Update to ALB24499.E of 16 August 1996 on the conditions under which Albanian citizenship might be revoked and the procedures for re-acquiring it (1999) [ALB33158.E]

In a 3 November 1999 interview, the Second Secretary of the Albanian embassy in Washington, D.C. stated that individuals would not lose their Albanian citizenship by virtue of being outside of the country for seven years or longer.

According to Article 19 of the new Albanian constitution, approved in a national referendum on 22 November 1998 (HRW Dec. 1999), "an Albanian citizen may not lose his citizenship, except when he gives it up" (Albania 1998). Earlier legislation, specifically Article 8 of Decree No.1874 of 7 June 1954 on Albanian citizenship, had given the Presidency the power to "release" individuals from their Albanian citizenship on a case-by-case basis (ibid. 7 June 1954). According to Law No. 8389 of 5 August 1998 on Albanian nationality, which entered into force in September 1998 (Council of Europe April 1999), Albanian citizenship may be lost in one of two ways:

i. By renunciation, upon request of the person when he/she fulfils the following conditions:
- has reached the age of 18;
- does not remain stateless as a result of the renunciation of the Albanian nationality, because he/she holds a foreign nationality, acquires a foreign nationality, or guarantees that he/she will acquire a foreign nationality;
- is a resident of a foreign state;
- is not under penal proceedings for criminal offences, which under the Albanian legislation are punishable by at least 5 years of imprisonment;
- does not have any legal obligations towards state authorities, physical or legal persons;
ii. By revocation of the decision for granting of the Albanian nationality, if it is proved that the alien or the stateless person, consciously based the application for granting of the Albanian nationality on incorrect data or falsified documents.
- For minors, the Albanian nationality is lost when both parents, who on their behalf have renounced the Albanian nationality, agree that also their child should leave the Albanian nationality.
- Even if one of the parents does not agree for the child to lose the Albanian nationality, the child can lose the nationality, if it is deemed that such a thing is in the interest of the child and if the child holds or will acquire another nationality.
- An Albanian minor loses its Albanian nationality when adopted by foreign parents, and acquires in that case a new nationality (Council of Europe April 1999).

For information on the conditions that must be met by individuals wishing to acquire or re-acquire Albanian citizenship, please see the attached document, entitled "Regarding Procedures to be Implemented and Documentation for Acquisition, Reacquisition or Renunciation of Albanian Citizenship," sent to the Research Directorate by the Albanian embassy in Washington, D.C.

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.


Albania. 4 August 1998. Draft Constitution 1998. http://www.uni-wuerzburg.de/law/al01000_html [Accessed 2 Nov. 1999]

_____. 7 June 1954. Decree No. 1874, Dated 7.6.1954, on Albanian Citizenship. (REFWORLD)

Council of Europe. April 1999. European Bulletin on Nationality. Strasbourg: Council of Europe.

Embassy of the Republic of Albania, Washington, D.C. 3 November 1999. Telephone interview with Second Secretary.

Human Rights Watch (HRW). December 1999. World Report 2000. http://www.hrw.org [Accessed 14 Dec. 1999]


Albania. n.d. "Regarding Procedures to be Followed and Documentation for Acquisition, Reacquisition or Renunciation of Albanian Citizenship." Translated by the Multilingual Translation Directorate of the Department of Public Works and Government Services Canada.