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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Legal status of persons

Leave to Remain
Illegal immigration

Legal designations

Native-born citizen
Naturalized citizen
Migrant worker
Illegal immigrant
Political prisoner
Stateless person
Administrative detain

Social politics

Immigration law
Nationality law
Nativism (politics)
Immigration debate

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



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


External links


Illegal Alien or Illegal Aliens may refer to:



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