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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Property Ownership – Following local laws and regulations, dual citizenship makes property ownership possible.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cultural Immersion - Being a citizen of another country is an opportunity to learn about another culture, tradition, and way of life.
- 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 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.
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Countries that Allow Dual Citizenship in 2023
|Albania||Central African Republic||The Gambia||Latvia||Peru||Switzerland|
|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|
|Bolivia||Dominican Republic||Ireland||Nauru||Sierra Leone||Uruguay|
|Bosnia & Herzegovina||East Timor||Israel||New Zealand||Slovenia||Vatican City|
|Burkina Faso||El Salvador||Jordan||Nigeria||South Sudan||British Virgin Islands|
|Cambodia||Fiji||South Korea||Panama||Sri Lanka||Zambia|
|Canada||Finland||Kosovo||Papua New Guinea||Sudan||Zimbabwe|
EU Countries that Allow Dual Citizenship
Countries that Don't Allow Dual Citizenship
|Marshall Islands||Sao Tome and Principe||Austria||Kazakhstan||Mauritania||Saudi Arabia|
|Norway||United Arab Emirates||Guinea||Malaysia||Oman||Uzbekistan|
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
|Iceland||Panama*||Syria||Antigua and Barbuda||Costa Rica||Italy|
|United Kingdom||Armenia||Cyprus||Israel||The Philippines||Vanuatu|
|Belgium||Egypt||Malawi||St. Kitts and Nevis||Belize||Finland|
|New Zealand||South Africa|
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.
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