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Birthright citizenship countries

Have you ever wondered how many countries have birthright citizenship?

Here we are putting together the most updated and complete list of countries with birthright citizenship.

You will learn which countries offer citizenship by birth so you can decided where to have your baby.

About 1 in 6 countries offer birthright citizenship. This is called Jus Soli (Law of the Land) and is complementary (or opposed, if you will) to Jus Sanguinis (Law of the Blood), which determines citizenship based on the parents’ citizenship(s).

 

The list of countries that currently offer birth citizenship is sometimes changing, so the best is to check for the most up-to-date information. Most countries offering birthright citizenship are in the Americas.

 

There are few countries offering birthright citizenship in Europe, Africa, Asia, or Oceania. Some countries offer citizenship under certain conditions (for example, if one parent is a resident).

 

There are countries that have previously offered citizenship based on Jus Soli, but have changed their nationality laws. The most recent ones seem to be India and Malta. There are also countries which change their rules to allow Jus Soli; the most recent example being Latvia.

Here’s a tentative list of countries:

1. Antigua and Barbuda

 

Babies born here acquire citizenship if their parents are not foreign diplomats and if their parents’ home country isn’t at war with Antigua & Barbuda.

Antigua and Barbuda’s Constitution explicitly says:

The following persons shall become citizens at the date of their birth on or after 1st November 1981-

1. every person born in Antigua and Barbuda:
Provided that a person shall not become a citizen by virtue of this paragraph if at the time of his birth-

  1. neither of his parents is a citizen and either of them possess such immunity from suit and legal process as is accorded to the envoy of a foreign sovereign power accredited to Antigua and Barbuda; or

  2. either of his parents is a citizen of a country with which Her Majesty is at war and the birth occurs in a place then under occupation by that country;

Antigua & Barbuda allows dual citizenship. 

 

2. Argentina

According to Law 346 regarding Citizenship and Naturalisation, Title I, Article 1, they are considered Argentinians:

 

All individuals born in the territory of the Republic, regardless of the nationality of their parents, with the exception of the children of foreign ministers and members of the legation residing in the Republic.

 

According to Regulatory Degree 3213/1984, Article 16, Argentinian citizenship cannot be renounced.

On the other hand, Argentina recognises double citizenship only with these countries: Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, United States (since 20/10/1981), Honduras, Italy, Nicaragua, Norway, Panamá, Sweden. In our understanding, this doesn’t mean a person cannot hold citizenship from another country, it just has implications regarding conditions of entry to and exit from Argentina.

3. Barbados

According to Barbados’ Constitution, Chapter II (Citizenship), Article 4, 

 

Every person born in Barbados after 29th November 1966 shall become a citizen of Barbados at the date of his birth:

 

Provided that a person shall not become a citizen of Barbados by virtue of this section if at the time of his birth—

(a) his father possesses such immunity from suit and legal process as is accorded to an envoy of a foreign sovereign State accredited to Her Majesty in right of Her Government in Barbados and [“and” suggests both conditions need to be fulfilled at the same time] neither of his parents is a citizen of Barbados; or

(b) his father is an enemy alien and the birth occurs in a place then under occupation by the enemy.

4. Belize

 

Belize’s Constitution (Part III - Citizenship, Article 24) stipulates babies born in Belize acquire citizenship at birth:

Every person born in Belize on or after Independence Day shall become a citizen of Belize at the date of his birth:

Provided that a person shall not become a citizen of Belize by virtue of this section if at the time of his birth-

a. his father or mother is a citizen of a country with which Belize is at war and the birth occurs in a place then under occupation by that country.

The Constitution (Article 27) also mentions the treatment of dual nationality: 

A citizen of Belize by birth or descent who acquires the citizenship of any other country may, if the laws of the other country so permit and at his option, retain his citizenship of Belize. 

5. Bolivia

According to Bolivia’s 2009 Constitution, Title V, Chapter I (Nationality), Article 141:

“They are Bolivian by birth, the persons born on Bolivian territory, with the exception of the daughters and the sons of foreign personnel on a diplomatic mission”

 

Also, regarding Dual Citizenship, Article 143 states:

“Bolivian nationality will also not be lost by acquiring a foreign citizenship. Foreigners who acquire Bolivian nationality will not be forced to renounce their nationality of origin.”

 

Worth mentioning is that political rights are suspended for serving in enemy armed forces, fraud of public resources, or treason (Article 28 of the same Constitution).

6. Brazil

Brazil has birthright citizenship mentioned in its Federal Constitution (Chapter III - Nationality, Article 12):

The following are Brazilians:

I - by birth:

a) those born in the Federative Republic of Brazil, even if of foreign parents, provided that they are not at the service of their country

 

7. Canada

 

The reference document is called the Citizenship Act. Part I (The Right to Citizenship), Paragraph 3(1) states:

 

Subject to this Act, a person is a citizen if

(a) the person was born in Canada after February 14, 1977

 

Paragraph 2 clarifies:

Paragraph (1)(a) does not apply to a person if, at the time of his birth, neither of his parents was a citizen or lawfully admitted to Canada for permanent residence and either of his parents was

(a) a diplomatic or consular officer or other representative or employee in Canada of a foreign government;

(b) an employee in the service of a person referred to in paragraph (a); or

(c) an officer or employee in Canada of a specialized agency of the United Nations or an officer or employee in Canada of any other international organization to whom there are granted, by or under any Act of Parliament, diplomatic privileges and immunities certified by the Minister of Foreign Affairs to be equivalent to those granted to a person or persons referred to in paragraph (a).

8. Chile

The Republic of Chile’s Political Constitution states (under Chapter II -  Nationality and Citizenship, Article 10):

They are Chileans:

  1. Those born in the territory of Chile, with the exception of children of foreigners who are in Chile in the service of their Government, and of the children of transient foreigners , all of whom, however, may opt for Chilean nationality.

 

The second part of this paragraph, which mentions “transient” foreigners (“transeúntes” in Spanish), means a baby born to non-resident parents will not automatically get Chilean citizenship, but they do qualify for Chilean nationality. 

The procedure to exercise this option is contained in Article 10 of the Ministry of Interior’s 1960 Supreme Decree No. 5,142.

Those who decide to opt for Chilean nationality, request to do so through a "declaration of the Option to Chilean nationality" that must demand "within the fatal period of one year, contacted from the date the declarant reaches 18 years of age".
   

9. Costa Rica

 

Title II (The Costa Ricans), Article 13, covers birthright citizenship, stating:

They are Costa Rican by birth:

3. The child of foreign parents born in Costa Rica who are registering as Costa Ricans, by the will of either of their progenitors while they are minors, or on their own until they turn twenty-five years old.

 

Article 16 further says that “the Costa Rican nationality cannot be lost and is non-renounceable”.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

[article currently under construction]

10. Cuba

11. Dominica

 

12. Ecuador

 

13. El Salvador

 

14. Fiji

 

15. Grenada

 

16. Guatemala

 

17. Guyana

 

18. Honduras

 

19. Jamaica

 

20. Latvia

 

21. Lesotho

 

22. Mexico

 

23. Nicaragua

 

24. Pakistan

 

25. Panama

 

26. Paraguay

 

27. Peru

 

28. Saint Kitts and Nevis

 

29. Saint Lucia

 

30. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

 

31. Tanzania

 

32. Trinidad and Tobago

 

33. United States

 

34. Uruguay

 

35. Venezuela

But before you hop on a plane to go give birth in one of these countries, please make sure to check the place you’re interested in actually offers birthright citizenship, under which conditions (if any), and what is the exact process. And maybe most importantly, decide if offering your baby dual citizenship is something you want or not.

Important! Do not blindly trust what is written here. To double check claims, search online for the target country’s constitution and relevant laws. Read only credible sources, such as the government’s official web pages (usually gov.XX), United Nations official pages, reputable academic sources etc.