The applicant was a Syrian national of Kurdish ethnicity, who unsuccessfully applied for asylum in Switzerland. He subsequently claimed that he has been deprived of Syrian nationality and therefore ought to be recognised as stateless. The State Secretariat for Migration and the Court decided that he did not meet the standard of proof to substantiate his statelessness of 'full proof'.
The applicant is a Syrian Kurd, who fled to Austria in 2011. Just after he left, Syria passed a Decree that would have allowed the applicant to acquire Syrian nationality. The applicant was thus deemed to have been able to acquire Syrian nationality, even if he hasn’t done that, and therefore was not entitled to a stateless status.
The applicant was born in the former USSR in the Nagorno-Karabakh region - a contested territory between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and he is ethnically Armenian. He entered France illegally, where he applied for stateless status (after unsuccessful asylum applications), which was rejected by the OFPRA, on the basis that he did not make enough effort to obtain nationalities of either Azerbaijan or Armenia. The Court upheld the administrative decision denying applicant the stateless status.
The Court of Cassation ruled that a stateless person could be deported only in the case provided for in Article 31 of the 1954 Convention, i.e. on the basis on national security or public order, and not on the grounds of their irregular presence on the territory. Article 31 is applicable, by analogy, to de facto statelessness and/or pending a formal statelessness determination procedure, if the condition of stateless had already emerged from the information and documentation provided by the competent authorities (of the Italian state or of the country of origin). The Court recognised the de facto stateless status of the applicant and repealed the deportation orders.
Request to have nationality changed from "unknown" to "stateless" denied, as it cannot be ruled out that the applicant's father has Macedonian nationality. Applicant did not provide enough evidence to determine statelessness.
Stateless people should be granted a legal status and identity card during the statelessness determination procedure. The State's failure to grant a right to stay on the territory while waiting for a decision is in violation of the applicant's right to respect for private and family life.