Dual Citizenship Law

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 What Is Dual Citizenship?

When an individual has dual citizenship, it means that the individual is a lawful citizen of two countries at the same time. There are several different ways in which an individual can acquire dual citizenship status.

If an individual has any questions about obtaining dual citizenship, they should consult with a dual citizenship lawyer.

What Are the Benefits of Dual Citizenship?

An individual who has dual citizenship enjoys legal rights in both of the countries for as long as they are a citizen of both of the countries. That individual will also be subject to the legal obligations that each of the countries imposes upon their citizens.

Some countries allow dual citizenship, and others do not. There are also countries that allow dual citizenship with certain countries but not others.

What Countries Can Be Dual Citizenship With the U.S.?

There are many countries that allow dual citizenship, including:

  • Australia;
  • Canada;
  • France;
  • Germany;
  • Greece;
  • Israel; and
  • The United Kingdom.

There are also some countries that do not allow dual citizenship with any other countries, including:

  • China;
  • Indonesia;
  • Japan;
  • Others.

There are also some countries that allow dual citizenship with only other specific countries. For example, Bangladesh allows dual citizenship with only non-resident individuals who were not previous citizens of the following countries:

  • Afghanistan;
  • Bhutan;
  • India;
  • The Maldives;
  • Nepal;
  • Pakistan; and
  • Sri Lanka.

Countries that allow dual citizenship with only certain other countries and not others allow dual citizenship on an exclusionary basis. Whether or not a country will allow or prohibit dual citizenship will depend on whether the country follows the principle of jus sanguinis or the principle of jus soli.

Jus sanguinis is a Latin phrase meaning “law relating to blood.” Under the principle of jus sanguinis, an individual is a citizen of the country in which their parents are citizens.

Jus soli is a Latin phrase for “law of the soil.” Under the principle of jus soli, an individual is a citizen of the nation where they were born.

The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution confers citizenship at birth to almost all individuals who are born in the United States based on the jus soli principle. Certain individuals who were born in the U.S., including children of foreign diplomats or sovereigns, are not eligible for jus soli citizenship.

Who Is Eligible for Dual Citizenship?

In the U.S., individuals who are born to immigrant parents in the U.S. automatically receive citizenship. If an individual is born outside of the U.S. to one parent who is a U.S. citizen and one parent of another nation, the child may acquire dual citizenship status.

An additional method of obtaining dual citizenship is becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States while maintaining citizenship in the country from which an individual has emigrated. In order to become a naturalized citizen, an individual has to be a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. and meet federal legal requirements.

An individual can also obtain dual citizenship by becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen and by reacquiring citizenship in their birth country.

How Much Does a Dual Citizenship Cost?

If an individual wants to obtain dual citizenship, they will be required to pay $725. This includes $640 for a N-400 form and $85 for a biometric services fee.

How Do I Apply for Dual Citizenship?

In the United States, there is no dual citizenship status. In order to become a dual citizen of the United States or a different country, all an individual has to do is obtain a second citizenship. There is no specific form or application for dual citizens in the U.S.

An individual just needs to apply for naturalization. It is important for an individual to double-check with their own country before they apply for naturalization in the United States so they do not lose their citizenship without knowing it.

An individual should contact their embassy or consulate for this information. Once an individual establishes that their original will accept their United States citizenship status, they can move on to their naturalization application.

What if I’m a Naturalized Citizen?

U.S. laws do not require that naturalized U.S. citizens renounce the citizenship of their country of origin. The U.S. also allows naturalized citizens to adopt citizenship in another country.

If a naturalized U.S. citizen wants to give up their United States citizenship, they must formally renounce their United States citizenship. Not every country allows a naturalized U.S. citizen to remain a citizen of those countries.

There are some countries that terminate citizenship states of individuals who become naturalized U.S. citizens. Other countries may allow retention of citizenship, but only if an individual applies to maintain their citizenship there before obtaining U.S. natural citizenship.

What Kind of Confusion Can Multiple Passports Generate?

Passports are documents that indicate citizenship and identity. A holder of a passport may, in general, enter the country and issue the passport.

A country generally requires that an individual display their passport to enter. Individuals who have dual citizenship are typically issued passports by each of the countries of citizenship.

When an individual leaves the U.S., they may be required to present their U.S. passport to immigration officials. If the document is valid, the immigration official will stamp the passport.

The stamp is an inked impression inside of the passport that includes the date on which the documents were presented. When an individual departs the country, immigration officials will inspect their citizenship and visa documents and then stamp the passport with the date of departure.

A passport will contain information regarding when the individual entered or exited a country. The U.S. is one of the few countries that only issue a stamp upon entry and not upon exit.

There are also certain dual citizenship travel considerations. Dual citizens who have multiple passports, one of which is from the U.S., may face obstacles when entering and exiting other countries.

There are many countries that require U.S. passport holders to present a travel visa in order to enter the country. A travel visa must be presented in a country in which an individual is not a citizen.

A dual citizen who has citizenship in the U.S. may travel from their other country of citizenship to the United States. If the individual presents a passport from the other country, an airline will ask them for an I-94, or temporary visa, document.

If a U.S. citizen is asked for an I-94 under these circumstances, they should be prepared to show their U.S. passport in order to show they are not required to have an I-94 form.

Can I Travel With Multiple Passports as a Dual Citizen?

An individual who travels from the U.S. to their country of citizenship should carry passports from both countries. U.S. laws require an individual who is leaving the U.S. to have a U.S. passport.

Carrying both passports will also help speed up the individual’s return from their other country of citizenship to the United States.

Is It Possible to Lose U.S. Citizenship Status?

Yes, an individual may lose their U.S. citizenship status by formally renouncing their citizenship as well as by other means. If the individual loses their U.S. citizenship status, they are no longer a dual citizen.

An individual may lose individual citizenship if they:

  • Run for public office in a foreign country, under certain conditions;
  • Enters military service in a foreign country, under certain conditions; or
  • Commit an act of treason against the U.S. The crime of treason consists of:
    • Levying war against the United States;
    • Adhering to its enemies by giving them aid and comfort within the meaning of the United States Constitution.

Do I Need an Immigration Attorney?

If you have any issues, questions, or concerns related to obtaining or maintaining your dual citizenship, it is important to consult with a citizenship lawyer. Your immigration lawyer can review your issues and advise you of your legal rights and options.

Your attorney will also help you obtain or maintain your dual citizenship status. If you have any issues along the way, your lawyer will represent you.


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