Citizenship » Introduction
What does citizenship mean?
A citizen is a native or naturalized member of a state or nation who owes allegiance to its government and is entitled to its protection. An alien is a foreigner, one who resides in one country but was born in or belongs to another country and has not acquired citizenship by naturalization in the country of residence.
Citizenship is the status of a person recognized under the law of a political community - i.e., nation or state - that bestows on that person (a citizen) the rights and the duties of citizenship. Those may include the right to vote, work and live in the country; the right to return to the country; the right to own real estate; legal protections against the country’s government; and protection through the military or diplomacy. A citizen also may be subject to certain duties, such as a duty to follow the country’s laws, to pay taxes, or to serve in the military. A person may have multiple citizenships, and a person who does not have citizenship of any country is said to be stateless.