Dual and Multiple Citizenship as a Direct Consequence of Globalization
The USA legislation (as well as legislation of the Russian Federation) does not welcome, or it is better say, it does not encourage dual citizenship. But at the same time there no norms in the USA legislation that prohibit dual citizenship. Many Americans have dual citizenship automatically, if they were born outside of the country in the family of the USA citizens or in the USA in the family of the other state’s citizens. As the USA citizenship is based on national and territorial criteria, this means that actually the law allows keeping both citizenships. Those who have dual citizenship, one of which is the USA citizenship, should be careful because the USA citizen must remain faithful to America. Some actions may threaten with loss of citizenship, especially if you passed the process of naturalization. There are also some nuances when traveling around the world, i.e. when crossing the frontiers. For example, the USA law requires from the USA citizen to use American passport when traveling abroad. If you continue to use the passport of your ex-country, or show in any other way that you are a national of another country, the USA authorities may suspect you lied when you were taking an Oath of Allegiance. This may be a reason to deprive you of American citizenship. This limiting norm should not bother the citizens of the Russian Federation, as Russia demands from its citizens to use Russian passport when coming out of the country and to Russia.
Some European countries prohibit their citizens or nationals to have two and more citizenships. Among them are Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Malta, Monaco, and some others that do not acknowledge the institute of dual citizenship. For example, when acquiring German citizenship, the applicants are required not only to provide an application for renouncing their previous citizenship but to provide a document proving that renunciation has already taken place. When obtaining Danish citizenship, it is also necessary to renounce your native citizenship.
Many other countries (e.g., Canada, The USA, The United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Switzerland, and some others) allow their citizens or nationals to have two or more citizenships. Accordingly, dual or multiple citizenships come into existence. Multiple citizenship (and dual citizenship as a special case of multiple citizenship) is a direct and natural consequence of so-called globalization. The globalization is related to migration and relocation of many people and lead to mixed marriages. One individual can hold two, three, and sometimes even more citizenships and passports.
If you pass through a naturalization process in some country, you should learn if legislation of that country allows dual citizenship or not. So, before making a decision to get second citizenship you should study the given issue. In case you obtain second citizenship in the process of naturalization, some states may automatically deprive you of your previous citizenship. For example, Oath of Allegiance for the United States of America requires renunciation from Allegiance to another country. Though in principle the renunciation from Allegiance to your home country does not mean that you are no more the citizen of this country. There are no agencies or organizations that control renunciation from citizenship. If the country of your second citizenship does not report to your home country the fact of acquisition of citizenship, officials of your country will never know you hold two citizenships unless you travel to your home country with two passports.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Dual Citizenship:
Question: I have a question regarding multiple citizenship. I was born in Russia and have moved to USA in my 20s. I have met my husband there who holds dual citizenship (French/ USA). We were married for 3 years now and starting next year or so I’m planning to apply for American citizenship. First of all, due to the conflict in Ukraine would it be possible for me to keep both Russian (at birth) and American (by marriage) citizenships? Also, having in mind that my husband has dual (French/American) citizenship, does it let me the right to apply for a French citizenship? We have visited France recently and thinking of moving there for good. Is it easier to have only permanent resident status of both USA and France countries to be able to visit any time we want and to possibly avoid taxes? Or having green card in one country would automatically prevent me from getting a green card in another country?
Answer: There is no problem with having simultaneously three citizenships and passports. All the three countries (Russia, US, and France) allow dual citizenship in case you are not governmental official of high level, judge, or police officer. You can get French citizenship if you are married to French citizen for at least 1 year; no need of physical presence in the country as a condition to apply for citizenship in case of application by marriage.
Question: We are contacting you for assistance on a specific matter related to multiple citizenship. Apparently a person who is born in US can apply and obtain the US citizenship. Our son got the US citizenship last April (at birth) while he also obtained the Russian citizenship from his parents. From the information we got, US allows dual citizenship, while a person who obtains the US citizenship at birth, can only lose it if he/she explicitly revokes it. Is this correct? If yes, do you see any obstacles for our son to obtain a third citizenship, the Cypriot citizenship?
Answer: There is no obstacle to obtain the third citizenship for him. Both the US and Cyprus allow dual citizenship. In Russia if you obtain another citizenship after you already have Russian citizenship it is allowed (or it is better to say not prohibited). But if you are a foreign national who obtain Russian citizenship not by birth then you must renounce all your previous citizenships. But this is not the case. Only in cases when the client is a government official or a judge or a police officer, etc, he cannot hold a dual citizenship in Russia. But I guess this arrangement is more or less similar in other countries.
Question: I am a citizen of the USA (was born here in 1984). I have strong ties to Croatia (grandfather parents on my dad’s side were born there) and France (grandmothers parents on dad’s side were born there). I’m trying to find out if it is possible to obtain a triple citizenship. I have no intention to move to either of the other countries as the US is my primary residence. Its more of I want to honor my heritage and families history. I am 3 generations down from each set of great grandparents and my son is 4 generations. I can also prove the familial lineage to each of the countries. I do intend to visit both countries one day to explore them and expand my familial lineage tree. I am not sure where to start as I am getting conflicting information from other sources on multiple citizenships.
Answer: Both in the USA and France dual, triple, and multiple citizenship is allowed. In Croatia double citizenship is not allowed. So, if you will choose to become a citizen of Croatia you will be expected to renounce all the other citizenships. Our company does not handle citizenship by decent cases. If you want French citizenship you must look for a lawyer in France.
Question: I am a citizen of Slovakia and have lived in the UK for the past 13 years. I have just past the British Citizenship Test and would like to apply for a British passport with an intention of keeping my Slovak passport, hence have a dual citizenship. As there have been some amendments to the Citizenship Act I am unsure as to whether I will be allowed to keep my Slovak citizenship upon adoption of the British citizenship. The Slovak law states that “If a citizen of Slovakia holds another citizenship, their Slovak citizenship is considered to be dominant”. I was wondering whether this is applicable to individuals who already have a dual citizenship or it applies to individuals applying for dual citizenship from now on.
Answer: You have no problem and can enjoy both Slovak, and British citizenship. This is not dual (or double) citizenship in the exact sense of the notion. You will simply hold two of citizenship. This means that on the territory of Slovakia only Slovak citizenship is valid but outside Slovakia both passports are equal.
Question: I am writing this email in hope you’ll be able to help me out of my little confusion regarding dual citizenship. I’ve became Naturalized British Citizen today. I’ve done a bit of research online and I have to confess that I’m not any wiser because the information I found is confusing. In some sources they say that I can enjoy both: my new British and born-into Slovakian Citizenships. However other sources say that by gaining a British citizenship I’m automatically losing my Slovakian one. I’m flying home to visit my family in less than two weeks. I don’t have enough time to apply for my British passport (I’d need to submit my Slovakian passport with the application) and get it back before I go. Therefore I’m not quite sure where I stand. I don’t have enough time to get a British passport but if by getting British citizenships I’ve lost my Slovakian am I even able to travel to Slovakia on my Slovakian passport?! I’d truly appreciate your help.
Answer: Dual citizenship is recognized both in the UK and in Slovakia. You will have no problem if you travel to Bratislava with your Slovak passport.
Question: I had a question about applying for dual citizenship. My father is a Bahamian, and resides in Nassau, and my mother is Canadian, and we live in Canada. I researched, and discovered I automatically entitled to a citizenship, due to my father. I was wondering how I would go about applying. Is there a form, or somebody I have to get in contact with? Thank you
Answer: It seems that you are entitled for citizenship by descent. Child born legitimately in the territory of The Bahamas, at least one of whose parents is a citizen of The Bahamas. Child born abroad legitimately, whose father is a citizen of The Bahamas. At the same time you should keep in mind that dual citizenship is not recognized in the Bahamas. Exception: Dual citizenship obtained due to birth abroad may be retained up to 21 years of age. Person then has 12 months to renounce foreign citizenship; otherwise their Bahamian citizenship will be revoked. So, if you are over 21 years old you cannot keep both Canadian and Bahamian passports.
Question: I am a Ukrainian citizen. Does Ukraine recognize dual citizenship? My grandfather lived in Romania and was a Romanian citizenship. According to the Romanian Nationality Law I am entitled to acquire Romanian citizenship and passport through ancestry provisions of the Law. Will it be legal for me to hold two passports?
Answer: You can consult the official web-site of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine here. Article Two of the Nationality Law says: “If a citizen of Ukraine acquires citizenship (nationality) of another state or states, then in legal relations with Ukraine he/she is recognized as the citizen of Ukraine only. If a foreigner acquires the citizenship of Ukraine, then in legal relations with Ukraine he/she is recognized as the citizen of Ukraine only.” This means that although Ukrainian Nationality Law does not recognize dual citizenship, it is absolutely legal to hold two or even more citizenships and passports for Ukrainian. If you are abroad (not on the territory of Ukraine) you can use your second passport for travel and other purposes.
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