Azerbaijani nationality law
The current citizenship law is guided by the 1995 Constitution of Azerbaijan and, more importantly, the Law of Azerbaijan on Citizenship of the Republic of Azerbaijan, which was adopted on September 30, 1998. It is based primarily on the principle of jus sanguinis. It includes the right of citizenship for Azerbaijani refugees from Armenia and for ethnic Azerbaijanis from the rest of the world. Dual citizenship is not recognized by the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Nationality by birth
Azerbaijan is a jus sanguinis state as opposed to jus soli state, meaning that it attributes citizenship by blood but not by location of birth. However, Azerbaijani nationality is also defined by citizenship and not only by descent. The birth of a foreign person within the territory of Azerbaijan does not automatically confer Azerbaijani citizenship on him or her, even though there is a provision that provides them the right to obtain Azerbaijani citizenship.
The Azerbaijani nationality law provides provisions in which a person can automatically become an Azerbaijani citizen at birth:
- When at least one of the parents is a citizen of Azerbaijan.
- When the person born abroad is of an Azerbaijani father and foreign mother, and if the mother does not object.
- When the person is born within the territory of Azerbaijan and both parents are unknown or stateless.
Azerbaijan does not allow dual citizenship, and anyone who voluntarily applies and obtains foreign citizenship automatically loses Azerbaijani citizenship. However Azerbaijani immigrants wishing to renounce their citizenship in order to acquire citizenship in another country (such as Germany, which requires denunciation of previous citizenships, or Japan) must apply for denunciation. That process can last up to a year.
The only exception is that the President of Azerbaijan may grant dual citizenship to persons of special importance, and that person will not lose Azerbaijani citizenship by retaining the foreign citizenship obtained by him or her, or lose his or her original foreign citizenship while being granted Azerbaijani citizenship.
Loss of citizenship
Voluntary renunciation of Azerbaijani citizenship is permitted by law. Likewise the recovery of Azerbaijani citizenship is also permitted by law, if the person renounces his or her foreign citizenship.