Citizenship facts for kids
Citizenship is a legal relationship between a person and a country. Usually the country is the one they were born in, lives in, supports, and in return gets protection. A person is usually a citizen of the country where he or she is born, but sometimes a person will apply for naturalization, to become a citizen in another country. There are countries which allow dual (two) citizenship, and countries which do not.
A citizen is a member of a sovereign group of people that have certain rights. Governments protect these rights or take advantage of them. Some Governments may exile people from citizenship laws on such matter vary between countries.
- People born in the country may be citizens by Jus soli, right of soil. Those having citizen parents may be natural born citizens.
- Some countries also recognise Jus sanguinis, the right of members of the national diaspora to be citizens. Jus sanguinis comes from Latin meaning "right of blood" which basically means one can inherit citizenship by descent from a parent and in some cases a grandparent or even more distant ancestors.
- Foreigners can also be naturalized as citizens. Naturalization makes them citizens of their new country. Many countries require that they give up their citizenship of their old country, but some countries have permanent citizenship; you can't quit such a citizenship.
- People who are citizens of more than one country, with approval of both Governments, are dual citizens. They may legally enter and live in either country.
- A person who has no citizenship is called a stateless person. There are many causes of statelessness: wars, refugees, people whose birth was never registered, people born in a territory which is not recognised as a state, and so on. Some countries are very generous in giving stateless people citizenship, and some are not. The problem is well-known, but there is no general solution.
- Citizenship may be permanent. Some countries remove citizenship for various reasons, and some citizens renounce their citizenship.
Citizenship in Canada
People born in Canada become citizens of the country by Jus soli even if their parents are not citizens.
In 2018 the New York Times reported that 20% of babies born in Richmond Hospital in Richmond, British Columbia, were born to mothers involved in birth tourism. This means that the babies automatically acquire Canadian citizenship.
Citizenship in the European Union
Citizenship in the United States
Images for kids
Portrait of Dred Scott, the plaintiff in the infamous Dred Scott v. Sandford case at the Supreme Court of the United States, commissioned by a "group of Negro citizens" and presented to the Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis, in 1888
In Spanish: Ciudadano para niños
Citizenship Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.