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(+) Are You Eligible for Dual Citizenship?

21 Jun 2024 3:48 PM | Anonymous

The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman. 

Are you eligible for citizenship in the country where your ancestors were born? You might not have to give up your American citizenship. Many Americans may be surprised to learn that they are eligible for dual citizenship. With today‚Äôs political upheaval in the US, more Americans than ever are seeking citizenship, especially dual citizenship, in foreign countries. See Americans Renouncing Citizenship at Record Rates at for the details 

The US government used to claim that you couldn't hold dual citizenship except in certain cases involving dual citizenship from birth or childhood. However, the US Supreme Court struck down most of the laws forbidding dual citizenship in 1967. The court's decision in the case of Afroyim v. Rusk, as well as a second case in 1980, Vance v. Terrazas, eventually made its way explicitly into the statute books in 1986. 

The official US State Department policy on dual citizenship today is that the United States does not favor it as a matter of policy because of various problems they feel it may cause, but the existence of dual citizenship is recognized in individual cases. That is, if you ask a government official if you ought to become a dual citizen, he or she probably will recommend against doing it. But if you tell them you already are a dual citizen, government officials usually say it's OK.

Dual citizenship is available only if the laws of both countries allow it. Not all other countries allow for dual citizenship, however. U.S. laws specifically state that dual citizenship is recognized only if the other country fully reciprocates. You need to closely check the laws of the other country involved. 

While U.S. laws allow dual citizenship, there are restrictions about serving in a foreign military, voting in another country's elections, swearing allegiance to another government, or other restrictions. However, the Supreme Court's 1967 decision made those provisions difficult to enforce. The government now acknowledges that dual citizens may find themselves forced into military service by the laws of the other country. While still on the books, the U.S. laws are no longer enforced unless there is evidence that the individual intended to give up the U.S. citizenship.

A dual citizenship with a European Union nation will allow Americans to legally obtain employment in any other European Union nation. This can be a very positive move for career reasons or for taxation issues. I'd strongly suggest that you consult with a lawyer specializing in such issues before accepting new employment, however. 

If you want to find out whether you're eligible for dual citizenship, here's how to get started:

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