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What is dual citizenship?

When foreign nationals leave their country to come to America, they seek to remain in the United States for specific reasons. While they look at the U.S. as their new home, some immigrants do not see this situation as giving up their past life in their home country. Thus, some immigrants do not want to erase these ties or their citizenship with their home country. In these matters, dual citizenship is often sought.

What is dual citizenship? In simple terms, this is when a person is a citizen of two countries at the same time. This also means that he or she has legal rights and obligations that are connected with both countries. While the benefits can seem apparent, such as easy residency in two countries and access to government program, there are additional considerations that could complicate this situation.

Take for example tax obligations. Having dual citizenship may mean paying taxes in both countries. In addition, maintaining citizenship in both countries means that residency requirements must be met in both countries. This means not only maintaining a residence in each country but also visiting each country a certain amount of times during a specific timeframe.

Those in the U.S. are able to obtain dual citizenship through several avenues. This could include being born in the U.S. by immigrant parents or being born outside of the U.S. to one parent that is a U.S. citizen while the other parent is a citizen of another country. Dual citizenship could also occur through naturalization or regaining citizenship in a country of origin after becoming naturalized in the U.S.

It should be noted that the United States does not formally recognize dual citizenship. However, it does not take a stand against it either. Thus, if you hold multiple passports, it is important to keep these up-to-date and use them appropriately. If you are seeking dual citizenship or are experiencing issues because you have dual citizenship, it is important to understand how best to resolve this matter while keeping your rights protected at the same time.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Dual Citizenship," accessed March 11, 2018

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