Whether a Nicaraguan national could obtain permanent status in Guatemala after having been recognized as a refugee by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 1990, and the rights and privileges of refugees in Guatemala at that time [GTM28068.FE]

The following information was provided by the consul at the Guatemalan Embassy in Ottawa during a 16 October 1997 telephone interview.

According to the Guatemalan Constitution, all nationals of Central American countries other than Guatemala can also hold Guatemalan citizenship. Therefore, a Nicaraguan national who had obtained refugee status from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Guatemala in 1990 could become a Guatemalan citizen after residing there for two years. However, if the refugee leaves Guatemala, he automatically loses his status. It is still possible, nevertheless, for the Nicaraguan to re-apply for residency, and the application will be reviewed by the Guatemalan authorities. For more information on Guatemalan citizenship, please refer to the section entitled "Nationality and Citizenship" from the chapter on Guatemala in Constitutions of the Countries of the World, attached to GTM10355 of 20 February 1992.

For information on the rights and privileges of refugees recognized by the UNHCR in 1990, please refer to GTM22585.E of 11 January 1996 and GTM5330 of 4 May 1990, available in all Regional Documentation Centres. Additional information on the rights and privileges of UNHCR-recognized refugees in Guatemala can be found in the United Nations document attached to this Response (24 Aug. 1992, 22-23).

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.

References


Guatemala. 16 October 1997. Embassy of Guatemala in Ottawa. Telephone interview with consul.

United Nations, Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme. 24 August 1992. (A/AC.96/793 (Part IV)). UNHCR Activities Financed by Voluntary Funds: Report 1991-1992 and Proposed Programmes and Budget for 1993. Part IV. The Americas: North America; Latin America and the Caribbean. Geneva: United Nations.

Attachment


United Nations, Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme. 24 August 1992. (A/AC.96/793 (Part IV)). UNHCR Activities Financed by Voluntary Funds: Report 1991-1992 and Proposed Programmes and Budget for 1993. Part IV. The Americas: North America; Latin America and the Caribbean. Geneva: United Nations, pp. 22-23.