Citizenship around the World

Countries vary in who can be a citizen

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As we continue thinking about immigration in this new year, we thought you might like some resources about citizenship and naturalization around the world. Whether for your own information or your students’, it’s helpful to realize that rules about who “belongs” in a country vary a lot. For example, most of know babies born in U.S. territory are automatically entitled citizenship, but the same isn’t true in Germany, among other places.

From public radio in Los Angeles, you can read about How Citizenship Is Defined Around the World.

The vast majority of nations in the Americas recognize jus soli [Latin for “Right of the Soil”, or right to citizenship based on location of birth]… Outside of the Americas, however, straightforward jus soli policies are rare. The norm in Europe, Asia and in much of Africa and elsewhere is some form of jus sanguinis (Latin for “right of blood”) citizenship, typically granted to children born to a national of that country.

Through the National Constitution Center’s website, you can read another article and link to the text of other countries’ laws pertaining to citizenship. To do so, click here, then select “birthright citizenship” from the upper right quadrant of the circle, then select the country whose laws you want to see.

Finally, National Geographic has a photo essay of new American immigrants, published in the wake of the Immigration Act of 1917 that (ahem) significantly restricted immigration to the US.

(Embedded image by¬†Frederic C. Howe, captioned “A multinational group of immigrant children gather on a roof garden on Ellis Island, NY”).

 

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