Gyan Series: Nationality VS Citizenship – Important Notes for SSC

Nationality VS Citizenship: Things you need to know

There is a lot of confusion between these two terms but these are two different terms.  The constitution of India deals with citizenship from the articles 5 to 11 Under Part 2.  Citizenship comes under Act 1955. It has prescribed 5 different ways of acquiring citizenship i.e Birth, Descent, Naturalization and Incorporation of the Territory.  On the other hand, Nationality can be obtained by Birth and Inheritance.

Generally, we consider Nationality and Citizenship as synonyms but these are two different terms.  They are different from each other in many ways. Today, we will discuss the main differences between these two terms.


Nationality:   The nationality of a person reveals his or her place of birth. That from which place he or she belongs to.
Citizenship:  It is granted to an individual by the government of a country and the person has to do some legal formalities for that. Notably, once a person becomes the citizen of a particular country, he or she gets the right to vote, work, reside and take active participation in the Nation’s event.

What are the major differences?

  • Nationality is the individual membership and it shows the relationship of the person with the state. On the other hand, Citizenship is a political state and it states that the person is recognised as a citizen of the country.
  • Nationality shows the place or the country where the individual has taken birth while in citizenship an individual is registered as a citizen by the government of the country. For example: Alia Bhatt’s Nationality is Indian but she is a British Citizen.
  • Nationality can be obtained by birth and inheritance and citizenship can be obtained by Birth, Marriage, and Naturalization.
  • Nationality cannot be changed but Citizenship can be changed
  • Nationality cannot be reversed while citizenship can be reversed.  A person can be national of only one country while a person can become a citizen of more than one country.

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