NATIONALITY

The Conflict of Nationality Law

 

 

CHAPTER I.
GENERAL PRINCIPLES.

 

Article 1.

It is for each State to determine under its own law who are its nationals. This law shall be recognised by other States in so far as it is consistent with international conventions, international custom, and the principles of law generally recognised with regard to nationality.

 

Article 2.

Any question as to whether a person possesses the nationality of a particular State shall be determined in accordance with the law of the State.

 

Article 3.

Subject to the provisions of the present Convention, person having two or more nationalities may be regarded as its national by each of the States whose nationality he possesses.

 

Article 4.

A State may not afford diplomatic protection to one of its national against a State whose nationality such person also possesses.

 

Article 5.

Within a third State, a person having more than one nationality shall be treated as if he had only one. Without prejudice to the application of its law in matters of personal status and of any conventions in force, a third State shall, of the nationalities which any such person possesses, recognise exclusively in its territory either the nationality of the country in which he is habitually and principally resident, or the nationality of the country with which in the circumstances he appears to be in fact most closely connected.

 

Article 6.

Without prejudice to the liberty of a State to accord wider rights to renounce its nationality, a person possessing two nationalities acquired without any voluntary act on his part may renounce one of them with the authorisation of the State whose nationality he desires to surrender.

This authorisation may not be refused in the case of a person who has his habitual and principal resident abroad, if the conditions laid down in the law of the State whose nationality he desires to surrender are satisfied.

 

CHAPTER II.
EXPATRIATION PERMITS.

 

Article 7.

In so far as the law of a State provides for the issue of an expatriation permit, such a permit shall not entail the loss of the nationality of the State which issues it, unless the person to whom it is issued possesses another nationality or unless and until he acquires another nationality.

An expatriation permit shall lapse if the holder does not acquire a new nationality within the period fixed by the State which has issued the permit. This provision shall not apply in the case of an individual who, at the time when he receives the expatriation permit, already possesses a nationality other than that of the State by which the permit is issued to him.

The State whose nationality is acquired by a person to whom an expatriation permit has been issued, shall notify such acquisition to the State which has issued the permit.

 

CHAPTER III.
NATIONALITY OF MARRIED WOMEN.

 

Article 8.

If the national law of the wife causes her to lose her nationality on marriage with a foreigner, this consequence shall be conditional on her acquiring the nationality of the husband.

 

Article 9.

If the national law of the wife causes her to lose her nationality upon a change in the nationality of her husband occurring during marriage, this consequence shall be conditional on her acquiring her husband's new nationality.

 

Article 10

Naturalisation of the husband during marriage shall not involve a change in the nationality of the wife except with her consent.

 

Article 11

The wife who, under the law of her country, lost her nationality on marriage shall not recover it after the dissolution of the marriage except on her own application and in accordance with law of that country. If she does recover it, she shall lose the nationality which she acquired by reason of the marriage.

CHAPTER IV.
 

NATIONALITY OF CHILDREN.

 

Article 12

Rules of law which confer nationality by reason of birth on the territory of a State shall not apply automatically to children born to persons enjoying diplomatic immunities in the country where the birth occurs.

The law of each State shall permit children of consuls de carrière, or of officials of foreign States charged with official missions by their Governments, to become divested, by repudiation or otherwise, of the nationality of the State in which they were born, in any case in which on birth they acquired dual nationality, provided that they retain the nationality of their parents.

 

Article 13.

Naturalisation of the parents shall confer on such of their children as, according to its law, are minors the nationality of the State by which the naturalisation is granted. In such case the law of that State may specify the conditions governing the acquisition of its nationality by the minor children as a result of the naturalisation of the parents. In cases where minor children do not acquire the nationality of their parents as the result of the naturalisation of the latter, they shall retain their existing nationality.

 

Article 14.

A child whose parents are both unknown shall have the nationality of the country of birth. If the child's parentage is established, its nationality shall be determined by the rules applicable in cases where the parentage is known.

A foundling is, until the contrary is proved, presumed to have been born on the territory of the State in which its was found.

 

Article 15.

Where the nationality of a State is not acquired automatically by reason of birth on its territory, a child born on the territory of that State of parents having no nationality, or of unknown nationality, may obtain the nationality of the said State. The law of that State shall determine the conditions governing the acquisition of its nationality in such cases.

 

Article 16.

If the law of the State, whose nationality an illegitimate child possesses, recognises that such nationality may be lost as a consequence of a change in the civil status of the child (legitimation, recognition), such loss shall be conditional on the acquisition by the child of the nationality of another State under the law of such State relating to the effect upon nationality of changes in civil status.

 

CHAPTER V.
ADOPTION.

 

Article 17.

If the law of a State recognises that its nationality may be lost as the result of adoption, this loss shall be conditional upon the acquisition by the person adopted of the nationality of the person by whom he is adopted, under the law of the State of which the latter is a national relating to the effect of adoption upon nationality.

 

 

CHAPTER VI.
GENERAL AND FINAL PROVISIONS.

 

Article 18.

The High Contracting Parties agree to apply the principles and rules contained in the preceding articles in their relations with each other, as from the date of the entry into force of the present Convention.

The inclusion of the above-mentioned principles and rules in the Convention shall in no way be deemed to prejudice the question whether they do or do not already form part of international law.

It is understood that, in so far as any point is not covered by any of the provisions of the preceding articles, the existing principles and rules of international law shall remain in force.

 

Article 19.

Nothing in the present Convention shall affect the provisions of any treaty, convention or agreement in force between any of the High Contracting Parties relating to nationality or matters connected therewith.

 

Article 20.

Any High Contracting Party may, when signing or ratifying the present Convention or acceding thereto, append an express reservation excluding any one or more of the provisions of Articles 1 to 17 and 21.

The provisions thus excluded cannot be applied against the Contracting Party who has made the reservation nor relied on by that Party against any other Contracting Party.

 

Article 21.

If there should arise between the High contracting Parties a dispute of any kind relating to the interpretation or application of the present Convention and if such dispute cannot be satisfactorily settled by diplomacy, it shall be settled in accordance with any applicable agreements in force between the parties providing for the settlement of international disputes.

In case there is no such agreement in force between the parties, the dispute shall be referred to arbitration or judicial settlement, in accordance with the constitutional procedure of each of the parties to the dispute. In the absence of agreement on the choice of another tribunal, the dispute shall be referred to the Permanent Court of International Justice, if all the parties to the dispute are parties to the Protocol[1] of the 16th December, 1920, relating to the Statute of that Court, and if any of the parties to the dispute is not a party to the Protocol of the 16th December, 1920, the dispute shall be referred to an arbitral tribunal constituted in accordance with the Hague Convention[2] of the 18th October, 1907, for the Pacific Settlement of International Conflicts.

 

Article 22.

The present Convention shall remain open until the 31st December, 1930, for signature on behalf of any Member of the League of Nations or of any non-Member State invited to the First Codification Conference or to which the Council of the League of Nations has communicated a copy of the Convention for this purpose.

 

Article 23.

The present Convention is subject to ratification. Ratifications shall be deposited with the Secretariat of the League of Nations.

The Secretary-General shall give notice of the deposit of each ratification to the Members of the League of Nations and to the non-Member States mentioned in Article 22, indicating the date of its deposit.

 

Article 24.

As from January 1st, 1931, any Member of the League of Nations and any non-Member State mentioned in Article 22 on whose behalf the Convention has not been signed before that date, may accede thereto.

Accession shall be effected by an instrument deposited with the Secretariat of the League of Nations. The Secretary-General of the League of Nations shall give notice of each accession to the Members of the League of Nations and to the non-Member States mentioned in Article 22, indicating the date of the deposit of the instrument.

 

Article 25.

A procès-verbal shall be drawn up by the Secretary-General of the League of Nations as soon as raitfications or accessions on behalf of ten Members of the League of Nations or non-Member States have been deposited.

A certifies copy of this procès-verbal shall be sent by the Secretary-General of the League of Nations to each Member of the League of Nations and to each non-Member State mentioned in Article 22.

 

Article 26.

The present Convention shall enter into force on the 90th day after the date of the procès-verbal mentioned in Article 25 as regards all Members of the League of Nations or non-Member States on whose behalf ratifications or accessions have been deposited on the date of the procès-verbal.

As regards any Member of the League or non-Member State on whose behalf a ratification or accession is subsequently deposited, the Convention shall enter into force on the 90th day after the date of the deposit of a ratification or accession on its behalf.

 

Article 27.

As from January 1st, 1936, any Member of the League of Nations or nay non-Member State in regard to which the present Convention is then in force, may address to the Secretary-General of the League of Nations a request for the revision of any or all of the provisions of this Convention. If such a request, after being communicated to the other Members of the League and non-Member States in regard to which the Convention is then in force, is supported within one year by at least nine of them, the Council of the League of Nations shall decide, after consultation with the Members of the League of Nations and the non-Member States mentioned in Article 22, whether a conference should be specially convoked for that purpose or whether such revision should be considered at the next conference for the codification of international law.

The High Contracting Parties agree that, if the present Convention is revised, the revised Convention may provide that upon its entry into force some or all of the provisions of the present Convention shall be abrogated in respect of all of the Parties to the present Convention.

 

Article 28.

The present Convention may be denounced.

Denunciation shall be effected by a notification in writing addressed to the Secretary-General of the League of Nations, who shall inform all Members of the League of Nations and the non-Member States mentioned in Article 22.

Each denunciation shall take effect one year after the receipt by the Secretary-General of the notification by only as regards the Member of the League or non-Member State on whose behalf it has been notified.

 

Article 29.

1.         Any High Contracting Party may, at the time of signature, ratification or accession, declare that, in accepting the present Convention, he does not assume any obligations in respect of all or any of his colonies, protectorates, overseas territories or territories under suzerainty or mandate, or in respect of certain parts of the population of the said territories; and the present Convention shall not ally to any territories or to the parts of their population named in such declaration.

2.         Any High Contracting Party may give notice to the Secretary-General of the League of Nations at anytime subsequently that he desires that the Convention shall apply to all or any of his territories or to the parts of their population which have been made the subject of a declaration under the preceding paragraph, and the Convention shall apply to all the territories or the parts of their population named in such notice six months after its receipt by the Secretary-General of the league of Nations.

3.         Any High Contracting Party may, at any time, declare that he desires that the present Convention shall cease to apply to all or any of his colonies, protectorates, overseas territories or territories under suzerainty or mandate, or in respect of certain parts of the population of the said territories, and the Convention shall cease to apply to the territories or to the parts of their population named in such declaration one year after its receipt by the Secretary-General of the League of Nations.

4.         Any High Contracting Party may make the reservations provided to an Article 20 in respect of all or any of his colonies, protectorates, overseas territories or territories under suzerainty or mandate, or in respect of certain parts of the population of these territories, at the time of signature, ratification or accession to the Convention or at the time making a notification under the second paragraph of this article.

5.         TheSecretary-General of the League of Nations shall communicate to all the Members of the League of Nations and the non-Member States mentioned in Article 22 all declarations and notices received in virtue of this article.

 

Article 30.

The present Convention shall be registered by the Secretary-General of the League of Nations as soon as it has entered into force.

 

Article 31.

The French and English texts of the present Convention shall both be authoritative.

MASTER NATIONALITY LAW

 

Nationality laws are something that affect virtually all individuals living on this planet yet can be the most misunderstood topic to the majority of the individuals. A person's citizenship or nationality can either be acquired by birth in such country or jus soli (Right of the land) though the practice is rare among countries, by being a descendent of someone who is a citizen of such country even if born in another country jus sanguinis (right of the heritage) (most countries run under this principal), going through the naturalization process of a given country, and/or in a few countries cases marriage to a person with such citizenship or nationality.

While nationality laws can be rather straight forward to those who lived in their native countries and never emigrated it can be confusing to those whose families had emigrated to different places over the generation or in a few cases those who marry people from different countries.

What many are unaware of is that there is something under International treaties called The Master Nationality Rule. It is listed under Article 4 of The Hague Convention on Certain Questions Relating to the Conflict of Nationality Laws of 1930.  In terms of practical effect, it means that when a citizen is in the country of one of his two or more nationalities, that country has the right to treat that person as if he or she were solely a citizen or national of that country. This includes the right to impose military service obligations, require the person to enter and or exit the country using the country's documentations, or to require an exit permit or other restrictions to leave the country. If any of the above is an issue there is little if anything the consulate of the person's other country of citizenship can do as the Master Nationality Rule states that "a State may not afford diplomatic protection to one of its nationals against a state whose nationality such person also possesses." The UK Home Office explains this rule as "the practical effect of this Article is that where a person is a national of, for example, two States (A and B), and is in the territory of State A, then State B has no right to claim that person as its national or to intervene on that person's behalf. 

 

The nationality rule can be an issue as a person might never know that he or she possesses a said country's nationality as some countries Jus Sanguinis (right of heritage) clause in their nationality laws causes citizenship by descent to pass along for unlimited generations for descendants of citizens. One example is someone traveling from England or Canada might have no idea that their great grandpa somehow got Polish citizenship hundreds of years yet when if he or she enters Poland for any reason he might unexpectedly find himself be detained by Polish officials who would force them to complete certain procedures before allowing him to depart. According to free encyclopedias and US department of state website on the Internet Polish Nationality laws passes citizenship under the principal of Jus Sanguinis down an unlimited number of generations no matter where the "citizen" were born or lived unless one voluntarily apply for loss of nationality. This has caused problems for those who had even a great grandparent who got Polish citizenship. These people might not even know one of their ancestors had Polish citizenship. What happened is while the travelers may seem to have no known ties to Poland the Polish officials might somehow still find out that they are citizens when they enter the country and there had been many cases in which that they are detained or not permitted to depart with the passport of another country they carried in and have to obtain Polish passports in order to be permitted exit the country as Polish nationals are not permitted to exercise foreign citizenship which according to the Polish government includes using a non-Polish passport to exit the country. This does not just happen in Poland there are other countries that do the same thing and visitors are often caught off guard. The worst "procedure" for exiting the country would be having to complete compulsory military service if military service happens to be mandatory for citizens of such country, fortunately this is rare nowadays as many countries either made military service all volunteer or for countries that still practice compulsory military service they often will exempt nationals that live overseas who only return for short amounts of time. There has also been cases when young men visiting, studying, or working under work visa in the Republic of Korea got a nasty surprise of getting a draft notice for compulsary military service even though they never thought they could be considered Korean. The culprit is that they had a grandparent who might have obtained Korean Nationality in one way or another and or had somehow got his or her name registered into the Hoju or what is known as Korean Family Census registry.  With Japanese colonization in the past there must be plenty of Japanese citizens who might be faced with this issue. Some resources also state up to thousands of US citizens had been caught with the nasty surprise of being drafted to the Korean army in recent years which might means the last ten years or so these include but not limited to those who were born to US military fathers and Korean mothers or descendants of those born with such status as the US has a military base presence in Korea.
 

Nationality laws, therefore, can be a blessing or a curse. It is not all bad however some people actually have advantage due to automatically operation of nationality laws granting citizenship and opportunities that help them fulfill their dreams. There are plenty of people that don't know what they are entitled to without much further action than to go to the embassy with birth certificate and proof of relationship to a parent and obtain the documents necessary to exercise the privileges of citizenship of that country. For example a person who grow up in a country that have very little visa waiver treaties and great difficulty traveling or applying for immigration in other countries might be in luck if he is automatically entitled to citizenship by descent off a parent or grandparent who happens to be a citizen of a country that have a long list of visa free access for citizens such as one in the European Union which also allows citizens right to live and work in other union member countries. Though it is  important that before one travels to a country for any purpose they should check to see if they happen to be considered a citizen, national, or resident of the country even if they had never set foot in the country or know to have any ties to it. If one have a parent or grandparent who may have such status it is best to contact the embassy of such country to see if they have anything to beware of such as needing to obtain proper travel documents and in some countries for males whether there are compulsory military service issues which usually for those living out of the country can be exempted for males with document proof of living overseas. Whatever you do just don't have the belief that just because you use another country's passport to enter a country that recognize you as its citizen or national that country would not recognize you and will cut you slack. Remember this is particularly true for countries that you had residence or domicile in the past. 

The contents of this page are for informational purposes only. Please contact the relevant authorities if you are an affected individual which most people are.

Advice About Possible Loss of U.S. Nationality and Seeking Public Office in a Foreign State

 

 

Section 1101(a)(22) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)) states that “the term ‘national of the United States’ means (A) a citizen of the United States, or (B) a person who, though not a citizen of the United States, owes permanent allegiance to the United States.”  Therefore, U.S. citizens are also U.S. nationals.  Non-citizen nationality status refers only to individuals who were born either in American Samoa or on Swains Island to parents who are not citizens of the United States. Employment, while over the age of 18, with the government of a foreign country or a political subdivision thereof is a potentially expatriating act pursuant to Section 349(a) (4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act if you are a citizen of that foreign country or if you take an oath of allegiance to that country in connection to such employment.  Such employment, however, will result in one's expatriation if done voluntarily with the intention of relinquishing U.S. citizenship.  

The Department has, however, adopted a uniform administrative standard of evidence based on the premise that U.S. nationals intend to retain their U.S. citizenship when they naturalize as nationals of a foreign state, declare their allegiance to a foreign state, serve in the military forces of a foreign state not engaged in hostilities against the United States, or accept non-policy level employment with a foreign government. This administrative premise is not applicable when an individual fills a policy-level position with a foreign government. In such cases, the Department of State will carefully ascertain the individual's intent toward his or her U.S. nationality.

Because the Department presumes that U.S. nationals employed in non-policy level positions in a foreign government do not have the requisite intent to relinquish their U.S. nationality,  U.S nationals employed in such positions are not required to present evidence of an intent to retain their U.S. nationality when they commenced their employment with the foreign government. On the other hand, because there is no administrative presumption that U.S. nationals who hold policy-level positions in foreign governments necessarily intend to retain their U.S. nationality , efforts are made to adjudicate fully such cases to determine the individual's intent.  Certain policy level positions are inherently incompatible with retaining U.S. nationality. Cases of this nature generally involve heads of state or foreign ministers.  Except with respect to these positions,  the Department  will not typically consider employment in a policy-level position to lead to loss of nationality if the individual says that he or she did not intend to lose their U.S. nationality and if the individual’s actions were consistent with the retention of U.S. nationality.  Actions consistent with the retention of U.S. nationality include, but are not limited to, travel on a U.S. passport, voting in U.S. elections, payment of U.S. taxes, maintenance of a residence in the United States, etc..  In any event each policy-level position case is fully evaluated on a case-by-case basis. 

An individual filling a non-policy level position will lose his/her U.S. nationality if he or she indicates an intent to relinquish U.S. nationality and if his/her behavior subsequent to accepting or performing the governmental duties is consistent with an intention to relinquish U.S. nationality.  Examples of behavior inconsistent with the retention of U.S. nationality are use of a foreign passport, non-payment of U.S. taxes, failing to vote in U.S. elections, not maintaining a residence in the United States, etc.   

Nationality and Obligations of Loyalty in International and Municipal Law

Nationality and Statelessness under International Law

Convention on Certain Questions Relating to the Conflict of Nationality Laws

The Hague - 12 April 1930

Passports and Nationality in International Law

U.S.A.R. Office of the Law Advisory  

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