How to Apply for Sovereignty

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Sovereignty, rather than being something that is applied for, exists more as a set of circumstances which must be met, after which sovereignty may be claimed. Sovereignty is loosely defined as a functioning government having control over a defined territory. Sovereignty means little, however, if other countries do not recognize it. The Kurds of northern Iraq, for instance, could be said to meet the definition of sovereignty, but other governments, and especially the Iraqi government, do not recognize their claims of sovereignty.

1 Set up a government to govern your sovereign territory

Set up a government to govern your sovereign territory. Depending on what kind of country you plan to run, you may or may not want to declare yourself the head of that government. Your government should have all the basic trappings of a government, including such things as government offices, identification such as passports, a currency, laws and government officials.

2 Inform neighboring countries

Inform neighboring countries, ideally through the foreign office branch of your government to give the appearance of legitimacy, of your claims of sovereignty. They may dispute your claims and may even claim your territory as their own, so you should be prepared to defend your territory militarily from invasions by neighboring countries.

3 Have other countries

Have other countries recognize your sovereignty over your territory. This may involve negotiations with other governments, by agreeing to recognize another country's sovereignty, for example, in exchange for that country's recognizing yours. It may also take the form of having other countries renounce all territorial claims to your country.

4 Maintain the presence of your government

Maintain the presence of your government within your territory at all times. The nation of Sealand, for example, was taken over by nationals from neighboring countries after the leader, Roy of Sealand, went to visit a neighboring country, leaving only the leader's son to maintain the government.

Stuart Robertson has been freelance writing since 2008, covering topics such as health, environmental issues and technology for websites such as and Environmental Graffiti. He has a bachelor's degree in political science.