Albania adopts the instruction to implement and regulate its statelessness determination procedure

21 Jun 2023 / Albania / Statelessness determination and status

Positively, the instruction sets a maximum time limit of 180 days for a decision to be made (with a possible three-month extension), and the competent authority must certify acceptance of an application for the SDP. It provides that country-of-origin information is to be gathered on the political, economic, social, and human rights situation of the relevant country, and foresees a process of verification and information gathering from foreign authorities and international organisations. It also provides that if the applicant also applied for asylum then the SDP is suspended, with the applicant’s approval. There is a right of appeal before the court.

However, uncertainties and gaps in protection remain as applicants are required to provide many documents in their application but the instruction is not clear as to the consequences of not attaching some documents, especially considering the challenge for an applicant to obtain documents in a foreign country of which they are not a national. While UNHCR may be present during the interviews, the instruction does not specify who decides on their presence. Applicants may also face barriers to accessing legal aid. 

There is no information available yet about the implementation of the SDP in practice.

Source: Instruction published in the Official Gazette no 87 dated 21.06.2023, “On the documentation and procedure for the application, evaluation, approval, and refusal of the request for the declaration of the statelessness status” by Article 102 point 4 of the Albania Constitution and Article 54, Article 3 of the Law on Aliens, no 79/2021

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