Though you may have heard the term dual citizenship, you may wonder what exactly it refers to. Dual citizenship refers to when an individual is a citizen of two different countries at one time. An individual with dual citizenship has rights and obligations associated with both countries they have citizenship with. Dual citizenship provides different benefits and important rights but it is also important to understand the legal obligations associated with it.

Dual citizens have simplified residency for both countries they are citizens of and access to government programs for both countries. They may, however, have important tax obligations associated with both countries they need to be familiar with and aware of. It is also important to take considerations such as passports for both countries into account when holding dual citizenship.

Dual citizenship may be acquired in different ways including by being born in the United States to immigrant parents; being born outside of the United States to one parent who is a U.S. citizen and one parent who is a citizen of another country; by becoming a naturalized United States citizen while maintaining citizenship in another country; or by regaining citizenship in another country after becoming an naturalized U.S. citizen.

Dual citizenship is not officially recognized in the United States and can be given up in certain circumstances so it is important to understand those situations and the complexities associated with dual citizenship. As is true of many immigrantion and citizenship issues, dual citizenship can be complicated so it is important to be as familiar as possible with whatever citizenship concerns and considerations you may have.

Source: immigrantion.findlaw.com, “Dual Citizenship,” Accessed July 19, 2017