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4.13.1. Identifying stateless persons and their rights

4.13.1. Identifying stateless persons and their rights

icon for identification of stateless persons

Legislation, practices and policies vary across EU+ countries on the criteria needed to be identified as a stateless person. In many cases, these individuals may be registered under the nationality of their country of former habitual residence or as having ‘unknown’ nationality. Thus, the data available on statelessness may not be entirely representative of the reality across EU+ countries.

Failing to properly identify statelessness during the asylum procedure can have a direct impact on the outcome of the case. For example, statelessness in the country of origin may be wholly or partially linked to a fear of being persecuted. If the applicant is not identified as stateless, the need for protection may not be adequately addressed during the procedure.

In addition, the status which is recorded during the registration of an application (e.g. national, stateless or unknown) has an impact on the nationality rights of the applicant’s children and access to processes, such as family reunification and naturalisation. As such, identifying potential cases of statelessness and referring the cases to a statelessness determination process are of paramount importance.