Praxis Watch

Thursday, 15 May 2014

I. D. without the Serbian Citizenship even after Nine Years

I. D. was born in Germany to the father, who is the citizen of Macedonia, and the mother, who is the citizen of Serbia. After 2000, his family moved to Serbia and in 2005 his father submitted the request for determining I.D.'s citizenship.

The decision of I. D.'s request was not reached not even until May 2014 – nine years after submitting the request. I. D. asked kept asking around in the police station in which the request was submitted, but with no success. Last time, they said to him that he is a foreigner, an adult and that he resides in the country illegally and that therefore he would have to go to Macedonia and register his stay so as to be admitted in the citizenship of the Republic of Serbia.

I. D. then addressed Praxis for assistance. Based on delivered documents, it was concluded that his citizenship had not been determined to him because his parents used the option for I. D. to acquire the citizenship of one parent (i.e. Macedonian citizenship) when registering I.D. in the Embassy of Macedonia whose citizen his father is. At the moment of I. D.’s birth, the rule according to which the parents of different citizenship (of different republics of former SFRY) agreeably decide which citizenship their child will acquire, was then still in force. Therefore, it was not possible to determine the Serbian citizenship for I. D. but he could be just admitted in the citizenship.

Until a few years ago, I. D. as a member of one of the nations from the territory of former SFRY, could have been admitted into the citizenship of the Republic of Serbia just with the statement that the considers Serbia his own country. However, the provisions envisaging such facilitated naturalization were time-limited and stopped being in force. Also, as a minor child of the local citizen (he was only 12 at the moment of submitting the request, and his mother was a Serbian citizen), I. D. could have more easily regulated his stay in Serbia. However, waiting for the decision upon the request, I. D. missed both opportunities.

I. D. and his family are the members of Roma national minority, one of the most vulnerable groups in Serbia. Without possessing enough resources for supporting himself, I. D. cannot obtain the permanent resident status in Serbia and consequently he could not fulfill the conditions for the ordinary naturalization of foreigners. Currently, he can only continue living in Serbia without the solved status and at risk of deportation or to leave his family and go to the state whose citizenship he possesses but with no effective bond to it.

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