Naturalization along with the Keeping of Previous Citizenship for Minorities

The BVerwG decided on May 3, 2007 (re 5 C 3.06) the question whether it suffices or not that a country denies only a vast majority although still not generally the deprivation of citizenship.


The plaintiff is an Albanian national from Kosovo having Serbian citizenship. He fled to Germany due to the genocide in his home country. His application to be naturalized with acceptance multiple citizenship was denied by the office and lower courts. It was an unproven fact, that the Serbian government would only deprive Alban nationals of their Serbian citizenship when being sufficiently bribed or the negative result of an orderly application was to be expected.

Normally, it is required that one gives up the previous citizenship (§10 II no. 4 StAG). However, there are some exceptions. The interesting discussion of the law in this case is all about the exception §12 I 1 no. 2 StAG: regular denial of deprivation of one’s citizenship from the foreign country. The office and lower instances denied applying this exception. But the Bundesverwaltungsgericht considered it unjust to deny this exception when deprivation is not granted because the applicant belongs to a disadvantaged minority. Even though Serbia-Montenegro knows and generally grants denaturalization, it is known that ethnic Albanians in the Kosovo, will virtually not receive any consular services. Even when it is normally required for a naturalization applicant to set his citizenship matters in order, nonetheless, this cannot be seriously demanded when subject to a regime discriminating by ethnic criteria. It is known that any application to the Serbian embassy for a Serbian passport from an ethnic Albanian can take years to be processed – if at all. The only chance to positively influence this scenario would be bribery. It is unreasonable to demand bribery just to fulfill some German legal formalities.

Published on the old CMS: 2007/12/5
Read on the old CMS till November 2008: 1,290 reads

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