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Dual Citizenship: Pros and Cons

Dual Citizenship: Pros and Cons

Dual Citizenship: Pros and Cons

We often get questions about US citizenship, but we also get asked about dual citizenship. What is it? Should you apply for it? And what are the advantages and disadvantages of being a dual citizen? 


What is Dual Citizenship?

Dual citizenship means a person can be a citizen of two different countries at the same time. When you’re a dual citizen, more than one country recognizes you as an official citizen. Bear in mind that each country has different rules, so consider looking up the local rules before applying for citizenship to a second country.


Can you and should you apply for dual citizenship?

  • If you are the child of US citizens but was born overseas, you may become a citizen of both the US and your country of birth IF your birth country permits that.


  • If you are born in the US, but your parents are foreign citizens, you will be a citizen of the United States AND a citizen of the country where your parents gained their citizenship (if that country allows it).


  • If you are a foreign citizen who is married to a US citizen – you may become a dual citizen, acquired via marriage, but only through a specialized legal process.

Benefits of being a dual citizen

Let’s say you got your dual citizenship…congratulations! But wait, do you know what your benefits are? Here’s a rundown of the advantages of being a dual citizen:


#1 You get to enjoy privileges and benefits from the two countries you are a citizen of. 

This includes access to the social services programs and systems of two countries. You can also vote in local elections and may be able to run for office in either country, subject to local laws.

Moreover, you can work in either country without work permits or visas. You can attend universities in either country at the tuition rate offered to citizens, as opposed to the higher tuition rate often applied for foreign students. 


#2 There are fewer travel restrictions because you carry a passport from both countries

Traveling between both countries is easier because there is no need for special visas. Having a citizen’s passport guarantees a right of entry to both countries and eliminates questioning at customs. This is an advantage, especially if you frequent both countries to study, visit family, or conduct business.


#3 As a dual citizen, you can now own property in either country.

Land ownership is a privilege, and some countries restrict land ownership to citizens only. Owning properties makes it easier and economical to shuttle between two countries because there is no need to pay for a hotel stay.


#4 An intangible benefit to being a dual citizen is the opportunity to learn about two cultures, their languages, and their way of life

Employers go after people who have that unique experience of being part of two distinct cultures. Additionally, the government also sees dual citizenship as a tool to promote their country’s image, appealing to tourists. 


It is worth mentioning that dual citizens are highly satisfied with their lives because of these advantages.


Disadvantages of having dual citizenship

Now that we have discussed the advantages of dual citizenship, let’s talk about the other side of the coin: Disadvantages of having dual citizenship.  

As mentioned earlier, being a dual citizen allows you access to all benefits of the two countries. But, as they say, “with great power comes great responsibility”. So, as a dual citizen:


#1 You are obligated to abide by the laws of both countries. An example would be mandatory military service. If you are a US citizen and serve as a military officer in a country at war with the US, you could lose your US citizenship. 


#2 There may be a need to pay double the taxes. If you are earning income in both countries, this means you owe taxes in both. A silver lining would be the treaties that can override income tax laws to avoid double taxation.  However, these treaties can expire, and the rules are subject to change.


#3 It is also tricky for dual citizens to get security clearances for government jobs that require access to classified information


#4 Getting two passports can be costly, and obtaining dual citizenship can be tedious. Even if there are times that one automatically becomes a dual citizen (as in the case of a child born on US soil to foreign parents), the process can take years and can be expensive. 


Other people get deterred from pursuing dual citizenship for these reasons and more. But if you are currently deciding whether or not to apply, make sure to weigh these pros and cons.


Get legal advice on your case

You can call us today to discuss your case if you need help on your citizenship application or even your immigration journey.

Remember, every case is different, and we won’t take your money if we can’t help you.

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