What Is Citizenship?

April 7, 2011 § 4 Comments

In simple terms, Citizenship can be defined as the status of being a citizen of a particular social, political, national or human resource community. A citizen is a person with citizenship, being a member of a community such as a country or city.

Citizenship can also be understood as the relationship between an individual and a particular nation. In ancient Greece, the major political entity was the city or state. So citizens were generally members of particular city-states. However, during the last five hundred years, citizenship is most closely identified and related to being a member of a particular country.

Subsequently, the policy was divided between jus sanguinis (right of blood) and jus soli (right of soil) countries. A jus sanguinis or the right of blood policy gives citizenship based on ancestry or ethnicity, and very much related to the concept common in Europe. Whereas a jus soli or right of soil policy confers citizenship to anyone born on the territory of the state, very much similar to the one practiced by many countries such as the United States of America..

Another way is getting married to a person holding the citizenship (jure matrimonii) or through the naturalization process.

“Commonwealth Citizenship” is another concept, and it has been in place ever since the establishment of the Commonwealth of Nations. Only citizens of a Commonwealth member state can hold such type of citizenship and it offers specific rights and privileges within some Commonwealth countries: Then there is “honorary citizenship” that is conferred by certain to those who are considered to be especially admirable or worthy of the distinction.

American Citizenship :

US Citizenship is the status granted to a legal member of the United States. A US citizen is entitled to special rights, duties, privileges and economic benefits including federal assistance. The United States also has a dual citizenship system where you can be a citizen of the state of residence as well be a US citizen. To qualify for US citizenship, you should be at least 18 years old and a lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder). Apart from these, there are other requirements too. Green card holders meeting all the requirements should file Form N-400, the citizenship application with the USCIS.

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§ 4 Responses to What Is Citizenship?

  • nancym22 says:

    If applying for citizenship, it is compulsory that you must be a legal permanent resident for the last five years; else as the spouse of an American citizen, you must continue to be married and have lived for last three years with that spouse until the time of swearing in. You need to have been present physically in the United States for at least one-half of the five (or three) years of residency including period of travels abroad provided you did not take any trips abroad that lasted for more than six months. You would be asked for support documents as proof of travel. With exceptions only for certain special cases you must be able to read, write, and speak basic English and be able to pass the civics test. Lastly you must be able to pass a test in basic United States history and government and also be able to take a loyalty oath.

  • hazelickes says:

    A person who has served honorably in the armed forces may also apply for US Citizenship.

  • Also not to forget that the applicant should have a good moral character.

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