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New draft Law on the Albanian Citizenship

Updated: Sep 26, 2019

The Albanian Government has submitted a draft proposal to the Parliament for a new law on the Albanian Citizenship.

Under the new draft, the Albanian citizenship is acquired on the basis of:

· birth;

· birth in the Albanian territory;

· origin;

· naturalization;

· adoption;

The citizenship by birth is generally granted to anyone that at birth had at least one of the parents being Albanian citizens. The right to claim citizenship by birth may be exercised at any time, irrespective of the place of birth.

On contrast, birth in the Albanian territory is granted to minors born or found in the country, without known parents, and as a consequence the child risk to become a stateless person. If the foreign parents become legally know before the minor reaches 14 years of age, they may request the Albanian citizenship to be removed, provided that such removal does not cause the child to become a stateless person.

The citizenship by origin may be claimed by anyone that is a direct descendant of an Albanian citizen, provided that the direct lineage is of not more than the third degree.

The citizenship by naturalization may be obtained by the adult having legally resided in Albania for more than 7 years. Other conditions include having good knowledge of the Albania language and culture, having sufficient economic resources, not having previous criminal records for crimes punished with more than 3 years of imprisonment, and not causing a threat to the public order and national security.

The foreigner that has been married with an Albania citizen for at least 3 years may obtain the Albania citizenship by naturalizing if he/she has legally resided in Albania for at least 1 consecutive year. In this case, the good knowledge of the Albania language and culture is not mandatory. Other conditions for obtaining citizenship by naturalization apply. Underage children of naturalized Albanian citizens may also obtain citizenship.

The child adopted by an Albania citizen obtains the Albania citizenship upon completion of the adoption procedures.

The new draft law also provides for specific cases of grant of citizenship for refugees.

Finally, the Albanian citizenship may be acquired by a foreign national who has attained the age of 18 (eighteen), if the Republic of Albania has a national interest or interest in the field of education, science, art, culture, economics and sport, without being required to fulfill all naturalizing requirements, except for the requirement of not causing a threat to the public order and national security.

Once the law is passed, the Council of Minsters is excepted to define circumstances and rules for assessing the conditions for the application for Albania citizenship by foreigners.

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