On April 16, 2021, the procedure for recognition as a stateless person was introduced in Ukraine. As of now applications are actively being accepted and reviewed. Meanwhile, the Charitable Fund “Right to Protection” (R2P) provides free legal assistance to persons who need to confirm citizenship or obtain an official status of a stateless person.
During this month, lawyers of the CF “Right to Protection” helped 5 persons to apply for a stateless status, and on May 26, the State Migration Service of Ukraine (SMSU) accepted applications from two more of our beneficiaries in the Luhansk and Sumy regions. Unfortunately, not all departments and divisions of the SMSU accept applications yet, but gradually such an opportunity will open up for all the regions in Ukraine.
We offer you to get acquainted with the difficult path of a man who wants to be recognized as a stateless person, whose application is currently being considered in Severodonetsk, in the Luhansk region.
Wali was born in Tajikistan. In 1986 he came to study in the Luhansk region, where, after graduating from high school, he married, started a family, and decided to stay and live. Until 1993, he lived with a passport of a citizen of the former USSR, which he received in Tajikistan, but later he lost it.
In 1993, instead of losing his passport due to a lack of passport forms, Wali received a certificate with a photo. This was explained by the fact that in 1993 the passports of the citizens of the USSR of the 1974 model were no longer issued, and the passport forms of the citizens of Ukraine were not yet available. Wali lived with this certificate for almost 30 years and was never able to obtain a passport of a citizen of Ukraine.
The Migration Service refused to do so due to no possibility to confirm the citizenship of Ukraine. The reason for the refusals was that the man had changed his place of registration several times and, as of 24 August 1991, had not been registered anywhere.
To confirm the fact of living in Ukraine at this time, Wali decided to contact our organization. The lawyer of the CF “Right to Protection” (R2P) helped to collect all the necessary documents on the man’s residence, involved witnesses, and filed an application in the court to establish the fact of Wali’s residence on the territory of Ukraine as of August 24, 1991. But the Severodonetsk City Court denied the application due to a lack of evidence to establish this fact. The appellate court upheld the decision of the Severodonetsk City Court.
Having no confirmation of either the citizenship of Tajikistan or Ukraine, Wali remained de-facto stateless and had no official legal confirmation of his status.
With the adoption of the Stateless Determination Procedure on March 24, 2021, there was great hope for obtaining such a status. This will allow people like Wali to be able to enjoy life at its fullest: be employed officially, get married, buy real estate or a car, receive social protection and medical aid, move freely and travel abroad, and so on.
«Thanks to fruitful cooperation with the management and technical capabilities of the software of the Severodonetsk branch of the State Migration Service of Ukraine in the Luhansk region, Wali’s appeal was accepted together with documents and three witnesses. It took employees almost 7 hours to properly process his application. The man received a certificate of application for recognition as a stateless person, confirming his stay on the territory of Ukraine on legal grounds during the entire period of consideration of the application, which is 6 months,»– says the lawyer of the R2P Serhiy Mykhailov.
«We welcome the first applicants who have exercised their right to apply for a stateless status. We have been waiting for this moment for many years, and now we are happy to inform our beneficiaries who have been invisible for many years that they can finally submit documents for consideration and determination of their legal status, »– said Sofia Kordonets, Manager of the R2P Project “Legal assistance to stateless persons in Ukraine”.
We hope for quick and positive consideration of the application of Wali and all the other people who were first to access it!