Citizenship vs. nationality in today's world

There are 21 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by Rice.

  • Last December, Italy introduced a language requirements for people seeking Italian citizenship through marriage.

    This has stirred an intense debate on whether knowing the language should be a requirement to get citizenship or not.


    Nationality and citizenship are two separate things, but we tend to mix the two. Albeit I understand the distinction in terms of law, I still believe citizenship is not just having one more passport.

    There is a big contraction in Italian law as we have potentially 80 million Italian-descendants who could be eligible for citizenship by blood, but at the same time there are boys and girls raised in Italy to foreign parents who cannot get the Italian citizenship until their turn 18 years old.


    I suppose other countries are in the same situation. What is it and what do you think? Are you happy with your native country's law on citizenship?

  • ... there are boys and girls raised in Italy to foreign parents who cannot get the Italian citizenship until their turn 18 years old.

    But children born IN Italy of foreign parents automatically have citizenship, right?

  • (Quote from serafina)


    But children born IN Italy of foreign parents automatically have citizenship, right?


    No, we don’t have ius solis. They remain foreigners until they are 18 years old and then they can apply for citizenship.



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  • That is bizarre. Who should be an automatic Italian more than someone BORN in the country?


    It always surprises me when Italians remark that someone “isn’t really Italian” because of a non-Italian last name. In the US, it is part of our “melting pot” DNA to accept that a person who is born in the US is as American as anyone, regardless of last name or ethnic appearance.


    Is this a difference between New World and European thinking? What is the prevailing attitude in the U.K.?

  • That is bizarre. Who should be an automatic Italian more than someone BORN in the country?


    Some fifth generation Italian in the Americas seems to be the answer, according to Italian citizenship laws. 😒




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  • Being British, you would be made fun of, and your life would be miserable just like it happened for

    James Peck.


    But given the long wait time to renew my Italian passport in Buenos Aires, my unique perk is that I can get another passport (Argentinian) in a matter of days or just 24 hours.

  • Besides voting, is there a difference between permanent residency and Argentine citizenship?

    • The right to live in any Mercosur country.
    • Can enter some countries such as Cuba with no fuss (well, in my case, my birth passport allows me to do so anyway - but it is not so for US nationals).
    • No VISA to visit Brazil (again, not my case but a US citizen could see this as a benefit)
    • You can vote in national elections
    • You can skip queue at the national airports by using the automatic passport readers booths.
    • You can get consular assistance from Argentina when you are abroad (on this account, I remember reading somewhere that you can ask assistance to the country whose passport you used to enter that country)
    • Local bureaucracy can turn simpler if you are a citizen, but it is in very rare instances I still have to uncover
    • I guess same rights on children in case of divorce / can stay in Argentina forever even in case of divorce (on permanence in Argentina, there are definitely other ways to stay)
  • I think my main reasons were:

    • The right to stay here even in case of war, be able to stay with my husband anywhere in Argentina or the Mercosur.
    • A rejection of my home country, which was a big delusion to me. I would swap my Italian passport for any other European passport - indeed, I wish there was a European passport not bound to a specific country. I feel European most of all.
    • My appreciation and gratitude for Argentina and my feelings toward this country.
  • I forgot this one:


    - to be able to practice certain professions. For example, to be a sworn translator you need to have been an Argentinian citizen for at least 5 years.


    I was told this is the case also in Brazil.



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  • Could be wrong but as far as I know Britain doesn't require you to speak the language to get citizenship if you married a Brit....at least I don't remember my wife having to go through any sort of test when she applied and got it. Not that it would have been a problem anyway as she speaks better English than me.

    No idea how it works here but if you do I suspect I would have to slip someone an envelope under the table if I applied. :D

  • I think that the poll made in this thread about the convenience or inconvenience to have an Argentine passport depends on the "International rank" of winners and looser countries.

    Argentina is nowadays undoubtely a looser country, but in the past it was not the case.

    In the 1950's and 1960's I made with my family several travels to Europe and showing our national passport was always a source of admiration and interest. And to work in an alien country, that was not needed, as neither the European Union existed at that time.

    It is like the question "Which was the most powerful country in a due time?" The most dramatic case is Spain. In the XVI Century it was certainly the ruler of Western Europe (Even King Henry VIII did not order to kill Katharine of Aragon because she was from the Spanish Royal family) But in the XIX century and especially at the end, Spain was the paradigmatic example of a looser country, after the Spanish American war of 1898.

  • No idea how it works here but if you do I suspect I would have to slip someone an envelope under the table if I applied. :D

    There are two citizenship laws in Argentina, one dates back to 1912 and one to 1976. The former has no requirement on language and culture knowledge, but the latter requires applicants to be able to speak Spanish and have basic knowledge of the Constitution's principles. However, it was recently deemed unconstitutional to pretend that the applicant speaks Spanish.


    When I applied, I wasn't formally invited for an interview to test my knowledge of either language or the constitution. However, I had to make a sworn declaration about why I was applying, what did I do to support myself etc. all in Spanish. And my husband was not allowed in.

    However, the day I took my oath, there were also two Asians (I think Chineses) and the Secretary who had followed their application, after giving a long explanation of what we had to do (mostly practical instructions on what getting a new DNI involves), shouted at the two blokes in the back "Lin, Plin, después se lo explico todo con calma!"