Citizen Definition and Legal Meaning
On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Citizen, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.
What is Citizen?
Citizen is a responsible person who under the constitution of that country has voting rights and who have sworn loyalty to that country. Normally a person who have born in a certain country or whose parents were a resident of that country or that by fullfilling certain criteria have achieved a status giving him/her the right to be the citizen of that country are known to be so.
History and Meaning of Citizen
The concept of citizenship has existed for over 2,000 years, originating in ancient Greek city-states where citizens had both rights and responsibilities. In modern times, a citizen is a legal member of a country, with the right to vote and the obligation to obey its laws. Citizenship can be acquired through birth within a country, through descent from a citizen parent, through marriage to a citizen, or through a naturalization process that typically involves a period of residency, language and civics tests, and a legal oath of allegiance to the country.
Examples of Citizen
- John was born in the United States and is a citizen by birthright.
- Maria's parents immigrated to Canada and obtained citizenship, so she is also a citizen through her parents.
- Ahmed moved to Spain from Morocco and became a citizen after living there for several years, learning Spanish, and passing a citizenship exam.
- Jane married a British citizen and applied for citizenship, which was granted after a background check and interview.
- Tom was born in Germany to American parents, and is therefore a citizen of both Germany and the United States.
Legal Terms Similar to Citizen
- Nationality - the legal relationship between a person and a country, indicating that the person is a citizen, national, or other member of that country.
- Permanent Resident - a foreign national who has been granted the right to live and work in another country on a long-term basis, but is not a citizen and does not have all of the same rights and responsibilities.
- Dual Citizenship - the status of being a citizen of two or more countries at the same time, often obtained through birth in one country and ancestry or naturalization in another.