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What does it mean to have a dual citizenship?

If you are considering holding citizenships with more than one country, there are a few things you should know. First, the United States does not technically recognize dual citizenship, but it does not force anyone to choose a nationality. As a citizen of two countries, you have legal rights as well as obligations in both countries. This enables you to easily move between the countries and grants you access to government programs.

The U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs notes that you may obtain dual citizenship in one of several ways, including the following: 

  •        Through birth inside the United States to parents who are immigrants
  •        Through birth outside the United States to one parent who is a U.S. citizen and one parent who is a citizen of another country
  •        Through becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen while keeping your citizenship in another country
  •        Through becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen and regaining your citizenship in another country

You should know that your U.S. citizenship is not at risk if you become a citizen of another country automatically, such as through marriage. However, if you apply for a foreign citizenship with the intention of giving up your U.S. nationality, you may lose your citizenship rights here.

As a report from CNN points out, there are some considerations for anyone seeking citizenship with more than one country. For example, it is possible that another country could require you to join its military, which could compromise U.S. citizenship in some cases. You will also have to file tax returns in both countries, which can get complicated. Experts suggest consulting with professionals about how to handle such matters.

While this information may be useful, it should not be taken as legal advice.

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