Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, Transmitted to Congress, With the Annual Message of the President, December 5, 1881
Mr. Delaplaine to Mr. Evarts.
Vienna, October 26, 1880. (Received November 13.)
Sir: My attention has been called by the United States consul at Pesth to a law passed by the Hungarian Diet during the past year on [Page 19] the acquisition and loss of citizenship in that kingdom (especially to paragraph 48), and the possible liability of American citizens to the provisions of the same.
I have consulted Bitter Yon Riedl, chief of the juridical section in the foreign office, as to whether the exceptions under treaties as stated in § 47 are not applicable to our citizens, native and naturalized, resident in Hungary. After an examination by him of the naturalization convention of September 20, 1870, he expressed an opinion in the affirmative, but recommended that a note should be addressed to the imperial and royal ministry for foreign affairs for the purpose of ascertaining the opinion of the Hungarian Government on the question.
I herewith inclose a copy of the law, together with a translation, and respectfully ask the opinion and instructions of the Department.
I have, &c.,
Articles of the law of the year 1879 on the acquisition and loss of Hungarian citizenship.
(Sanctioned on the 20th December, 1879. Proclaimed in both Houses of the Diet on the 24th December, 1879.)
§ 1. In the collective provinces of the Hungarian Crown citizenship is one and the same.§ 2.
§ 2. Hungarian citizenship is acquired only in the following manner:
- Through descent.
- Through legitimation.
- Through marriage.
- Through naturalization.
§ 3.Descent.—Through descent the legitimate children of an Hungarian citizen and the illegitimate children of an Hungarian female citizen acquire Hungarian citizenship in both cases even when the place of birth is in a foreign country.
§ 4. Legitimation.—Through legitimation the illegitimate children of an Hungarian citizen who are the offspring of a foreign female acquire Hungarian citizenship.
§ 5.Marriage.—Through marriage each foreign female who marries an Hungarian citizen acquires Hungarian citizenship.
§ 6. Naturalization.—Through naturalization each foreigner who receives a certificate of naturalization from one of the authorities named in § 11, or receives a diploma of naturalization from His Majesty, in compliance with § 17, and takes the oath or vow of Hungarian citizen, acquires Hungarian citizenship.
§ 7. The Hungarian citizenship acquired by a man received into the state-union extends to his wife and to the minor children being under his paternal authority.
§ 8. As to the acquisition of the Hungarian citizenship through naturalization that foreigner only can obtain a certificate of naturalization who (1) possesses the capability for the performance of correct actions, or when the consent of his lawful representative replaces the deficiency in this respect; (2) is received in the union of any native community, or whose reception by the community is in view; (3) lives uninterruptedly since five years in the country; (4) is of irreproachable previous life; (5) possesses so much property or such a source of income as enables him to support himself and his family according to the circumstances of his place of residence; (6) has been received for five years past in the list of tax-payers.
By the naturalization of a foreigner whom an Hungarian citizen has adopted in accordance with our laws the conditions of the points 3, 5, 6 of this paragraph can be remitted when the adopted party fulfills the conditions of § § 5 and 6.
§ 9. For conferring Hungarian citizenship a properly-composed petition is to be addressed to the first officer (vicegespan Burgomaster) of that municipality, or at the military frontier, to that district bureau, or to that town magistrate in whose jurisdiction or district the petitioner resides.
§ 10. The authority indicated in § 9 examines the petition, with the accompanying papers, eventually directs the petitioner to supply the necessary documents which may be wanting, and in case where any suspicion arises as to the form or contents of these documents he requests from the competent authorities explanation, and submits the whole documents, accompanied by a developed opinion, to the ministry of the interior, [Page 20] or to the Croatian-Slavonic-Dalmatian Banns, or to the provincial authority of the military frontier.
§ 11. In the matter of the reception into the state-union, to be effected according to § § 8, 9, and 10, the minister of the interior decides in regard to those who live in the territory of Hungary and Fiume; the Croatian-Slavonic-Dalmatian Banns, respectively; the military frontier, provincial authorities as regards those who, live in the territory of Croatia-Slavonia, and in the event the petition be granted a certificate of naturalization will be delivered to the party. However, each separate case is to be brought to the knowledge of the minister president for the purpose of proof.
§ 12. In the certificate of naturalization shall be clearly expressed that the party has been received among the Hungarian citizens; and, in the case of § 7, also the names of the wife and of those children of the same to whom the naturalization extends, shall be mentioned.
§ 13. After the certificate of naturalization has been submitted to the authority representing the affair, the same informs the authority indicated in § 9, which notifies the petitioner and fixes the day for taking the oath of citizen (vow).
The oath is to be taken before the first officer of the municipality; in the military frontier, before the chief of the district, respectively, before the burgomaster or his representative.
§ 14. The contents of the citizen-oath (vow) is as follows:
“I, N. N., swear (vow) by God, that I will be faithful to His Imperial and Royal Majesty the Apostolic King of Hungary and to the constitution of the provinces of the Hungarian Crown, and I promise that I will faithfully fulfill my duties as Hungarian citizen.”
§ 15. A protocol is to be prepared in the matter of the taking of the oath (vow), that the taker of the oath (vow) is to subscribe; the day of the taking of the oath (vow) is to be indicated on the certificate of naturalization with the signature of him before whom the oath was taken, and this certificate is to be delivered to the party received into the state-union.
The party received into the state-union is, beginning from this day, Hungarian citizen, but can—the case provided in § 17 excepted—become a member of the legislature only after ten years subsequently for his reception into the state-union.
§ 16. When the party for whom the naturalization certificate has been issued, and who has been cited to take the oath (vow), does not appear and take the same within one year from the day of the citation, the naturalization certificate loses its validity, and is to be submitted to that authority which has issued it, together with evidence of the service of the citation.
§ 17. The ministry can propose to His Majesty the conferring of the right of citizenship on those foreigners who have performed extraordinary and distinguished meritorious services to the provinces of the Hungarian Crown, and either live in the country or declare that they will settle here, even when they do not possess the requirements enumerated in the points 2, 3, and 6 of the § 8.
When the party who has in such manner acquired the right of citizenship has not yet sought to be received in the union of a native community, then the community to which he belongs will be preliminarily Buda-Pest.
The enactments of the former § § 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16 are also applicable to those who have acquired citizenship with royal certificates.
§ 18. A foreigner does not acquire through naturalization Hungarian nobility.
§ 19. So long as their foreign nationality is not proved are to be considered as Hungarian citizens: (1) Those who are born in the territory of the provinces of the Hungarian Crown; (2) those who as foundlings have been found and educated or brought up in this territory.
§ 20. Of the loss of Hungarian citizenship.—Hungarian citizenship ceases: (1) Through discharge; (2) through decision of the authorities; (3) through absence; (4) through legitimation; (5) through marriage.
§ 20. Discharge.—As regards discharge, the decision depends, in time of peace, as to those who belong to the union of communities in the territory of Hungary and Fiume, from the minister of the interior, but as to those who belong to the union of the communities in the territory of Croatia-Slavonia, from the Banus of Croatia-Slavonia-Dalmatia, respectively, from the provincial administration of the military frontier.
In this decision, when approval is given to the petition, it shall be declared that the party is discharged from the union of the Hungarian state. Such decisions are for necessary proof to be submitted to the minister president.
§ 22. Individuals who stand under engagement to perform service in the line (marine), in the reserve, or substitute reserve, can be discharged from the union of the Hungarian state only in the case when they have received from the common minister of war of the monarchy (Honveds, however, only then when from the minister of defense of the country) a certificate of their discharge from the union of the militia.
Individuals who are not subject to the above-mentioned military duty, but are not definitely relieved from the same, can, in case they have already terminated their seventeen [Page 21] years, only be discharged from the union of the Hungarian state in the case that they exhibit through an attest of the respective jurisdiction that they do not apply for their discharge with the object of escaping military duty.
§ 23. Exceptions from the provisions contained in § 22 are on the ground of reciprocity in respect to those to whom the acquisition of Austrian citizenship is in view. These persons are to be discharged from the Hungarian state-union when they prove that they possess all the qualities enumerated in points 1, 2, and 3 of § 24.
§ 24. The discharge from the union of the Hungarian state can in time of peace not be denied for other reasons than those enumerated in § 22 to the party who proves (1) that he has capacity for correct action, or that his father, respectively his guardian or trustee, in the manner approved by guardian authorities, gives his consent to the application; (2) that he is not in arrears with any state or communal tax; (3) that he does not, within the territories of the provinces of the Hungarian crown, stand under criminal examination, or that a criminal sentence has been pronounced against him which has not been executed.
§ 25. In time of war His Majesty, on the proposal of the ministry, decides in every separate case in regard to the discharge from the Hungarian state-union.
§ 26. The discharge extends to the wife of the discharged man, and so far as no exception exists in accordance with § 22 to the minor children being under paternal authority when they emigrate with the father, respectively parents.
§ 27. The properly-composed petition for discharge from the Hungarian state-union is to be delivered to the first officer (vicegespan, burgomaster) of that jurisdiction, respectively, in the military frontier, by that district bureau, in whose’ territory the petitioner belongs.
This authority observes in regard to the petition the proceedings enacted in § 10.
§ 28. In the decree of discharge it is to be clearly declared that the party is to be discharged from the union of the Hungarian state, and in the case provided in § 6 the names of the wife and those children of the discharged party are to be mentioned to whom the discharge extends.
§ 29. The decree of discharge brings, from the day of its presentation, the loss of Hungarian citizenship with it.
However, the discharge is invalid when the discharged party, before obtaining the decree of discharge up to the emigration, is involved in one of the obstacles included in the points 2 and 3 of § 24, or also besides, when the discharged party does not emigrate within one year after receiving the decree of his discharge.
§ 30. The authorities named in § 11 can pronounce the loss of citizenship in respect to such Hungarian citizens who belong to the communities in the territory standing under their administration, and who, without their permission, enter their service of another state; when these persons, after summons, do not leave this service within the appointed time.
The decisions mentioned in this § are, from time to time, for necessary proofs, to be submitted to the minister president.
§ 31. Absence.—The Hungarian citizen who, without order of the Hungarian Government or of the Austro-Hungarian common ministers, resides uninterruptedly for ten years out of the boundaries of the territory of the Hungarian crown, loses hereby Hungarian citizenship. The time of absence is to be reckoned from that day on which the party left the boundary of the territory of the Hungarian crown without having announced his retention of Hungarian citizenship to the competent authority indicated in § 9, or when he departed with a passport, from the day on which the passport expires.
The continuance of absence is interrupted when the absent party announced to the mentioned competent authority the retention of his Hungarian citizenship or obtained a new passport, or receives a certificate of residence from some Austro-Hungarian consulate or is entered in the register of an Austro-Hungarian consular district.
§ 32. The loss of Hungarian citizenship occurring in this manner extends to the wife living together with her absent husband and to their minor children with him and being under paternal authority.
§ 33. Legitimation.—Those children lose Hungarian citizenship who are legitimated in accordance with the laws of the native country of their natural father of foreign nationality, excepting when they, through this legitimation have not acquired the citizenship of their father, and also after their legitimation lived in the territory of the provinces of the Hungarian crown.
§ 34. Marriage.—The female loses her Hungarian citizenship who marries a man that is not an Hungarian citizen.
§ 35. The native female does not lose her Hungarian citizenship, who, marrying an Hungarian citizen, becomes widow, is judicially divorced, or when their marriage is annulled.
§ 36. The Hungarian citizen, who is at the same time citizen of another state, is to be considered as an Hungarian citizen so long as he has not lost his Hungarian citizenship.[Page 22]
§ 37. Reacquisition of citizenship.—The female reacquires her citizenship, who has married a foreigner, when her marriage is declared by a competent tribunal to be invalid.
§ 38. Re-reception into the state-union.—To those persons who have lost Hungarian citizenship and apply for re-reception among Hungarian citizens, the foregoing enactments in relation to reception in the state-union are applicable, in so far as the following sections, exhibit no exception.
§ 39. Whoever has lost Hungarian citizenship through discharge or absence, and has not acquired another citizenship, can also again be received among Hungarian citizens when he has not returned to live in the territory of the provinces of the Hungarian crown.
In the latter case the party again received into the state-union recovers his former belonging to the community.
§ 40. Whoever has lost his Hungarian citizenship through discharge or absence, and has returned to the territory of the provinces of the Hungarian crown, is received into the union of any native community respectively, receives this reception in view, can by means of his petition again be received among Hungarian citizens.
§ 41. The female who through discharge, absence of her husband, or her marriage with a foreigner, has lost her Hungarian citizenship, can, when she has been judicially divorced from her husband, her marriage has been annulled, or when she becomes a widow and has been received in the union of a community in the territory of the provinces of the Hungarian crown, or this reception has been placed in view, be received on application again among Hungarian citizens.
§ 42. Whoever as minor has lost his Hungarian citizenship through the discharge or absence of his legitimate father, can, after the death of his father, or after he has attained his majority in accordance with the laws of his new fatherland, and after he in both cases received in the union of a community of the territory of the provinces of the Hungarian crown, respectively, this reception has been placed in view, be received among Hungarian citizens on the base of his application to which, when he is minor, the consent of his guardian is requisite.
§ 43. The petition for renewed reception in the state-union is in the cases of § § 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, to be presented to the authority indicated in § 9, to whose territory that community belongs, in whose union the party is received, or respectively, this reception is placed in view.
§ 44. To the reacquisition of citizenship that provision of § 15 does not extend that the party can become a member of the legislature only after a lapse of ten years, excepting when Hungarian citizenship is acquired by naturalization, and ten years have not elapsed since acquisition of the same.
§ 45. Final enactments.—The municipalities, respectively, in the military frontier, the district bureaus, and the town magistrates, are obliged to keep separate registers in two copies each in regard to conferring of citizenship, and in regard to discharge from the state-union.
- The titles of the registers to be kept in respect to grants of
- The current number on the first day of the beginning year.
- Name, age, occupation of the party received in the state-union, respectively, again received.
- The former fatherland and the community to which the party received belongs.
- Name and age of the members of the family to whom the reception in the state-union extends.
- Date and number of the documents in regard to the reception into the state-union.
- Annotation, in which is to be indicated in regard to the parties again received in what manner they lost their former citizenship.
- The register to be kept in regard to discharges is to be provided with similar titles, with the difference that in the 6th title it is to be made clear whereby the party discharged from the state-union has acquired Hungarian citizenship. A copy of these registers is to be submitted to the authority named in § § 11 and 21.
§ 46. In addition to the normal dues to be paid for the conferring of the right of citizenship and emigration, no due or tax is to be paid for the reception among Hungarian citizens, and for the discharge from the Hungarian state-union.
§ 47. Exceptions from this law are admissible to those states with which treaties on this subject have been concluded, so far as such treaties contain provisions at variance with the present law.
§ 48. All laws and ordinances contradictory to the present law are abolished. Through the present law the right of citizenship of those persons is not affected who acquired the reception up to the coming in force of this law.
Those persons are also to be considered as Hungarian citizens who have lived in the territory of the provinces of the Hungarian crown up to the day of the coming in force of this law at least five years without interruption, even when in various places, and are received in a native community in the list of tax-payers, when they do not prove within one year, reckoned from the coming in force of this law, before that jurisdiction [Page 23] respectively in the military frontier, before that district bureau or town magistrate in whose territory, respectively, whose district their last place of residence is, that they have retained their foreign citizenship.
The ten years fixed for the time of absence in § 31, are in regard to those who before the coming in force of the present law departed from the territory of the provinces of the Hungarian crown, to be reckoned from the day of the coming in force of the present law.
§ 49. The special enactments in respect to the Croatian-Slavonic military frontier, and to the provincial authorities of the military frontier contained in the present law are only provisional, and their operation lasts only until the military frontier is united also in an administrative way with Croatia-Slavonia.
§ 50. The ministry, respectively, the minister of the interior, the Banns of Croatia-Slavonia-Delmatia, and the provincial authorities of the military frontier are charged with the execution of this law.