Jus sanguinis (Latin: right of blood) is a principle of nationality law by which citizenship is not determined by place of birth but by having one or both parents who are citizens of the state. Children at birth may automatically be citizens if their parents have state citizenship or national identities of ethnic, cultural, or other origins. Citizenship can also apply to children whose parents belong to a diaspora and were not themselves citizens of the state conferring citizenship. This principle contrasts with jus soli (Latin: right of soil).
At the end of the 19th century, the French-German debate on nationality saw the French, such as Ernest Renan, oppose the German conception, exemplified by Johann Fichte, who believed in an "objective nationality", based on blood, race or language. Renan's republican conception, but perhaps also the presence of a German-speaking population in Alsace-Lorraine, explains France's early adoption of jus soli.
Some modern European states which arose out of the dissolved Austro-Hungarian or Ottoman empires have huge numbers of ethnic populations outside of their new 'national' boundaries, as do most of the former Soviet states. Such long-standing diasporas do not conform to codified 20th-century European rules of citizenship.
In many cases, jus sanguinis rights are mandated by international treaty, with citizenship definitions imposed by the international community. In other cases, minorities are subject to legal and extra-legal persecution and choose to immigrate to their ancestral home country. States offering jus sanguinis rights to ethnic citizens and their descendants include Italy, Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Lebanon, Armenia and Romania. Each is required by international treaty to extend those rights.
Canada: Under Canadian nationality law any person born to a Canadian citizen parent is automatically a Canadian citizen. An exception to this was introduced in 2009 to limit citizenship by descent to one generation born outside Canada: those born outside Canada within one generation of a native-born or naturalized citizen parent are Canadian citizens by descent, but their children are no longer granted citizenship by descent.
Germany: Article 116(1) of the German Basic Law confers, within the confines of the laws regulating the details, a right to citizenship upon any person who is admitted to Germany (in its borders of 1937) as "refugee or expellee of German ethnic origin or as the spouse or descendant of such a person." At one time, ethnic Germans living abroad in a country in the former Eastern Bloc (Aussiedler) could obtain citizenship through a virtually automatic procedure. Since 1990 the law has been steadily tightened to limit the number of immigrants each year. It now requires immigrants to prove language skills and cultural affiliation. Article 116(2) entitles persons (and their descendants), who were denaturalised by the Nazi government, to be renaturalised if they wish. Those among them who took their residence in Germany after May 8, 1945, are automatically to be considered as Germans. Both regulations, (1) and (2), provided for a considerable group of Poles and Israelis, residing in Poland and Israel, who are concurrently Germans.
Haiti: Every child born to a Haitian father or mother, no matter where he or she was born, is Haitian by the Haitian Constitution. This has been a big issue in the current Dominican nationality law; because of this and other factors, illegal migrants' children born in the DR of Haitian origin are considered non-Dominicans, and therefore Haitians.
Hungary: A person acquires Hungarian citizenship at birth if at least one parent is a Hungarian citizen. The place of birth is irrelevant. Furthermore, Section 4(3) of the Act on Nationality permits ethnic Hungarians (defined as persons "at least one of whose relatives in ascendant line was a Hungarian citizen") to obtain citizenship on preferential terms after one year of residence. In addition, the "Status Law" of 2001 grants certain privileges to ethnic Hungarians living in territories that were once part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It permits them to obtain an identification card but does not confer the right to full Hungarian citizenship. According to the latest Citizenship Law adopted in 2010, anybody, possessing certain evidence (certificates, documents) of his or her Hungarian roots from around the World can apply for Hungarian citizenship. The interview is led in Hungarian either in Hungary or at one of the Consulates abroad.
India: A child born in India must have at least one parent who is an Indian citizen to be conferred citizenship. Earlier, people born in India were given citizenship regardless of the citizenship held by parents, but this was changed on 3 December 2004. Persons with at least one Indian grandparent may apply for a Person of Indian Origin card, provided that neither the applicant nor any ancestor has ever been a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, or China. The government may add other countries to the list. This card is a travel document and permits the holder to enter and stay in India without a visa, work, start a business, own land, and attend educational institutions, but it does not give the right to vote or hold office. In addition, persons of Indian origin who are nationals of countries not on the list may apply for Overseas citizenship of India, which confers similar rights and also permits the holder to apply for full Indian nationality after one year of residence.
Ireland: Under Irish nationality law, any person with an Irish grandparent can become an Irish citizen by being registered in the Foreign Births Register at an Irish embassy or consular office, or at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin. Such an individual may also pass his entitlement to Irish nationality on to his children by registering in the Foreign Births Register, provided he or she registered as an Irish citizen with the Foreign Births Register before the birth of those children. The minister may also waive the usual requirements for naturalisation as an Irish citizen for those of "Irish descent or Irish associations" although this power is rarely used.
Iran: According to the Iranian nationality law the following persons are considered to be Iranian subjects: (1) All persons residing in Iran except those whose foreign nationality is established; the foreign nationality of such persons is considered to be established if their documents of nationality have not been objected to by the Iranian Government. (2) Those born in Iran or outside whose fathers are Iranian. (3) Those born in Iran of unknown parentage.(4)Persons born in Iran of foreign parents, one of whom was also born in Iran. (5) Persons born in Iran of a father of foreign nationality who have resided at least one more year in Iran immediately after reaching the full age of 18; in other cases their naturalization as Iranian subjects will be subject to the stipulations for Iranian naturalization laid down by the law. (6) Every woman of foreign nationality who marries an Iranian husband. (7) Every foreign national who has obtained Iranian nationality.
Israel: Israeli nationality law confers citizenship upon all children of Israeli citizens born in Israel, as well as the first generation of descendants of Israeli expatriates living abroad.
Kenya: According to Article 14(1) of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 a person becomes a citizen by birth if on the day of the person birth either parent is a citizen of Kenya
Malta: Maltese nationality law grants citizenship to any person descended from "an ascendant who was born in Malta of a parent who was also born in Malta."
Mexico The Mexican Constitution (Article 30) indicates that Mexicans are also persons born abroad, to a parent or parents who at that time were Mexicans born in Mexican territory. Also, a person born abroad is also Mexican, if at the time of birth either or both parents were Mexicans by naturalization. Mexico’s Constitution considers them Mexicans by birth.
Mongolia: Mongolian nationality law allows citizens to gain citizenship if one parent is a Mongolian.
Poland: The definition of Polish citizenship has been based for years on article 34 of the Polish Constitution; this article is based on a jus sanguinis right to citizenship. Moreover, any child born by Polish parent(s) is a de jure citizen of Poland. In 1967–1968 the Communist State issued to Jews emigrating from Poland to Israel, instead of passports, a so-called travel document which granted them the right to exit Poland but not of re-entering it, in effect taking away their Polish citizenship on the assumption that, in emigrating or traveling to Israel, they renounced it themselves. In a 2005 verdict, the Supreme Administrative Court of Poland ruled that this action was illegal based on the state of law at that time. Consequently, it is now assumed the Jews who emigrated after 1968 have remained Polish citizens and their citizenship will be certified on request.
Slovakia: Persons with at least one Slovak grandparent and "Slovak cultural and language awareness" may apply for an expatriate identity card entitling them to live, work, study and own land in Slovakia. Expatriate status is not full citizenship and does not entitle the holder to vote, but a holder who moves his or her domicile to Slovakia may obtain citizenship under preferential terms. Slovakia grants full Slovak citizenship to children of Slovak parents (one or both parents) irrespective of the place of birth.
Switzerland: Swiss nationality law is exceptionally restrictive: someone who was born in Switzerland and has spent their entire life there has no automatic right to Swiss citizenship if neither of their parents are Swiss citizens, even if their parents are permanent residents or have themselves spent their entire lives in Switzerland. In fact, the citizenship criteria are simpler for a foreigner with no previous ties to Switzerland who marries a Swiss citizen, than for people born and raised in Switzerland but with foreign parents. Due to Switzerland's high immigrant population, there are more than a million people who were born and have spent their entire lives in Switzerland but are not Swiss citizens due to their parents being immigrants. Some Swiss-born third-generation immigrants even have Swiss-born parents but are not Swiss citizens if neither of their parents have naturalised. To obtain Swiss citizenship, people in this position must undergo naturalisation proceedings, which have a high bar to satisfy the "integration" criterion. The unusual rules hit international headlines in 2017 when a woman born in Switzerland to Turkish parents, who is a native Swiss-German speaker and has spent her entire life in Switzerland, had her citizenship application denied by the local municipality on "integration" grounds as she could not name enough Swiss mountains, cheeses and retail brands, and was deemed not to have gone skiing often enough. The decision was overruled by the cantonal government several months later. In 2017, Swiss voters in a nationwide referendum agreed to relax the citizenship criteria for third-generation immigrants slightly: although they will still not be Swiss citizens at birth and will need to apply for citizenship, they will no longer have to take naturalisation tests or interviews if their parents and grandparents are long-time permanent residents.
Tunisia: When one of the parents is Tunisian, a child is considered Tunisian regardless of the child’s place of birth or whether the child has acquired the nationality of another country. Children with at least one Tunisian parent, no matter where they are born, are considered Tunisian citizens, and must travel to and from Tunisia only with a Tunisian passport.
Ukraine: Article 8 of the Law on Citizenship of Ukraine permits any person with at least one Ukrainian grandparent to become a citizen upon renunciation of the former nationality.
United Kingdom: By birth abroad, which constitutes "by descent" if one of the parents is a British citizen otherwise than by descent (for example by birth, adoption, registration or naturalisation in the UK). British citizenship by descent is only transferable to one generation down from the parent who is a British citizen otherwise than by descent, if the child is born abroad. (British nationality law)
Many countries provide citizenship on preferential terms to individuals with ethnic ties to these countries (so-called leges sanguinis):
Afghanistan: Connection to the Afghan diaspora. There have been controversial proposals to people of Pashtun origin.
Armenia: Article 14 of the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia (1995) provides that "individuals of Armenian origin shall acquire citizenship of the Republic of Armenia through a simplified procedure." This provision is consistent with the Declaration on Independence of Armenia, issued by the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Armenia in 1989, which declared at article 4 that "Armenians living abroad are entitled to the citizenship of the Republic of Armenia".
Bulgaria: Article 25 of the 1991 constitution specifies that a "person of Bulgarian origin shall acquire Bulgarian citizenship through a facilitated procedure." Article 15 of the Law on Bulgarian Citizenship provides that an individual "of Bulgarian origin" (ethnicity) may be naturalized without any waiting period and without having to show a source of income, knowledge of the Bulgarian language, or renunciation of his former citizenship. This approach has been a tradition since the new constitutional foundation of Bulgaria in 1879, following the liberation from Ottoman yoke in 1878, when large numbers of ethnic Bulgarians remained outside of the state borders. Bulgaria and Greece were subject to a population exchange following the Second Balkan War. The conditions of the treaty settlement mandated that they accept individuals claiming respective ethnic origin.
Croatia: Article 11 of the Law on Croatian Citizenship allows emigrants and their descendants to acquire Croatian nationality upon return, without passing a language examination or renouncing former citizenship. In addition, Article 16 allows ethnic Croats living outside Croatia to "acquire Croatian citizenship" by making a written declaration and by submitting proof of attachment to Croatian culture.
Finland: Finnish law provides a right of return to ethnic Finns from the former Soviet Union, including Ingrians. Applicants must now pass an examination in one of the official languages of the country, Finnish or Swedish. Certain persons of Finnish descent who live outside the former Soviet Union also have the right to establish permanent residency, which would eventually entitle them to qualify for citizenship.
Greece: Ethnic Greeks can obtain Greek citizenship by two methods under the Code of Greek Nationality. Article 5 allows ethnic Greeks who are stateless (which, in practice, includes those who voluntarily renounce their nationality) to obtain citizenship upon application to a Greek consular official. In addition, ethnic Greeks who join the armed forces acquire automatic citizenship by operation of Article 10, with the military oath taking the place of the citizenship oath. This position arises from the fact that approximately 85% of known ethnic Greeks were outside the boundaries when the country was formed, and 40% remained outside the final boundaries at the beginning of World War I. Most were de jure stripped of their host country citizenship with the outbreak of war if the host country was at war with Greece. In the late 19th century, Greece had a wider diaspora because of poverty and limited opportunities. (See Greek nationality law).
Ireland While the child or a grandchild of an Irish citizen born in Ireland is entitled to Irish citizenship, Section 16(a) of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act permits the Minister of Justice, at their discretion, to waive the residence requirements for a person "of Irish descent or associations".
Israel: The Law of Return offers citizenship to any Jew (see Who is a Jew under the Law of Return?) wishing to immigrate. Exceptions can be made for those considered by the Minister of Interior to be a threat to the welfare or security of the state. Israeli law also recognizes the descendants of Israeli emigrants living abroad as Israelis; this applies only to the first generation born abroad. Non-jews can become naturalized after five years' of residency and acquisition of a basic knowledge of Hebrew.
Italy: The nationality law of Italy bestows citizenship jure sanguinis. There is no limit of generations for the citizenship via blood. However, the first citizens of the modern Italian state were alive on 17 March 1861 when the state was officially formed, and for this reason all claims of Italian citizenship by jure sanguinis must stem from an ancestor who was living after 16 March 1861. Each descendant of the ancestor through whom citizenship is claimed jure sanguinis could pass Italian citizenship to the next generation only if this descendant was entitled to Italian citizenship at the time of the birth of the next person in the line. So if any person in the line lost the Italian citizenship and then had a child, that child did not inherit Italian citizenship jure sanguinis, except if the child could inherit the citizenship from the other parent. Cases of dual citizenship were possible, which is to say, for example, that a person in the line could have had Italian and Canadian citizenship concurrently. Minor children of Italian citizens were at risk of losing Italian citizenship if the child's parent naturalized in another country, unless the child was subject to an exception to this risk—and children born and residing in a country where they held dual citizenship by jus soli were subject to such an exception since 1 July 1912. Until 1 January 1948, Italian law did not generally permit women to pass on citizenship. Persons born before that date are in most cases not Italian citizens jure sanguinis if their line of descent from an Italian citizen depends on a female at some point before 1948. On several occasions, this limitation of deriving Italian citizenship only from fathers before 1948 has been successfully challenged in court.
Kiribati: Articles 19 and 23 of the constitution provides, "Every person of I-Kiribati descent... shall... become or have and continue to have thereafter the right to become a citizen of Kiribati.... Every person of I-Kiribati descent who does not become a citizen of Kiribati on Independence Day... shall, at any time thereafter, be entitled upon making application in such manner as may be prescribed to be registered as a citizen of Kiribati."
Liberia: the Liberian constitution allows only Negros (regardless of cultural or national affiliation) to become citizens, though people of other races may live in Liberia as permanent residents.
Lithuania: The Constitution of Lithuania grants a right to citizenship to foreigners of ethnic Lithuanian origins.
Rwanda: The Rwandan constitution provides that "[a]ll persons originating from Rwanda and their descendants shall, upon their request, be entitled to Rwandan nationality."
Serbia: Article 23 of the 2004 citizenship law provides that the descendants of emigrants from Serbia, or ethnic Serbs residing abroad, may take up citizenship upon written declaration.
Spain: A Spanish law passed in 2015 allows individuals who can prove descent from the Sephardic Jews who were exiled in 1492 following the Alhambra Decree and who can show a "special link" to Spain to apply for dual citizenship. Spain had previously allowed application for such individuals but had required that they give up their citizenship from their other country. The new law has no such requirement.
Turkey: Turkish law allows persons of Turkish origin and their spouse and children, to apply for naturalization without the five-year waiting period applicable to other immigrants. Turkey and Greece reciprocally expelled their minorities in the early 1920s after World War I. They were mandated by international treaty to accept incoming populations as citizens based on ethnic background.
^Branch, Government of Canada, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Communications (25 July 2013). "Acquisition of citizenship". www.cic.gc.ca. Archived from the original on 10 March 2017. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
^The Federal Expellee Law (German: Bundesvertriebenengesetz), § 6, specifies that also foreign citizens of states of the Eastern Bloc (and their desdendants), who were persecuted between 1945 and 1990 for their German ethnicity by their respective governments, are entitled to become Germans. The argument was that the Federal Republic of Germany had to administer to their needs because the respective governments in charge of guaranteeing their equal treatment as citizens severely neglected or contravened that obligation.
Afghan nationality law is the law governing the acquisition, transmission and loss of Afghan citizenship. Afghanistan follows jus soli and allows people to become citizens of Afghanistan, regardless of ethnicity or gender. There have been controversial proposals about using jus sanguinis on ethnic Pashtuns outside Afghanistan in which citizenship would follow one's parents.
The Afghani nationality law is based on both principles of limited jus soli, whereby a person born in Afghanistan to foreign parents, one of whom were born in Afghanistan, acquires Afghani nationality, or if they "come of age" (turn 18 years of age) in Afghanistan they become Afghani.
The Afghanistan constitution prohibits the involuntary loss of Afghan citizenship.
Albanian nationality law is based on a mixture of the principles of Jus sanguinis and Jus soli. In other words, both place of birth and Albanian parentage are relevant for determining whether a person is an Albanian citizen. It is regulated by the "Law on Albanian Citizenship".
In some circumstances citizenship is granted to children born in Albania to non-Albanian parents. This is not the case where parents are temporary or short-term visitors. As suggested by the UN and Council of Europe, all efforts are made in order to avoid statelessness.
Bulgarian nationality law is governed by the Constitution of Bulgaria (article 25 and 26) of 1991 and the citizenship law of 1999 (with changes made in various years through to 2009).It is mainly based on jus sanguinis; however, it is possible to obtain citizenship after 5 years of residence in Bulgaria. Naturalisation is available on the basis of residence in certain types of status; marriage or on the basis of origin or at the discretion of the government of Bulgaria to persons of merit. The Bulgarian Ministry of Justice is in charge of processing citizenship applications.
Every Bulgarian citizen is also a citizen of the European Union.
Estonian citizenship – based primarily on the principle of jus sanguinis – is governed by a law promulgated on 19 January 1995 by the Riigikogu which took effect on 1 April 1995. The Police and Border Guard Board (Estonian: Politsei- ja Piirivalveamet) is responsible for processing applications and enquiries concerning Estonian citizenship.
Resolution Concerning the Citizenship of the Democratic Republic of Estonia, the first Estonian citizenship law was adopted by the Estonian National Council on 26 November 1918. According to this law, all people who
1) were permanent residents on the day the law came into force on the territory of the Republic of Estonia;
2) prior to the Estonian Declaration of Independence on 24 February 1918 had been subjects of the Russian State;
3) were entered in the parish registers or originated from the territory of Estonia,regardless of their ethnicity and faith were proclaimed Estonian citizens.
The Citizenship Law adopted in 1922 defined the principles of succession by applying the jus sanguinis principle.
Iranian nationality law contains principles of both jus sanguinis and jus soli. Children acquire nationality of Iran through their fathers, but not their mothers. The full nationality law is defined in Book 2 of the Civil Code of Iran, Articles 976 through 991.
Italian nationality law is the law of Italy governing the acquisition, transmission and loss of Italian citizenship. Like many continental European countries it is largely based on jus sanguinis. It also incorporates many elements that are seen as favourable to the Italian diaspora. The Italian Parliament's 1992 update of Italian nationality law is Law no. 91, and came into force on 15 August 1992. Presidential decrees and ministerial directives, including several issued by the Ministry of the Interior, instruct the civil service how to apply Italy's citizenship-related laws.
Jordanian citizenship is the status of being a citizen of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and it can be obtained by birth or naturalisation.
The Jordanian nationality is transmitted by paternity (father) (see Jus sanguinis). Therefore, a Jordanian man who holds Jordanian citizenship can automatically confer citizenship to his children and foreign wives. Under the current law, descendants of Jordanian emigrants can only receive citizenship from their father as women cannot pass on citizenship to their children or foreign spouses. Since 2010, there has been an increasing public demand for giving the opportunity for Jordanian women to transmit their Jordanian nationality to their children and also to their husbands.
In recent years, Jordan, the only Arab country with a significant population of assimilated Palestinian refugees that provides citizenship, has been found to be unexpectedly stripping Jordanian citizenship from citizens of Palestinian origin, leading to growing concerns and amplifying the national debate over the Palestinian presence in Jordan and the Palestinian right of return in relation to the preservation of Palestinian territories from Israeli forces.
Jus soli (English: ; Latin pronunciation: [juːs ˈsɔ.liː]), meaning "right of the soil", commonly referred to as birthright citizenship in the United States, is the right of anyone born in the territory of a state to nationality or citizenship.Jus soli was part of the English common law, in contrast to jus sanguinis, which derives from the Roman law that influenced the civil-law systems of continental Europe. Jus soli is the predominant rule in the Americas, but it is rare elsewhere. Since the Twenty-seventh Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland was enacted in 2004, no European country grants citizenship based on unconditional or near-unconditional jus soli.Almost all states in Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania grant citizenship at birth based upon the principle of jus sanguinis (right of blood), in which citizenship is inherited through parents rather than birthplace, or a restricted version of jus soli in which citizenship by birthplace is automatic only for the children of certain immigrants.
Jus soli in many cases helps prevent statelessness. Countries that have acceded to the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness are obligated to grant nationality to persons born in their territory who would otherwise become stateless persons. The American Convention on Human Rights similarly provides that "Every person has the right to the nationality of the state in whose territory he was born if he does not have the right to any other nationality."
Lebanese nationality law is the law governing the acquisition, transmission and loss of Lebanese citizenship. Lebanese citizenship is the status of being a citizen of the Republic of Lebanon and it can be obtained by birth or naturalisation. The Lebanese nationality is transmitted by paternity (father) (see Jus sanguinis). Therefore, a Lebanese man who holds Lebanese citizenship can automatically confer citizenship to his children and foreign wife (only if entered in the Civil Acts Register in the Republic of Lebanon). Under the current law, descendants of Lebanese emigrants can only receive citizenship from their father and women cannot pass on citizenship to their children or foreign spouses. On 12 November 2015, the Parliament of Lebanon approved a draft law that would allow "foreigners of Lebanese origin to get citizenship", the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants Gebran Bassil announced on 5 May 2016 the beginning of the implementation of citizenship law for Lebanese diaspora.
Moldovan nationality law dates back to June 2, 2000 and has been amended several times, with the latest modifications being made in 2014. It is based on the Constitution of Moldova (articles 17, 18 and 19). It is mainly based on Jus sanguinis.
Dual nationality is allowed, under certain conditions.
Under the law, there are provisions for citizenship to be acquired by:
Monégasque nationality law determines entitlement to Monégasque citizenship. Citizenship of Monaco is based primarily on the principle of jus sanguinis. In other words, citizenship is conferred primarily by birth to a Monégasque parent, irrespective of place of birth.
Qatari nationality law is based mostly on jus sanguinis. Qatari citizens enjoy freedom of movement between other GCC, member states, similar to the European Union or the Trans-Tasman agreement between Australia and New Zealand.
Serbian nationality law is based primarily on the principle of Jus sanguinis. Article 23 of the law stipulates that any foreign national with Serbian descent has the right to acquire Serbian citizenship by written request. The law also allows dual citizenship, allowing an individual the right to retain his or her current citizenship and receive Serbian citizenship.The 2007 amendments enabled ethnic Serbs residing outside Serbia the right to citizenship. These amendments, adopted after the Montenegrin independence referendum, 2006, also allowed citizens of Montenegro living in Serbia the right to gain citizenship, if they submit the request within a 5-year period.
Spanish nationality law refers to all the laws of Spain concerning nationality. Article 11 of the First Title of the Spanish Constitution refers to Spanish nationality and establishes that a separate law is to regulate how it is acquired and lost. This separate law is the Spanish Civil Code. In general terms, Spanish nationality is based on the principle of jus sanguinis, although limited provisions exist for the acquisition of Spanish nationality based on the principle of jus soli.
3 Russia is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. The vast majority of its population (80%) lives in European Russia, therefore Russia as a whole is included as a European country here.
4 Turkey is a transcontinental country in the Middle East and Southeast Europe. Has a small part of its territory (3%) in Southeast Europe called Turkish Thrace.
8Egypt is a transcontinental country in North Africa and the Middle East. Has a small part of its territory in the Middle East called Sinai Peninsula.
9 Partially recognized.
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