It's a plot point in Deep Space Nine that Nog, as a non-Federation citizen, requires a waiver to attend Starfleet Academy. That leads to the question of how one can become a Federation citizen if one was not born with citizenship or granted it as a result of one's homeworld joining the Federation.

More specifically, is the process analogous to US or Canadian citizenship, in which one is granted citizenship in the entire federation at once and then may choose a member state to live in (e.g. one can naturalize as a US citizen according to the standardized nationwide process and then choose to become a Texan or a New Yorker at one's pleasure) or is it more analogous to European Union citizenship, in which being naturalized in a member state grants access to a package of rights and responsibilities that also apply to citizens of other member states?

For example, suppose I was a Romulan that wanted to become a Federation citizen and live on Andoria. Would the process involve applying to the central Federation government for a certificate of citizenship and then registering it at the local government office on Andoria in the district I wished to live in, or would I be expected to apply directly to the Andorian government for naturalization as an Andorian citizen, and Federation citizen rights like attending Starfleet Academy without a waiver would then be tied to my Andorian citizenship?

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    For that matter, what about Worf? Is he a Federation citizen? It seems like he's still a Klingon citizen though. – Kai Feb 7 '20 at 19:20
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    Here's another thought: the Federation is supposed to be a society mostly post scarcity, post racism, and post xenophobia. Would they even put much if any limitations on citizens versus non citizens? Maybe that's why it's never really addressed that I can recall. – Kai Feb 7 '20 at 19:38
  • @kai perhaps, but Nog's almost fanatical worship of Earth culture implies that he might have desired to go through the process of Terran naturalization (become a "real" Earthling) rather than simply seek a foreigner's waiver. The question then is whether such a process existed at all, or whether the waiver was just so much easier to get and the benefits of citizenship so low that there really wasn't much of a point. – Robert Columbia Feb 7 '20 at 19:45
  • @RobertColumbia can you give some examples of “Nog’s almost fanatical worship of Earth culture”? I am curious because that is not ringing any bells. – 1252748 Feb 8 '20 at 16:52
  • @125 from Little Green Men. – Robert Columbia Feb 8 '20 at 19:03

Apparently so. The Federation, according to DS9: The Never-Ending Sacrifice, has policies and procedures for the request for, and granting of, Federation citizenship from non-member-species applicants. This seems to include advocacy, a determination of the desired reason for membership and a hearing to determine if the individual has made a life within the Federation that would strengthen their claim.

Three officials from the Federation’s immigration department were hearing his case. The process was not adversarial, but a supporting and an opposing counsel each presented evidence, with witnesses to support them if necessary, whom they were able to question and cross-examine in turn, and whom the panel of three could also question. Most of the first day of the hearing was a detailed examination of Rugal’s time on Cardassia Prime: he answered questions about his education, his political activities and organizing, his medical training—all of which was being presented as evidence that he had been committed to his life on Prime.

In this instance, the case seems to be a mixture of an application for asylum and a determination of whether the individual has any ties to the Federation through birthright, but the mere existence of an Immigration Department implies immigration that needs to be managed.

Tasha Yar also faced much of the same problems, according to the EU novel TNG: Survivors, in that she wasn't a citizen of the Federation and faced deportation.

After the utter misery of the first fifteen years of her life, she had barely adjusted to the idea of a hopeful future when Federation Immigration threatened to send her back to the hell-hole she had escaped from. Historians discovered in records no one on the planet remembered that the turning point on New Paris had come when it seceded in absentia from the Federation it blamed for abandoning the colony. Not knowing about the wars and technological breakdowns going on back on Earth, the government of New Paris seceded in order not to be bound by the very laws whose abandonment led to Earth’s worst war and the Post-Atomic Horrors. Ironically, New Paris took longer than its founding planet to sink into degradation . . . but the eventual result was similar, and unlike Earth, New Paris never recovered.

But Dare found Starfleet legal counsel to present Yar’s case. In the end, though, it was neither the legal counsel’s skills nor Dare’s eloquent descriptions of the life he had rescued “the child” from that won her the right to stay on Earth: the most powerful druglord on New Paris, whom the Federation perforce had to recognize as spokesman for his planet, simply didn’t want her!

“What’s another starving girl-child? You want her, you keep her—in fact, take any of the rest of the strays that want to go with you!”

  • Another example would be Nog in DS9 that joined Star Fleet. Seeing that Starfleet also acts as Military and Diplomatic Choir, I can't imagine somebody having that duty without being part of the Federation. – Shade Feb 7 '20 at 20:12
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    @Shade - I can't recall Nog ever becoming a Federation Citizen. – Valorum Feb 7 '20 at 20:16
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    @Retractapologisereinstate - In the diplomatic choir they sing very carefully – Valorum Feb 7 '20 at 21:02
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    @Retractapologisereinstate Problem with German translation. – Shade Feb 7 '20 at 21:06
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    @Shade - Riker and a Klingon swap places for a long weekend. It seems that non citizens are welcome (under the right circumstances) to serve without becoming Federation Citizens – Valorum Feb 7 '20 at 21:20

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