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Citizenship News

EUDO CITIZENSHIP offers a selection of media reports and news summaries on significant legislative changes, court decisions, policy developments, political campaigns or other events concerning citizenship in Europe and beyond.

We welcome suggestions for news items by our users. Proposals including the full text or internet link should be sent to EUDO.Citizenship@eui.eu. The EUDO CITIZENSHIP team will selectively publish news based on their significance and information content. We will not publish items whose content appears to be biased or otherwise problematic.

We will publish news in any European language if an English summary of the content is available.

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Sierra Leone enacts citizenship amendments

The Parliament of Sierra Leone on amended the bill entitled “The Citizenship Amendment Act 2017” on 5 July 2017.The bill amends the Citizenship Act of 1973 to take into consideration the amendment made to the Citizenship Act in 2006 providing for citizenship by birth to be granted through the mother.

Read more here.

Kazakhstan adopts Law on citizenship deprivation

The President of Kazakhstan  Nursultan Nazarbaev has signed into law a bill that would enable the authorities to annul the citizenship of people convicted of certain crimes related to terrorism and state security.The bill was previously passed in both chambers of Kazakhstan’s parliament.

Read more here.

Taiwan eases citizenship rules

Taiwan has amended its citizenship policy to relax naturalisation requirements. According to the new legislation, foreigners with five years of residency can apply for Taiwanese citizenship, and if “they are high-level professionals in the technological, economic, educational, cultural, art, sports, or other domains who have been recommended by the central competent authority”, they need not renounce their nationality of origin. In addition to this, renunciation was abolished for spouses of Taiwanese nationals.

Previously, to obtain the citizenship of Taiwan, a foreigner was required to first renounce their citizenship of origin, thus remaining at the risk of statelessness.

Read more in Taipei Times and Taiwan News here, here and here.

For details of current and past citizenship legislation in Taiwan, check out our country profile pages.

A second Australian senator resigns because of dual citizenship

Larissa Waters, an Australian senator, has resigned after learning she holds dual citizenship. She found out about her second citizenship after another senator, Scott Ludlam, also resigned for having dual citizenship.

Under Australia's constitution, a person cannot run for federal office if they hold dual or plural citizenship.

Read more here, and commentaries in The Economist on the dual citizenship and eligibility for office in Australia here and here.

Find about the restrictions of candidacy rights in Australia and many other countries in our Conditions for Electoral Rights database.

Negative naturalisation decision lays bare the arbitrary and discretionary powers of local naturalisation committees in Switzerland

Funda Yilmaz, a 25-year old born to Turkish parents in Switzerland, has been living in the municipality of Buchs in the canton of Aargau for 16 years She works as a construction planner in Aarau, speaks perfect Swiss German and writes flawless Standard German. She is member of a local association and plays football for a local club. She is engaged with a Swiss man. And she had a perfect score on the citizenship and political knowledge test.

Still, the municipality of Buchs denied her naturalization request. The reason: Yilmaz “lives in a small world and shows no interest in entering a dialogue with Switzerland and its population”. This assessment was based on facts such as her decision to go to a supermarket rather than to the local butcher and having most of her friends in a neighbouring municipality.

After the full transcript of the naturalisation interview – which consisted of over 90 questions – became public, it raised eyebrows even among some members of the right-wing Swiss People’s party. This case shows, again, how restrictive Swiss citizenship law is, not only on paper but even more so in practice.

Read more here (in English) and here (in German).

For details of current and past citizenship legislation in Switzerland check out our country profile pages.