Algerian nationality law
The firstAlgerian nationality law, promulgated in 1963, granted citizenship only to Muslims, requiring that only those individuals whose father and paternal grandfather had Muslim personal status could become citizens of the new state. The Christian and Jewish inhabitants of Algeria during French colonisation were considered as French citizens, but the Muslims were considered as indigenous under a special set of laws known as Code de l'indigénat and were not eligible to French citizenship and in practice, had an inferior legal status.
A second nationality law was enacted in 1970 which makes no reference to religious status. However, the new law grants citizenship to children based on the existing nationality of the parents, resulting in the previous Muslim status of the parents being applicable to their offspring. The 1970 Nationality Code only permitted women to pass nationality to their children when the father was unknown or stateless and did not grant women the right to confer nationality to foreign spouses, though men maintained this right.
Following advocacy by women's rights organizations demanding equal nationality rights for women, a new Nationality Code was signed into law in 2005. Nationality by descent is now granted to a child whose father or mother is an Algerian national. Reforms made in 2005 also grant women and men equal rights to pass nationality to their children and spouses. Algeria is the only state in the Middle East-North Africa region to grant equal nationality rights to women and men. Nationality by birth in the territory, rather than by descent, is only granted to children whose parents are unknown. (Article 7) Nationality by naturalisation is possible but the criteria are very vague and subject to ministerial discretion. (Articles 10, 11 and 26)
Algeria does not permit dual citizenship. (Article 3)
- Algerian Nationality Code, Law no. 63-69 of Mar. 27, 1963, section 34
- Law No. 1970-86, 15 December 1970, Nationality Law
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