What Is Dual Citizenship?
Dual citizenship or dual nationality simply means being a citizen of two different countries at the same time. Immigration laws of most countries allow an individual to have dual nationality if they have met all the requirements of the laws of the two countries. In the United States, there are two ways through which you can obtain dual citizenship.
The first one is by birthright and parentage. It means a child born on United States soil to parents of another country is given automatic citizenship at birth. By being born in the country, the person can lay claim to citizenship of both the U.S. and his parents’ country of citizenship. The only exception to this is the children of diplomats born in the United States, who do not receive citizenship by being born in the U.S.
The second way that United States dual nationality could be obtained is by naturalization, either by getting married to a U.S. citizen or for having stayed as a permanent resident in the country for a particular period of time. This country’s immigration laws allow a foreigner that is married to an American citizen to obtain citizenship and simultaneously maintain the citizenship of his or her country of origin. Also, a foreigner who may not be married to a U.S. citizen may be given the United States citizenship while still keeping his or her citizenship of his country of origin. In the same way, a U.S. citizen can naturalize to another country and still maintain U.S. citizenship.
Either way, you can obtain U.S. citizenship either as your country of birth or as your naturalized country.
What are the benefits of Dual Citizenship?
There are many benefits of obtaining a second passport. Some of them include:
1. Tax Optimization
While having a second passport won’t necessarily help you avoid paying taxes, it will enable you to live a tax-optimized life. There are countries like Dominica and Vanuatu that offer dual citizenship without necessarily requiring you to pay income or capital gain tax.
A second passport can greatly minimize your tax burden or completely eradicate it. Of course, this will depend on the taxation rules of the country where you are applying for a second passport.
2. Freedom of Movement
If you dream of traveling all over the world and move freely in different countries, then you need to get a second passport. Being a dual citizen grants you the freedom to live, work, and move in different countries without much restriction.
3. Better Quality of Life
Another value of getting a second passport is that you get to enjoy the better quality of life that is offered in some countries. Most countries that allow dual citizenship provide access to high-quality education and healthcare. You will also get to enjoy their unique lifestyle and diverse range of climates and geography.
4. Increased Stability
In fact, the governments of some countries and laws may change suddenly, which may threaten your personal and financial security. Luckily, you will always have a plan B with a second passport. Dual citizenship gives you peace of mind and allows you and your family to live a more secure life.
5. Global Investment Opportunities
The investment opportunities that come with having second citizenship are countless. It allows you to invest in the new country of citizenship and in other countries that have solid economic and political ties.
How does Dual Citizenship Work?
Having a perfect understanding of the laws guiding dual citizenship application in the United States is a great advantage for anyone who considers filing for dual nationality at the office of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (or USCIS).
U.S. dual citizenship could be obtained either by birthright or by naturalization. Each of these two sources of dual nationality is achieved by following thorough procedures as required by the United States immigration laws.
While the process may appear easy on paper, it can sometimes be complicated for an applicant who doesn’t have the prerequisite experience about the application process, cost, and scenarios by which application process could be delayed denied.
Is It Legal for a U.S. Citizen to Hold Two Passports?
There are many good reasons to acquire dual citizenship, and with it, a second passport. But just what does the phrase “dual citizenship” mean?
Dual nationality or dual citizenship simply means that a person legally is a citizen of two countries at the same time, qualified and recognized as such under each nation’s law. It also means that such a person has, and can use, two different official national passports.
If you are a U.S. citizen, or a permanent resident alien (green card holder) an important point to know is that under U.S. law, having a second passport does not jeopardize your citizenship. It is fully legal for a U.S. citizen to hold two, or even more, citizenships, based on rulings by the Supreme Court. While legally acquiring and using a foreign passport does not endanger U.S. citizenship, some countries do not permit their citizens to hold dual citizenship or a passport from another nation. This was the case in the U.S. until 1967, when the Supreme Court upheld the right of citizens to hold a second, foreign passport. Before that time, the official rule was that a person acquiring second nationality automatically lost U.S. citizenship, even though that rule was loosely enforced.
Dual citizenship may result automatically. The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees that a child born within the U.S. is a U.S. citizen. A child born in a foreign country to a U.S. citizen parent becomes both a U.S. citizen and a citizen of the country where he or she is born (if that country has such a provision). In the latter instance, the child must usually formally confirm acceptance of that second birth citizenship before their 18th birthday.
Dual status may result from operation of law, as when a U.S. citizen acquires foreign citizenship by marriage to a spouse from another nation, or a foreign person naturalized as a new U.S. citizen retains the citizenship of their country of birth.
While it’s impossible to know exactly how many Americans have acquired another passport, experts put the number of U.S. citizens who either hold, or legally are entitled to hold, a second passport at over 40 million.
The point is that dual citizenship is no longer a novelty, but an accepted legal status you might seriously consider for yourself. Your qualification for another, second nation’s passport—one that comes with fewer restrictive strings attached—can serve as your passport to greater freedom. It can be your key to a whole new world of free movement, foreign residence, expanded international investment, greater flexibility, and even adventure.
What is the U.S. Dual Citizenship Application Process?
Just as it is in every sovereign nation, filling for U.S. dual citizenship has steps which must be followed diligently. To naturalize as a U.S. citizen, the first step is to get an immigrant visa (green card) to confirm that you have met all the requirements to live and work permanently in the U.S. The processes of getting the U.S. dual citizenship according to the USCIS are as follows:
1. You must be at least 18 years old as at the time of applying.
2. Provide evidence of being legally admitted as a lawful permanent resident
3. Prove that you have continuously had a physical presence in the country for up to 5 years (or up to 3 years if you are applying as a spouse to a citizen of the United States)
4. You must have a record of good moral character
5. You have so far been compliant to the ideals and principles of the country’s constitution
6. You can read, write, and speak the English language at least at the basic level
7. You can prove that you have a basic knowledge of the country’s history and civic values.
The success of these processes will lead to taking an oath of allegiance to the United States. Having successfully completed the process, you would get the certificate of naturalization which officially confirms your citizenship of the United States. This legally gives you the privilege to own and carry U.S. passport wherever you go in the world. You will also have the right to vote during elections and enjoy all other rights accorded a bona fide U.S Citizen.
What can a second passport do for me?
Until about 100 years ago, you didn’t need a passport for international travel. If you were traveling for some official purpose, or needed a way to identify yourself, you often had the option of carrying one. But you didn’t need permission from anyone to cross international borders.
For better or worse, that’s not how things are today. Your passport doesn’t belong to you. It belongs to whatever government issues you a passport and it can be taken away, for any reason.
Fortunately, there is a solution…a second passport. Obtaining a second citizenship that entitles you to a second passport is a fundamental step toward freeing yourself from absolute dependence on any one country. Once you have that freedom, it’s much harder for any government to control your destiny.
Here are the top three reasons why you need one:
1. Freedom to travel if your primary passport is lost or stolen
Just about everyone has lost their passport at one time or another. It happened to me about 20 years ago when I left mine on a plane. Passport thefts are also surprisingly common. Organized rings of passport thieves are active in many countries. Obtaining a replacement passport may take days or weeks. In that situation, a second passport could be a godsend, allowing you to complete your travels uninterrupted.
2. Bypass passport confiscation by your government
This is becoming much more common, especially in the U.S. The State Department is now required to confiscate the passport of any U.S. citizen with a “seriously delinquent tax debt.” There’s no trial or opportunity to explain the circumstances. Instead, Uncle Sam simply confiscates your passport and keeps it until you pay the IRS what it says you owe it. The State Department can also confiscate your passport if you’re accused of a felony. They don’t even need to convict you. And it’s a lot easier to commit a felony than you might think. One study concluded that the average person living in America commits at least three felonies a day without even knowing it.
3. Preparation for “expatriation”
If you’re a U.S. citizen, you must pay tax and deal with onerous reporting obligations no matter where you live. This has led to many banks, insurance companies, and other businesses refusing to do business with Americans. This places a unique burden on the more than 8 million U.S. citizens living abroad.
Tens of thousands of Americans have decided they are no longer willing to deal with this burden. They have taken the radical step of giving up their U.S. citizenship. Of course, to do this, you must have a second citizenship, and the passport that goes along with it.
How do I get a second passport?
The easiest way to obtain a second passport is to acquire one based on your ancestry. Almost every country has a program offering citizenship or passports to individuals with a family history in that nation. Your religion may also be a viable route to alternative citizenship. For instance, Jews who immigrate to Israel are entitled to Israeli citizenship and a passport.
If you don’t qualify based on these factors, in most countries you can acquire citizenship following a period of prolonged residence—three to 10 years is typical. Finally, a handful of countries offer citizenship in return for an economic contribution. Pivot Citizenship has the most affordable program in this regard, requiring a contribution of $80,000 for a single applicant and $140,000 for a married couple. You can add dependent children 25 years and younger for additional fees. The fee is also dependent on other factors like the country of choice, the cost of the asset to purchase, and so on.
If you’re someone who values the right to travel internationally, want to avoid over-zealous bureaucracy by your own government, or would like the option of residing in another country, a second citizenship and passport is essential.
How Much Does Dual Citizenship Cost?
To apply for U.S. citizenship, you have to get an N-400 form to process your application, and there are also biometric services to be conducted to run a background check on you. You will need to pay a total of $2925 for these two services – $2540 for N-400 form and $385 for the biometric services fee. The whole payment can be made at once through different means which include money order, cashier’s check, or personal check.
What If My Dual Citizenship Is Denied?
One of the most frequently asked questions about U.S. dual citizenship is if an application could be denied and what to do if that happens. The N-400 form is divided into 18 parts and each section of the form requires that an applicant understands and fills appropriately. Any error either by commission or omission in filling the form could result in application denial. Also, the interview and payment procedures must be followed. It is within the USCIS prerogative to grant or deny your application based on the reasons including but not limited to the following:
1. Failure to sign the N-400
2. Failure to pay the filing fee and biometric services fee along with your form
3. Failure to give all information required in the N-400 or not supplying required evidence.
However, if your application gets rejected for any of the above reasons, USCIS will return the application to you including any fees paid, and explain to you why your application is deemed deficient. The good news, however, is that you may be given the opportunity of correcting the errors and resubmit the N-400.
In some cases, USCIS may consider it necessary to ask you for more information or evidence to back up some claims in your application. You may also be invited for an interview during which you may need to provide a fingerprint, photograph, or any other security-related information required to verify your identity. All these are done to verify your eligibility, which will lead to the USCIS decision as to whether you will be granted or denied citizenship.
How Our Immigration Attorneys Can Help
Filing for U.S. dual citizenship might look simple on paper. However, it can be complicated, especially for someone without the prior experience of how the immigration system works. To avoid all the hassles and disappointment that may come up during the process, the best thing is to hire an immigration attorney.
With many years of experience in representing dual citizenship cases, Pivot Citizenship has expert attorneys that can help you through from the beginning of the process to the end. We have helped countless clients file their N-400 application as well as get it processed and approved. Therefore, if you are considering filing for dual citizenship or you are facing challenges in getting your application granted, Pivot Citizenship is your best bet.
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Owning a second passport opens up a number of possibilities that would otherwise be unattainable. First of all, it allows you a freedom that you could never before experience. Owning a second passport means that you are no longer dependent on any one country, meaning that it is much harder for any one government to control your life.
Having a second passport also gives you more freedom to travel. Should your primary passport get lost, stolen, or even confiscated by the government, you will always have a back-up that allows you to keep on exploring the world around you.
Also, your second passport may allow you easier access to certain places. U.S. citizens often need visas to travel within different countries, but your second passport may entitle you to visa-free entry and travel. Also it avoids the situation of having entry and exit stamps in your U.S. passport from countries your own government doesn’t want you to be in.
Lastly, getting a second passport is the first step towards full expatriation. As a U.S. citizen living overseas, you are still required to pay tax to your “home” country. To avoid this burden, tens of thousands of U.S. expats have decided to revoke their citizenship, releaving them from their tax-paying obligation. However, to go through with this process you will first need citizenship in another country, and a passport that proves it.
And the process of getting a second passport doesn’t have to be difficult either. In fact, in some cases, it could be regarded as easy. Many countries will grant you citizenship if you have a parent or grandparent—and sometimes even an ancestor from further down the line—that was from that country.
Do You Have the Right to a Second Passport?
You may not have considered it, but you may have a right to become a citizen of more than one country—and doing so could change your life for the better.
Under U.S. law, upheld by several U.S. Supreme Court decisions, “dual citizenship” (holding a second citizenship) does not jeopardize U.S. citizenship. Many other countries also allow dual citizenship.
Whether they’re eager to work or retire abroad, to be free of red tape and restrictions, or want to strengthen ties with their ancestral lands, record numbers of U.S. citizens hold a second, foreign passport.
While it’s impossible to know exactly how many U.S. citizens have acquired another passport, Professor Stanley Renshon of City University of New York puts the number of U.S. citizens who either hold—or are entitled to hold—a second passport, at about 40 million (out of a population of 327 million).
So why might a U.S. citizen want to acquire a second nationality and the additional passport that goes with it?
One very good reason...increasingly, the U.S. government is imposing burdensome restrictions on freedoms the nation’s founders guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. Many people are caught in an extensive web, cast to catch people the government decides might be doing something wrong. And the current definition of “wrong” is so expansive as to be all-inclusive in the bureaucratic mind.
A second citizenship is also important as a personal, powerful tool for international tax planning and for profitable investing. As a national of two countries you can enjoy an extra degree of privacy in your banking and financial activities.
Some countries offer an accelerated path to citizenship if you make a substantial financial investment and create new jobs. Few know it, but the United States has a similar program granting immediate residence to investors, as do Panama, Uruguay, the Dominican Republic, Chile, and many others.
Legal Natural grounds that may allow a person to have or acquire dual citizenship include:
1.Birth within the borders of a nation’s territory.
2.Descent from a foreign citizen parent or grandparent, making blood ancestry a basis, as is the law in Ireland, Italy, Spain, Poland, Hungary, Lithuania, Luxembourg, or Greece.
3.Marriage to a foreign citizen.
4.Religion, as in Israel and its Law of Return for Jews.
5.Formal naturalization, meaning applying and qualifying for citizenship status. The process for naturalization varies among countries. Usually, a period of residence is required (five years on average), plus good character and an absence of any criminal record, are among the requirements.
Furthermore, Citizenship can be attained in a different way (for the benefit of those that are not naturally entitled to the Citizenship of two countries)which is by investment or residence. That is why Pivot Citizenship is here for you. We offer official economic citizenship for sale. Our charges ranges from $80,000 for a single applicant and $140,000 for married couples and more interesting discounts for citizenship, based on the number of family members applying and other factors.
A second citizenship can open closed doors and, best of all, it can be your key to greater freedom, reducing taxes, and protecting your assets. Apply now!!!