Modes of Acquisition and Loss of Nationality

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Modes of Acquisition of Nationality:

A person may acquire the nationality of a state in accordance with the rules of municipal law. It implies that municipal Law determines as to who may be a national of a particular state. The modes of acquisition of nationality are not uniform. They differ from state to state. Following are the rules by which nationality may be required in different states.

  1. By Birth:

Nationality is conferred to a person by many states on the basis of the birth. All those persons whose birth takes place within the territorial limits of a state acquire the nationality of that state. This principle is known as Jus Soil.

  1. By Descent:

Nationality of a state may also be acquired by a person on the basis of the nationality of either parents. Thus, a child may become a national of that state of which his parents are nationals. This principle is known as Jus Sanguinis.

  1. By Naturalisation:

A person acquires nationality at birth. However his nationality may, later on, change. When the nationality of a person changes subsequently, and he acquires nationality of some other state, the process of acquisition is known as naturalisation. A person may require nationality through naturalisation in different ways. They are: (i) Through marriage, (ii) Legitimisation (iii) Acquisition of Domicile (iv) Appointment as Government Official (v) and Grant of application. Adoption of children by parents who are nationals are also entitles the adopted children to acquire the nationality of their parents. A person who wants to acquire nationality through naturalisation is required to give an application and to make a request for the acquisition of nationality through naturalisation. The state, however, is entitled to refuse the naturalisation of aliens without assigning any reason.

  1. By Resumption:

A person who has lost his nationality by naturalisation or by any other reason may acquire the nationality of the same state again. The acquisition of this kind is called reintegration or resumption.

  1. By Subjugation:

A person may acquire nationality through subjugation after conquest. When a part of the territory of the state or a state itself is subjugated by another state, all the inhabitants of the territory became the nationals of the latter state. Thus, when Austria was annexed by Germany, all the nationals of Austria became the nationals of Germany.

  1. By Cession:

When a part of the territory of the state is ceded to another state, all the nationals of the former acquire the nationality of the latter state.

  1. By Option:

When a state is partitioned into two or more states, the nationals of the former state have an option to become the national of any of the successor states. At the time of partition of the subcontinent, individuals were given an option to become national of either India or Pakistan.

  1. By Registration:

A person may acquire the nationality of the state through registration. The process of registration may be different from one state to another depending upon the laws of the state.

Modes of Loss of Nationality:

Just like acquisition of nationality, a person may lose the nationality of a state in different ways. They are as follow:

  1. By Release:

Some states give their citizens the right to ask to be released from the nationality. Release occurs only when an application is made to that effect, and it has been accepted by the state concerned.

  1. By Deprivation:

A national of the state may be deprived of nationality in case of certain happenings. Legislation of many states recognises numerous grounds of deprivation of nationality such as joining foreign military service, high treason etc.

  1. By Renunciation:

A person may renounce his nationality of a state. The question of renunciation of nationality arises when a person acquires it of more than one state. In such case he has an option to retain the nationality of one state and to renounce the other.

  1. By Substitution:

A person may lose the nationality of a state when he acquired the nationality in some state by naturalisation. The laws of many countries place an embargo on its nationals to acquire double nationality.

  1. By expiration:

A person may lose nationality of a state by expiration. For instance, some states have provided by legislation that citizenship expires in the case of such of their subjects as have left the country and stayed abroad for a certain length of time.

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