Types of Citizenship

Citizenship is a bond that surpasses basic kinship, linking an individual to a state or an association of states. 

It’s a multifaceted concept involving rights, responsibilities, and a sense of belonging. This article delves into the different types of citizenship that exist around the world.

Types of Citizenship

Birthright Citizenship (Jus Soli)

This is the most recognized form of citizenship, whereby a person acquires citizenship by the virtue of being born within the territory of a state. 

Countries like the United States and Canada are well-known for their jus soli policy, which grants citizenship to individuals born on their soil.

Citizenship by Descent (Jus Sanguinis)

Jus sanguinis, Latin for “right of blood,” refers to citizenship passed down from parent to child. 

This form of citizenship does not depend on the place of birth but rather on the nationality of one or both parents.

Naturalized Citizenship

Naturalization is the process by which a non-citizen in a country may acquire citizenship or nationality of that country. 

It typically involves an application process and, in some cases, a test on the country’s history, laws, and language.

Dual or Multiple Citizenship

Dual or multiple citizenship happens when a person is legally recognized as a citizen in more than one country at the same time. 

This can occur through a combination of birthright, descent, and naturalization.

Economic Citizenship (Citizenship by Investment)

Some countries offer citizenship in exchange for significant economic contributions, such as making investments in real estate or government bonds. 

This is often referred to as “citizenship by investment” and is a fast track to citizenship without the usual residency requirements.

Citizenship by Marriage

Many countries offer a pathway to citizenship for spouses of current citizens. 

This process generally includes a residency period and may require the applicant to pass language and civics tests.

Revoked Citizenship

In rare and extreme circumstances, individuals can be stripped of their citizenship, a process known as denaturalization. 

This can happen if the citizenship was obtained fraudulently or if the individual commits acts considered seriously prejudicial to the state’s interests.


Unfortunately, not everyone is guaranteed citizenship. Statelessness occurs when an individual is not considered a citizen by any country. 

Stateless people lack legal protection and access to basic rights that citizens take for granted.


Citizenship is an evolving concept, adapting to the complexities of global migration, politics, and international relations. 

Understanding the various types of citizenship can illuminate the privileges and responsibilities that come with this legal status and the different pathways through which it can be attained.

Citizenship Application