Law on Citizenship of the Republic of Moldova | Lawyer Moldova

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Monday, 12 November 2012

Law on Citizenship of the Republic of Moldova


 
CHAPTER I
GENERAL PROVISIONS 

Article1. Notions
For the purposes of this Law, the following notions shall be used to mean:
child - person below the age of 18 years;
foreign citizen - person who is a citizen of another state and is not a citizen of the Republic of Moldova;
stateless person - person who is neither a citizen of the Republic of Moldova, nor a citizen of another state;
naturalisation - the granting of citizenship upon request to persons lawfully and habitually resident in the territory of the Republic of Moldova, under this Law;
multiple citizenship - simultaneous possession of two or more nationalities by the same person;
descendant - blood relative on descendant line, his/her equivalent under the law in force;
lawful and habitual residence - permanent residence legalised in the Republic of Moldova
Article 2. Object of the Law
This Law shall establish the legal framework of the bonds relating to the citizenship of the Republic of Moldova.
Article 3. Citizenship of the Republic of Moldova
(1) The citizenship of the Republic of Moldova shall establish a permanent legal and political bond between a natural person and the Republic of Moldova, generating mutual rights and obligations between the state and the individual.
(2) The citizenship of the Republic of Moldova shall be preserved both in the territory of the Republic of Moldova and in other states, as well as in the territory over which no state has sovereignty.
Article 4. Limitations on Citizenship
Citizens of the Republic of Moldova shall not be citizens of other states, except in cases provided by international agreements to which the Republic of Moldova is a party.
Article 5. Proof of Citizenship
Citizenship of the Republic of Moldova shall be proven with the identity card, passport, certificate of birth in case of a child or a certificate issued by competent authorities of the Republic of Moldova.
Article 6. Legal Status of Citizens of the Republic of Moldova, Foreign Citizens and Stateless Persons
(1) Citizens of the Republic of Moldova shall be equal before the Law and public authorities and shall equally enjoy all the social, economic and political rights and the freedoms proclaimed and guaranteed by the Constitution and other laws and by international agreements to which Moldova is a party.
(2) Citizens of the Republic of Moldova alone shall have the right to elect and to be elected, to hold positions involving the exercise of public authority and the right to participate in referendums, as stipulated by the Law.
(3) The legal status of foreign citizens and stateless persons shall be established by the Law and the international agreements to which the Republic of Moldova is a party.
Article 7. General Principles related to Citizenship
The rules on citizenship of the Republic of Moldova shall be based on the following principles:
a) everyone's right to a citizenship;
b) non-discrimination of citizens, irrespective of the grounds for the acquisition of citizenship;
c) inadmissibility to arbitrarily deprive a person of his/her citizenship and the right to change citizenship;
d) avoidance of statelessness;
e) the change of the citizenship of a spouse shall produce no effects on the citizenship of the other spouse or the citizenship of a child, if there is no written request of the parents to change the child's citizenship;
Article 8. Protection of Citizens
(1) Citizens of the Republic of Moldova shall enjoy the protection of the State both within the country and abroad.
(2) No citizen of the Republic of Moldova shall be extradited or expelled from the country.
Article 9. Priority of International Agreements
International agreements shall have priority, if any international agreement, to which the Republic of Moldova is a party, provide regulations other than those established by this Law.

CHAPTER II
ACQUISITION OF CITIZENSHIP OF THE REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA

Article 10. Grounds for Acquisition of Citizenship
(1) Citizenship of the Republic of Moldova shall be acquired by:
a) birth;
b) recognition;
c) adoption;
d) recovery;
e) naturalisation;
(2) Citizenship of the Republic of Moldova may also be acquired on the basis of international agreements, to which the Republic of Moldova is a party.
Article 11. Acquisition of Citizenship by Birth
(1) Citizen of the Republic of Moldova shall be the child:
a) born to parents, both or one of whom is a citizen of the Republic of Moldova, upon his/her birth.
b) born in the territory of the Republic of Moldova, whose parents are stateless persons.
c) born in the territory of the Republic of Moldova, whose parents possess the citizenship of another state, or one of them is stateless and the other one is a foreign citizen, if that state does not grant citizenship to the child.
(2) The foundling found in the territory of the Republic of Moldova shall be considered its citizen, unless otherwise proven, before the age of 18.
Article 12. Acquisition of Citizenship by Recognition
(1) Individuals who acquired and retained the citizenship of the Republic of Moldova under previous legislation and those who acquired citizenship under this law shall be recognised as citizens of the Republic of Moldova.
(2) Recognised citizens of the Republic of Moldova shall be individuals who are not citizens of other states and wish to become citizens of the Republic of Moldova and namely:
a) those born in the territory of the Republic of Moldova or at least those, one of whose parents, or grandparents were born in the above-mentioned territory;
b) those who before 28 June 1940 resided in Basarabia, in the North Bucovina, Hertza Region, and the M.A.S.S.R., their descendants, if they have lawful and habitual residence in the Republic of Moldova;
c) those who have been deported or those who have fled the Republic of Moldova, since 28 June 1940, and the descendants thereof.
Article 13. Acquisition of Citizenship by Adoption
(1) A stateless child shall automatically acquire the citizenship of the Republic of Moldova through adoption if the adoptive parent(s) is/are citizen(s) of the Republic of Moldova.
(2) Both the adoptive parents, of whom one is a citizen of the Republic of Moldova and the other one is a foreign citizen, shall jointly decide on the child's citizenship. If they fail to reach a mutual agreement, the court shall decide upon the affiliation of the child to the citizenship of the Republic of Moldova, taking into account his/her interests. When a child reaches the age of 14, his/her consent, certified by a notary, shall be required.
(3) The child - a foreign citizen, adopted by spouses, both or one of whom is a citizen of the Republic of Moldova and the other one is a foreign citizen or stateless person, can become a citizen of the Republic of Moldova if he/she renounces the citizenship of the foreign state, except in cases provided by international agreements to which the Republic of Moldova is a party.
Article 14. Citizenship of the Child in case of Nullity or Cancellation of Adoption
If the adoption of a stateless or foreign child is declared null or void, the child shall be considered never having acquired the citizenship of the Republic of Moldova, if he/she is a lawful and habitual resident abroad or if he/she leaves the country for permanent residence abroad.
Article 15. Citizenship of the child over whom guardianship is established
(1) A stateless child under guardianship of citizens of the Republic of Moldova, shall automatically become a citizen of the Republic of Moldova.
(2) A stateless child, under guardianship of spouses, one of whom is a citizen of the Republic of Moldova and the other one stateless, shall automatically become a citizen of the Republic of Moldova.
(3) The citizenship of a stateless child under guardianship of spouses, one of whom is a citizen of the Republic of Moldova and the other one a foreigner, shall be mutually agreed upon by the guardians. If they fail to reach a mutual agreement, the court shall decide upon the affiliation of the child to the citizenship of the Republic of Moldova, taking into account his/her interests. When a child reaches the age of 14, his/her consent, certified by a notary, shall be required.
(4) The child - a foreign citizen, under guardianship of spouses, both or one of whom is a citizen of the Republic of Moldova and the other one is a foreign citizen or a stateless person, can become a citizen of the Republic of Moldova if he/she renounces the citizenship of the foreign state.
Article 16. Recovery of Citizenship
(1) The person, who previously possessed the citizenship of the Republic of Moldova, may recover it, upon request, further to the requirements provided for in Article 17, para. (1), letters d), e), and f).
(2) The person who was deprived of the citizenship of the Republic of Moldova under Article 23, letter c), may not recover it, and in the rest of the cases stipulated in Article 23 he/she may recover it only in line with the requirements of naturalisation, but not earlier than five years of permanent lawful and habitual residence in the territory of the Republic of Moldova upon the deprivation of citizenship.
Article 17. Requirements for Naturalisation
(1) Citizenship of the Republic of Moldova may be granted upon request to a person who reached 18 years of age and who:
a) though not born in this territory, has resided lawfully and habitually here at least for the last ten years; or has been married to a citizen of the Republic of Moldova for at least three years; or has resided lawfully and habitually for at least three years with parents or children (inclusively adoptive parents and adopted children) who are citizens of the Republic of Moldova, or
b) has resided lawfully and habitually in the territory of the Republic of Moldova for five years before reaching the age of 18, or
c) is stateless or a recognised refugee, according to provisions of the national Law, and has resided lawfully and habitually in the territory of the Republic of Moldova for at least eight years, and
d) knows and observes the provisions of the Constitution; and
e) knows the national language, sufficiently well to integrate into social life; and
f) loses or renounces the citizenship of another state, if possessed, except in cases when the loss or the renunciation is not possible or cannot reasonably be requested.
(2) Knowledge of the provisions of the Constitution and national language by the applicant for citizenship of the Republic of Moldova shall be tested as established by the Government.
Article 18. Level of Knowledge of the National Language
(1) A person shall be considered to know the national language if that person:
a) sufficiently understands conversational language and official information;
b) discusses and answers questions of social life;
c) is able to read and sufficiently understand any written text of social nature, laws and other regulations;
d) is able to write an exposition on a social topic.
(2) Upon review of applications for citizenship, the following persons shall not be required to know the national language:
a) pensioners upon retirement age;
b) invalids, whose invalidity is set for an unspecified period of time.
Article 19. Citizenship of the child, whose parents acquired the Citizenship of the Republic of Moldova
(1) The child born to parents who are foreigners or stateless persons, who acquire the citizenship of the Republic of Moldova, shall acquire the citizenship together with his/her parents.
(2) If only one of the parents acquires citizenship of the Republic of Moldova, the parents shall mutually agree upon the citizenship of the child. If parents fail to reach an agreement, the court shall decide upon the affiliation of the child to the citizenship of the Republic of Moldova, taking into account his/her interests, when parents make a deliberate declaration in this respect.
(3) In cases stipulated in para. (1) and (2), the consent of the child who reached 14 years of age, certified by a notary, shall be required.
Article 20. Grounds for Rejection of Citizenship
Citizenship of the Republic of Moldova shall not be granted to the individual, who:
a) committed international, war crimes or crimes against humanity;
b) has been involved in terrorist activities;
c) has been sentenced to imprisonment for premeditated offences and has previous criminal records or is under penal prosecution upon the review of his/her application;
d) performs activities which jeopardise the safety of the state, public order, people's health or their moral conduct;
e) is the citizen of a state that did not conclude an agreement on dual citizenship with the Republic of Moldova, except in cases provided in Article 17 para. (1), letter g) and Article 24 para. (2).

CHAPTER III
LOSS OF CITIZENSHIP OF THE REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA

Article 21. Grounds for Loss of Citizenship Citizenship of the Republic of Moldova may be lost:
a) by renunciation;
b) by deprivation;
c) on grounds deriving from international agreements, to which the Republic of Moldova is a Party.
Article 22. Renunciation of Citizenship
Renunciation of citizenship of the Republic of Moldova shall be approved to a person who reached the age of 18 unless he/she:
a) shall not present evidence of having acquired or being in the process of acquisition of the citizenship of another state, or assurances of acquisition of another citizenship. If the person to whom renunciation of the citizenship of the Republic of Moldova was approved, despite the assurances, shall not acquire the citizenship of another state and would thereby become stateless, the part relating to this person in the decree of the President of the Republic of Moldova regarding the approval of renunciation of the citizenship of the Republic of Moldova shall be abrogated in accordance with established procedure;
b) was called up to perform or is currently performing the active or alternative military service, provided this person resides lawfully and habitually in the Republic of Moldova.
Article 23. Deprivation of Citizenship
(1) The citizenship of the Republic of Moldova may be revoked to a person by the decision of the President of the Republic of Moldova if that person:
a) acquired the citizenship of the Republic of Moldova by way of fraud, false information or concealment of any relevant fact proved by the court;
b) voluntarily enrolled in a foreign military service;
c) committed actions seriously prejudicing the vital interests of the state, proved by the court;
d) voluntarily acquired the citizenship of another state that did not conclude an agreement on dual citizenship with the Republic of Moldova and does not renounce the citizenship of any of the states during one year;
(2) Deprivation of citizenship shall not be allowed for reasons stipulated in para. (1) of this article if the person would thereby become stateless, except for reasons stipulated in para. (1) letter a).
(3) Deprivation of the citizenship of the Republic of Moldova shall not produce any effect on the citizenship of spouse and his/her children.

CHAPTER IV
MULTIPLE CITIZENSHIP

Article 24. Cases of Multiple Citizenship
(1) The Republic of Moldova shall allow multiple citizenship to:
a) children who acquired automatically at birth the citizenship of the Republic of Moldova and the citizenship of another state;
b) its citizens who possess simultaneously the citizenship of another state when the other citizenship is automatically acquired by marriage;
c) children, citizens of the Republic of Moldova, who acquired the citizenship of another state by adoption;
d) if this results from provisions of the international agreement to which the Republic of Moldova is a Party;
e) if the renunciation or loss of the citizenship of another state is not possible or cannot reasonably be requested.
(2) In the interests of the Republic of Moldova and in exceptional cases, citizens of another state may become citizens of the Republic of Moldova by the decree of the President of the Republic of Moldova, if they do not fall under art. 20 letter a) - d).
Article 25. Rights and Duties in cases of Multiple Citizenship
Citizens of the Republic of Moldova, who reside lawfully and habitually in the territory of the Republic of Moldova and are in legal possession of the citizenship of another state, shall enjoy the same rights and duties as the other citizens of the Republic of Moldova.
Article 26. Military Service in cases of Multiple Citizenship
The person who is a citizen of the Republic of Moldova and is in legal possession of the citizenship of another state shall be subject to call-up by the Republic of Moldova, if that person resides lawfully and habitually in its territory, irrespective of the exemption from military service in the other state.

CHAPTER V
POWERS OF PUBLIC AUTHORITIES REGARDING CITIZENSHIP

Article 27. Powers of the President of the Republic of Moldova
The President of the Republic of Moldova:
a) tackles citizenship matters, under the provisions of the Constitution and the present Law;
b) issues decrees in cases of granting, recovery, renunciation and deprivation of citizenship of the Republic of Moldova, and sends well-reasoned answers to applicants if their application for citizenship was rejected.
Article 28. Powers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and its Subordinate Agencies
The Ministry of Internal Affairs and its subordinate agencies:
a) receive from persons who reside lawfully and habitually in the territory of the Republic of Moldova, under provisions of this Law, applications for citizenship, collect information about the applicants, draft well-reasoned recommendations and submit them to the President of the Republic of Moldova for decision together with recommendations from the Information and Security Service and the applications;
b) establish the possession or non-possession of the citizenship of the Republic of Moldova by the persons who reside lawfully and habitually in the territory of the Republic of Moldova;
c) establish the facts of illegal possession of other citizenship by the citizens of the Republic of Moldova and submit proposals on deprivation of citizenship of the Republic of Moldova;
d) issue certificates of acquisition or loss of citizenship of the Republic of Moldova to persons who reside lawfully and habitually in the territory of the Republic of Moldova;
e) keep record of the persons who acquired or lost the citizenship of the Republic of Moldova;
f) execute decrees and decisions of the President of the Republic of Moldova regarding citizenship and issue relevant documents;
g) discharge other duties under the Legislation.
Article 29. Powers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its Institutions.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, diplomatic missions and consular institutions of the Republic of Moldova:
a) receive from persons who reside lawfully and habitually abroad under provisions of this Law, applications for citizenship, collect information about the applicants, draft well-reasoned recommendations and submit them to the President of the Republic of Moldova for decision together with the recommendations from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the Information and Security Service and the applications;
b) establish the possession or non-possession of the citizenship of the Republic of Moldova by persons who reside lawfully and habitually abroad;
c) submit well-reasoned proposals regarding deprivation of the citizenship of the Republic of Moldova;
d) issue certificates of acquisition or loss of citizenship of the Republic of Moldova to persons who reside lawfully and habitually abroad;
e) execute decrees and decisions of the President of the Republic of Moldova on citizenship;
f) discharge other duties under the Legislation.
Article 30. Powers of the Information and Security Service
The Information and Security Service drafts, under this Law, recommendations regarding the persons who applied for granting or recovery of citizenship of the Republic of Moldova, as well as conclusions on proposals for its deprivation, and submit them to the concerned institution.
Article 31. Commission on Citizenship and Political Asylum under the President of the Republic of Moldova.
The Commission on citizenship and political asylum under the President of the Republic of Moldova shall be in charge to preliminarily review matters related to the citizenship of the Republic of Moldova. Its operation procedure shall be established in the regulation approved by the President of the Republic of Moldova.

CHAPTER VI
PROCEDURE FOR ACQUISITION AND LOSS OF CITIZENSHIP OF THE REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA

Article 32. Applications for Citizenship
(1) To apply for the citizenship of the Republic of Moldova an application form shall be filled in, in the format established by the Government. Application of the under 18 years-old individual shall be reviewed upon the request of his/her legal representative, attested by a notary, and, while abroad, it shall be attested in a diplomatic mission or consular office of the Republic of Moldova.
(2) If an application for citizenship is lodged on behalf of the child aged between 14 and 18, the child shall give his/her consent in written form which shall be attested by a notary and, while abroad, it shall be attested in a diplomatic mission or consular offices of the Republic of Moldova.
Article 33. Procedure for Submittal of the Application
(1) Application for citizenship of the Republic of Moldova shall be addressed to the President of the Republic of Moldova and shall be submitted in person or through an attorney acting on the basis of a power of attorney certified by a notary to the agency of internal affairs in the area where the applicant resides, or to the diplomatic mission or consular office of the Republic of Moldova, if the applicant resides lawfully and habitually abroad.
(2) If there is no operational diplomatic mission or consular office in the country where the applicant resides, he/she can submit the relevant application to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Moldova.
Article 34. Proposals for Deprivation of Citizenship
(1) Proposals, recommendations and other documents regarding deprivation of the citizenship of the Republic of Moldova shall be presented to the President of the Republic of Moldova by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, as well as by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs directly or through diplomatic missions or consular offices of the Republic of Moldova.
(2) If a civil servant, by virtue of his/her service, or a central or local public authority establishes a fact of illegal possession of the citizenship of other states, they shall inform on this, respectively, the Ministry of Internal Affairs or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Article 35. State Taxation
Applications for the citizenship of the Republic of Moldova shall be subject to taxation by the state, under the Law.
Article 36. Documents required for the Acquisition and Recovery of Citizenship.
(1) For acquisition or recovery of citizenship of the Republic of Moldova the following documents shall be presented:
a) application form;
b) Curriculum Vitae;
c) certificate from the place of residence containing names of his/her family members;
d) receipt for the payment of the state tax;
e) photos of respective size;
f) certificate of non-possession or renunciation of the former citizenship, except in cases provided for in Article 17, para. (1), letter g); The certificate of approval for renunciation of citizenship of another state can be presented after the decision on approval for granting of citizenship is issued by the Commission for Citizenship and Political Asylum under the President of the Republic of Moldova. This decision shall be the basis for the guarantee of acquisition of citizenship of the Republic of Moldova provided by the body which is authorised to receive applications for citizenship of the Republic of Moldova;
g) other documents stipulated by this Law.
(2) The language of the documents listed in para. (1), shall be selected in accordance with the Law on the use of languages in the Republic of Moldova No. 3465 of 1 September 1989.
(3) Public authorities, which are aware of the fact that the applicant does not meet the requirements for granting citizenship of the Republic of Moldova, shall inform the Commission on Citizenship and Political Asylum under the President of the Republic of Moldova.
Article 37. Documents required for Renunciation of Citizenship
(1) For the renunciation of citizenship of the Republic of Moldova to be approved the following documents shall be presented;
a) application - questionnaire;
b) Curriculum Vitae;
c) certificate from the place of residence containing names of his/her family members;
d) certificate from the military centre for recruits residing lawfully and habitually in the territory of the Republic of Moldova;
e) receipt for the payment of the state tax;
f) evidence confirming the possession, acquisition or assurances of acquisition of another citizenship.
g) other documents, stipulated by the present Law.
(2) The language of the documents listed in para. (1), shall be selected in accordance with Law on the use of languages in the Republic of Moldova No. 3465 of 1 September 1989.
(3) Parents who renounce the citizenship of the Republic of Moldova, may apply for preserving their children's citizenship of the Republic of Moldova.
(4) If both parents are citizens of the Republic of Moldova and one of them renounces the citizenship, submitting an application for renouncing the citizenship of the Republic of Moldova together with his/her child, the other parent shall present a statement of his/her consent, certified by a notary.
Article 38. Timeframe for processing of applications and proposals relating to citizenship.
(1) The timeframe for processing the applications and proposals relating to citizenship of the Republic of Moldova shall not exceed one year. The timeframe shall begin on the day of presenting all the documents required for granting, recovery or renunciation of the citizenship of the Republic of Moldova.
(2) Renewed applications and proposals regarding citizenship shall be reviewed only if new essential circumstances shall be identified.
Article 39. Oath of Allegiance to the Republic of Moldova.
(1) The person who is granted citizenship of the Republic of Moldova by naturalisation or by recovery of citizenship shall take, within six months from the day of entry into force of the decree of the President of the Republic of Moldova, before the county prefect, or before the head of diplomatic mission or consular office of the Republic of Moldova, the following oath of allegiance to the Republic of Moldova:
"I (family name, name), born (time and place of birth), swear to be a faithful citizen to the Republic of Moldova, to sacredly respect its Constitution and other laws, not to take any actions that would prejudice the interests and territorial integrity of the state".
(2) The citizenship of the Republic of Moldova shall be acquired from the date of taking the oath.
Article 40. Documents relating to the Change of Citizenship
(1) Persons, who acquired the citizenship of the Republic of Moldova under this Law, receive from the agency of internal affairs, or diplomatic missions and consular office a certificate of citizenship of the Republic of Moldova.
(2) Persons who are lawfully and habitually resident in the territory of the Republic of Moldova and who lost the citizenship of the Republic of Moldova shall receive from institutions of internal affairs identity cards of the national passport system, according to the status of the person.

CHAPTER VII
APPEAL OF DECISIONS ON CITIZENSHIP OF THE REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA

Article 41. Appealing the Decrees of the President of the Republic of Moldova
Decrees on citizenship of the Republic of Moldova, issued by the President of the Republic of Moldova, may be appealed in the Court of Appeal within six months from the day of entry into force of the decree.
Article 42. Appealing the Actions undertaken by Civil Servants
Refusal to receive applications for citizenship of the Republic of Moldova, breach of the timeframe, violation of procedure for the processing of applications and execution of decisions on such issues, refusal to grant citizenship, other actions undertaken by civil servants may be appealed in courts under the Law.

CHAPTER VIII
FINAL AND TRANSITORY PROVISIONS

Article 43.
(1) Applications pending on the day of entry into force of this Law shall be reviewed under its provisions.
(2) Pending the establishment by the Government of a procedure for the evaluation of the level of knowledge of the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova and of the national language by the applicants for citizenship of the Republic of Moldova, such evaluation shall be made by the Ministry of Labour, Social Protection and Family under the Law.
Article 44.
Within five months the Government shall:
bring its normative acts in line with this law;
draft normative acts required for the execution of this law;
present to the Parliament proposals for bringing the legislation into force in line with this law.
Article 45.
Upon entry into force of this Law, the following shall be abrogated:
Law on Citizenship of the Republic of Moldova no.596-XII of 5 June 1991;
Law no.1462-XII of 26 May 1993 amending Article 2 of the Law on Citizenship of the Republic of Moldova;
Law no.1474-XII of 8 June 1993 completing and amending Article 2 of the Law on Citizenship of the Republic of Moldova;
Article II of the Law no.278-XIII of 10 November 1994 amending and completing some legislative acts;
Law no.961-XIII of 24 July 1996 amending and completing the Law on Citizenship of the Republic of Moldova;
Law no.1259-XIII of 16 July 1997 amending and completing the Law on Citizenship of the Republic of Moldova;
Decision of the Parliament no.597-XII of 5 June 1991 on the procedure for entry into force and implementation of the Law of the Republic of Moldova on citizenship of the Republic of Moldova;
Decision of the Parliament no.1138-XII of 4 August 1992 approving the Regulations of the procedure for solving problems of citizenship of the Republic of Moldova.

CHAIRMAN OF THE PARLIAMENT
DUMITRU DIACOV, Chisinau, 2 June 2000, No. 1023-XIV

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