Last Updated: Thursday, 18 September 2014, 13:28 GMT

Zaire: Information from Zairian and Angolan authorities on the nationality status of a male born in 1966 in Zaire to Angolan parents who did not have permanent residence status in Zaire; and on his nationality status in Zaire if he went to Angola at age 24 and obtained a "Bilhete de Identidade de Cidadño Nacional"

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 1 July 1995
Citation / Document Symbol ZAR21029.E
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Zaire: Information from Zairian and Angolan authorities on the nationality status of a male born in 1966 in Zaire to Angolan parents who did not have permanent residence status in Zaire; and on his nationality status in Zaire if he went to Angola at age 24 and obtained a "Bilhete de Identidade de Cidadño Nacional", 1 July 1995, ZAR21029.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6abbf84.html [accessed 18 September 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.

 

Only partial information on the above-mentioned subject is currently available to the DIRB from Zairian and Angolan authorities.

An official at the embassy of Zaire in London, United Kingdom stated in a telephone interview that a child born in Zaire of foreign parents does not automatically receive Zairian nationality (6 July 1995). The nationality of the child would be dependent on "many circumstances"; the official mentioned the status of the child's parents in Zaire and the length of time they had spent in the country as examples (ibid.). The official added that Zairian nationality law assumes applicants for citizenship have no other nationality when applying for citizenship since dual nationality is not recognized by Zaire (ibid.).

The official also stated that an individual born in Zaire of foreign parents could make an application for citizenship to the Ministry of the Interior upon reaching the age of 18 (ibid.). The ministry has complete discretion in these matters, but generally the applicant would need to produce documentation establishing his birth, and parents' status. In addition, the applicant would have to present reasons for staying in Zaire explaining why he or she wants Zairian citizenship, as well as satisfy other conditions outlined in the nationality law (ibid.). The official was of the opinion that the current nationality legislation would apply to an individual born in 1966 in Zaire.

For a copy of the nationality law of Zaire and the Juris-Classeur commentary on the nationality law, please consult the attachments to Response to Information Request ZAR17454.F of 2 May 1994, which is available at Regional Documentation Centres. For information on the law regarding foreigners in Zaire, please consult the attached document.

Response to Information Request ZAR17723.E of 4 July 1994, which is also available at Regional Documentation Centres, provides information from an official at the Zairian embassy in Ottawa that differs from the information provided by the embassy official in London in this Response.

The following information was provided in a telephone interview on 6 July 1995 by an official at the Angolan embassy in Washington, DC. The Bilhete de Identidade de Cidadño Nacional is an identity card issued to Angolan citizens. It is only issued by the Ministry of Justice in Angola. To obtain the card, an applicant has to provide a birth certificate and identity documents of his or her parents; however, the official was not certain of all the documentation required for an application for citizenship. A holder of a Bilhete has full citizenship rights as guaranteed in the constitution, including the right to vote and obtain an Angolan passport. The official stated that an individual born in a foreign country of Angolan parents could obtain a Bilhete without living in Angola for a specified period. For additional information on the citizenship law of Angola, please consult a copy of the law attached to Response to Information Request AGO18083.E of 28 July 1994, which is available at Regional Documentation Centres.

The official also stated that Angolan authorities have encountered individuals from Zaire in possession of the Bilhete, who lack proper documentation establishing their right to a Bilhete. The official was of the opinion that these individuals take advantage of the war conditions in Angola to obtain the "Bilhete" on the basis of false information. Additional and/or corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the DIRB.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.

References

Embassy of the Republic of Angola, Washington, DC. 6 July 1995. Telephone interview with an official.

Embassy of the Republic of Zaire, London, UK. 6 July 1995. Telephone interview with an official.

Attachment

Republic of Zaire. 12 September 1983. Ordonnance-Loi Relative à la Police des Etrangers. (HCRViews REFLEG database)

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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