Nationality vs. Citizenship

Difference Between Nationality and Citizenship

The two words that are mostly confused with one another are Nationality and Citizenship. In fact, the two are very different and are not supposed to be used interchangeably.  Let us discuss the main difference between the two. The place where one is born determines one’s nationality while the country to where a person’s name is registered for stay is known as Citizenship. The name of the person should be registered with the government of that country.

What it basically means is that a person of some nationality will not essentially have the citizenship of the same country. Citizenship can definitely be of any other country. Nationality is what one inherits from one’s parents. Yet one can get it from natural ways. While citizenship of a specific country can be taken if the country’s politically associated people accepts the application. So all has to be legally sound to attain citizenship or else the application can be rejected.

Another difference that pops out is that one cannot change his or her nationality while citizenship changes according to the wish of the individual. So at the same time, the nationality and citizenship of an individual can be different and they are not bound to be the same. Intriguingly, few countries have offered honorary citizenship to some people specifically celebrities and other great personalities. Other than that, all countries do not offer such honorary nationality to anyone.

Nationality points towards the similar culture, rituals and language of people of the same nation while citizenship does not indicate people of similar group. An African who is not a part of the American national group could possibly hold the citizenship of the US. Hence, we come to the conclusion that in spite of all the confusion the two words are different in meaning and shouldn’t be confused with each other.


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