Countries Who Offer Birthright Citizenship

The US is an example of a country who determines citizenship by birth.
The US is an example of a country who determines citizenship by birth.

Birthright citizenship, also referred to as jus soli which is Latin to mean “right of the soil,” is the right of citizenship that one acquires for being born in a particular country regardless of the nationality of their parents. This rule of acquiring citizenship is common in the Americas as compared to the other parts of the world. A study shows that out of the 194 countries that make up the world, only 30 countries grant citizenship by unrestricted jus soli. Almost all European, African, Asian, and Oceanic countries grant their citizenship through the principle of jus sanguinis, meaning "right of blood," whereby children inherit citizenship through their parents but not their birthplace. The following countries allow the principle of jus soli.

Countries With Birthright Citizenship

United States

Birthright citizenship in the US dates back to the Fourteenth Amendment. Today, that means that persons born within the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and well Puerto Rico, Guam, the US Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands are granted citizenship at birth. Exceptions include children of foreign diplomats and wartime enemies.

Antigua and Barbuda

Persons born in the territory of Antigua and Barbuda are granted citizenship. As of October 31, 1981, exceptions include children of foreign diplomats.


Under the 1977 Act, persons born on Canadian soil, in the Canadian territorial sea, or in the airspace above Canada on or after February 15, 1977 are granted Canadian citizenship. Exceptions include the children of foreign governments or employees of foreign governments in Canada.

Exceptions to the Rule

There are often rules limiting who should be a citizen of a country at any given time. The rules that are meant to regulate the application of jus soli is called lex soli. The common lex soli used by many countries is that when a child is born of foreign parents that are on a mission to other countries or are diplomats from other states.

Some countries also practice a restricted version of the rule of jus soli for children born of certain immigrants only. This is aimed at controlling immigrants and the population of a country. Most develop states does not practice this rule, for fear of terrorism and unwelcomed vices that could be brought by this person of foreign nations to their land.

Countries Removing Birthright Citizenship

Some countries are moving away from the application of this rule of jus soli of late. India and Malta have both abolished jus soli. India abolished jus soli on December 3, 2004. 

Countries Who Offer Birthright Citizenship

RankCountries Who Offer Birthright Citizenship
1Antigua and Barbuda
12El Salvador
24Saint Kitts and Nevis
25Saint Lucia
26Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
27Trinidad and Tobago
28United States

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