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Legal Dictionary

alien

Definition of alien

Alternative forms

  • alyaunte (15th-16th centuries)

Etymology

    From Latin aliēnus, "belonging to someone else", then "exotic, foreign", from alius, "other". Cognate with Ancient Greek αλλος (allos), "another, different" and Old English elles, "else".

Pronunciation

Noun

alien (plural aliens)

  1. A person, animal, plant or other thing which is from outside the family, group, organization, or territory under consideration.
  2. A foreigner residing in a country.
  3. Any life form of extraterrestrial origin.

Related terms

  • alienage
  • space alien

Adjective

alien (comparative more alien, superlative most alien)

  1. Pertaining to an alien.
  2. Very unfamiliar, strange, or removed.

Verb

to alien (third-person singular simple present aliens, present participle aliening, simple past and past participle aliened)

  1. To estrange; to alienate.

Further reading

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

Categorization

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, green card permanent residents and student visa 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 may be called 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.

References:

  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.



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