Republic of the Congo: Whether dual nationality is recognized in the Republic of the Congo; whether Congolese citizens may renounce their Congolese nationality, including requirements and procedures (2011-July 2019) [COG106339.FE]

Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

1. Dual Nationality

Article 19 of the Constitution of the Republic of the Congo Adopted by Referendum on 25 October 2015 (Constitution de la République du Congo adoptée par référendum le 25 octobre 2015) provides the following:

[translation]

Congolese citizenship is guaranteed by law. All Congolese persons have the right to change nationality or to acquire a second one. (Republic of the Congo 2015, Art. 19)

Sources state that dual nationality has been permitted since 2002 (Manby 2016, 78; UK Apr. 2004, para. 5.7). An article published in the magazine Jeune Afrique reports that dual nationality is permitted [translation] “without any restrictions” in the Republic of the Congo (Jeune Afrique 5 Dec. 2015). In a telephone interview with the Research Directorate, the honorary consul of the Republic of the Congo in Toronto confirmed that [translation] “dual nationality is permitted without restrictions in the Congo” (Republic of the Congo 9 July 2019).

2. Renunciation of Congolese Nationality

Article 1 of Law No. 32-2011 Amending Certain Provisions of Law No. 35-61 of 20 June 1961 on the Congolese Nationality Code (Loi no 32-2011 modifiant certaines dispositions de la loi no 35-61 du 20 juin 1961 portant code de la nationalité congolaise) provides the following:

[translation]

Article 1: Law No. 35-61 of 20 June 1961 on the Congolese Nationality Code is amended as follows:

- New Article 47: A Congolese person who, having acquired a foreign nationality, is permitted, at their request, to lose their Congolese nationality and shall lose their Congolese nationality.

Article 2: This Law, which takes effect on 20 January 2002, shall be published in the Official Gazette and shall be enforced as a law of the State. (Republic of the Congo 2011)

In a study on citizenship law in Africa, Bronwen Manby, principal investigator at the Middle East Centre of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) with expertise in the areas of nationality and statelessness in Africa (LSE n.d.), included, without providing further details, the Republic of the Congo in the list of countries that “require the person to obtain permission to release himself or herself from obligations to the state, at least in some circumstances” to renounce their nationality (Manby 2016, 112).

However, the honorary consul stated that Congolese citizens may voluntarily renounce their nationality, without meeting any requirements, and do not need to obtain permission from the state (Republic of the Congo 9 July 2019).

The honorary consul also provided the information in the following paragraph to the Research Directorate:

To renounce their nationality from abroad, individuals must send a letter to the consulate of the Republic of the Congo indicating their intention to renounce their Congolese nationality, and enclose all of their Congolese identity documents, such as their passport, national identity card and driver’s licence. The consulate will forward the information to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Congo, which will see to registering the change. If individuals submit their request to a consulate, they can obtain a letter attesting to their having renounced their Congolese nationality, which will be sent to them by the Congolese state (Republic of the Congo 9 July 2019).

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

Jeune Afrique. 5 December 2015. Mathieu Olivier. “Double nationalité : Quels sont les pays africains qui l'autorisent?” [Accessed 5 July 2019]

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). N.d. “Dr Bronwen Manby.” [Accessed 15 July 2019]

Manby, Bronwen. 2016. Citizenship Law in Africa: A Comparative Study. 3rd edition. Cape Town: African Minds. [Accessed 5 July 2019]

Republic of the Congo. 9 July 2019. Telephone interview with the honorary consul of the Republic of the Congo in Toronto.

Republic of the Congo. 2015. Constitution de la République du Congo adoptée par référendum le 25 octobre 2015. Journal officiel de la République du Congo. [Accessed 5 July 2019]

Republic of the Congo. 2011. Loi n° 32-2011 modifiant certaines dispositions de la loi n° 35-61 du 20 juin 1961 portant code de la nationalité congolaise. Journal officiel de la République du Congo. [Accessed 5 July 2019]

United Kingdom (UK). April 2004. Home Office, Immigration and Nationality Directorate. The Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) Country Report. [Accessed 5 July 2019]

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources: Republic of the Congo – embassy in Washington.

Internet sites, including: ecoi.net; Factiva; US – Department of State.