Definitions of Citizenship:

The Center for the Study of Citizenship uses the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of citizenship:

"membership in a community"

This definition allows us to define our reach broadly, focus upon social inclusion as well as exclusion, yet still fit the realm of citizenship.

Per GlobalCIT:

A legal status and relation between an individual and a state that entails specific legal rights and duties.

Citizenship is generally used as a synonym for nationality (see: nationality). Where citizenship is used in a meaning that is different from nationality it refers to the legal rights and duties of individuals attached to nationality under domestic law. In some national laws, citizenship has a more specific meaning and refers to rights and duties that can only be exercised after the age of majority (such as voting rights) or to rights and duties that can only be exercised in the national territory.

What is the Definition of Citizenship - Courtesy of Grolier's New Book of Knowledge

A citizen is a participatory member of a political community. Citizenship is gained by meeting the legal requirements of a national, state, or local government. A nation grants certain rights and privileges to its citizens. In return, citizens are expected to obey their country's laws and defend it against its enemies.

The value of citizenship varies from nation to nation. In some countries, citizenship can mean a citizen has the right to vote, the right to hold government offices, and the right to collect unemployment insurance payments, to name a few examples.

Living in a country does not mean that a person is necessarily a citizen of that country. Citizens of one country who live in a foreign country are known as aliens. Their rights and duties are determined by political treaties and by the laws of the country in which they stay. In the United States, aliens must obey the laws and pay taxes, just as U.S. citizens do. They must register with the U.S. government to obtain legal permission to stay for an extended length of time. Legal aliens are entitled to protection under the law and to use of the courts. They may also own property, carry on business, and attend public schools. But aliens cannot vote or hold government office. In some states they are not allowed to practice certain professions until they become citizens.

Under United States law, a noncitizen national is a person who is neither a citizen nor an alien but who owes permanent loyalty to the United States. People in this category have some but not all of the rights of citizens. For example, inhabitants of a United States territory may not have the right to vote. Noncitizen nationals of the United States include those people on the Pacific islands of American Samoa who were born after the territory was taken over by the United States in 1900.

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