What is the difference between citizen and an alien?

All persons who reside within a state can be classified into two groups—citizens and aliens. There are certain things common to both. Both of them live in the state, pay taxes, obey the laws of the state and enjoy civil rights. The status of a citizen however is definitely superior to that of an alien.he

A citizen enjoys political rights, e.g., the right to vote, the right to be elected, the right to hold public office and the right to be protected abroad etc. An alien, on the contrary, does not enjoy these rights.

Besides, a citizen has the right of permanent residence in the state whereas an alien does not enjoy this right. An alien may be asked to quit the country at any time, if his activities are suspected to be against the state. An alien owes allegiance to his own state alone and not to the country wherein he lives.

There are three types of aliens.

1. Resident Aliens:

They adopt the new country as their home and usually obtain a certificate of naturalization. Such a certificate is issued after the fulfillment of certain conditions. An alien of this type becomes a naturalized citizen.

2. Temporary Residents or Travelers:

They live in foreign lands only temporarily.

3. Diplomatic Representatives : They include ambassadors, ministers, consuls, agents and the subordinate staff attached to them. Unlike other aliens, they enjoy special privileges and immunities.

They are not amenable to the jurisdiction of the laws of the state wherein they are appointed.

Classification of Citizens:

There are two kinds of citizens: natural citizens and naturalized citizens.

A natural citizen is one who is the citizen of a state by birth. A natural citizen enjoys all the civil and political rights and owes allegiance to the state.

A naturalized citizen, however, is an alien who acquires the citizenship of the state after fulfilling certain conditions. In certain states, however, no distinction is made between natural and naturalized citizens.

But in some states a naturalized citizen does not enjoy a status equal to that of a natural citizen. A naturalized citizen, for instance, cannot become the President of the U.S.A.