When a person is born in a country, he or she becomes a citizen of that country. So, in simple terms, a person born in the U.S. then becomes a citizen of the U.S. While this is very straightforward, it can become more complex as dual citizenship is possible. As the name implies, this means a person is considered a citizen of two countries at the same time.
Dual citizenship affords a person legal rights and obligations that are connected to both countries. Although it is obvious that there are many benefits to enjoy through dual citizenship, such as easy residency in two countries and access to government programs, dual citizenship requires extra legal considerations. This can make things more complicated.
To break it down into a few complex matters, it should be noted that a dual citizen could have tax obligations in both countries. Additionally, the individual may need to continually fulfill residency requirements to maintain both homelands. Because there can be many requirements, it is important to understand what these are so they can be met.
In order to establish dual citizenship, one must meet one of the following. He or she is born in the U.S. to immigrant parents, born outside of the U.S. with one parent being a U.S. citizen and the other parent being a citizen of another country, becoming naturalized as a U.S. citizen while maintaining citizenship in another country or regaining citizenship in a country of origin after being naturalized a U.S. citizen.
One should note that the U.S. does not formally recognize dual citizenship, although no stand has been taken against it. However, it should be noted that one could lose citizenship due to dual citizenship. This could occur when a person serves in the armed forces of a country fighting against the U.S., renouncing one’s U.S. citizenship or committing an act of treason against the U.S or attempting to conspire to overthrow the U.S. government.
Whether you seek to acquire dual citizenship or are need assistance maintaining it, it is important to understand the immigration laws that surround this matter. By obtaining legal guidance, one can properly navigate these matters, ensuring his or her rights are protected along the way.