Dual Citizenship: The Ultimate Guide

Updated: 28 March 2023

Dual Citizenship!

  • Is it even possible?
  • What is it?
  • How can you get one?
  • Are there any benefits to it?

There must be many questions like these whirling in your mind right now. If you are looking to explore the concept of Dual Citizenship and want to get one, then you are on the right page.

This article includes everything related to Dual Citizenship and you’ll find information on the following:

What Is Dual Citizenship?

The term Dual Citizenship or dual nationality is when a person is recognized as a citizen of two countries at the same time, legally. Though all the countries do not permit their citizens to attain this status, there are many who do.

Do you know?

There are more than 100 countries in the world that permit dual nationality. Some of them allow it outright, whereas; some have their predefined criteria that need to be met.

There are countless benefits as well as drawbacks of having multiple citizenship. As it is a bit complex, you need to be careful while applying for it. It is possible that your country does not permit it.

What Are the Benefits of Dual Citizenship?

If you are a national of two countries at the same time, you are entitled to a plethora of perks. Here are some of those essential benefits of dual citizenship that you can enjoy:

Liberty to work anywhere: Unlike foreigners, who have to obtain a work visa to work in a country. You, with the power of dual nationality, can work anywhere in the country without any work visa.

No need to re-apply for a visa: If you are planning to live in another country for some time, let’s say a year or more, you will not require permission for re-entry in the country. With dual citizenship status, you can easily return.

Family assistance: If you are a citizen of a foreign country other than the native one, you can help your family members get the citizenship of that country. This includes your parents, children, and siblings.

Dual Passports: When you are a citizen of two countries at the same time, you can carry two passports. This makes many things easier for you. For instance, if you are a citizen of Canada and Australia,

  • You can seamlessly travel to both countries without the long and hectic questioning of the immigration team. No one will ask you about the purpose of the visit or any long-stay visa.
  • You can visit your family anytime as you will not need any permission to enter the country.

Security: One of the advantages of having dual citizenship is the ability to seek refuge in the other nation while there are political and social issues in one’s native land.

Healthcare: Health is the number one priority of every individual. And there are many countries in the world that have the best healthcare facilities. So, if you have dual citizenship in any of those countries, you can leverage the healthcare facilities of that nation.

Education: If you have dual citizenship,  you can get your children to study at the best schools, colleges, and universities in the country.

For instance, if a country has the best education system in the world, you can seek citizenship in that country apart from your own. Thus, take advantage of their education sector.

What Are the Drawbacks of Dual Nationality?

Possessing dual nationality is not just limited to benefits; it also has some cons that you need to consider before applying for one. Here are some of the critical ones:

Taxation: The very first con of dual nationality is taxation, which will be double. If you are a citizen of two nations, you will have to pay taxes to both of them based on your earned net income.

Now, this scenario of double taxes can be avoided in some cases. How? Some countries have agreements with other countries that override the income tax laws to save citizens from double taxation. For instance, the USA and New Zealand have such an agreement.

Moreover, recently, Spain and the United States have also eliminated double taxation to boost both nations’ economies and jobs.

Moreover, as the tax laws of the countries can change with time, it is necessary to check in with a professional in this field. You can get in touch with us to get an insight into anything related to dual citizenship.

Responsibilities: Other than taxation, you are also entitled to some national responsibilities if you have multiple citizenship. For instance, if you are in the age group of 18-26 years, it might be necessary for you to serve in the military of the country.

On the other hand, the legal system of the country may ask you to serve as a jury member. Though it may not be necessary, if you are chosen to serve, you cannot say no.

Violations: One crucial thing that you need to check while applying for dual citizenship is your background. Countries tend to closely analyze your background including your past encounters with law enforcement.

They check if you have committed any violation like drug abuse, immigration fraud, domestic violence, or any other offense. If found, it can lead to deportation.

Intricate process: Now, if you apply for dual citizenship in any country, it can be a really complicated and lengthy process. It can even take years, unlike if you are born in that country. In this case, you will get citizenship automatically.

If you go through the naturalization process, it may require you to live in that country for a certain period of time, like 3 or 5 years.

Issues with government employment: You may not like this, but if you want to work in the country’s government department, dual citizenship will be an impediment for you. Anyone who seeks a job in the government department that requires access to some classified information encounters problems.

How many citizenships
can you have? Click to Read >

How To Get Dual Citizenship

As you are well aware of the concept, drawbacks, and advantages of dual citizenship, you must have made up your mind to apply for that.

Now, there is no one way to get dual citizenship; you can get it in various ways. Let’s take a look at those ways.

Note: Do make sure that the country that you are applying for your second citizenship permits dual citizenship. For this, you would need professional help. 

  • Birth: Well, this is not up to you after all, but one can also attain the citizenship of the country by birth. In this case, there is no heavy paperwork required. If you are born in a foreign land, and your parents are from some other country, you automatically get the citizenship of the place where you are born.

In contrast to this, if you are born in some other nation (say Hungary), while your parents are from some foreign nation (for instance, Canada), you will be entitled to Hungary and Canadian citizenship.

Note: Different countries may have their dedicated laws. Hence, they need special attention and research before applying for citizenship.

  • Naturalization: Well, if you are not born in the country, then also you can be a proud citizen of that country. How? Naturalization!

The term naturalization refers to the scenario where an individual has to reside in a country for a fixed period of time to gain citizenship.  The process is for those who want to get foreign citizenship after studies or professional work experience.

Dual citizenship countries have their own criteria and time period for naturalization; for instance,

  1. To gain Canada’s citizenship, you need to live there for at least two years out of every five.
  2. The residency period for naturalization in the UK is five years.  A resident has to live in the country for at least five years before applying for citizenship.
  3. For the USA, this permanent residency period should be five years if you have a green card. Moreover, if you marry a citizen of the USA, you have to reside in the country for at least three years to attain US citizenship.

Analyze these details and other conditions carefully beforehand.

  • Marriage: This is a bit faster way to get citizenship from dual citizenship countries. If you marry a person from a foreign nation, the time required to get citizenship decreases by a great factor. However, there are some criteria that are required to be met. For instance, if you marry a citizen of a foreign nation, you have to reside there for some years to apply for citizenship.

In contrast, if you are married to a Canadian, your spouse can apply for a spousal sponsorship. But it may take some time to process the sponsorship. The processing time may vary from less than one year to around 36 months.

  • Investment: Well, making an investment in a foreign country is another way to obtain dual passport in that country. But how to apply for dual citizenship through investment?

The process is simple but involves high capital investment. On the bright side, it reduces the time required to get the passport of that country.

The process involves investors investing a certain amount of money in the economy of a foreign country. In return, the country grants them citizenship and a second passport. The key factor that varies here is the amount of investment involved.

The range of investment required for getting the citizenship of the country may vary from $100,000 to $2,5 million.

Citizenship by Investment:
Compare Programs Click to read >

Which Countries Allow Dual Citizenship?

Here’s a list of countries that allows double nationality. Note that the countries marked with an asterisk allow dual citizenship only under certain circumstances.

Antigua and BarbudaChileGreeceLuxembourgPortugalSwitzerland
Argentina*Costa RicaGrenadaMalawiRomaniaSyria
AustraliaCyprusIcelandMexicoSerbiaUnited Kingdom
BarbadosCzech RepublicIrelandMoroccoSlovakia*United States
BangladeshDenmarkIsraelNew ZealandSloveniaVanuatu
BelgiumDominicaItalyNigeriaSouth AfricaVenezuela
BelizeEgyptJamaicaNorwaySouth Korea*Zambia
BoliviaEl Salvador*KosovaPakistanSpain
BrazilFinland LatviaPanamaSt Kitts & Nevis
Bulgaria*FranceLebanonPeruSaint Lucia

Some of the countries listed above offer citizenship by investment programs, such as Malta and Turkey. Portugal also has a Golden Visa scheme which is not a direct citizenship program but also leads to citizenship after five years.

Malta Citizenship by Invesment:
Program Requirements Click to Read >

Below you can find the list of the countries that don’t allow dual citizenship:

  • Andorra
  • Austria
  • Bahrain
  • China
  • Djibouti
  • Estonia
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Lithuania
  • Malaysia
  • Montenegro
  • The Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Singapore
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates

However, as with the countries that allow dual citizenship, there can be exceptions with these countries too. This is why speaking to legal professionals before you make a decision is important.

What Can Get Golden Visa Do for You?

Get Golden Visa is an agency that assists individuals in investment and citizenship programs in the world. Our team of professional agents keeps track of every little change that happens in the citizenship laws across the world. Thus, allowing us to stay up to date and cater to you with premium quality services.

As the process of getting dual citizenship is a bit complex, there are many factors that need your utmost attention. You should consult an immigration lawyer or a professional before stepping in.

Frequently Asked Questions on Dual Citizenship

What is dual citizenship?

Dual citizenship meaning refers to having citizenship rights in more than one country.

Is dual citizenship worth it?

Having dual citizenship will be totally worth it.

You get a number of benefits like freedom to travel anytime, liberty to work anywhere, and many others.  For investors, it is the best as you do not have to fulfill any time of stay criteria. All you need to do is invest in that country. So, yes, dual citizenship is worth it.

Is double nationality bad?

Not as per the overall perspective, but there are some drawbacks also to dual citizenship. You may have to pay double taxes after following a lengthy process to get it. Moreover, you cannot work in the government department in some countries.

Can dual citizenship expire?

Well, passports can expire as they are active for a limited time. But, if we talk about citizenship, the changes in the laws to be a citizen of a country is a big decision and thus requires a lot of national and international debates. Therefore, if there are any modifications in the laws, the citizens get enough time to take the required action to remain the citizens of the country. Hence, dual citizenship never expires.

Can you have three citizenships?

Yes, you can have three and even more citizenships. The key thing is that you need to consider the laws and criteria of the countries for which you are applying.

Which is the easiest and hardest country to get dual nationality?

You can easily get the citizenship of Argentina, Paraguay, Italy, and Ireland. However, it may be a bit tough to be a citizen of Austria, Japan, and Thailand.

Can I apply for dual citizenship as a US citizen?

The short answer is, yes. The United States allows dual citizenship. This means that while you are a US citizen, you can have second citizenship from another nation. While the US Government does not require you to renounce your US citizenship, it also does not explicitly address the topic of dual citizenship in the Oath of Allegiance. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the department of the US Government that sets residency requirements and monitors the Green Card and citizenship application for prospective US citizens. In terms of stay requirements and travel, US citizens are allowed to enter and leave the United States as they please with a US passport.

If I am a citizen of multiple countries, do I need to fulfill military service in both countries?

If military service is mandatory in either one of your host countries, then the obligation to attend it depends on the constitution of each host country.

Canada allows dual citizenship, are there any travel restrictions for dual citizens? What are the rights of permanent residents and citizens? How do I obtain citizenship?

Yes, Canada does recognize dual citizenship and no, there are no restrictions on travel. Canadians will need a valid travel document or a passport to enter their country.  They are free to enter and leave at their will. Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) is the department of state that addresses the rights of permanent residents, citizens, and citizenship requirements.

Is United Kingdom among the countries that allow dual citizenship?

Yes, the United Kingdom allows its citizens to have dual citizenship. Persons who have Britain as their home country may benefit from having a permanent resident or citizen status from another nation. The UK does recognize dual citizenship and allows British citizens to hold a second passport in another country. If your country of origin is not the UK, you can still apply to become a dual citizen in the United Kingdom. You typically first need to become a permanent resident before you can submit an application for naturalization in the United Kingdom.

How to apply for dual citizenship easily?

Citizenship by investment is an easy way to get dual citizenship if you have the funds.

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