Article 1(1) of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) defines racial discrimination as a "distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life". The treaty allows distinguishing between citizens and non-citizens, but not "against any particular nationality", which could encompass a grouping of particular nationalities.
Many states have travel and immigration laws based on nationality, for example offering visa-free travel to nationals of certain states but not others.
A well-known example of discrimination on the basis of nationality is the Executive Order 13769 ("Muslim ban") in which nationals of several Muslim-majority states were prohibited from traveling to the United States.
According to Professor of Migration Law Thomas Spijkerboer [Wikidata], "at face value, migration law is also a form of racial discrimination" under the CERD.
Global apartheid is a term used to describe how Global North countries discriminate on the basis of nationality and deny permanent residency or citizenship to migrants from the Global South as well as discrimination based on nationality in migration law.
According to Gareth Davies, eliminating discrimination based on nationality would create polities based on residence rather than citizenship.
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^Grundler, Maja (2021). 'Treatment Accorded to Aliens Generally': Article 7(1) of the 1951 Refugee Convention as a Basis for Visa-Free Access to States Parties' Territory? An Examination of the Prohibition of Nationality Discrimination in the Refugee Convention. International Journal of Refugee Law. Vol. 33. pp. 469–496. doi:10.1093/ijrl/eeac003.
^Yang, Chih-Hai; Lin, Hsuan-Yu (2012). Is There Salary Discrimination by Nationality in the NBA?: Foreign Talent or Foreign Market. Journal of Sports Economics. Vol. 13. pp. 53–75. doi:10.1177/1527002510391617. S2CID155033433.