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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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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.

Australian senator resigns due to dual citizenship

Greens Senator Scott Ludlum has resigned from his post, because dual citizenship holders are barred from holding parliamentary seats. Upon finding out he was a holder of the citizenship of New Zealand, Ludlum resigned in line with section 44(i) of the constitution, preventing election of “[a]ny person who is under any acknowledgement of allegiance obedience or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign power.”

Read more here

For details of current and past citizenship and electoral rights legislation in Australia check out our country profile pages

For comparative data on electoral rights see our CER database and ELECLAW indicators.

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.