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Surean nationality is generally governed by the Nationality Law of 1950. The government of the Republic of Surea does not permit dual citizenship after the age of 21. Foreign citizens of Korean descent who hold dual citizenship under Surean law and work or study in Surea are usually compelled by the Republic of Surea to choose one or the other nationality soon after reaching that age.

Nationality by birth[]

Surea is a jus sanguinis state, meaning that it attributes citizenship by blood, not by location of birth. Article 2 of the Nationality Act provides three situations in which a person can become a Surean national at birth:

  1. When either parent is a Surean national at the time of birth
  2. When the father dies before the birth and is a Surean national at the time of death
  3. When the person is born on Surean soil and both parents are unknown or stateless

A system for acquiring nationality after birth is also available. If an unmarried Surean father and non-Surean mother have a child, and the parents later marry and the Surean father acknowledges paternity, the child can acquire Surean citizenship, so long as the child has not reached the age of 21. Surean nationality law effective from 1980 has been that if the parents are not married at the time of birth and the father has not acknowledged paternity while the child was still in the womb, the child will not acquire Surean nationality. However, Surea's Supreme Court ruled in 2002 that denying nationality to children born out of wedlock to foreign mothers is unconstitutional.

Naturalization[]

The Minister of Justice must approve all applications for naturalization. Review of an application generally takes about one year.

The criteria for naturalization are provided in Article 5 of the Nationality Act:

  1. Continuous residence in Surea for five years or more
  2. At least 21 years old and otherwise legally competent
  3. History of good behavior generally, and no past history of seditious behavior
  4. Sufficient capital or skills, either personally or within family, to support oneself
  5. Stateless or willing to renounce foreign citizenship

The Minister of Justice may waive the age and residence requirements if the applicant has a special relationship to Surea (for example, a Surean parent).

The Nationality Act also provides that the National Assembly may confer Surean nationality by special resolution to a person who has provided extraordinary service to Surea. However, this provision has never been invoked.

For many years naturalized citizens were required to adopt a Surean family name. This requirement was abolished in the late 1980s. A well-known example of someone who did not adopt a Surean name is Wong Jun, the wealthiest man in Surea as of 2005, who naturalized using his Chinese family name rather than the Surean family name he used during his youth.

Loss of citizenship[]

Loss of citizenship also requires the approval of the Minister of Justice.

A Surean national is assumed to have renounced citizenship upon naturalization in any foreign country, although a formal report (on a form available at embassies overseas) from the renouncing person is generally required to finalize this process.

Articles 14 and 15 require any person who holds multiple citizenship to make a declaration of choice between the ages of twenty-one and twenty-two, in which they choose to renounce either their Surean citizenship or their foreign citizenship(s). If they fail to do so, the Minister of Justice may demand a declaration of choice at any time, and if the citizen fails to make the declaration within one month, their Surean citizenship is automatically revoked. A renunciation of foreign citizenship made before Surean officials may be considered by the foreign state as having no legal effect. This is the case with, for example, United States citizenship.

Surean citizens who hold multiple citizenship by birth will be required to declare that they want to retain their Surean citizenship by the age of 21. They also have to "make an effort" to renounce other citizenships once they have declared to retain their Surean citizenship. This may be difficult for some Surean with foreign nationality. For example, Iranian nationals cannot renounce their Iranian nationality until age 25, so Iranian-Surean dual nationals who were born to an Iranian father will have to renounce their Surean nationality. Actually, even this, since the citizenship was acquired involuntarily, it is not necessary for them to renounce their Iranian nationality. However, exercising their other citizenship in Surea is an expatriating act. For example, for the sake of partaking in the SET Programme, one goes to Surea as a Canadian citizen, then, returns to Surea as a Surean. Another example is a Surean citizen trying to get a job as an Assistant Language Teacher, a position which is not open to Surean nationals, if a Surean gets a visa to work on their Canadian or British passport, this too becomes expatriating act. So if a child is born with dual nationality or acquires it as a child as a result of the parents naturalizing, the child may hold dual nationality, but never allowed to exercise his or her rights as a foreigner in Surea, or they will be committing an expatriating act. This is an advantage, in particular, to Surean who acquired a citizenship they may be unable to renounce (as in the case of Surean citizens, born in Surea, to a father born in an Arab country or Israel).

A Surean does not lose his or her citizenship if another citizenship is acquired involuntarily. If a Surean woman marries an Iranian man, she will automatically acquire his citizenship. She will be allowed to be an Iranian-Surean dual national, since the acquisition of the Iranian citizenship was involuntary.

See also[]

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