The Right to Belong


What is Citizenship?

You can look at citizenship from two perspectives. Technically it is the bond between an individual and a country, whereby the individual is conferred rights and privileges, but must also fulfil certain obligations. But there is a far more profound interpretation – one that embraces the emotion of ‘belonging,’ of having value, and of being welcome.

Citizenship plays a role in who we are, how we live, and how we interact in our relationships – be those with our families or friends – in our working environment, and even within a political landscape. It speaks to the heart of our civil identity where a cultural consciousness allows us to ‘fit in’ because we share common desires with others who experience the same dynamics of an environment.

The two most common ways of being awarded citizenship are the laws of ‘jus sanguinis’ (citizenship by descent) and ‘jus soli’ (citizenship by birth).

Jus sanguinis, meaning the ‘right of blood,’ defines your nationality by your family’s line of descent, such as by your parents’ citizenship. Jus soli is the acquisition of citizenship of the land where you are born, regardless of your parentage. How a government interprets those definitions and develops them is however entirely unilateral, which sometimes involves complicated considerations and legal frameworks.

In a world that communicates across borders, people are becoming more aware of the restrictions and shortfalls of their jus sanguinis or jus soli citizenship, and look to other nations as a comparison. A second citizenship can be sought without severing ties from one’s inherited or birth right citizenship, and can present a new world of opportunities, advantages, and expanding horizons. Dual citizenship is for life, providing stability and wellbeing that can be enjoyed today and in the future, by individuals and their entire families.

Ultimately though, a single or dual citizenship must be considered a cherished possession. It is an endorsement by a nation that you have worth. Taking ownership of a citizenship means you ‘belong,’ and ‘belonging’ means you will always have a place to call home.