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Legal status of persons
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Legal designations

Citizen
Native-born citizen
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Alien
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Social politics

Immigration law
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Immigration debate

In law, an alien is a person in a country who is not a citizen of that country.[1]

Contents

Categorization

Types of "alien" persons are:

  • An alien who is legally permitted to remain in a country which is foreign to him or her. On specified terms, this kind of alien may be called a legal alien of that country. This is a very broad category which includes tourists, guest workers, legal permanent residents and student visa resident aliens.
  • An alien who has temporary or permanent residence in a country (which is foreign to him/her) may be called a resident alien of that country. This is a subset of the aforementioned legal alien category.
  • An alien who is visiting a country (which is foreign to him/her) may be called a nonresident alien of that country. This is a subset of the aforementioned legal alien category.
  • An alien who is present in a country (which is foreign to him/her) unlawfully or without the country's authorization is known as an illegal alien of that country.[2] In the United States, such an alien may euphemistically call themself an "undocumented person".
  • An enemy alien is an alien who is designated as an enemy; compare to enemy combatant.

Specific jurisdictions

  • In U.S. law, an alien is "any person not a citizen or national of the United States."[3] The U.S. Government's use of alien dates back to 1798, when it was used in the Alien and Sedition Acts.[4] U.S. law makes a clear distinction between aliens and immigrants by defining immigrants as a subset of aliens.[3] Although U.S. law provides no overarching explicit definition of the term "illegal alien," the term is used in many statutes[5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13] and elsewhere (e.g., court cases, executive orders). U.S. law also uses the term "unauthorized alien."[14][15][16][17][18] U.S. immigration laws do not refer to illegal immigrants, but in common parlance the term "illegal immigrant" is often used to refer to any illegal alien.[19] Because at law, a corporation is a person, the term alien is not limited to natural humans because what are colloquially called foreign corporations are technically called alien corporations. Because corporations are creations of local state law, a foreign corporation is an out of state corporation.
  • In Latvian passports, alien is used for non-citizens (nepilsoņi): former citizens of USSR who have specific rights and privileges under Latvian law and international bilateral treaties while not possessing full Latvian citizenship.

See also

References

External links

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