Jus soli

Countries by jus soli
  Unconditional or near-unconditional[vague] jus soli for persons born in the country
  Jus soli with restrictions
  Jus soli abolished

Jus soli (English: / SOH-ly, i/ SOH-lee, Latin[juːs ˈsɔliː]; meaning "right of soil"[1]), commonly referred to as birthright citizenship in the United States, is the right of anyone born in the territory of a state to nationality or citizenship.[2]

Jus soli was part of the English common law, in contrast to jus sanguinis, which derives from the Roman law that influenced the civil-law systems of continental Europe.[3][4] Jus soli is the predominant rule in the Americas, but it is rare elsewhere.[5][6] Since the Twenty-seventh Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland was enacted in 2004, no European country grants citizenship based on unconditional or near-unconditional jus soli.[7][8]

Almost all states in Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania grant citizenship at birth based upon the principle of jus sanguinis ("right of blood"), in which citizenship is inherited through parents rather than birthplace, or a restricted version of jus soli in which citizenship by birthplace is automatic only for the children of certain immigrants.

Jus soli in many cases helps prevent statelessness.[9] Countries that have acceded to the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness are obligated to grant nationality to persons born in their territory who would otherwise become stateless persons.[10][a] The American Convention on Human Rights similarly provides that "Every person has the right to the nationality of the state in whose territory he was born if he does not have the right to any other nationality."[9]

National laws

Lex soli is a law used in practice to regulate who and under what circumstances an individual can assert the right of jus soli. Most states provide a specific lex soli—in application of the respective jus soli—and it is the most common means of acquiring nationality. However, a frequent exception to lex soli is imposed when a child is born to a parent in the diplomatic or consular service of another state on a mission to the state in question.[11][12]