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How can you obtain dual citizenship?

Being a citizen of the United States is often very beneficial and the goal of many individuals throughout the world. While a person born in the U.S. is considered a U.S. citizen, this is not the only even that could result in an individual being considered a U.S. national. Whether you were born abroad to U.S. citizens, married a U.S. citizen or seek to become a U.S. citizen, it is possible, in certain situations, to obtain U.S. citizenship status while also maintaining your citizenship of another country.

How can you obtain dual citizenship? The idea of dual citizenship means that an individual is considered a national of two countries at the exact time. It should be noted that each country has their own laws when it comes to nationality as well as policy that outlines how this status is maintained. For some, dual nationality is automatic due to the operation of law. For example, if a child with U.S. national parents is born outside of the United States, that child will be considered both a U.S. national and a national for the country he or she was born in.

A citizen of the U.S. is also allowed to acquire foreign nationality through marriage. It is important to note that a person does not lose the nationality of their birth country by obtaining nationality of the U.S. or another foreign nation. However, if a U.S. citizen is applying for foreign nationality and acquires it, he or she may risk losing U.S. nationality status. Thus, this individual may not be able to maintain dual citizenship. In order for an applicant to lose their U.S. nationality status, he or she must apply for a foreign nationality status voluntarily, by free choice and with the intent to give up his or her U.S. nationality status.

While U.S. immigration laws, as well as foreign nationality laws, do allow for dual citizenship, this process can be complex and tricky. Thus, it is important that those seeking to obtain such a status fully understand the situation, what risks are present and what steps are necessary to take.

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