Jordan/Palestine: Whether a person of Palestinian origin who lives in Jordan can return to Palestine and obtain a Palestinian passport [ZZZ103655.E]

Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board du Canada, Ottawa

In 16 December correspondence with the Research Directorate, the Second Secretary from the Immigration section of the Embassy of Canada to Jordan stated the following about Jordanian passports:

A Jordanian passport containing a type "P" does not mean the holder is Palestinian; it only means the document type is a passport. The "National No" found on the bio-data page of the passport connotes Jordanian citizenship. Consequently, if there is no National No, the holder is assumed to be of Palestinian origin.

In 13 December correspondence with the Research Directorate, a representative of the General Delegation of Palestine in Dublin explained that in order to return to Palestine, Jordanians of Palestinian origin are required to obtain a special authorization from the Israeli authorities. However, the representative did not specify the procedures to obtain this authorization. The Second Secretary of the Embassy of Canada to Jordan provided further information about the possibility of returning to Palestine:

Concerning the return to Palestine, one must also assess if the passport holder possesses a green or a yellow card. The green cards and yellow cards are border crossing cards which are issued by the Jordanian Interior Ministry at the border crossings to the West Bank. In 1988, the Jordanian government created a dual yellow and green card system to distinguish Palestinians living in Jordan from Palestinians living in the West Bank at that time.

The yellow card allows the holder to visit the West Bank because of the family reunification but not to reside there. Yellow cards were granted to West Bankers who had left the West Bank before June 1st, 1983. Palestinians who were living in Jordan at that date and who had obtained full residency and full citizenship were, therefore, entitled to a yellow card. It is to be noted that a yellow card holder would have a Jordanian passport valid for five year with a National No.

Palestinians living in the West Bank, who are holders of a Jordanian passport, are entitled to green cards. The green card indicates that its holder is from the West Bank and that he or she is allowed to stay in Jordan temporarily only as a visitor for a maximum period of two months. It is to be noted that a green card holder would have a Jordanian Passport with either a two year or five year validity without a National No.

In conclusion, Jordan issues different types of passport that gives its holders controlled access to different government services, including citizenship and right of re-entry. The categories differ depending on the origin of the citizenship which is linked to refugee movements from Palestine. The categories are outlined in the following table:

 

Origin Residence Kind of Passport Card of Crossing
Jordanian - East Banker Permanent residency in Jordan Five-year passport with National No -
Jordanian - Palestinian of 1948 Permanent residency in Jordan Five-year passport with National No -
Jordanian - Palestinian of 1967 Permanent residency in Jordan Five-year passport with National No Yellow Card - family reunification
Jordanian - Palestinian of 1967 Permanent residency in the West Bank Five-year passport without National No Green Card
Jordanian - Palestinian from Jerusalem Permanent residency in Jerusalem Five-year passport without National No Green Card
Palestinian of Gaza Permanent residency in Jordan Two-year temporary passport In case of family reunification - Blue Card
Palestinian of the West Bank or Gaza Strip Permanent residency in West Bank or Gaza Strip Palestinian Authority passport (LP) Permission to enter

… A person would be precluded from returning to the West Bank in the case where he or she holds a Jordanian passport with a National No and does not have a yellow card allowing him to be reunited with his family in the West Bank. (Canada 16 Dec. 2010)

According to the representative of the General Delegation, Jordanians of Palestinian origin can not obtain Palestinian passports, pursuant to an agreement between Palestinian and Israeli authorities, which provides that Palestinian passports can be issued only to Palestinians who can prove they live in the occupied territories (Gaza Strip and West Bank); however, the representative did not specify the agreement in question (Palestinian Authority 13 Dec. 2010). Similarly, the Second Secretary of the Embassy of Canada to Jordan stated that the Palestinian Authority issues passports to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza (Canada 16 Dec. 2010). The Second Secretary added that, in order to obtain a Palestinian Authority passport, applicants must submit their “Israeli-issued identity cards” (ibid.; USCRI 2008). According to the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), an Israeli-issued identity card can not be delivered to "refugees who had lived outside of the territories for more than three years" (ibid.). The Second Secretary also indicated the following:

Jordan does not permit stateless Palestinians to hold both a Jordanian temporary passport and a Palestinian Authority passport. However, in practical terms, there have been occurrences were an individual hid the fact he had a Jordanian temporary passport and was therefore issued a Palestinian Authority one as well. (Canada 16 Dec. 2010)

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 for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Palestinian Authority. 13 December 2010. General Delegation of Palestine in Ireland. Telephone interview with a representative.

Canada. 16 December 2010. Embassy of Canada in Jordan. Correspondence sent to the Research Directorate by the Second Secretary of the Immigration section.

U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI). 2008. "Israeli-occupied Territories." World Refugee Survey 2008. [Accessed 20 Dec. 2010]

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources: Attempts to contact representatives of the following organizations were unsuccessful: Embassy of Canada in Oman, Representative Office of Canada to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, General Delegation of Palestine in Ottawa, Association belgo-palestinienne, Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS), Palestinian Return Centre (PRC), Campagne civile internationale pour la protection du peuple palestinien (CCIPPP), United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Internet sites, including: Agence France-Presse (AFP), Al-Awda, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, Amnesty International (AI), Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS), Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, Campagne civile internationale pour la protection du peuple palestinien (CCIPPP), Canadian-Palestinian Educational Exchange (CEPAL), Council of Europe, European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), European Research Council (ERC), Le Figaro [Paris], Human Rights Watch, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), The Jerusalem Post, Minority Rights Group International (MRG), Le Monde [Paris], The National [Abu Dhabi], New Profile, Organisation suisse d'aide aux réfugiés (OSAR), Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), The Palestinian Centre for Peace and Democracy (PCPD), Palestinian Return Centre (PRC), Radio France internationale (RFI), Right of Return Congress (RORCongress), Le Temps [Suisse], United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine (UNISPAL),United States – Bureau of Consular Affairs.