Circumstances that could prevent recovery of suspended citizenship; discretion of authorities for granting or denying citizenship recovery; percentage of citizenship recovery petitions that are rejected [ARG34787.E]

The information that follows was provided by staff at the section of the National Election Chamber of the Judiciary (Poder Judicial) of Argentina which deals with questions of recovery of citizenship (cartas de ciudadanía and related matters) in Buenos Aires, during a 19 July 2000 telephone interview. Various published and oral sources, including the Immigration Directorate at the Mininstry of the Interior in Buenos Aires, indicated that questions of loss and recovery of citizenship for Argentine nationals are determined by the judiciary.

Citizenship, which is the enjoyment of political rights such as voting and running for public office (as opposed to nationality, which defines legally a person as an Argentine), is lost or suspended under certain circumstances, among them acquisition of a foreign nationality or conviction and imprisonment for a serious offence.

To recover their lost or suspended citizenship, a person must apply before a federal court and appear before a federal judge who decides on the matter. Once recovery of citizenship is granted, a person is reinstated in the electoral registry.

Generally speaking, the only reasons for which an Argentine who resides in Argentina would be denied restitution of his or her citizenship rights are penal (i.e.: if the person is in prison or has a sentence pending for a serious offence). Citizenship is not suspended for minor offences; for major offences, citizenship is not suspended until the trial has concluded and a sentence has been issued. There is one level of appeal, a chamber of appeal comprised of a group of judges; it is up to the applicant to decide whether to appeal a sentence issued by the first instance.

Federal courts operate throughout the various provinces of Argentina, and there is no national statistic on the acceptance or rejection rate of applications for recovery of citizenship. Each case is dealt with on an individual basis by a judge, so no general statement on the possible outcomes of applications can be made.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Poder Judicial, Cámara Nacional Electoral, Buenos Aires. 19 July 2000. Telephone interview with staff.

Additional Sources Consulted

IRB Databases.

Immigration Directorate, Ministry of the Interior, Buenos Aires.

Ministry of Foreign Relations, Buenos Aires.


World News Connection.

Internet Websites.

Internet Search Engines.
This list is not exhaustive. Subject and country-specific publications available at the Resource Centre are not included.