What is Citizenship?

What is Citizenship?

I have made a lot of videos about visas and
immigration and the like, and the one thing that is core to any discussion on those topics
is… passports, which I already made a pretty popular video on. However, in order to get a passport, you need
to be a citizen or national of a certain country. So, what exactly is citizenship? And how do some people have two of them? At its most basic level, citizens are defined
as basically being “members” of their respective countries. Citizenship is basically the highest legal
status of anyone living in the country (unless the country has a thing for natural-born citizens),
and entitles people to live, work and study permanently in the country, and also lets
them get the passport given to citizens of the country. The best way to think of the concept of citizenship
is essentially as a kind of contract between an individual and the government of a certain
country. Being an American citizen, there are of course
no limits to how long I can stay in the US, nor are there limits on work and study, and
I can vote in elections. That being said, there are also a few things
I may have to do in return. For one, serving in the military may be a
requirement, depending on your country. Many countries have mandatory conscription
laws in place, requiring all citizens of a certain age (though usually only for men)
to serve in the country’s military. Though many of these countries are either
at war with or have potentially volatile neighbors, like Israel, both Koreas, Syria, and Switzerland. The US doesn’t do this anymore (for good
reason), but it is required that all American men above the age of 18 sign up for the draft. You know, just in case. Also, you have to pay US taxes, even when
you’re not in the US. That part is more or less unique to the US,
but it is why many American expatriates may relinquish their citizenship after immigrating
to another country. Citizenship was first conceived in ancient
Greece, basically alongside the concept of democracy itself. This is because citizens are different from
subjects, since citizens generally had some sort of a say in how their city-state, or
polis, was run. You can’t be subjugated and help rule the
country, after all. It has been suggested that citizenship was
essentially a protection of one’s personal freedoms, in order to keep free citizens from
becoming slaves, should something happen to them financially. However, citizenship in ancient Greece was
actually quite an exclusive thing, as residing foreigners and slaves weren’t citizens. Also women, because why not be sexist? This concept of citizenship was taken and
adapted (among other things) by the Romans, who used the idea more inclusively, though
with different ranks, in that being a second-class citizen was actually a pretty good deal. This idea expanded further in modern times,
as medieval kingdoms started to turn into modern, democratic nation states. Citizenship started to morph into its current
meaning, which was essentially being a member of the nation. Basically everyone born and raised in a particular
modern nation is a citizen of that nation. Granted, every country has different rules
on who can become a citizen, some familial, some life-related, some probably even ethnic,
but it’s mostly a similar series of processes and results. And yes, some countries even allow you to
simultaneously be a member of their country and of another country. There are many benefits to dual citizenship,
even beyond the ability to live, work and vote in more than one country, as different
countries also have different visa requirements attached to their passport. For example, a dual US and German citizen
could visit everywhere either side could visit without a visa, just by presenting different
passports to certain customs officials. This is also how it works traveling back to
one of their home countries as well. As Americans and Germans cannot stay in each-other‘s
countries for longer than 90 days without a visa, it is best for a citizen of both countries
to show their US passport to US border control, and likewise their German passports to Schengen
Area border control. While there are some countries who don’t
allow their citizens to be citizens of another country, there are plenty of circumstances
that will allow you to still become a dual citizen, mostly in the spirit of not breaking
up families. This includes things like marrying someone
from another country, being born to parents from different countries, or even having just
a verifiable ancestor from another country (some countries being more lenient than others). You could also just immigrate to another country
if you don’t happen to be so lucky, though do be careful about some countries not allowing
you to have both citizenships. For example, if I were to immigrate to Germany
and get German citizenship, I would most likely have to renounce my American citizenship,
even though it is possible to have dual German-American citizenship in differing scenarios. This is because some countries aren’t exactly…
aufgeregt at the idea of their nationals also pledging allegiance to another country, so
the government in question, though they can’t do anything about the other country, can still
keep you from getting citizenship in their country. Some countries, notably Japan, will actually
even strip you of your citizenship if you are a citizen of another country, and keep
the other citizenship after a certain age. This means that a dual citizen of Japan and
another country would have to choose between one or the other after the age of 22, either
dropping their other citizenship to remain a Japanese citizen or allowing the Japanese
government to renounce their citizenship of Japan for the other country. This however means that, although there are
UN conventions aiming to prevent this, some countries can leave some of their citizens
stateless if not careful. Being stateless means you are a citizen of
no country at all, which means you don‘t have the same rights to government services,
and you can‘t get any form of government ID, including a passport to travel. Statelessness– to say the least– sucks,
and it can be caused by many different causes, including state succession, being part of
a discriminated ethnic minority, or even slow paperwork or just being unlucky. Ever seen the movie The Terminal? Well, in the movie, the protagonist Viktor
Navorski was considered stateless throughout his stay at the airport, as a new government
came into power while he was in the air, invalidating his old passport. This was a fictional circumstance, but this
is essentially what happens when you try to travel as a stateless person, like with the
inspiration for the movie, Mehran Karimi Nasseri, who ended up having to live in Paris-Charles
de Gaulle airport for 18 years after being expelled from Iran. Ultimately, the difference between being a
citizen of a country and being a resident alien, as they are sometimes called, is generally
more of a logistical one than anything. In a sense, non-citizens just need to make
sure they have permission to reside in the country (usually called a residence permit)
as well as to work, study, or whatever else they’re doing in the country long term. You can still live and work in another country
without gaining citizenship there, it’s just that being a citizen might make things
a bit easier for those who actually do want to stay in the country permanently. Also, it makes travel easier if you come from
a country with a weak passport. Thanks as always for watching, and be sure
to like and consider supporting the channel on Patreon. By the way, Iron Age+ patrons, of which there
are currently only two, get exclusive access to all the scripts I have written for recent
videos, including some that haven’t come out yet, or have even been cancelled. Yeah, now you’re curious, aren’t you? Oh, and join the Discord server and subscribe
for every Sunday, and that stuff… bye!


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    Kareem [Karim] Haidar

    Cititizenship is important to everyone. Be proud of your country. Be proud of your heritage. Stop racism and hate.

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    I was applying for Australian citizenship and the interviewer asked, "Do you have a criminal record?"

    I said

    "No. Is it still necessary?"

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    Henning Gu

    Germany is currently debating whether IS members who came from Germany should have their citizenship revoked

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    Ale city

    for whoever didn't understand Italy appearing in 3:56 let me give a personal anecdote: my fathers dad, my grandfather, was italian, but when he came to my country one couldn't be inmigrant and study medicine related thing between many other problems (my grandpa was doctor specialized in in psicology), and so renounced citizenship. But in the other hand, the granfather of the grandfather of my mother, was italian, but my mom didn't have the citizenship as in the 1800 when that relative came there weren't citizenship legal administration on a complex level, but my mom could get the citizenship for her, her father, the dead relatives up to there and me and my brother.

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    Generic nigga straight white male picture

    Passports,visas and immigration are to you what planes are for wendover productions and all of his other channels

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    D. I.

    I don't know if there's a person actually got stripped of Japanese Citizenship just because they've had dual citizenship since birth. That's not the case if they've willingly gained it or tried to get a foreign passport.

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    Pedro Marcelino

    One other great advantage of being a citizen of a country is the right not to be extradited, in case you're being crimminally prosecuted in a foreign country.

    Some years ago, the Brazilian Supreme Court decided an extradition demand made by the US for a woman born in Brazil who had murdered her American husband. She had been naturalized as an Amercian citizen, so the Supreme Court ruled that, because of that, she was tacitly renouncing her Brazilian citizenship and, thus, could be extradited to America.

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    Shardar 1

    I'm sure you are aware that "aufgeregt" has usually negative connotations. You can be aufgeregt when speaking in public or in an argument and is only occasionally used for the positive adrenalin you get when looking forward to something.

    Another language fun fact: influencers are called influencers in German because a synonym for manipulators doesn't sound so good.

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    Eric Duranti

    Curiosity: People from American Samoa are considered US Nationals as opposed to citizens. Other then the name what (if any) is the difference? Is this the same for C/N in other countries?

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    Tri-citizen here. Ukrainian by birth, USA by adoption through 2 American citizens and Canadian through naturalization.

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    Michael Bruning


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    I lived over 20 years in UK and I have absolutely no intention to get citizenship. As soon as I'll get my retirement I'm going to get the hell out this shithole!

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    Leon Saputra Boersma

    I’m half Dutch and Indonesian and only have a Dutch passport.
    I’ve heard that there was a bit of bitterness left between countries after decolonisation that resulted in that.

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