Can Americans Have Dual Citizenship?
The US allows dual citizenship for its citizens. This means that you can hold your US passport and be a citizen in another country at the same time. In such a scenario, you will be a citizen of two countries and share the same rights and responsibilities with other citizens in each country.
You may also renounce your US citizenship if you wish to. Though unless you commit treason against the US, you may keep your US citizenship status. Thanks to dual citizenship, US citizens can
- Work, live, and study in both countries
- Have the right to visit more than 100 countries in the world
- Benefit from the healthcare system and social service programs of another country
- Own a property in another country
- Benefit from economic advantages and at times favorable tax codes
- Secure their family along with themselves
- Vote and hold office in another country
Obtaining Dual Citizenship
US citizens can get dual citizenship in various ways such as naturalization, marriage, descent, birth, or citizenship by investment. More and more US citizens are applying for residency or citizenship by investment programs in Europe. They are also known as the Golden Visa Programs. The number of wealthy US citizens heading for Golden Visa programs has increased particularly after the COVID-19 pandemic.
But why are Americans going for dual citizenship? The reason is that the value of the US passport is unfortunately not on the rise. As a matter of fact, quite the opposite. There are various reasons for this, such as the recent political instability in the country, and the global pandemic. The mobility score of the US passport declined from 171 to 81 in 2019, after the pandemic. So, this prompted some Americans to search for dual citizenship and Golden Visa programs in other countries.
American dual citizenship is possible in certain countries such as Portugal, Spain, Malta, Cyprus, Belgium, Denmark, Australia, the UK, and Dominica. The list may be subject to change depending on the changes in policy. Among them, Portugal and Spain offer Golden Visa programs.
Dual Citizenship Through a Golden Visa
A Golden Visa program can be a good option if you’re looking for a fast way to obtain temporary residency in another country. After fulfilling the required residency conditions, you can obtain permanent residency or citizenship in your country of interest.
Portugal and Spain Golden Visa programs are two of the most popular residency by investment programs in the world. They grant the applicants temporary residency in return for a certain amount of investment in the country. The programs have different requirements for residency and investments. After the investors fulfill the related stay requirement, they can obtain permanent residency and eventual citizenship in the country. The most popular investment type in these programs is property investment.
Furthermore, if you obtain dual citizenship in one of the European countries, you will become a member of the EU. This means that you can benefit from EU citizenship rights. These rights include visa-free travel in the Schengen zone and the right to live, work, and study in any EU country. Also, you can benefit from favorable tax treatments and tax exemptions depending on your Golden Visa program. You can also benefit from national healthcare services and educational opportunities in these countries.
There are private American and international schools in some of these Golden Visa countries such as Portugal. You can get consular protection from the related EU member state as well.
Dual Citizenship in The Caribbean Countries
US citizens can also opt for the Caribbean countries to obtain dual citizenship and passport. Two of the most popular schemes are the citizenship by investment programs in Dominica and St. Kitts. They have relatively low investment thresholds. For example, the minimum investment amount is €100.000 for Dominica and €150.000 for St. Kitts. Furthermore, neither countries require any minimum duration of residency in the country. One can get citizenship in only three to six months, which is quite a short time compared to the five years or more requirement in other programs.
Other benefits of these countries are the right of entry to more than 120 countries with their passports and their physical proximity to the US. Also, Dominica Citizenship by Investment Program excludes taxes on wealth, gift, inheritance, foreign income, or capital gains for its residents.
Other Ways to Obtain Dual Citizenship for US Citizens
Dual Citizens by Birth
When you are born in a country that gives you a passport, it will be easier to get dual citizenship.
Dual Citizenship by Marriage
An American citizen may obtain a dual citizen status when they marry a person who is from another state. However, this option is not possible in every country.
Dual Citizenship by Descent
Having dual citizenship by descent means that you can obtain the citizenship of your parent regardless of your country of origin.
Dual Citizenship by Naturalization
When you fulfill the related country’s requirements, you can become a citizen of another country. For this, you should first get your temporary residency, then a permanent residency. Then, you can be eligible for the citizenship of the country when you fulfill specific requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dual Citizenship for Americans
Can US Citizens Have Dual Citizenship?
Yes, the US allows dual citizenship for its citizens in a foreign state.
How Can An American Get Second Citizenship?
US citizens can obtain second citizenship in different ways including naturalization, marriage, descent, birth, or citizenship by investment.
What Countries Can You Have Dual Citizenship with The US?
As a US citizen, you can apply for citizenship in countries including Portugal, Spain, Malta, Cyprus, Belgium, Denmark, Australia, the UK, and Dominica.
Can I Be A Dual Citizen of the US and the UK?
Yes, these two countries allow dual citizenship.
Do I Have to Use My Passport to Enter and Leave The Country?
Yes, you must definitely bring your US passport even if you have dual nationality.
Do I Have to Renounce My Original Citizenship to Get US Citizenship?
It depends on your country of origin. Normally, the US does not require you to renounce your original citizenship.