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Is It Possible to Be a Dual U.S./Other Citizen?
Yes, the Supreme Court has ruled that U.S. law unambiguously gives you the right to keep both citizenships for life if:
- if you have been a dual citizen from birth or childhood; or
- became a citizen of another country after already having a U.S. citizenship, and this other country doesn't have laws or regulations requiring you to formally renounce your U.S. citizenship before a U.S. consular.
How Was It Before?
The U.S. State Department was, until a couple of years ago, reluctant in allowing dual citizenship but it has now changed the way it handles these cases and it¿'s now a lot easier to retain a dual citizenship status.
What about If I'm a Naturalized Citizen?
The situation is slightly unclear for persons who have become a U.S. citizen via naturalization and still use their old citizenship. This is because when you go through a U.S. naturalization process, you are required to state under oath that you are renouncing your old citizenship. People that act inconsistently with this pledge, such as using their other passport, can theoretically lose their U.S. citizenship. The State Department is however no longer actively pursuing such cases.
What Happens If Another Country Requires a Renunciation Oath?
If a foreign country, as part of its naturalization process, in a process similar to the U.S. one, requires its new citizens to swear an oath and renounce their U.S. citizenship, the U.S. State Department will probably not consider this a valid renunciation and won't acknowledge it. However if the other country requires such a person to approach a U.S. official to revoke their previous status, the situation is different and such a person generally will not be able to retain their U.S. citizenship.
Should I Contact an Immigration Lawyer?
It may be a good idea to talk to an immigration lawyer about your situation to make sure you're not endangering your U.S. citizenship or your other citizenship by trying to get a new one. Further you should check with the other country you're a citizen of since it might have their own policies about dual citizenship. An immigration lawyer can help you with this.
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Last Modified: 03-31-2014 04:28 PM PDT
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