A noncommercial collection of information about citizenship, dual citizenship and multiple citizenship

[Please refer to How to Read a Country Entry for help interpreting this material. It was produced prior to March 2001 as part of a US government report entitled Citizenship Laws of the World. The accuracy and depth of these country listings varies significantly, and some information may be incorrect. At best, this page presents only part of the story for a particular country. Additional information for this country may be available in Country Information]


CITIZENSHIP: Based upon the Iranian Civil Code.

BY BIRTH: In general, birth within the territory of Iran does not automatically confer citizenship. The following are instances where birth within the territory of Iran does confer citizenship: Child born to unknown parents. Child born to non-citizens, one of whom was born within Iran. Child born to non-citizens, who, after reaching the age of 18, continues to reside within Iran for at least one year.

BY DESCENT: Child born to an Iranian father regardless of the child's country of birth.

MARRIAGE: Foreign woman who marries an Iranian man is entitled to citizenship.

BY NATURALIZATION: Iranian citizenship may be acquired upon fulfillment of the following conditions: Person must be at least 18 years of age, have resided in Iran for five years, not be a military service escapee, and not have been convicted of a major crime in any country.

The wives and minor children (under 18) of naturalized Iranian citizens are also considered Iranian citizens.

DUAL CITIZENSHIP: NOT RECOGNIZED. Exceptions: Child of an Iranian father, who acquires citizenship due to birth in a foreign country. A foreign woman who marries an Iranian is automatically granted Iranian citizenship, whether it is requested or not.


VOLUNTARY: Person seeking to voluntarily renounce Iranian citizenship must have reached the age of 25, have performed military service, have settled all affairs in the country, and acquired the permission of the Council of Ministers. Though the rules for renunciation of citizenship are stated in Iranian Law, practical experiences have shown that Council permission is difficult to obtain, thus hindering legal renunciation of Iranian citizenship.

INVOLUNTARY: Voluntary acquisition of a foreign citizenship does not lead to automatic loss of Iranian citizenship. According to Iranian law, any Iranian national who acquires foreign citizenship without due observance of legal procedures will not have a renunciation of citizenship recognized by the government of Iran. In the eyes of the government, a male (and, in some cases, his wife and children) is still considered a citizen of Iran, regardless of the individual's status in the new country of citizenship.

ANY QUESTIONS concerning citizenship, should be directed to the address below:

Iranian Interest Section, 2209 Wisconsin Ave., NW Washington, DC 20007

Telephone: 202-965-4990/1/2/3/4/9 Fax: 202-965-1073/2050


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