07Dec
By: Katherine On: December 7, 2016 In: Uncategorized Comments: 79
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Dual citizenship is a confusing issue, and the United States’ stance on being a US citizen and a citizen of another country can be pretty complex.

Dual citizenship is allowed in the United States, but only under certain circumstances. There are many things to consider before you seek citizenship in another country besides the one you were born in.

What Is Dual Citizenship?

Your citizenship is often determined by where you were born — if you were born in the United States, you are more than likely a US citizen.

Of course, it’s not always that simple.

Your citizenship also depends on the citizenship of your parents or other family members. Many people gain dual citizenship at their birth through their parents.

Say that a US couple has a baby while in Canada. The child born abroad is a Canadian citizen due to the place of birth, but the child also gains US citizenship because the parents are US citizens who fulfilled residency requirements.

Parents’ citizenship is almost always taken into consideration, as are the citizenship laws of the country the child is born in. Keep in mind that not all countries give automatic citizenship to a child born within their borders.

It used to be common to gain dual citizenship through marriage — but this is increasingly uncommon today, as countries around the world have regulated processes that often require applications, fees and translations of personal documents for immigration. Obtaining residency in a country through marriage is still common, but it is no longer automatic and often can’t result in dual citizenship.

Naturalization is the most common way to gain citizenship in a different country than the one where you were born. While many countries allow naturalization, they may also require that candidates for naturalization renounce their previous citizenship.

Dual Citizenship in the United States

Dual citizenship had previously been banned in the United States, but in 1967 the US Supreme Court struck down most laws forbidding dual citizenship.

However, the US government remained disdainful of dual citizenship for some time. To this day, candidates for US citizenship through naturalization are forced to (at least hypothetically) renounce their previous citizenship at the United States naturalization ceremony.

The renouncing of one’s previous citizenship is part of the oath that new US citizens must take, and failing to honor that oath could result in the loss of citizenship in the United States.

Some cases that have been brought before the Department of State in the past involve people who became naturalized US citizens but maintained a residency and life in their country of previous citizenship.

While most countries recognize the Oath of Allegiance in the United States to be a binding contract regarding one’s citizenship, other countries have stated that the oath has no effect on their own citizenship laws. The US government used to aggressively pursue these cases to get the dual citizens to renounce their citizenship, but this is no longer the case.

Additionally, young children who naturalize in the United States along with their parents didn’t take the Oath of Allegiance — even though their parents did — and can technically still hold on to their previous citizenship.

People who have held dual citizenship since birth or childhood — or who became citizens of another country after becoming a US citizen and were not asked to renounce their previous citizenship — can remain dual citizens in the United States.

Translation of Personal Documents for Dual Citizenship

When applying for US citizenship through USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services), you are required to submit copies of certain personal documents. If you are immigrating from a country that speaks a language other than English, these documents will need to be translated.

Personal documents that may require translation for US citizenship include:

  • Birth certificates,
  • Marriage certificates,
  • Passports, and
  • Immigration paperwork

When getting these documents translated, it is imperative that you work with a professional translation company such as Legal Language. We take the time to vet all of our linguists, ensuring that they are fluent in both the source and target languages. We are also able to provide certified translations of your personal documents and have years of experience in preparing documents for immigration purposes.

If you’re applying for US citizenship and require certified translations of your personal documents, contact Legal Language today.

Free Certified Translation Quote

Request a free quote today!


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79 Comments
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Christina
Christina
3 years ago

I was born in the UK. and am a naturalized US citizen. Father American. Mother British. Do I have dual citizenship? Must I apply for it?

Peter O
Peter O
2 years ago
Reply to  Christina

Something much the same is my case. I was born in the U.S. been a U.S. citizen all my life but my Mother was born and raised in the U.K. I registered as a U.K. citizen to assist with the ability to work in the U.K. You need not “naturalize” per say in the U.K. you should simply register as a U.K. citizen and retain your U.S. citizenship.

Andrew Tweedie
Andrew Tweedie
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter O

Peter , my situation is similar. My dad was born in England, then immigrated to the U.S. He met and married my mother and lived here until he passed away. Am I eligible for U.K passport?

Dabeer
Dabeer
1 year ago
Reply to  Christina

iam a citizen of Pakistan
i aslo hold the green card of U.S is it possible to hold both citizenship

Saif
Saif
1 year ago
Reply to  Dabeer

You are only a citizen of Pakistan. You are not a citizen of the U.S. just by receiving the green card. Wait till you become a US citizen to figure out whether you can hold both citizenships.

Drace
Drace
1 year ago
Reply to  Christina

I was born in Thailand but my dad is a US citizen, am I a US citizen? I live in Thailand and I’m a Thai citizen, but I don’t know if I’m a US citizen because my dad is.

richard a clifford
richard a clifford
1 year ago
Reply to  Drace

nice to meet you drace my name is rich I’m married to Thai lady if you were not born on us land your not an American citizen you have to apply

James Crooke
James Crooke
1 year ago
Reply to  Christina

I was born of An American father in the United Kingdom. My mother was British. We came to the United States when I was an infant. I have never been asked to declare my citizenship and as such I believe that I am a dual national. I also am 73 so dont have to worry about registering for the draft or anything such as that.

Phillip Barzune
Phillip Barzune
1 year ago
Reply to  Christina

I was born in Canada, and have lived all my life in Canada, yet when I visit Europe the Immigration office tell me that I am not American. So, I’m Canadian, but not American, or European, or Asian or Australian. Am I Antarctican? Which other continent can a Canadian be part of?

XXXX
XXXX
1 year ago

Fail 🙂 You meant oceanian.
Australia is a country, not a continent

winston smith
winston smith
1 year ago
Reply to  XXXX

australia is a continent and a country. canada is in the continent of north america

richard a clifford
richard a clifford
1 year ago
Reply to  XXXX

Australia is both a country and a continent

Linnie
Linnie
11 months ago
Reply to  XXXX

Fail Australia is a continent not country

JASON RICHARDS/GRIGGS
JASON RICHARDS/GRIGGS
6 months ago
Reply to  Christina

I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO KNOW SAME SCENARIO BUT APPARANTLY I GAVE MY DUAL PASSPORT UP AT NINE YEARS OLD WHEN LEGALY ADOPTED WHICH AS A MINOR SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO DO SO WHERE DO I LEGALY STAND MY FAMILY GOES BACK TO 1860 IN TEXAS

Jorgen Nielsen
Jorgen Nielsen
3 years ago

Christina,

I am a US citizen, born in California, my wife is a US Permanent Resident from Denmark. Our daughter was born in Denmark and when I applied to the US Embassy I was told that she could not be given a Permanent Residency status but must be given status as a US Citizen Born Overseas.

Denmark gave our daughter Danish citizenship so she holds citizenship and passports for both countries.
Under current EU law, (and current UK law), you can apply for UK citizenship as a person born in the UK.

Poo
Poo
3 years ago

No

Rosalea Taylor
Rosalea Taylor
3 years ago

I was born in Canada, moved to Us in 1965, husband past, now living back in Canada with old friend, whom I’m going to marry, went to turn in Resident card n Officer told me to apply for citizenship of Us, using my sons address as C/O, so I did, now will I be able to get citizenship of US and have dual citizenship and live in Canada, my children are all in US, but my daughter said when she became a citizen they asked her do you give up all your rights to Canada, I can’t lie to a Judge so can you help me, they have taken my money out if bank acct. and send its in process, please help, as Border@Tthousand Island Bridge Officer Bell was real rude n scared me, after I was told by Officer Kirklin st Immigration at BWI to apply, please help me understand, ty.

Mariana Mihai
Mariana Mihai
3 years ago

I was born in Romania and emigrated 36 years ago to United States. To do so I was asked to give up my Romanian citizenship. Right now I am an American citizen and proud it. I’m about to retire in 7 years and I will have time to visit and probably leave in Romania more often. Because of that I was thinking of getting my Romanian citizenship. Doing so is going to affect in any way my American citizenship? It is possible to have dual citizenship?
Thank you so much
Mariana

Beatrix Wagner
Beatrix Wagner
2 years ago
Reply to  Mariana Mihai

Hi Mariana! I’m in A similar situation if you would like to contact me I will leave my phone number and also my email so we can maybe talk about this together I was born in Brasov and left for Germany when I was 3 years old. I now currently live in Phoenix Arizona my number is 602-295-6657 and down below you will find my email thank you !

Jennifer
Jennifer
2 years ago
Reply to  Mariana Mihai

Hi Mariana, My daughter’s caregiver was surprised to be told today, after taking the test, that she would need to give up her Romanian citizenship. She had specifically told the lawyer preparing her paperwork that she wanted to keep dual citizenship. What have you found out?

Sophia Markowitz
Sophia Markowitz
2 years ago
Reply to  Jennifer

Most people keep their old citizenship. Just they do not tell anyone about it,

Bud Parker
Bud Parker
3 years ago

If a US citizen marries a non US Citizen (Cuban) in the USA and they emigrate into Canada (1968) becoming Canadian citizens, is the woman a dual citizen? Or, did her swearing allegiance to Canada prevent that?

Pamela
Pamela
2 years ago
Reply to  Bud Parker

Yes, she is a Cuban and Canadian dual=citizen. Both Cuba and Canada allow that.

WJA
WJA
2 years ago

Dual citizenship should be illegal. Dual citizenship=divided loyalties.

Eliz
Eliz
2 years ago
Reply to  WJA

As far as I know, the United States is not, has never been, and is extremely unlikely to be at war with Ireland, so what difference does it make?

M
M
2 years ago
Reply to  Eliz

That works until it doesnt

Carolyn Zhang
Carolyn Zhang
2 years ago
Reply to  WJA

Citizenship is conferred by countries and may not even be desired by the person receiving it. A country can also refuse to allow its citizens to renounce citizenship. So if a law was passed such as what you suggest, then North Korea or Iran could simply give a “gift of friendship” and immediately proclaim every American to be a North Korean or Iranian citizen and then where would you be? Everyone would instantly have dual citizenship whether they liked it or not. In other words, your proposed “law” does not and cannot work. All you can do is say that you do not honor or recognize dual citizenship and you can require them to pledge their loyalty to the United States. You can also decide that if you take out citizenship by naturalizing you lose your US citizenship (though the Supreme Court actually has said that you can’t but this is what some countries do happen to do). However, you cannot tell people they cannot have dual citizenship when they were born with both another citizenship and US citizenship or because they were born with another citizenship and then later became naturalized US citizens but the foreign country does not recognize the US naturalization oath as a renouncement of its citizenship.

emma
emma
1 year ago
Reply to  WJA

you are absolutely correct. dual citizenship should be illegal. thank you.

Jean brown
Jean brown
2 years ago

I I was born in the us my dad immigranted from Sweden when he was16 and became a us citizen , can I get citizenship in Sweden and maintain my us citizenship I heard this can be done. But how

mary Kennedy
mary Kennedy
2 years ago

I was born in Australia lived in the USA for 3 years in the 1960’s my father was American mother Australian when I went to USA I had 2 passports Australian and USA. I thought my dual citizenship stop after living in the USA for a long period is this correct or do I still hold dual citizenship?

HMG
HMG
2 years ago
Reply to  mary Kennedy

Duel Citizenship in the US and Australia doesn’t go away unless you relinquish it
If you travel between the countries it makes it very easy to have both passports that you don’t need visas

Tip gm
Tip gm
2 years ago

I’m Thai and got citizenship and Carrie 2 passport. Is okay and how I should do when I travel to Thailand?

Penny
Penny
2 years ago
Reply to  Tip gm

Easiest way is use the Thailand one to enter Thailand. That way no questions asked.

Friedrich
Friedrich
1 year ago
Reply to  Tip gm

If you are Thai and you became American citizen, you have lost your rights to property ownership in Thailand. Beware of greedy family members that will take your Thai property

Chris
Chris
9 months ago
Reply to  Tip gm

IT should be very easy to do this, all you need to do is make sure you enter and leave Thailand on your Thai passport and travel back to the west on your western passport. Here is a good summary of that:
https://www.thaicitizenship.com/traveling-with-two-passports/

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