(CN) – The European Court of Justice on Monday outlined some of the ways in which immigrants can lose their refugee status and citizenship.
In the first of two rulings, the high court said immigrants can lose their refugee status when the conditions in their native countries no longer give rise to a fear of persecution.
But that change in circumstances “must be of a significant and non-temporary nature” to strip a person of refugee status, the court wrote in a press release.
The ruling stems from Germany’s decision to revoke the refugee status of Iraqis who fled the country for fear of being persecuted by Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath Party. Hussein’s party was outlawed after the American invasion in 2003, and Hussein was executed in 2006.
In a second ruling, Europe’s top court ruled that immigrants can lose their citizenship if they obtained it “by deception.”
Member states have the power to “lay down the conditions for the acquisition and loss of nationality,” so long as they abide by European Union law, the court ruled.
The case centered on an Austrian native who was naturalized in Germany without telling authorities that he’d been the subject of a judicial investigation in his home country.
His naturalization in Germany caused him to lose his Austrian citizenship, but the withdrawal of his German naturalization “did not have the effect of him automatically regaining his Austrian nationality,” according to the EU press release.