Last Updated: Monday, 18 December 2017, 09:48 GMT

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): Whether the DRC recognizes dual citizenship; status of an individual born in the DRC in 1961 of parents who currently reside in and are citizens of the DRC, who emigrated to the Central African Republic (CAR) and consequently obtained citizenship of this country in 1992 (2002 - May 2003)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 16 May 2003
Citation / Document Symbol RDC41254.E
Reference 4
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): Whether the DRC recognizes dual citizenship; status of an individual born in the DRC in 1961 of parents who currently reside in and are citizens of the DRC, who emigrated to the Central African Republic (CAR) and consequently obtained citizenship of this country in 1992 (2002 - May 2003), 16 May 2003, RDC41254.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3f7d4e0523.html [accessed 18 December 2017]
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.

According to Citizenship Laws of the World, dual citizenship is not recognized by the Democratic Republic of Congo (RDC) (United States Mar. 2001). However, the same source stated that a "child born abroad, who obtains the citizenship of the country of birth may retain dual citizenship until their 21st birthday. [The] [p]erson then has 12 months to renounce foreign citizenship or Congolese citizenship will be revoked" (ibid.).

Citing the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Kinshasa Office, a Senior Protection Officer within the UNHCR Branch Office for Canada stated, in a 1 May 2003 letter sent to the Research Directorate, that "dual nationality is still forbidden by virtue of Article 14 of the New Transitional Constitution that was promulgated [on] 4 April 2003."

Referring to the case of an individual who obtained citizenship in the Central African Republic (CAR) in 1992, two Congolese jurists provided the following information during 9 and 12 May 2003 telephone interviews respectively. The first jurist is working at Human Rights Watch (HRW) in Washington, D.C. and is a member of the Kinshasa Bar Association while the second is working at the Belgium-based Centre for the Study of the Great Lakes Region of Africa and is also a member of the Bukavu Bar Association (in South Kivu).

By voluntarily acquiring the Central African citizenship in 1992, the individual in question lost his/her Congolese citizenship automatically. In order to recover his/her Congolese citizenship, the person must renounce his/her Central African citizenship and address his/her request to the Minister of Justice in the RDC.

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. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Congolese jurist and member of the Kinshasa Bar Association. 9 May 2003. Telephone interview.

Congolese jurist and member of the Bukavu Bar Association. 12 May 2003. Telephone interview.

United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). 1 May 2003. Correspondence sent a Senior Protection Officer at the Branch Office for Canada.

United States. March 2001. Office of Personnel Management. Investigations Service. Citizenship Laws of the World: "Congo (Formerly Zaire)." [Accessed 12 May 2003]

Additional Sources Consulted

IRB Databases

Websites, including:

European Country of Origin Information Network (ecoi.net)

UNHCR

United Kingdom, Immigration and Nationality Directorate

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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