What Is a Haitian?


Quick Answer

A Haitian is an inhabitant or citizen of Haiti. A Haitian can be also a person born abroad to a Haitian parent or a foreigner living in Haiti who acquired Haitian citizenship.

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Full Answer

Most ethnic Haitians are of mixed French and Creole descent. Two types of persons are considered Haitian citizens under Haiti's Constitution including any person whose mother or father is a native-born citizen of Haiti. Also any foreigner living in Haiti who has had a continuous period of Haitian residence for five years. Five-year foreign residents can apply for citizenship and will have the right to vote, but are ineligible to hold public office until five years after their date of naturalization.

A person born in Haiti does not automatically receive Haitian citizenship. The Haitian Constitution of 2012 re-legalizes dual citizenship, allowing for Haitians living abroad to own land and run for Haitian political office (except for offices of president, prime minister, senator or member of the lower house of Parliament).

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