Dual Nationality

Dual NationalityDual nationality, also known as dual citizenship, is the citizenship status of a person who is a citizen of two different countries at the same time. Every country has its own nationality laws and a person can become a dual national either by choice or by the automatic operation of different laws.

Citizens of the U.S. may acquire citizenship in foreign countries if they get married to citizens of those countries. A foreign national who acquires U.S. citizenship through the naturalization process may not lose his nationality of his home country. The U.S. does not require foreign nationals to choose one nationality or the other when they naturalize and obtain citizenship in the U.S. But U.S. citizens may lose their nationality in the U.S. if they intend to give up U.S. citizenship and voluntarily apply for foreign nationality.

Though the U.S. law recognizes the existence of dual nationality and allows Americans to hold  citizenship of other countries, it does not encourage it due to the problems it might cause. Dual nationals need to obey the laws of both the countries of which they are citizens. Both the countries have the right to enforce their laws on the dual citizens. People who hold dual citizenship need to use their U.S. passports to travel to and from the U.S. Likewise, they must use the passports issued by the other country to travel to and from that country.

U.S. laws allow the citizens of the U.S. to give up their citizenship status and to lose their U.S. nationality. Dual nationals can choose to renounce their foreign nationality or their U.S. nationality. To renounce U.S. nationality, they need to contact overseas U.S. embassies or consulates. They can obtain information on renouncing their foreign nationality from that particular country’s embassies or consulates located in the U.S.