Dual Citizenship

What is dual citizenship and how to get dual citizenship in the USA?

After I become a U.S. citizen, can I keep the citizenship of my home country? How to get dual citizenship in the USA? Should I apply for dual citizenship?

The answer depends on your home country’s laws.

A dual citizen is one who possesses nationality of two countries simultaneously and shares the rights, privileges, and its responsibilities. However, not every country allows dual citizenship.

Does the US allow dual citizenship?

Although the Oath of Allegiance, that immigrants must take in order to become naturalized citizens, speaks of renouncing “allegiance and fidelity” to other countries, United States Immigration law does not explicitly address the issue of dual citizenship. Rather, the United States Supreme Court opinion gives more guidance by stating that “a person may have and exercise the rights of nationality in two countries and be subject to the responsibilities of both.” In addition, the U.S. Department of State declares that “U.S. law does not mention dual nationality or require a person to choose one nationality or another”. (Click here for the original article.)

The United States will not require naturalized citizens to take any steps to formally renounce the citizenship of their home country. However, just because the United States is fine with dual citizenship, it does not mean that you may obtain a dual citizenship of any country. Your status of naturalized U.S. citizenship may not be allowed in the other countries. If your home country does not allow a dual citizenship, then becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen will result in the loss of your home country’s citizenship.

Thus, it is important to understand the rules in your home country before naturalizing to a U.S. citizen. Contact your embassy or consulate to find out if your home country allows dual citizenship because the moment you naturalize and become a U.S. citizen you may lose your citizenship of your home county.

Rights and Responsibilities of a Dual Citizen

It is also important that you understand what responsibilities you will have to undertake by becoming a dual citizen.

Rights of Dual Citizens in the United States

  • You can vote in federal elections.
  • You can work anywhere. However, because you hold other citizenship, you may be disqualified from taking federal employment because of confidentiality issues.
  • You can bring your family members to the United States. U.S. citizens generally get priority when petitioning to bring family members such as spouse, parents, children, and siblings permanently to the United States through family-based immigration.
  • You can get public benefits, if necessary. If you qualify, you can apply for public benefits, including tuition assistance that is only available for United States citizens.
  • You can travel without restrictions. You do not have to apply for re-entry permit, visa, or worrying when returning to the United States.

Obligations of Dual Citizens in the United States

  • You must pay taxes. You must file and pay for U.S. income tax and other taxes, even for income that you earned outside of the United States.
  • You must use a U.S. passport to enter and leave the United States. You may also be required by your home country to use its passport to enter and leave the country. Use of the foreign passport to travel to or from a country other than the United States is not inconsistent with U.S. law.
  • You must serve in the military if required by law. All males who have lived in the United States or received a green card between the age of 18 ~ 26 are required to register with the Selective Service System. If the United States declares war, a U.S. Citizen must serve in the U.S. military if called upon by the government.
  • You must serve on a jury. Jury duty is a mandatory requirement for all U.S. citizens. You may be called for a jury duty.

Many people wonder how to apply for dual citizenship and how to get dual citizenship in the USA. Most of the cases, it depends on the home country’s law. Dual citizens have rights and responsibilities in the USA and there are countries that don't allow dual citizenship. You must confirm dual citizenship rules in your home country because becoming a US citizen may result in losing your home country citizenship. If you have any questions, ask Lawfully for more information.