Re: Stateless Persons

Alexander 'Sasha' Chislenko (
Mon, 29 Dec 1997 17:36:29 -0500

Some comments and personal experience with being stateless:

As everybody gets born in a place for which some territorial power structure
has a claim, each person becomes a citizen of something; the following option
is to denounce it, and then you can be treated as an ex-citizen, unless that
entity has dissolved. I was stripped of my Soviet citizenship in 1989 as a
person who was trying to leave the country. I didn't want to do it - it was my
country, even though it was occupied by the bad guys, bad laws, and stupidly
configured territory. Still, there were things and people I loved there, I definitely
did more to create value there than those who took my rights away - but that's
the rule. Anyway, this is personal and not really relevant.
So I am now an ex-citizen of an ex-regime of an ex-country.
In U.S. I have refugee status turned into permanent residence (and the right to
obtain the citizenship which I do not hurry to execute).
I can work here, own property, travel around. I can't vote.
Have to pay taxes, don't have to do the jury duty, or army service.
Travel to Canada takes only a driving licence, it's easy.
For travel to Europe, I need to apply for "refugee travel permit" - it probably
would be some other kind of permit for somebody who is not a refugee.

I think real problems may arise when you or the country you are currently
in, would get into some kind of trouble, as there is no authority that is
interested in protecting your interests.

All non-country-based citizenships I know of issue play-papers, nobody
really recognizes them. Maybe there are better ones. I haven't really
researched it; would be grateful for some useful information.

A good thing about being stateless maybe that since there are very few such
people, the governments may not have put a lot of effort into regulating their
lives and figuring out how to take away their money.

It may be useful to start a community of stateless persons - a global "phyle"
that would protect your interests and supply you with some information - in
exchange for financial or other contributions. What would be a good name for it?
Anybody knows the etymology of the word "citizen" ?

Alexander Chislenko <>