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Nationality law is the law in each country and in each jurisdiction within each country which defines the rights and obligations of citizenship within the jurisdiction and the manner in which citizenship is acquired as well as how citizenship may be lost. A person who is not a citizen of the country is generally regarded as a foreigner, also referred to as an alien. A person who has no recognised nationality or citizenship is regarded as stateless. By international custom, each sovereign state has the right to determine who it will recognise as its nationals and citizens. Such determinations may be made by custom, statutory law, or case law (precedent), or some combination. In some cases, the determination may be governed by public international law—for example, by treaties and the European Convention on Nationality.

Principles[edit]

Broadly speaking, nationality law is based either on jus soli or jus sanguinis, or on a combination of the two. Jus soli (Latin: the law of the soil) is the principle by which a child born within a country's territorial jurisdiction acquires that country's nationality. Jus sanguinis (Latin: the law of the blood) is the principle by which a child acquires the nationality of his or her parents. Today, most if not all countries apply a mixture of these two principles: neither granting citizenship to everyone born within the country's jurisdiction, nor denying citizenship to the children born abroad.[1]

Many countries have in the past regarded marriage as an important status changing event in people's' lives and encouraged the special relationship that exists between spouses, sentiments which continue to be valued today. The common practice within and among states at the beginning of the 20th century was that a woman should have the nationality of her husband; i.e., upon marrying a foreigner the wife would automatically acquire the nationality of her husband, and lose her previous nationality, often with the reciprocal recognition by the other country. Even after the nationality of a married woman was no longer dependent on the nationality of her husband, legal provisions were still retained which automatically naturalised married women, and sometimes married men as well. This led to a number of problems, such as loss of the spouses' original nationality, the spouse losing the right to consular assistance (since consular assistance cannot be provided to nationals under the jurisdiction of a foreign state of which they are also nationals), and men becoming subject to military service obligations. There has been a shift towards a principle that neither marriage nor dissolution of marriage automatically affecting the nationality of either spouse, nor of a change of nationality by one spouse during marriage automatically affecting the nationality of their spouse. However, in many jurisdictions spouses can still obtain special and fast processing of applications for naturalisation.

International treaties[edit]

International law generally recognizes the right of states to set their own policy concerning nationality.[2] Nevertheless, there are a number of international treaties that are relevant to nationality law.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]


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88 news items

UN News Centre

UNHCR (press release)
Fri, 25 Jul 2014 01:03:45 -0700

A gap in the previous nationality law meant that children born within marriage but outside Suriname were unable to acquire its nationality from their mothers. Children born abroad to Surinamese mothers, who could not acquire nationality from their ...

Gulf Daily News

Gulf Daily News
Mon, 07 Jul 2014 19:26:15 -0700

MANAMA: A law allowing the government more powers to strip naturalised Bahrainis of their nationalities has officially taken effect. His Majesty King Hamad yesterday issued the law, officially ratifying the new legislation which won the backing of ...
 
Asahi Shimbun
Fri, 25 Jul 2014 02:00:00 -0700

Its framework was reflected in a revision of the nationality law, which was enacted the following year. Immigrants with significant abilities in fields such as science, business, culture and sports were designated as “talented human resources,” and the ...

Sky News Australia

Deutsche Welle
Thu, 03 Jul 2014 13:33:33 -0700

Germany's largely singular nationality law was widened slightly on Thursday by the Bundestag, the German parliament, to allow children born and raised in Germany to migrant parents to apply for two passports. Parliament's vote, 463 for and 111 against, ...
 
AllAfrica.com
Fri, 04 Jul 2014 08:33:45 -0700

Luanda — The Cabinet Council, under President José Eduardo dos Santos Friday in Luanda analysed the Draft Law Amending the Nationality Law. During its extraordinary session, the Council analysed the Law 01/05, of 1 June, a tool that regulates the ...
 
Asahi Shimbun
Fri, 25 Jul 2014 02:00:00 -0700

Kanayama will soon be faced with a difficult choice, though. Japan's Nationality Law states that anyone with dual nationality must choose one or the other by the age of 22. “Being asked to choose just one nationality is like being asked to choose ...
 
Luxemburger Wort - English Edition
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 03:07:30 -0700

The reform of the nationality law was made a priority by the coalition government, and Justice Minister Félix Braz earlier this year said that a bill should be presented to parliament before the end of the year. The reform was started under former ...
 
The Japan Times
Wed, 23 Jul 2014 03:07:30 -0700

Regarding the July 14 front-page article “Rola altering DNA of pop culture“: Japanese pop culture talents like “Rola,” “Becky” and Jun Hasegawa are Japanese citizens despite being ethnically “half.” The Nationality Law does not recognize half citizens.
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