Immigrants' access to citizenship in their country of residence is increasingly debated in Western democracies. It is an underlying premise of these debates that citizenship and national belonging are closely linked, but at the same time there is considerable cross-country variation in how citizenship is approached in Western democracies. In the literature, these differences are typically understood to reflect varying degrees of openness to seeing immigrants as part of the host national community. Motivated by this observation, the article examines whether the degree to which immigrants experience greater attachment to the host nation (i.e. belonging) from having host country citizenship is affected by the host country's approach to citizenship. This question is analysed with multilevel regressions on survey and country-level data from 14 Western democracies. The findings show that citizenship is associated with increased host national belonging in countries where the host population attaches great importance to citizenship as a mark of national membership, while there is no positive association between citizenship and belonging in countries where the host population considers citizenship less important. Interestingly, citizenship policy does not have a moderating effect on the association between citizenship and national belonging. Implications for future studies of the subjective experience of citizenship are discussed.