LIFE

Personal story: “Lack of a passport prevents me from living my life to the fullest”

We continue sharing the stories of women who lived for a long time as stateless persons. The new piece of the «Without Borders» special project speaks of Nodira Tuichiyeva and how she has been living for many years in Uzbekistan without a citizenship and has been dreaming of going to Tajikistan to see her grandmother and other relatives. 
Assiya Akimzhanova

January 18h, 2021

I think my story is similar to those of many others. My parents were citizens of the Soviet Union and had their red passports. They lived in Tajikistan where I was born in 1986. In 1993 our family moved to Uzbekistan, Samarqand where I have been living since, now with my husband and kids. My children go to school; I work as a Russian language teacher at school.


After the Soviet Union dissolution our documents became invalid while we were unable to receive new Uzbek passports since we were born in Tajikistan. We turned into stateless persons. In 2004 when I reached the age I was issued a grey passport (for stateless persons). Only my youngest brother was granted Uzbek citizenship because he was born in Uzbekistan and had Uzbek birth certificate.

My children too have all the necessary documents: despite the fact that I was not a citizen of Uzbekistan I had no problems receiving their birth certificate from Uzbek authorities.

In general, Uzbekistan has very good conditions, even for stateless persons
I have always had access to services and could enjoy nearly all the rights granted to the citizens of Uzbekistan. 

However, despite pretty favourable conditions for stateless persons, lack of passport prevented me from living my life to the fullest. For instance, crossing the border is difficult for a stateless person, no matter the country. Even with my grey passport I could not go anywhere. I arrived to Uzbekistan in 1993 – 27 year ago! and never since was I able to visit Tajikistan. My beloved grandma lives there, many of my relatives are there. I have a dream of going and seeing my relatives in my motherland – Tajikistan - with the Uzbekistan passport.


My parents tried hard and undertook many efforts to make us citizens of Uzbekistan. My mother was particularly eager to do that, but she did not live to see that, she passed away in 2016. My father did receive his passport and he also passed away after my mother died. Unfortunately, they did not live long enough to see me receive my passport. Frankly speaking I did not even try to do anything by myself, I was content with everything. I had everything I needed – my family, children, work. However, last year a new law was passed in Uzbekistan which simplified the procedure of receiving a nationality; local authorities contacted me and told me that I had an opportunity to get a citizenship.

93,950 stateless persons above 16 years old have been registered and issued residence permits in the Republic of Uzbekistan (data as of December 31, 2019).
6,318 stateless persons received the citizenship of Uzbekistan during the period between January 1 and December 31 of 2019.
Thanks to the updated version of the Law on Citizenship, nearly 50000 stateless persons will be recognized as citizens of Uzbekistan under a simplified procedure and will be able to receive Uzbek passports.
I received my national passport in 2020. My life has changed. With the passport I have all the opportunities opening up to me. If I wish I could travel anywhere I want, and I have not been anywhere before. Unfortunately, because of the pandemic I could not go to Tajikistan, but that trip remains to be my cherished dream. 

Illustrations: Sokhail Amir Layan
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