Today, March 14, at the morning Parliament for inclusion in the agenda of the session the draft law on amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On citizenship of Ukraine” in part of realization of the right to change citizenship (13.03.2017 n 1-1/128, filed 14.03.2017). Because the subject of the legislative initiative of the President of Ukraine, the bill will be introduced in the agenda and considered by MPs in the most karotki time.
Constitutional myth about the impossibility to have dual citizenship is very common, and identifying additional citizenship of top officials has become a classic method escalation of the scandal on the Ukrainian political arena. Passports of foreign countries regularly find during searches, which only exacerbates the outrage.
Everyone who was holding the Constitution, remember that Ukraine provided for a single citizenship. In the basic law is a General principle whose interpretation in a separate Law “On citizenship of Ukraine”. Before considering changes to the law proposed by Poroshenko, let us consider the shortcomings of the current law on citizenship together with the candidate of legal Sciences, Professor of the Department Wisconsin International University (USA) in Ukraine, Professor of the European University Sergey Panasyuk.
“Today”: Sergei Anatolyevich, is it forbidden for Ukrainian citizens to have citizenship of another country?
S. P.: No, it’s a myth. In accordance with article 4 of the Constitution of Ukraine: “In Ukraine there is single citizenship. The grounds for acquisition and renunciation of citizenship of Ukraine are determined by law.” The Constitution cannot (and should not) specify in detail all. It gives only General principles.
The principle of “single citizenship” detailed in article 2 of the law of Ukraine “On citizenship of Ukraine”: “the Principle of single citizenship – citizenship of the state of Ukraine excludes the possibility of existence of citizenship of administrative-territorial units of Ukraine.” Can’t be citizenship Kyiv, Luhansk or Odessa region, provides only single citizenship of Ukraine.
The same article States: “If a citizen of Ukraine acquired citizenship (nationality) of another country or countries, then in legal relations with Ukraine he is recognized only by the citizen of Ukraine. If a foreigner has acquired the citizenship of Ukraine, then in legal relations with Ukraine he is recognized only by the citizen of Ukraine”.
So, the current legislation does not exclude the presence among citizens of other nationality. On the contrary, the law provides for such a possibility.
With this, I think, clear.
Today Ukraine is not “for”, but 100% not “against” the presence of a citizen of Ukraine of citizenship of another country
“Today”: is there a deprivation of the citizenship of Ukraine and when?
S. P.: According to article 19 of the law of Ukraine “On citizenship of Ukraine” citizen of Ukraine may lose the citizenship of Ukraine. To deprive the citizen of Ukraine citizenship – is prohibited!
The loss of citizenship of Ukraine a citizen can under the following circumstances:
· If he voluntarily acquired the citizenship of another country as an adult. This means, deliberately went to the office of another state, wrote a statement, has filed or has committed any other action which provides for the acquisition of citizenship of another state;
· If the person acquired the citizenship by fraud, the deliberate submission of false information or forged documents;
· If a citizen of Ukraine enlisted in the armed forces or the army of another country.
It is important that the citizen is not allowed to have the citizenship of another country (not considered voluntary and does not entail any consequences) if a citizen of Ukraine:
1. At the same time acquired the citizenship of Ukraine and other countries according to birth.
Example: according to Ukrainian legislation, if a child born of a citizen of Ukraine, he is considered a citizen of Ukraine. Imagine that the other parent is a citizen of another state, which is governed by the same rules.
2. If a child (citizen of Ukraine) has acquired the citizenship of another country (the nationality of their adoptive parents) as a result of adoption by foreigners.
3. If a citizen of Ukraine automatically acquired the nationality of another state as a result of marriage with a foreigner.
4. If an adult citizen of Ukraine automatically (for a gift) acquired citizenship of another state, in the exercise of rights that were not aimed at obtaining the citizenship of another country directly.
Example: You bought a house abroad, and according to the laws of this country You get the citizenship. In this case Ukraine – not against it. But Ukraine is against You went (after such a gift) to consciously take actions for obtaining a passport of that state.
It is noteworthy that even if You breach the requirements of the legislation of Ukraine and consciously (voluntarily) went and applied for a foreign citizenship or passport, You will lose citizenship only after the relevant decision of the President of Ukraine.
If Your loss of citizenship of Ukraine will lead to the fact that You will become a stateless person (other than the fact of deception, the deliberate submission of false information or forged documents), rules of law do not apply to You.
Summing up the above, we can say that as of today Ukraine is not “for”, but 100% not “against” the presence of a citizen of Ukraine of citizenship of another country. Of course, You can lose the citizenship of Ukraine in the case of conscious and voluntary action aimed at obtaining the citizenship of another country. But only if it will be signed by the President of Ukraine and You will not then a person without citizenship.
“Today”: current law understood. What are the innovations proposed by the President in the draft law No. 6175 from 13.03.2017 on amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On citizenship of Ukraine” regarding implementation of the right to change citizenship?
S. P.: first, prompted the need for individuals who received citizenship of Ukraine and submitted a Declaration of renunciation of foreign citizenship, within a month to return the passport of a citizen of another country.
Earlier this period was not, now is the month to think about. Separately added the need to alert on Ukraine, on such return. If You are a refugee or was granted asylum in Ukraine, the state itself will understand with your passport of another country.
The project provides new grounds for loss of citizenship
Interesting proposed addition to article 19 of the Law, namely: “the Citizen of Ukraine who voluntarily acquired citizenship of another state shall be deemed revealed the intention to change my citizenship and filed a consent to the termination of citizenship of Ukraine”.
It seems that the state is insured from further litigation. How else to interpret that amendment? It’s like a clause in the contract “I understand all the implications and ready to take full responsibility for their actions.” Whether this amendment is critical? I don’t think so.
The project provides new grounds for loss of citizenship. Provides for loss of citizenship of Ukraine, if the person who received it, continues to enjoy the right to vote or other rights which are directly related to the citizenship of another state.
Note that the proof of this fact, the data will be public registries of state bodies, local self-government bodies of foreign countries, information published on official websites or in official publications of state bodies, local self-government bodies of foreign countries and/or documents provided by such bodies.
Provides for loss of citizenship of Ukraine, if the person who purchased it, has the passport of another country to travel abroad. Also if the person who obtained the citizenship of Ukraine, in the absence of independent circumstances within a period not filed in the state of Ukraine on confirmation of loss of citizenship of another country, it may lose the citizenship of Ukraine.
Most importantly made in the final provisions of the bill, which States that citizens of Ukraine who have the passport of another country and at the time when the draft will become law and will come into force, shall within a six-month term to take measures on the termination of foreign citizenship and hand over the data of the passport documents to the competent authorities of Ukraine. Failure to comply with these obligations by the citizens of Ukraine will lead to loss of citizenship.
After reviewing the project changes, it becomes obvious that its main purpose lies in the provision that a citizen of Ukraine who voluntarily acquired citizenship of another country, is considered to be a announced the intention to change my citizenship and filed a consent to loss of citizenship of Ukraine.
The big question remains regarding the provisions that enable citizens to hold citizenship of another state, as there remains the possibility of ambiguity. Leave it to the court or wait for the finalization of the bill.
Analyzing this project, once again the question arises on the legislative technique of presentation. The text is quite hard to understand, with complex syntactic constructions and utterly confusing structure, which has always been a problem of the Ukrainian legislation.