Every country has its own citizenship laws. Some allow dual citizenship and some don’t.
If more than one country recognizes you as a citizen, then you have dual citizenship. If you are a dual citizen in the U.S., then the U.S. recognizes you as a citizen and you have all the same rights, privileges and responsibilities as any other citizen. If you have dual citizenship, then a second country also recognizes you as a citizen and you enjoy all those rights, privileges and responsibilities too.
Whether or not the U.S. recognizes dual citizenship is something many immigrants wonder. United States law actually doesn’t state whether or not it’s allowed. Naturalized citizens are required to take the Oath of Allegiance in which they promise to “renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen.”
Confusing, right? The U.S. does allow dual citizenship and this has been upheld in several court decisions. Dual citizenship, also called “dual nationality,” is recognized by the United States. Immigrants who choose to naturalize (become U.S. citizens) do not need to give up the citizenship of their home country as long as that country too recognizes dual citizenship.1
Acquiring dual citizenship all depends on the countries you are dealing with. We’ve established that the U.S. allows dual citizenship, but not all other countries do. China, Japan, the Netherlands and Nepal do not allow dual citizenship.2 While Ireland, Israel and Canada do.3 To become a dual citizen you’ll need to check the laws in both countries in which you want citizenship.
Dual citizens in the U.S. are just the same as any other citizens. They are required to obey U.S. laws, uphold the U.S. Constitution, and carry out all other responsibilities of citizenship. The Immigration and Nationality Act also requires that dual citizens to carry a U.S. passport when leaving the U.S. and present it when reentering the U.S.