Armenian passport, place of birth: Azerbaijan

Our fellow compatriot who repatriated to Armenia went through a long process to receive Armenian citizenship. However, when he received his Armenian passport, his place of birth was listed as Azerbaijan. He was born in the Martakert region of Artsakh.

Architect Arsen Karapetyan wrote about this on his Facebook page. “My friend came back to Armenia and went through a long process of obtaining Armenian citizenship. He happily went to finally get his passport, but he was sad when he came back. He was born in Martakert. But they wrote that his place of birth was Azerbaijan. He argued with them and got angry, but they told him that they aren’t happy with this, either, but this is the procedure. Now I have a question. What does this word mean? Not the Azerbaijani SSR (that wouldn’t be pleasant, either, but at least we could understand), not NKR, no, just simply Azerbaijan. No such state ever existed. Or is this a geographical name? Now, my friend says that he finally became a citizen, but it turns out that he’s from Azerbaijan. What is this? When we talk about betrayal, isn’t this our country’s approach and concept? I don’t believe that this was just ignorance or slovenliness. What are we talking about when we say status? I don’t know when this procedure was accepted. Let me know if you know.”

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In an interview with Aravot Daily, the deputy head of the Passport and Visa Department, Mariam Gevorgyan, said that Armenian passports are given to individuals in accordance with several laws. According to Gevorgyan, the law outlines the information that must be included in passports, which includes the individual’s place of birth and the name of the country. She said that in every case, the individual’s birthplace is listed in accordance with what is written in the documents they presented. “That can be their birth certificate or another country’s passport that includes information on where the individual was born. In this case, I believe that the individual presented a birth certificate that listed their place of birth as Azerbaijan or the Azerbaijani SSR. In this case, their birthplace was listed as Azerbaijan since the passport of an Armenian citizen is considered a transportation document and it must be in accordance with international standards outlined by the ICAO. Those standards outline countries and their codes. There are no separate codes for the former Soviet republics. For example, a passport would say Georgia, not the Georgian SSR. Therefore, when an individual receives a passport, it will not say the name of the republic or the SSR addition. Instead, it will say Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, or any of the other former Soviet republics.”

When asked if this method was always in place or if something has changed, Gevorgyan said that this was always the case, and Armenian passports have always been issued in accordance with the ICAO standards. “If the individual received their birth certificate after the USSR collapsed and it said Armenia, we would have written Armenia. Our basis is the birth certificate.”

However, it is important to mention that this citizen’s Russian passport lists their birthplace as the Azerbaijani SSR.


Nelly Babayan

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