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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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The Federal Court of Canada annuls citizenship revocation for 312 people

Canadian Federal Court has annulled the attempted deprivation of citizenship for 312 people. In an earlier judgment, the provisions of the Citizenship Act regarding citizenship deprivation that were introduced by the former Conservative government were struck down. These provisions were declared void, as they failed to take into account humanitarian and compassionate considerations.

Read more here.

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

For a discussion on citizenship deprivation in Canada see Tom Boekstein’s GLOBALCIT blog

The U.S. Supreme Court makes citizenship revocation harder

In the Maslenjak v. United States ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that if the government wants to revoke citizenship of a person who committed a crime in the naturalisation process, it needs to prove that he crime had a causal influence on the defendant’s acquisition of citizenship. In cases when an individual has committed the crime of lying in the naturalisation process, ‘causal influence’ exists if a truthful answer would have disqualified the applicant from citizenship.

The case concerned a Bosnian Serb woman, admitted as a refugee in the U.S. in the 1990s, who lied about the whereabouts of her husband who participate in the Srebrenica massacre.

Read more here.

For details of present and past citizenship legislation in the U.S. check out our country profile pages.

A record number of Britons become German citizens

In 2016, a record number of UK citizens received German passports. The German federal statistics office reports that there has been a 361% increase in the number of Britons who took German citizenship. The total number of passports granted to Britons was 2,865.It is expected that the number will further increase in 2017.

Read more here and here (in French).

For details of current and past citizenship laws in the UK and Germany check out our country profile pages.

US Supreme Court bars favouring mothers over fathers in citizenship cases

The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that unwed mothers and fathers cannot be treated in different ways. The ruling concerned Luis Ramon Morales-Santana born in the Dominican Republic to an American father and non-American mother. After convictions for robbery, attempted murder and other crimes, federal authorities sought to deport him, and he sought US citizenship. He was denied such citizenship because of the discrepancy of the rules at the time, which required fathers to have spent 10 and mothers 1 years in the United States prior to the child’s birth. The current law also favours mothers over fathers.

Read the text in the New York Times.

For details of present and past citizenship legislation in the US check out our country profile pages

Vote for enfranchising the Irish abroad in Presidential elections

On 12 March 2017 the Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister), Enda Kenny, announced that the government plans to hold a constitutional referendum in 2018 on the issue of voting rights in Presidential elections for citizens living outside the state, to apply from 2025.  Ireland is one of the few European countries not to provide voting rights for citizens living abroad.  In 2013 a report of the Irish Constitutional Convention recommended the introduction of votes for emigrants and for citizens in Northern Ireland in presidential elections.

Read newspaper coverage in the Irish Times here. Listen to a radio interview with the Taoiseach when he made his announcement, followed by an interview with EUDO Citizenship/GlobalCIT consortium member, Professor Iseult Honohan on the general issues of votes for citizens abroad.   

The government has published a discussion paper listing seven alternative ‘options’ in the scope and implementation of this extension of voting. In addition to citizens in Northern Ireland, the options include: all citizens, only first generation emigrants, and only first generation emigrants with a time limit abroad. This paper was initially discussed at a session of the Irish Global Diaspora Forum hosted by the Irish government in Dublin on May 4 and 5, which was addressed by the minister responsible, Simon Coveney, who has since emphasised that while the process has started, this will not apply before the presidential election of 2025.

For details of current and past electoral legislation in Ireland visit our country profile pages.

For a comparative overview of electoral rights at different levels consult our CER 2015 database and ELECLAW 3.0 indicators.