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Dual Citizenship in the USA: General Information

The term “dual citizenship” means that you have two citizenships at once, of two different countries. In the example of the United States of America, it looks like this: you have American citizenship and citizenship of another country.

Dual citizenship is currently becoming popular and people are interested in obtaining it. But it is a complex legal status that has both its advantages and disadvantages.

In simple terms, what is “dual citizenship”?

Each country has its own laws on the granting of citizenship status. Therefore, you may have dual citizenship not by your personal choice, but by the citizenship laws of the countries to which you are related in one way or another.

For example, a child whose parents are U.S. citizens can be both a U.S. citizen and a citizen of another country if he or she was born in that country. It can also be a dual citizen of the U.S. and the country of birth.

Can I have dual citizenship in the United States?

The short answer is yes, the US allows its citizens to hold dual citizenship.

The long answer is that the U.S. “Nationality Act” does not require naturalised Americans to renounce the citizenship of their country of birth or the citizenship of any other country they may have otherwise acquired. Because while the oath of allegiance to the United States speaks of a renunciation of “allegiance and loyalty” to other nations, the Citizenship Act itself does not regulate dual citizenship as a phenomenon.

The U.S. Supreme Court has best articulated the government’s position on this issue – “A person may hold citizenship of our country and of another country and enjoy all the privileges of both citizenships.”

Thus, if you are an American citizen, you can become a citizen of another country without losing your American citizenship. There is no special procedure for obtaining or recognising dual citizenship in the USA. Therefore, when an American acquires citizenship of another country, dual citizenship is acquired by default.

If you are a non-U.S. citizen, the possibility of dual citizenship for you depends directly on the laws of your other country. Some countries allow their citizenship to be paired with U.S. citizenship; other countries do not. You should check with the lawyers or legal representatives of your country beforehand to see if they recognise dual citizenship with the US.

With dual citizenship, you are bound by allegiance to both countries. But you are not obliged to choose one of your citizenships and place it above the other in any context.

Whether you are entering or leaving the United States, you always need to use your U.S. passport.

Where is it acceptable to have dual citizenship with the U.S.?

Not every country in the world offers its citizens the opportunity to retain a second citizenship, and even less so with the United States of America. Some have nothing against it; others have requirements prescribed in their laws, which are not always possible to fulfil. Before taking any action to obtain U.S. citizenship, it is worthwhile to first find out what your country’s position on the issue is.

List of countries that allow dual citizenship with the US:

Europe – Albania, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria (with reservations), Croatia (with reservations), Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany (with reservations), Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Ireland, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania (with reservations), Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands (with reservations), Norway, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom.

Africa – Algeria, Angola, Benin, Burundi, Cape Verde, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Kenya, Lebanon, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Nambia, Niger, South Africa, Syria, Tunisia.

Asia – Armenia, Bangladesh, Israel, Japan (with reservations), Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea (with reservations), Taiwan, Thailand.

South America – Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Peru.

North America – Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama (with reservations).

Caribbean islands – Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Cuba, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Oceania – Australia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

Advantages and disadvantages of dual citizenship with the United States of America

There is no doubt that having dual citizenship opens up many opportunities for personal growth and building a career both in the United States and in another country. However, it also has certain disadvantages. These should be carefully considered before embarking on acquiring or maintaining dual citizenship. It is especially important to weigh this against individual circumstances and seek specialist advice if you encounter any kind of difficulty with dual citizenship.

Benefits of dual citizenship with the United States:

  • Freedom to travel: you will be able to visit your home country and many other countries without a visa;

  • More business and investment opportunities: you will be able to work in both countries without work permits, which opens up new business and career opportunities;

  • Civil liberties: you will be able to enjoy all the civil liberties granted by both countries, such as suffrage, property ownership and so on;

  • More healthcare options: you will have access to the healthcare systems of both countries;

  • Educational opportunities: you will have more options in education and can study in both countries without a study permit and at local prices;

  • Cultural and personal nuances: you will be able to learn the history, internalise the culture and learn the languages of both countries, which will enrich your personal and professional life.

Disadvantages of dual citizenship with the United States:

  • Double taxation: you will have to pay taxes in two countries at once if there is no double tax treaty between the US and your second country;

  • Immigration difficulties: different countries have different immigration requirements, and you will have to comply with them;

  • Cultural and personal difficulties: you may have problems with cultural identity and deciding which country is closer to your heart, which one to call home. This can cause a great deal of psychological distress if the two countries are not on the best of terms with each other.

  • Limited government assistance: such as receiving benefits or assistance from one government in case of problems with a second government;

  • Possible difficulties in certain career paths: dual citizenship can be a serious obstacle to careers in the public sector and positions requiring access to classified information;

Since we live in a modern world with a constantly changing political environment, it is worth mentioning separately that some countries require their citizens to serve in the army. This is not always conditional and can be for a long term. For example, in Israel, men serve for three years and women for two.


Dual citizenship is a tricky case, and the laws governing it are often confusing and ambiguous. Dual citizenship is permissible in the United States; many countries also allow their citizens to hold dual citizenship with the United States. However, the ability to obtain such citizenship depends directly on the laws of the second country of which you are or will become a citizen.

If you are considering dual citizenship, it is vital that you fully understand the obligations and restrictions that come with this status. It is wise to consult with qualified professionals, including accountants and lawyers, about dual citizenship with the United States.

Frequently asked questions about dual U.S. citizenship:

Can I travel with two passports?

Yes, you have every right to travel with two passports, your US passport and your second country’s passport.

Will I lose my U.S. citizenship if I get a second citizenship?

As long as you act in accordance with the laws of both countries and do not make drastic “renunciation” style decisions – such as joining the other country’s military or expressing a voluntary intention to renounce U.S. citizenship – you retain U.S. citizenship.

Will my spouse and children get US citizenship with me?

Yes, it is possible to include your spouse and children in your application for U.S. citizenship. In many cases, children of dual citizenship parents are granted dual citizenship simply by blood relationship.

Can I later renounce my new citizenship and return to U.S. citizenship-only status?

Yes, but you should first consult with the appropriate government agencies or lawyers. Because the procedures for renouncing your new citizenship and regaining U.S. citizenship may not be so transparent and straightforward.

Do I need to report dual citizenship to the U.S. government?

U.S. citizens are not required to notify the U.S. government of their dual citizenship status. However, it is recommended that you consult with legal counsel about your specific situation.

Can I apply for a US passport if I have dual citizenship with the United States?

If you are a U.S. citizen, you can get a U.S. passport regardless of whether you have dual or second citizenship. But when you apply, you must indicate that you have another citizenship.

If I have dual citizenship, can I vote in both countries?

This depends on each country’s election laws. Some countries allow such citizens to vote; others do not. Check with lawyers in the country concerned.

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