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Algeria: Whether a Sahrawi who lived several years in the Sahrawi camps in Algeria, who was born in Algeria to nomadic parents, themselves born in Western Sahara, can obtain Algerian citizenship or a permanent resident's visa in Algeria

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 18 October 2000
Citation / Document Symbol DZA35560.E
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Algeria: Whether a Sahrawi who lived several years in the Sahrawi camps in Algeria, who was born in Algeria to nomadic parents, themselves born in Western Sahara, can obtain Algerian citizenship or a permanent resident's visa in Algeria , 18 October 2000, DZA35560.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3df4be2bc.html [accessed 21 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.

During an interview on 17 October 2000, the representative of the Polisario Front in Washington, DC, stated that he was not aware of any case of a Sahrawi having received Algerian citizenship. However, he specified that before the war broke out, in 1975, Sahrawis living in Algeria or Mauritania would have received documents from these countries.

He stated that Sahrawis living in the camps near Tindouf are citizens of the Saharan Arab Democratic Republic (SADR). The Representative of the Polisario Front did not provide further information on the status of Sahrawis in Algeria.

For further information on the citizenship of the persons living in the Sahrawi camps in Tindouf, please see DZA34601.E of 18 July 2000.

For more information on the Algerian nationality by origin, please see below Chapter 11 of the Algerian Nationality Law of 18 December 1970:

Chapter II. Nationality by origin

Article 6

The following are of Algerian nationality by descent:

(1) the child born to an Algerian father;

(2) the child born to an Algerian mother and of unknown father;

(3) the child born to an Algerian mother and a stateless father.

Article 7

The following are of Algerian nationality by birth in Algeria:

(1) the child born in Algeria of unknown parents;

However, the child born in Algeria of unknown parents shall not be considered to have ever been Algerian if, before he comes of age, it is established that he is also of foreign descent and if he possesses the nationality of his foreign parent in accordance with the law of that country.

Any foundling found in Algeria is considered to be born in Algeria until the contrary has been proved.

(2) the child born in Algeria to an Algerian mother and a foreign father who was born in Algeria, unless the child renounces Algerian nationality within one year preceding his becoming of age.

Article 8

The child who is of Algerian nationality by virtue of Articles 6 and 7 above is considered to be Algerian by birth even if the conditions required by the law for the granting of Algerian nationality are fulfilled later.

The granting of the status of Algerian national by birth as well as the deprivation or renunciation of this status, by virtue of Article 6 (3) and Article 7 (1) and (2) above, do not affect either the validity of acts passed by the concerned person or the rights acquired by third persons on the basis of the apparent nationality that the child possessed at that ti me.

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 to refugee status or asylum.

Reference

Representative of the Polisario Front, Washington, DC. 17 October 2000. Interview.

Algeria. Nationality Law. 18 December 1970. Refworld 1998. (Unofficial translation published in Nationality and Statelessness, A Collection of National Laws, Volume I, Independent Bureau for Humanitarian Affairs, Ferney Voltaire, France, 1996)

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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