oct. 1981, Art. 7). At the time of its independence, the citizens of Djibouti who had been naturalized French were asked to choose between French nationality and Djibouti nationality (Djibouti 6 Jan. 2006). However, since September 2005, Djibouti accepts dual nationality (ibid.). According to the honorary consul general, it is a very "difficult and long process" for those who gave up French citizenship to recover it: the individual has to prove that he or she was naturalized French prior to independence or that his or her parents are French (ibid.). Specific difficulties with and times required for this process could not be identified using the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

The Website of the Department of Foreign Affairs (Ministère des Affaires étrangères) of France states that French nationality is obtained by jus sanguines, referring a child's being born to a French father or French mother is French, or by jus soli, referring to a person's nationality being determined by his or her place of birth (France 27 June 2005). French nationality can also be obtained by marrying a French man or woman, by adoption or by naturalization (ibid.). The Website of the Ministry of Employment, Social Unity and Housing indicates that an individual can apply for French citizenship by naturalization if : [translation]

– [He/she] is at least 18 years of age;

– [He/she] has a residence permit;

– [He/she] can prove that [she/he] has been legally resident in France for the five years preceding their application; and that [he/she] has [his/her] principal source of income in France by performing [his/her] principal professional activities in France.

The period of five years can be reduced to two years if the individual has successfully completed two years of studies in a French higher education institution.

The period of five years can also be reduced if:

– [He/she] is the spouse or the child of someone who has acquired French nationality;

– [He/she] is a national of a State that was under France's protectorate or supervision;

– [He/she] belongs to the French cultural and linguistic community, [he/she] comes from a state in which one of the official languages is French[His/her] mother tongue is French and [he/she] has completed five years of studies in a French-language educational institution;

– [He/she] has lost [his/her] French nationality and wishes to reacquire it;

– [He/she] has obtained the statute of refugee of the OFPRA (Office Français de Protection des Réfugiés et Apatrides) (Feb. 2005).

No information on specific conditions that must have been fulfilled by an individual from Djibouti requesting naturalization prior to the independence of Djibouticould be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

According to the Website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France, an individual who loses French nationality following the independence of a former French territory, or by a decree of freedom from bonds of allegiance, can recover his or her French nationality through a decision by French authorities (27 June 2005). He or she must fulfil the conditions relating to naturalization, particularly the condition of residence in France at the time of the signature of the decree (France 27 June 2005.). No information on other criteria that must be fulfilled or on the procedures that must be followed to recover French nationality by an individual who has lost his or her French nationality since Djibouti's independence could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

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.

References

Djibouti. 6 January 2006. Embassy of Djibouti in Canada. Telephone interview with the Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Djibouti in Canada.
_____. October 1981. Loi No. 200/A.N./1981 portant code de la nationalité djiboutienne. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Website. [Accessed 10 Jan. 2006]

France. 27 June 2005. Ministère des Affaires Étrangères. "La nationalité française." [Accessed 9 Jan. 2006]
_____. February 2005. Ministère de l'Emploi, de la Cohésion sociale et du Logement. "Comment devenir Français? Acquisition de la nationalité française par décret." [Accessed 10 Jan. 2006]

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral Sources: The Embassy, the consulate of France in Djibouti and the Consulate of France in Canada did not provide information within the time constraints of this Response.

Internet sites, including: Consulat Général de France à New York; Embassy of the Republic of Djibouti in Washington, DC; Legifrance.gc.fr; Ministère de l'Intérieur, Djibouti; Sénat, France; Site Officiel de la République de Djibouti.

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 http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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