Act No. 1961-415 of 14 December 1961 promulgating the Ivory Coast Nationality Code, as amended by Act No. 1972-852 of 21 December 1972
THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HAS ADOPTED AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC PROMULGATES THE FOLLOWING ACT:
TITLE I GENERAL PROVISIONS
The law determines which persons possess Ivory Coast nationality at birth as their nationality of origin.
Ivory Coast nationality may be acquired or lost after birth by operation of law or pursuant to a decision of a public authority taken in accordance with the statutory procedure.
For the purposes of this code, the age of majority shall be prescribed by Ivory Coast law.
Provisions relating to nationality contained in duly ratified and published international treaties or agreements shall apply even if they conflict with the provisions of the municipal law of the Ivory Coast.
Change of nationality may in no case result from an international convention except in virtue of an express provision thereof.
Where under the terms of a convention a change of nationality is contingent on an act of option, the form of that act shall be determined by the law of the contracting State in which the act is to be performed.
TITLE II ATTRIBUTION OF IVORY COAST NATIONALITY AS NATIONALITY OF ORIGIN
The following shall be Ivory Coast nationals:
1. A legitimate or legitimated child born in the Ivory Coast, unless both his parents are aliens;
2. A child born out of wedlock in the Ivory Coast, unless his filiation is legally proved to both alien parents or to one alien parent.
The following shall be Ivory Cast nationals:
1. A legitimate or legitimated child born outside the Ivory Cast of a parent who is an Ivory Cast national;
2. A child born out of wedlock outside the Ivory Cast whose filiation is legally proved to one Ivory Cast parent.
A child who is an Ivory Coast national by virtue of the provisions of this title shall be deemed to have been an Ivory Cast national at birth, even if the statutory requirements for the attribution of Ivory Coast nationality are not proved to be satisfied until after his birth.
However, in the last-mentioned case, the attribution of Ivory Coast nationality at birth shall not affect the validity of instruments executed by the person concerned or rights acquired by third parties in virtue of his apparent nationality.
Birth or filiation shall affect the attribution of Ivory Coast nationality only if proved in accordance with Ivory Coast civil law.
TITLE III ACQUISITION OF IVORY COAST NATIONALITY
Chapter I METHODS OF ACQUIRING IVORY COAST NATIONALITY
Section 1 Acquisition of Ivory Coast nationality by operation of law
A child who has been adopted shall acquire Ivory Coast nationality if at least one of his adoptive parents is an Ivory Coast national.
Subject to the provisions of articles 13,14 and 40, an alien woman who marries an ivory coast national shall acquire Ivory Coast nationality upon the celebration of the marriage.
If the woman's national law permits her to retain her nationality, she shall be entitled to declare before the celebration of the marriage that she declines Ivory Coast nationality.
She may exercise that right without authorization even if she is a minor.
Within six months from the date of the marriage the government may, by decree founded on a joint report by the Ministers of Justice, the Interior, Health and population, bar the acquisition of Ivory Coast nationality.
For that purpose an extract of the marriage entry shall be transmitted within eight days of the ceremony by the registrar to the Ministry of Justice for registration.
Where the Government makes such a decree, the woman shall be deemed never to have acquired Ivory Coast nationality.
However, where the validity of instruments executed before the decree was made depends on the acquisition of Ivory Coast nationality by the woman, their validity may not be contested on the ground that she was unable to acquire that nationality.
Where a marriage is contracted abroad, the period prescribed in the foregoing article shall run from the date on which the particulars of the marriage are entered in the civil status records of a diplomatic or consular agent of the Ivory Coast.
A woman shall not acquire Ivory Coast nationality if her marriage, even if contracted in good faith, with an Ivory coast national is annulled by an order of an Ivory coast court or by an order having effect in the Ivory Coast.
However, where the validity of instruments executed before the court order annulling the marriage depends on the acquisition by the woman of Ivory Coast nationality, their validity may not be contested on the ground that she was unable to acquire that nationality.
Arts.17 to 23.
Section 3 Acquisition of Ivory Coast nationality by decision of the public authorities
Ivory Coast nationality is acquired by decision of the public authorities where naturalization or recovery of nationality is granted to an alien on his application.
Subsection 1. Naturalization
Naturalization as an Ivory Coast national shall be granted by decree after inquiry.
A person may not be naturalized unless habitually resident in the Ivory Coast at the time of signature of the decree of naturalization.
Save as otherwise provided in articles 27 and 28, naturalization may not be granted to an alien unless he can prove habitual residence in the ivory Coast during the five years preceding the submission of his application.
The period of residence required by article 26 shall be reduced to two years:
1. Where the alien was born in the Ivory Coast or is married to an ivory Coast national;
2. Where the alien has rendered important services to the Ivory Coast, for example through the exercise of distinguished artistic, scientific or literary talent, the introduction of useful industries or inventions, or the establishment in the Ivory Coast of industrial or agricultural undertakings.
The following persons may be naturalized without any condition as to length or residence:
1. An alien minor born outside the Ivory Coast, if one parent acquires Ivory Coast nationality during the lifetime of the other;
2. The minor child of an alien who acquires Ivory Coast nationality, not having himself yet acquired that nationality by right in virtue of article 46 hereof;
3. The wife and children of full age of an alien who acquires Ivory Coast nationality.
5. An alien who has rendered outstanding services to the Ivory Coast or whose naturalization would be of exceptional interest to the Ivory Coast or whose naturalization would be of exceptional interest to the Ivory Coast.
Except for minors to whom the provisions of article 28 apply, no person who has not reached the age of eighteen years may be naturalized.
A minor eighteen years of age may apply for naturalization without authorization.
In applying for naturalization, a minor under eighteen years of age to whom the provisions of article 28 apply shall be authorized or represented in accordance with the conditions specified below.
If he is 16 years of age but under 18, authorization shall be given by whichever parent exercises parental authority, or filing that by his guardian, after due consultation with the family council.
If he is under 16 years of age, the minor shall be represented by the person indicated in the previous paragraph, provided that if such legal representative is a foreigner, he shall have been a habitual resident of the Ivory Coast for at least five years.
A person may not be naturalized unless he is of good conduct and moral character.
A person may not be naturalized unless:
1. He is found to be of sound mind;
2. His physical health is found to be such that he is not likely to be a charge on or a danger to the public.
However, this requirement shall be waived in respect of an alien to whom the provisions of the last paragraph of article 28 apply.
The manner of verifying the state of health of an alien who has applied for naturalization shall be specified by decree.
A registration fee payable to the treasury, the amount and method of payment of which shall be specified by decree, shall be charged at the time of each naturalization.
Subsection 2. Recovery of Nationality
Recovery of Ivory Coast nationality shall be granted by decree after enquiry.
Ivory Coast nationality may be recovered at any age and without any residence requirement.
However, a person may not recover Ivory Coast nationality unless he is habitually resident in the Ivory Coast at the time of recovery.
A person applying for recovery of nationality shall prove that he formerly possessed Ivory Coast nationality.
A person who has been deprived of Ivory Coast nationality under article 54 of this code may not recover it unless he was deprived of it on the ground of a conviction and his full rights have been restored by the court.
A person to whom the preceding article applies may recover his nationality if he has rendered outstanding services to the Ivory Coast or his recovery of nationality would be of exceptional value to the Ivory Coast.
Section 4 Provisions common to certain ways of acquiring Ivory Coast nationality
Where acquisition of Ivory Coast nationality is conditional on residence in the Ivory Coast, a person may not acquire nationality unless he fulfils the statutory obligations and conditions governing residence of aliens in the Ivory Coast.
An alien in respect of whom an expulsion or restricted residence order has been made may not acquire Ivory Coast nationality in any manner whatsoever nor recover the same unless the order has been revoked in the form in which it was made.
Residence in the Ivory Coast while a restricted residence order is in effect or during a term of imprisonment shall not be reckoned in the qualifying period of residence required by the various provisions governing acquisition of Ivory Coast nationality.
Chapter II EFFECTS OF ACQUISITION OF IVORY COAST NATIONALITY
A person acquiring Ivory Coast nationality shall from the date of such acquisition enjoy all the rights attaching to the nationality, subject to the disabilities prescribed in article 43 of this Code or in special statutes.
A naturalized alien shall be subject to the following disabilities:
1. During the period of ten years following the naturalization decree he may not be appointed to any elective function or office which may be discharged only by an Ivory coast national;
2. During the period of five years following the naturalization decree he may not vote in an election for which only Ivory Coast nationals may be registered as electors;
3. During the period of five years following the naturalization decree he may not be appointed to a public office remunerated by the State or be called to the bar or hold a ministerial office (office ministériel).
A naturalized person who has rendered outstanding services to the Ivory coast, or whose naturalization would be of exceptional value to the Ivory Coast, may be relieved by the naturalization decree of some or all of the disabilities prescribed in article 43.
A minor shall become an Ivory Coast national by right on the same grounds as his parents, provided that filiation is attested in accordance with Ivory Coast law:
1. Where he is legitimate or legitimated and his father or legitimated and his father or widowed mother acquires Ivory Coast nationality;
2. Where he is born out of wedlock and the parent exercising parental authority as prescribed in article 9 of the law on minors acquires Ivory Coast nationality.
The provisions of the preceding article shall not apply:
1. To a married minor;
2. To a person who is serving or has served in the armed forces of his country of origin.
A minor may not benefit by article 45 if:
1. An expulsion order or a restricted residence order has been made in respect of him and has not been revoked in the form in which it was made;
2. He has been sentenced to a term of imprisonment exceeding six months for a crime (crime) or correctional offence (délit);
3. He is debarred by the provisions of article 39 from acquiring Ivory Coast nationality.
TITLE IV LOSS AND DEPRIVATION OF IVORY COAST NATIONALITY
Chapter I LOSS OF IVORY COAST NATIONALITY
An Ivory Coast national of full age who voluntarily acquires or states that he possesses a foreign nationality shall lose Ivory Coast nationality.
Nevertheless, for a period of 15 years from the date of entry on the population register such loss or nationality shall be subject to authorization by the Government by a decree made in accordance with a report by the Keeper of the Seals, Minister of Justice, subject to prior consultation with the Minister of Public Health and the Minister of National Defence.
An Ivory Coast national, even if a minor, who possesses a second nationality by right through the operation of a foreign law may be authorized by decree to relinquish Ivory Coast nationality.
A minor shall be authorized or represented, as the case may be, as prescribed in article 30.
An Ivory Coast national who loses Ivory Coast nationality shall be released from his allegiance to the Ivory Coast:
1. In a case to which article 48 applies, on the date on which the foreign nationality is acquired;
2. In a case to which article 49 applies, on the date of the decree authorizing him to relinquish Ivory Coast nationality.
An Ivory Coast woman who marries an alien shall retain Ivory Coast nationality unless before the celebration of the marriage she makes an express declaration in accordance with the conditions and procedure laid down in articles 57 et seq. that she renounces her Ivory Coast nationality.
The declaration may be made without authorization, even if she is a minor.
The declaration shall be valid only if she acquires or may acquire her husband's nationality under the law of his country.
In that case she shall be released from her allegiance to the Ivory Coast on the date of the celebration of the marriage.
An Ivory Coast national who in fact behaves as a national of a foreign country may, if he also possesses the nationality of that country, be declared by decree to have lost Ivory Coast nationality.
In that case, he shall be released from his allegiance to the Ivory Coast on the date of the decree.
This measure may be extended to his spouse and minor children if they possess a foreign nationality, but not to his minor children without also being extended to his spouse.
An Ivory Coast national who holds a post in a public service of a foreign State or in a foreign army, and retains the same though directed to resign it by the government of the Ivory Coast, shall lose Ivory Coast nationality.
Six months after notification of such direction, the national shall be declared by decree to have lost Ivory Coast nationality if during that period he has failed to resign the said post, unless it is proved that he was absolutely unable to do so, in which case the six months' period shall not begin to run until the date on which the impediment was removed.
He shall be released from his allegiance to the Ivory Coast on the date of the decree.
Chapter II DEPRIVATION OF IVORY COAST NATIONALITY
A person who has acquired Ivory Coast nationality may be deprived thereof by decree if:
1. He is convicted of an act constituting a crime (crime) or correctional offence (délit) against the internal or external security of the State;
2. He is convicted of an act constituting a crime or correctional offence against the established institutions;
3. He has done, to the advantage of a foreign State, acts incompatible with his Ivory Coast nationality and detrimental to the interests of the Ivory Coast.
4. He has been convicted in the Ivory Coast or abroad of an act constituting a crime under Ivory coast law and has been sentenced therefor to a term of net less than five years' imprisonment.
A person may not be deprived of Ivory Coast nationality unless the acts specified in article 54 with which he is charged occurred within the ten years following the date on which he acquired Ivory Coast nationality.
Deprivation of Ivory Coast nationality may not be decreed except within the two years following the commission of those acts.
Deprivation of Ivory Coast nationality may be extended to the spouse and minor children of the national concerned if they are of foreign origin and have retained a foreign nationality.
However, it may not be extended to his minor children without also being extends to his spouse.
TITLE V CONDITIONS AND PROCEDURE FOR ACTS RELATING TO THE ACQUISITION OR LOSS OF IVORY COAST NATIONALITY
Chapter I DECLARATIONS OF NATIONALITY AND THEIR REGISTRATION
Any declaration made for the purpose of:
1. Declining Ivory Coast nationality, or
2. Repudiating Ivory Coast nationality in the cases provided by law, shall be signed before the presiding judge of the court of first instance, an authorized magistrate or the judge of that section of the court in whose jurisdiction the declarant has his residence.
If the declarant is abroad, his declaration shall be signed before a diplomatic or consular agent of the Ivory Coast.
All declarations of nationality signed in accordance with the foregoing articles must be registered with the Ministry of Justice under pain of nullity.
If the person concerned fails to meet the conditions required by law, the Minister of Justice shall refuse to register the declaration. His refusal and the grounds for it shall be notified to the declarant.
If six months after the date of signature of the declaration no decision has been taken to refuse to register it, the Minister of Justice shall transmit to the declarant at the latter's request a copy of the declaration bearing a reference to its registration.
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