The applicant attempted to naturalise in the Netherlands, but her request was rejected because she did not submit a legalised birth certificate. The applicant argued that as an ethnic Armenian from Azerbaijan she is most likely stateless, and would not be able to get assistance from the authorities in obtaining a birth certificate. The Court upheld the administrative decision to deny naturalisation, as not sufficient evidence was provided that it was in fact impossible for the applicant to obtain a birth certificate in her country of origin.
The applicants are ethnic Armenians from Azerbaijan, and claim to be stateless. The applicants applied for naturalisation, which was denied to them on the basis that their identity could not be adequately established, as they neither submitted a valid travel document nor a valid birth certificate from Azerbaijan, and the Dutch municipality records did not formally recognise them as stateless.The Court upheld the administrative decision.
Applicant was born in Macedonia and lived in the Netherlands for 38 years. His path to naturalisation was inhibited by the registration of his nationality status as "unknown" in the municipal records, which he requested to change to "stateless", arguing that he has never acquired the Macedonian nationality. The Council of State sided with the municipality that denied the request, maintaining that it has not been "irrefutably established" that the applicant is not a Macedonian national. The judgment refers to the Dutch legislative initiative on the statelessness determination, implying that it is needed, and that the municipal registry is not a statelessness determination procedure.
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.