The reasons that an individual may wish to retain the citizenship of two different countries can be varied. One common reason is to more easily take up residency in other places. Others pursue dual citizenship because it gives them access to a host of government-run social programs.

Whatever the reason you may be considering dual citizenship, it’s important to remember that there are many legal responsibilities and residency requirements that come with the territory. For example, everyone who retains American citizenship is required to pay taxes on all income, whether generated here or abroad.

The U.S. government has never really taken a stance on dual citizenship over than to say it doesn’t formally recognize it. Even so, plenty of Americans enjoy the benefits of it.

Instead, in the eyes of the U.S. government, one of its citizens must explicitly take steps to demonstrate the desire to relinquish American citizenship. This does not take place simply by moving to another country.

If an American wishes to renounce one’s U.S. citizenship, he or she must take an oath in front of an authorized federal government official. If an American citizen serves in the armed forces of a country hostile to the U.S., attempts to overthrow our government, or commits treason, then this may jeopardize one’s citizenship as well.

If you were born abroad and wish to qualify for dual citizenship with the U.S., then you can do so through your parents if they’re U.S. citizens. If you personally were born in the U.S., but to natives of another country, then you may qualify for dual citizenship also.

You may be eligible for dual citizenship if you became a naturalized U.S. citizen without renouncing your original citizenship. You may also obtain dual citizenship if you became a citizen of your native country once again after becoming an American.

There are stiff penalties dual citizens may face if they fail to meet their tax and other legal obligations as required by U.S. law. A San Diego citizenship attorney can advise you of the many other responsibilities associated with becoming an American citizen.

Source: FindLaw, “Dual Citizenship,” accessed March 23, 2018