What is the difference between Nationality and Citizenship?

22-AUG-2017 00:00

The constitution of India deals with the citizenship from the articles 5 to 11 under Part II. The Citizenship Act, 1995 prescribes 5 way of acquiring citizenship i.e.
1. Birth
2. Descent
3. Registration
4. Naturalization
5. Incorporation of the territory
In our general life we consider Nationality and Citizenship as the synonyms of each other but actually these two words are different from each other in many ways. This article tells 7 differences between these two words. Before telling the difference; we should know the exact meaning of these two words.

Comparison between the PIO Card Holder and Overseas citizen of India (OCI)

indian citizen
Image source:wikiHow
Definition of Nationality: “The nationality of a person reveals his/her place of birth, i.e. place from where the person belongs to.”
Nationality provides some rights and duties to a person. A nation provides security to its nationals from foreign invasions. As per the international conventions, every sovereign country is entitled to determine its nationals, as per nationality law.
Definition of Citizenship: Citizenship is granted to an individual by the government of the country, when the person complies with the legal formalities.
Once a person becomes a citizen of the country, he/she has the right to work, vote, reside and take an active part in the country's national events. Indian constitution emphasizes some duties of the citizens as; paying taxes, respecting national symbols, national anthem and defending the country in the need of the hour etc.

OCI CARD
Image source:Wikipedia
Now let’s see some major difference between Nationality and Citizenship:

1. Nationality is the individual membership that shows a person's relationship with the state. On the other hand Citizenship is the political status, which states that the person is recognized as a citizen of the country.

2. Nationality represents the place or country where an individual has taken birth while in citizenship an individual is registered as a citizen by the government of the country.
(Astronaut Sunita Willaim’s nationality is Indian but she is American citizen)

SUNITA WILLIAMS
Image source:TechStory

3. The concept of Nationality is ethical or racial while the concept of citizenship is Legal or juristic in nature.

4. Nationality can be obtained by Birth and Inheritance and Citizenship can be obtained by Birth, Inheritance, Naturalization, Marriage etc.

5. Nationality can not be changed while citizenship can be changed.

6. A person can be national of only one country while a person can become citizen of more than one country.

7. Nationality can not be reversed while citizenship can be reversed.
So from the above points it can be concluded that the nationality is related to the birth of the person while citizenship of a country can be acquired after the compliance of formal documentation.

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