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Understanding Dual Citizenship, the Benefits, and the Process

Dual citizenship is an exciting opportunity to live your life on multiple paths. Dual citizenship offers a variety of advantages, including visa-free travel, improved tax planning opportunities, and enhanced asset protection.

But what is dual citizenship, exactly? How do you go about getting it? What are the benefits? Which countries offer dual citizenship?

What is Dual Citizenship?

You may have heard the term “dual citizenship” before but have not been entirely sure what it meant. It is a bit of a complex question since the concept can mean different things to different people. For one thing, dual citizenship is different from having a second citizenship.  

Simply put, dual citizenship means being a citizen of two countries simultaneously. A person is a dual citizen when he lives in one country but is also a citizen of another. But there are other ways to look at it too. For example, some might say that dual citizenship exists when someone holds two passports from different countries. Or when someone is a national of two countries.  

Dual citizenship is not permitted in every country. Countries have different laws on dual citizenship. Dual citizenship is a complex matter, so it is essential to research the laws of both countries before deciding to become a dual citizen. 

Why is Understanding Dual Citizenship important?

Relinquishing your original passport is not ideal. However, trading one passport for a more powerful one is not necessarily bad. Before making such a decision, you need to know all about the countries that allow dual citizenship and those that do not.

Some countries still strictly forbid acquiring a second passport. However, in recent years several countries have fostered a more favourable attitude towards allowing their citizens to hold Dual Citizenship, either through recognising Dual/Multiple Citizenship or amending their requirements for naturalisation.

List of countries that do not allow dual citizenship

The Benefits of Dual Citizenship

  1. Global Mobility - Some passports do not allow you the luxury of travelling to any destination and can be pretty restrictive. Restrictive passports make travelling a complex matter as travel visas must be obtained. A second passport can solve that problem by increasing one’s mobility and removing the bureaucracy from the equation.  
  2. Residence – One of the benefits of dual citizenship is guaranteed residence in multiple countries. Residence can be a significant advantage for individuals who wish to live and work in more than one country.  
  3. Property Ownership – Following local laws and regulations, dual citizenship makes property ownership possible.  
  4. Business - Acquiring second citizenship opens the doors to many business opportunities and concludes business deals that were otherwise unavailable or hard to come by based on the original passport.
  5. Security - Obtaining a second passport from a stable country puts your mind at rest. In the event of any social, political or economic instability in one’s own country, you maintain a plan B.    
  6. Cultural Immersion - Being a citizen of another country is an opportunity to learn about another culture, tradition, and way of life.  
  7. Quality of Life – By obtaining dual citizenship, you can access world-class education and health care and an overall enhanced lifestyle.

    High net worth families, in particular, gain several benefits through dual citizenship. By obtaining Dual Citizenship status, these families have the means to unlock their full potential by accessing better opportunities in another country. These opportunities include securing the family’s future through education, health care or simply a better lifestyle.

    The Benefits of Dual Citizenship

    The Processes of Obtaining Dual Citizenship

The process of obtaining dual citizenship varies from one country to the other. It is essential to look into the laws and regulations of the countries where you want to obtain dual citizenship. The following are just some of the processes:  


An individual can be a non-resident but still gain citizenship if their parents were born in that country. You might claim dual citizenship if you were born in certain countries. For instance, if you were born in the United States to parents from another country, you may be eligible for dual citizenship. 


An individual can acquire citizenship for a certain number of years as a permanent resident. For example, permanent residents of Canada must reside in Canada for four out of six years to be eligible to apply for citizenship. However, individuals with temporary status must gain permanent residency to start counting their years as residents toward the citizenship requirement.    


Some countries grant permanent resident status upon marriage with a citizen, which speeds up the time needed to become an official citizen. 


Many countries now offer citizenship or residency by investment programmes to high-net-worth individuals. Citizenship by investment is acquiring second citizenship by investing in the host country’s economy. Residency by investment programmes offers permanent residency after the investment, which again speeds up the time to citizenship.





Countries that Allow Dual Citizenship in 2023

Many countries allow dual citizenship outright, while others allow it only in particular circumstances. Here is a comprehensive list of countries that allow dual citizenship.
Albania Central African Republic  The Gambia  Latvia Peru Switzerland 
Algeria Chile Germany* Lebanon Philippines Syria
American Samoa  Colombia Ghana Lithuania Poland Taiwan
Angola Comoros  Greece Luxembourg Portugal Tajikistan
Antigua & Barbuda  Republic of Congo (Brazzaville)  Grenada Macau Romania Thailand
Argentina Costa Rica  Guatemala Macedonia  Russian Federation Tibet
Australia Ivory Coast  Guinea-Bissau  Mali Saint Kitts & Nevis Tonga
Armenia  Croatia  Haiti Malta Saint Lucia Trinidad & Tobago
Australia  Cyprus  Honduras Mauritius Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Tunisia
Barbados  Czech Republic  Hong Kong  Mexico Samoa Turkey
Belgium  Denmark Hungary Moldova* Scotland Uganda
Belize Djibouti Iceland Morocco Serbia United Kingdom
Benin Dominica  Iraq Namibia Seychelles United States 
Bolivia Dominican Republic  Ireland Nauru Sierra Leone  Uruguay
Bosnia & Herzegovina  East Timor  Israel New Zealand  Slovenia Vatican City 
Brazil Ecuador  Italy Nicaragua Somalia Venezuela
Bulgaria  Egypt Jamaica Niger South Africa  Vietnam 
Burkina Faso  El Salvador  Jordan Nigeria  South Sudan British Virgin Islands
Burundi Equatorial Guinea  Kenya Pakistan Spain Yemen
Cambodia Fiji South Korea  Panama Sri Lanka Zambia
Canada Finland  Kosovo Papua New Guinea  Sudan Zimbabwe
Cape Verde  France  Kyrgyzstan Paraguay  Sweden  


EU Countries that Allow Dual Citizenship

Cyprus Greece Malta Czech Republic Hungaru Portugal
Denmark Ireland Poland France Italy Spain
Finland Latvia Sweden Germany Lithuania  


Countries that Don't Allow Dual Citizenship

Afghanistan Iran Maldives San Marino Andorra Japan
Marshall Islands Sao Tome and Principe Austria Kazakhstan Mauritania Saudi Arabia
Azerbaijan Kiribati Micronesia Singapore Bahrain North Korea
Monaco Slovakia China Kuwait Mongolia Suriname
Djibouti Laos Mozambique Swaziland Eritrea Lesotho
Myanmar, Burma Tanzania Estonia Liberia Nepal Togo
Ethiopia Libia Netherlands Ukraine Georgia Liechtenstein
Norway United Arab Emirates Guinea Malaysia Oman Uzbekistan
Guyana Montenegro Palau Vanuatu India Madagascar
Qatar Indonesia Malawi Rwanda    


Dual Citizenship with the US

Is dual citizenship allowed in the United States of America?

The answer is YES.  A naturalised US citizen is not required by US law to relinquish their other citizenship.   

You must use a US passport to enter and exit the country if you have dual citizenship and intend to travel there or back.

Countries that Allow Dual Citizenship with USA

Albania Bulgaria* Grenada Nigeria South Korea* Algeria
Canada Hungary Norway Sweden Angola Chile
Iceland Panama* Syria Antigua and Barbuda Costa Rica Italy
Pakistan Turkey Argentina Croatia* Ireland Peru
United Kingdom Armenia Cyprus Israel The Philippines Vanuatu
Australia Czech Republic Jamaica Portugal Bangladesh Denmark
Latvia Romania Barbados Dominica Luxembourg Russia
Belgium Egypt Malawi St. Kitts and Nevis Belize Finland
Malta St. Lucia Benin France Mexico Serbia
Bolivia Germany* Netherlands* Slovenia Brazil Greece
New Zealand South Africa
*These countries allow dual citizenship with the US under specific conditions.

Maltese and US Citizenship

A citizen of Malta may now get and hold other foreign citizenships in addition to their Maltese citizenship as of 10 February 2000. With the new legislation, a person who had previously lost his Maltese citizenship may automatically regain it after meeting specific requirements. This would mean that one can hold both Maltese and US citizenship.