In general, obtaining of Ukrainian citizenship provides the renouncement of foreign citizenship. This occurs by submitting an obligation to renounce of foreign citizenship within two years or a declaration of renouncement of foreign citizenship. When the applicants are citizens of the Republic of Belarus, this two-year term will not apply to them. There will be an automatic renouncement of one citizenship as a result of obtaining another, because under the Agreement, the date of obtaining one Party`s citizenship will be the date of termination of the other Party`s citizenship.
However, there are other features of this Agreement implementation. The fact is that in order to renounce citizenship and directly to implement its norms, persons must permanently reside in the territory of a state. This is about obtaining a permanent residence permit in one of the countries that are parties of the Agreement. Such a requirement follows directly from its name.
Departure for permanent residence abroad (PR) by the Republic of Belarus citizens who permanently reside on its territory shall be done at the place of residence. Based on the results of the consideration of the application for permanent residence departure, the internal affairs bodies make a decision on the passport of the PP series issuance. On this document, person shall enter the territory of Ukraine and apply for consular registration.
If the Republic of Belarus citizen temporarily resides in Ukraine, he/she can apply for permanent residence at the appropriate diplomatic missions / consular offices on its territory. In this case, the decision is made by the diplomatic mission/ consular office, which accepts the applicant for consular registration. Only after completing this procedure it is possible to proceed to the stage of obtaining Ukrainian citizenship.
Despite the existence of the Agreement, the list of required for obtaining Ukrainian citizenship documents is the same for all foreigners. It can only change depending on the ground of its obtaining. As for the terms, this Agreement creates some features for the Republic of Belarus citizens. As already noted, they cannot use the two-year rule to renounce citizenship, because this occurs automatically. Specific are not only the terms, but also the procedure for renouncing their previous citizenship. In this way:
- Within ten days after granting the person a new citizenship, the competent authorities of the Party that granted this citizenship shall issue a document confirming the obtained citizenship to the person. At the same time they seize the document confirming the previous citizenship and send it through the diplomatic channels to the Party whose citizenship is renounced together with a notification about a new citizenship and indicating the date of its obtaining.
- Within two months after receiving a notification about obtaining the new citizenship by the person, the Party whose citizenship is renounced shall draw up the renouncement of citizenship and notify the Party whose citizenship is obtaining.
Please remember about the automatic obtaining of the citizenship by the child. This is a paragraph of the Agreement, which provides that:
- upon obtaining citizenship by parents, adoptive parents, guardians, trustees, as a result of which both become citizens of the other Party, the citizenship of their minor children, as well as minors who are under their care changes accordingly.
The necessity of implementing norms of such an Agreement is connected with the fact that the Republic of Belarus, like Ukraine, would like to prevent cases of statelessness. However, it only partially changes the procedure of obtaining Ukrainian citizenship. This in no way influences the rights and obligations which entails obtaining the status of a Ukrainian citizen.
It is necessary to take into account while acquiring Ukrainian citizenship that the Constitution of Ukraine not only guarantees the rights of its citizens but also creates certain obligations. It is about such rights and obligations that only citizens can have.
Unlike the rights that a person will have only after acquiring Ukrainian citizenship, these obligations arise even at the stage of applying for its obtaining. So, the first obligation that relies on the applicant is the obligation to terminate foreign citizenship upon acquiring Ukrainian. We are talking about the principle of single citizenship, which is provided in Article 4 of the Constitution of Ukraine. Also, Article 65 of the Constitution of Ukraine provides that the protection of the Motherland, independence, and territorial integrity of Ukraine, respect for its state symbols is the duty of citizens of Ukraine. Citizens perform military service in accordance with the law. Therefore, men who apply for Ukrainian citizenship should keep in mind that after obtaining a passport of a Ukrainian citizen, they must go through the military registration procedure. It is impossible to avoid this procedure because without this they will not even be able to register their place of residence.
In turn, these rights that can have only Ukrainian citizens may be acquired only after the completion of the procedure for obtaining Ukrainian citizenship. They include:
– the right of free association in political parties and public organizations;
– the right to take part in the management of state affairs, in all-Ukrainian and local referendums;
– the right to freely elect and be elected to state and local government bodies;
– the right to assemble peacefully, without weapons, to hold meetings, rallies, campaigns, and demonstrations;
– the right to social protection, including the right to provide them in the event of complete, partial or temporary disability, loss of a breadwinner, unemployment due to circumstances beyond their control, as well as in old age and other cases stipulated by law;
– the right to participate in trade unions to protect their labor and socio-economic rights and interests;
– the right of access to public service, as well as to service in local government;
– the right to receive higher education free of charge in state and municipal educational institutions on a competitive basis.
Quite often, foreigners confuse obtaining an immigration permit and a residence permit with the acquisition of Ukrainian citizenship, namely, they believe that the above-mentioned rights, as well as the ability to travel without a visa to Schengen countries, are available in each of the options. This is a wrong statement. Only the acquisition of Ukrainian citizenship and the renunciation of a foreign one make it possible to use these rights.