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Citizenship by Birth: 20 Countries That Give Citizenship by Birth and Eligibilty Requirements

Any child born within a nation’s boundaries or on its territory is automatically granted citizenship in that nation, even if their parents are not citizens. This is known as birthright citizenship. Currently, jus soli, often known as free birthright citizenship, is practiced in 33 countries around the world (plus two territories), whereas birthright citizenship in another 32 countries is restricted in some way.

It is interesting to note that almost all countries with birthright citizenship are in North or South America. Many academics believe this started during the colonial period when European nations eager to populate their colonies in the “New World” created more tolerant and immigration-friendly citizenship laws. Additionally, it should be emphasized that birthright citizenship typically includes at least one exclusion: Usually, the kids of foreign ambassadors or other diplomats working in a nation are not eligible.

One of the most significant advantages of doing so is that citizenship is automatically granted to everybody born in a country that preserves birthright citizenship. As a result, the kid may be given necessary legal rights, such as immunity from unjustified extradition or access to social services they otherwise would not have.

Due to advantages like these, pregnant parents are occasionally driven to relocate to a nation that grants birthright citizenship. Depending on their current status, parents may be able to give birth to their children in another country that offers birthright citizenship to guarantee a better life for them.

Citizenship by birth

List of Countries That Give Citizenship by Birth

1. Antigua and Barbuda

There are three methods for obtaining citizenship in the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda. An example is birthright citizenship. A citizen by birth was born in Antigua and Barbuda on or before October 31, 1981 (the date the policy went into effect).

Citizenship can also be obtained by naturalization or descent, which requires having a citizen parent or grandparent (live three years with a spouse who is a citizen or live unmarried in the country for seven years). These two citizenship options are still acceptable. However, they actively participate in obtaining citizenship rather than being granted it at birth.

2. Pakistan

A comprehensive birthright citizenship policy was established in 1951 by the Pakistan Citizenship Act, which stated that everybody born in Pakistan is inherently and legally regarded as a citizen of Pakistan, even if they were born before the Act had gone into effect. Descent or legal immigration are the other two definitions of citizenship in the Pakistani Citizenship Act. These three methods of obtaining citizenship in Pakistan are relatively similar, if not the same, as those used by other nations.

3. The United States

As part of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which was drafted in the wake of the Civil War, the United States of America established birthright citizenship for people born in the country in 1868. The 14th Amendment formally declared that any child born on American soil (i.e., any U.S. state or territory) was automatically a citizen of the United States, as well as extending citizenship to all formerly enslaved people living in the country. Being an American citizen has the following advantages:

  • Access to employment and residence in the nation
  • Access to the country’s exit and entry points
  • Access to government services
  • Consular protection while outside the nation
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4. Canada

The Citizenship Act of Canada, which establishes who is eligible to become a citizen, defines the nationality laws of Canada. According to the Jus Soli concept, the traditional way to become a country citizen is to give birth to a child there. In the developed world, only a few nations, including Canada, grant full citizenship to children born there. A child born in Canada would be given the following rights and privileges:

  • having the freedom to visit or live in a country at any time without needing to write a letter for visa application.
  • having the capacity to benefit from benefits like social welfare and free education

5. Brazil

Except for children born to foreign parents who are both on official government business, every child born in Brazil would instantly become a citizen of that country.

The advantages of having Brazilian citizenship are:

  • It will enable you to have a Brazilian passport, which is highly desired because it allows you to travel to numerous nations
  • It will help you to run for and hold public office.

6. Barbados

Barbados boasts one of the most developed economies in the Caribbean, with a stable administration, first-rate healthcare system, and outstanding infrastructure. Because of this, it’s a terrific place to work, live, and invest in real estate. Without considering the nationality of the birth parents, every kid born in the nation instantly acquires citizenship.

Being a citizen has the following advantages:

  • You must live in Barbados and would not need to renew for the right to remain
  • The freedom to work in Barbados
  • The freedom to possess a Barbadian passport.

7. Argentina

Except for children born to parents who work for another government, such as foreign diplomats, everyone born in Argentina automatically becomes a citizen. People born in the disputed Falkland Islands, which are situated between Argentina and the United Kingdom, are likewise subject to this.

Being an Argentine citizen has certain advantages.

  • With an Argentine passport, ranked 16th, you can enter 142 countries without a visa.
  • It gives you access to the association in the society

8. Cuba

All people born in Cuba automatically become citizens, except for those whose parents are foreign diplomats or other government employees.

Benefits of having Cuban citizenship by birth  include:

  • Obtaining a Cuban passport
  • Access to medical care and education

9. Jamaica

Except for children born to parents who work for another government, such as foreign diplomats, anybody born in the nation would automatically become a citizen of Jamaica.

The advantages of having Jamaican citizenship are:

  • Getting a passport for Jamaica
  • Working authorization
  • The ability to vote in general elections and local elections
  • Access to government services and social benefits
  • Receiving a waiver from the elite university’s foreign fees

10. Peru

Except for children born to parents who work for another government, such as foreign diplomats, all people born in the nation automatically receive Peruvian citizenship.

The advantages of having a Peruvian passport are:

  • Benefits for education and healthcare accessibility
  • Travel to Russia without needing a visa
  • The freedom to live and work anywhere in the nation at any moment
  • Visa-free entry to 118 countries

11. Mexico

Except for children born to parents who work for another government, such as foreign diplomats, everyone born in the nation would automatically become a citizen of Mexico.

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The advantages of having Mexican citizenship are:

  • You are free to move around the nation.
  • The ability to live and work without dealing with visa issues
  • Access to education and healthcare

12. Venezuela

Except for children born to parents who work for another government, such as foreign diplomats, all people born in Venezuela automatically receive Venezuelan citizenship regardless of their parents’ nationality.

Being a Venezuelan citizen has certain advantages.

  • Access to live and work anywhere in the nation
  • Getting a hold of a Venezuelan passport
  • Availability of healthcare and education

13. Ireland

Ireland, a nation with beautiful scenery and a long history, is perhaps best known for its craic, or good times. Ireland’s low tax rates and talented workforce make it home to several of the most significant technology and pharmaceutical corporations. You would be in luck because working in Ireland entails 20 legally required vacation days and living in one of the friendliest nations in the world.

Even if you were born abroad, you are an Irish citizen if one of your parents was an Irish citizen by birth, marriage, adoption, or naturalization at the time of delivery.

You can still become an Irish citizen even if neither of your parents was born there if one of your grandparents did. As long as you are listed as a citizen before your children are born, you can even carry on transferring Irish citizenship to succeeding generations.

14. India

The diversity and breadth of the second-most populous nation in the world make exploration impossible in a single trip. Given that China was eclipsed by India as the country with the world’s fastest-growing economy last year, it could be a good idea to relocate for a while.

Your date of birth is significant in obtaining citizenship in India. You meet the requirements if:

  • your father was a citizen of India at the time of his delivery, and you were born between 1950 and 1992.
  • At least one of your parents was a citizen when they were born, and you were born between December 1992 and 2004.
  • Within a year of your birth date, an Indian consulate registered your delivery as occurring after January 2004.

15. Israel

Israel is a tiny nation that plays a significant part in world trade. Israel has several career opportunities due to its expanding sectors in technology, design, and telecommunications. If you are thinking of moving, bear in mind that everyone above the age of 18 is required to serve in the military in Israel.

You must demonstrate that one of your parents was born in Israel to be eligible for citizenship in Israel through descent. However, there is a workaround. Every Jew has the right to become an Israeli citizen, regardless of where they were born or currently reside, thanks to Israel’s Law of Return from 1950. Anyone who is not a member of any other religion with a Jewish mother or who converted to Judaism is subject to this. Since 1970, the Law of Return has allowed any child or grandchild of a Jew as well as the spouse of a child or grandchild of a Jew to immigrate, providing an even simpler road to citizenship.

16. France

It is simple to understand why France is one of the most well-liked tourist destinations in the world with its renowned food, museums, beaches, and skiing. Moving to France becomes more alluring when combined with a 35-hour workweek, 13 bank holidays, and an average of 5 weeks of paid vacation.

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If one of your parents is a French citizen, regardless of where they were born, you can also become a citizen of France.  Before you can register your birth certificate, all generations before you must have birth certificates that have been registered. Being a citizen of France gives you access to live, study, and work in any of the other 28 EU nations. France is a founding member of the EU, much like other EU nations.

17. Australia

Australia is a cosmopolitan country with a mild climate all year round and a relaxed way of life. There are more chances for jobs, volunteerism, and enjoyment because the middle class, the economy, and the population are all expanding.

Birthright citizenship is granted to anyone born in Australia after 1949 whose parents were citizens at the time of their birth. You can still become an Australian citizen even if your parent was also granted citizenship by descent, as long as they were residents of Australia for at least two years at some point in their lives.

18. Italy

It is simple to understand why people are drawn to Italy because of its delicious cuisine, stunning beauty, and extensive history. Even if it’s challenging to obtain work right now due to the high unemployment rate, skills and expertise in the services sector can be pretty valuable in Italy. Without regard to generation, Italian citizenship is passed down from parent to kid. You only need to prove that every member of your straight line of ancestors has kept their Italian citizenship since 1861.

19. Turkey

Turkey appeals to the curious history enthusiast and snowbird in all of us with its mild temperature and vibrant, old towns. In industries like tourism, education, real estate, banking, engineering, and information technology, where the economy is steadily expanding, migrants frequently find employment.

One of your parents had to have been a Turkish citizen at the time of your birth for you to be eligible for birthright citizenship. If your father is Turkish, your mother is from another country, and you were born outside of wedlock, this law does not apply to you.

20. South Africa

An English-speaking nation, South Africa offers excellent opportunities for those with backgrounds in architecture, engineering, information technology, and economics. Additionally, there are branches of numerous significant American businesses in Cape Town, ranging from banks and accounting firms to advertising and entertainment.

You are entitled to birthright citizenship if you were born outside of South Africa and at least one of your parents was a citizen. The same holds if a South African citizen adopted you and your birth was duly documented.

Despite its advantages, citizenship by birth has detractors as well. These are usually residents of the host country who believe the policy encourages immigrants to arrive for the sole purpose of having anchor kids, abusing the system and taking money that would otherwise be used to help locals. Although it is against the law to engage in such birth tourism in most countries, it is not always clear how to stop or catch offenders and execute the rules.