San Jose, CA asked in Contracts, Immigration Law and Constitutional Law for California

Q: What are the significant differences between (US) Nationals, foreign nationals, citizens, non-citizen-nationals, etc

and how do they benefit/ disadvantage the individual people whom accept such classifications? How does one go about changing the classification one has; by using alternative language/words when filling out certain forms? What commercial/private legalities does each classification hold?

2 Lawyer Answers
Stephen Arnold Black
Stephen Arnold Black
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Orlando, FL

A: This is a forum to help people with real legal issues and not help students with homework assignments.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In U.S. law, a "citizen" is someone who has full legal rights and obligations under the Constitution, including the right to vote and work. A "non-citizen national" usually refers to someone born in an American territory like American Samoa, who has fewer constitutional protections but is not subject to immigration controls. A "foreign national" is someone who owes allegiance to a foreign government and may be subject to immigration laws, possibly requiring a visa to enter or work in the U.S. Changing one's classification typically involves formal legal processes such as naturalization for citizenship, rather than merely using alternative language on forms. Each classification carries its own set of benefits and restrictions, affecting everything from immigration status to work eligibility, and from legal protections to tax obligations.

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