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Dual Citizenship

Discussion in 'Cultural Discussions' started by Hockey13, Nov 20, 2006.

  1. Hockey13

    Hockey13 Senior Member

    Irvine, California
    AmEnglish/German
    It doesn't???

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ImageualCitizenMap.PNG

    Moderator Note: This is a spin-off from the thread Native of Two Languages.
     
  2. DCPaco Senior Member

    Planet Earth
    Spanish of Mexico/ English of the USA
    Well, this is what I've found and this is what I understand to be true.


    A description of the US naturalization oath is given in Section 337(a) of the INA [8 USC § 1448(a)]. Of particular relevance to the dual citizenship issue is that, as part of the oath, a new citizen must pledge "to renounce and abjure absolutely and entirely all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which the applicant was before a subject or citizen."
    In practice, it is unclear what if any true legal significance this statement has any more. The US does not require a new citizen to take any formal steps to renounce his old citizenship before officials of the "old country"; and when the other country continues to claim a naturalized US citizen as one of its own, current US policy recognizes that such a person may have to use a passport from the other country in order to visit there, and such an action does not put the person's US citizenship in jeopardy.
     
  3. Redisca

    Redisca Junior Member

    NYC area
    English-Russian; USA
    Hockey: The US allows people to have dual citizenship, but does not recognize it -- as opposed to countries which require naturalized citizens to renounce their original citizenships formally, or strip people of their citizenship if they acquire such status elsewhere.
     
  4. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Am. English, Pal. Arabic (See profile)
    We're veering off-topic, but what do you mean by "recognize"? If it allows it as long as it's ok with the other country, what more is necessary for "recognition"? :confused: Are there other countries that both allow and recognize dual citizenship, and if so, how do they differ from the US?
     
  5. Redisca

    Redisca Junior Member

    NYC area
    English-Russian; USA
    Well, the readiest example that comes to mind is if the US and Country X go to war, and a double citizen of those countries fights on the side of X, his X citizenship cannot be invoked as a defense against the charge of treason -- even after the US and Country X kiss and make up. In fact, swearing military allegiance to or accepting a policy-making post in another country may result in a loss of one's US citizenship. A dual citizen also cannot evade the draft in the US or get out of paying taxes by invoking his other citizenship. As far as the US government is concerned, a US citizen is a US citizen is a US citizen.

    So I've been told, but I don't know for a fact. Theoretically, however, a formal recognition of dual citizenship would entail modified rights and obligations for dual citizens as opposed to ordinary citizens.
     
  6. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Am. English, Pal. Arabic (See profile)
    Thanks for the info, Redisca.
     
  7. Hockey13

    Hockey13 Senior Member

    Irvine, California
    AmEnglish/German
    I know that the US does allow dual citizenship (otherwise our INS office would be inundated with complaints). In my case, I am both a German and a US citizen, but I must apply to retain my German citizenship by my 23rd year. If I am drafted by Germany, I have the choice to do a civil service, which is not equivalent to serving in another military...of this I am quite sure.
     
  8. roxcyn

    roxcyn Senior Member

    USA
    American English [AmE]
    Hockey, I believe that you can only become a dual citizen if (a) you are a citizen of another country. For example, you moved to USA from Germany. If your family moved from another country and you want to apply for citizenship there. Your grandparents are Italian (from Italy) and they did not withdraw their citizenship to Italy, you can apply for citizenship for Italy.

    But, I think if you decide to move to whatever country and apply for citizenship without having a heritage there already, you have to denounce your USA citizenship.
     
  9. Hockey13

    Hockey13 Senior Member

    Irvine, California
    AmEnglish/German
    In my situation, I have been a citizen of both countries from birth as I was born in the USA, my father is a resident of the USA, and my mother was a citizen of West Germany. I believe I could run for the highest office of both countries. I know for certain I could run for President of the US once I reach the age of 35, but I'm not entirely sure of Germany. I don't see why I wouldn't be able to.
     
  10. Redisca

    Redisca Junior Member

    NYC area
    English-Russian; USA
    I distinctly remember reading a case about Meir Cohane almost having his US citizenship yanked when he ran for office in Israel.
     
  11. roxcyn

    roxcyn Senior Member

    USA
    American English [AmE]
    I am sure if one country did not like what their "citizen" was doing they could remove his (her) citizenship :)
     
  12. Hockey13

    Hockey13 Senior Member

    Irvine, California
    AmEnglish/German
    Right, that makes sense. I meant that if I wanted to, I could do either/or. Could you imagine if I became President and the Chancellor of Germany....at the same time?? :D
     
  13. Redisca

    Redisca Junior Member

    NYC area
    English-Russian; USA
    I don't know about other countries, but in the US, the grounds for stripping people of their citizenship are spelled out by statute. The fact that the citizen is an alleged a**hole isn't one of them.
     
  14. fenixpollo

    fenixpollo Mod Chicken

    Arizona
    American English
    No, and "heritage" has nothing to do with it. If I were to apply for Japanese citizenship (as a famous chess player has done), it would not matter whether I had Japanese ancestry. Legally, the US cannot forbid me from applying for citizenship in another country -- especially not on arbitrary and dubious grounds such as "race" or "ethnicity".

    As DCPaco's post above suggests, unless a person takes specific action to renounce their US citizenship, they are a US citizen. By "specific action", I mean that they have to make a formal declaration (verbal or written) to an official of the Department of State. Just because they swear an oath (of citizenship, of allegiance, etc.) to another country, they are not required to -- nor is it understood that they automatically -- renounce their US citizenship.
     
  15. Redisca

    Redisca Junior Member

    NYC area
    English-Russian; USA
    Not true. Please see Immigration & Nationality Act §349 (8 U.S.C. §1481). Since I have fewer than 30 posts, I am not allowed to post links to other sites here. However, if you PM me, I will provide a link to the text of the statute. You can also find it yourself at the Cornell University law website.
     
  16. HogansIslander

    HogansIslander Senior Member

    Vancouver, Canada
    English, Canada
    The link is here:
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/uscode08/usc_sec_08_00001481----000-.html

    The important part of this statute , with respect to this discussion, is "with the intention of relinquishing United States nationality".

    It has been interpreted by the Supreme Court that by default, one does not intend to relinquish one's citizenship, so simply becoming a citizen of another country (and thus presumably having to swear an oath of allegiance) does not cause loss of US nationality. More info here:
    http://travel.state.gov/law/citizenship/citizenship_778.html
     
  17. don maico

    don maico Senior Member

    UK
    UK English /Spanish
    Having been borne in Argentina I have dual nationality ( English parent) but I am required to have but one passport - UK. If was to spend more than three months in Argentina I would be required to apply for one of theirs.
     
  18. I am surprised that so many have this misconception about the US forbidding dual citizenship. A law was passed back in the 70's or so that forbade it, I know because I had a French mother-in-law in Maine who was obligated to give up her French citizenship at that time.

    But that law was repealed shortly after. There is absolutely no problem anymore. Examples: I am a US citizen, I am applying for French citizenship as well, and have many American friends who have already successfully done so without any conflict of interest. My children were born in France to a French papa, so they automatically have French citizenship. When they were born, I registered them at the embassy, and they are also American nationals. Once I tried to travel with my son to the states using his French passport. I was stopped at immigration and told that they don't care where else he's a citizen, he's an American and as such must use his American passport to travel in the U.S..

    Your affiliation with another country (familial, personal, professional) has nothing to do with it. If another country decides to make you a citizen, the U.S. cannot revoke your US nationality. Conversely, it cannot require you to give up your citizenship in another country in order to get it in the US.

    I am 110% sure of this, so if you were hesitating about applying for nationality, know that you can, and you will not be asked to give up your birth nationality.
     
  19. Brioche

    Brioche Senior Member

    Adelaide
    Australia English
    This is similar to the situation in Australia. If you have Australian citizenship you must enter and leave the country on an Australian passport.

    Prior to April 2002, an Australian who acquired the citizenship of another country, by his/her own action, lost Australian citizenship.

    The only problem here with dual citizenship is that you cannot be a member of the Australian House of Representative or the Australian Senate if you
    are "a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or citizen of a foreign power" [Section 44 i of the Australian Constitution]
     
  20. Redisca

    Redisca Junior Member

    NYC area
    English-Russian; USA
    Here is the statute as it exists NOW -- not in the 70's -- now:

    U.S.C. TITLE 8 > CHAPTER 12 > SUBCHAPTER III > Part III > § 1481 Prev | Next

    § 1481. Loss of nationality by native-born or naturalized citizen; voluntary action; burden of proof; presumptions


    (a) A person who is a national of the United States whether by birth or naturalization, shall lose his nationality by voluntarily performing any of the following acts with the intention of relinquishing United States nationality—
    (1) obtaining naturalization in a foreign state upon his own application or upon an application filed by a duly authorized agent, after having attained the age of eighteen years; or
    (2) taking an oath or making an affirmation or other formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign state or a political subdivision thereof, after having attained the age of eighteen years; or
    (3) entering, or serving in, the armed forces of a foreign state if
    (A) such armed forces are engaged in hostilities against the United States, or
    (B) such persons serve as a commissioned or non-commissioned officer; or
    (4)
    (A) accepting, serving in, or performing the duties of any office, post, or employment under the government of a foreign state or a political subdivision thereof, after attaining the age of eighteen years if he has or acquires the nationality of such foreign state; or
    (B) accepting, serving in, or performing the duties of any office, post, or employment under the government of a foreign state or a political subdivision thereof, after attaining the age of eighteen years for which office, post, or employment an oath, affirmation, or declaration of allegiance is required; or
    (5) making a formal renunciation of nationality before a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States in a foreign state, in such form as may be prescribed by the Secretary of State; or
    (6) making in the United States a formal written renunciation of nationality in such form as may be prescribed by, and before such officer as may be designated by, the Attorney General, whenever the United States shall be in a state of war and the Attorney General shall approve such renunciation as not contrary to the interests of national defense; or
    (7) committing any act of treason against, or attempting by force to overthrow, or bearing arms against, the United States, violating or conspiring to violate any of the provisions of section 2383 of title 18, or willfully performing any act in violation of section 2385 of title 18, or violating section 2384 of title 18 by engaging in a conspiracy to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, if and when he is convicted thereof by a court martial or by a court of competent jurisdiction.
    (b) Whenever the loss of United States nationality is put in issue in any action or proceeding commenced on or after September 26, 1961 under, or by virtue of, the provisions of this chapter or any other Act, the burden shall be upon the person or party claiming that such loss occurred, to establish such claim by a preponderance of the evidence. Any person who commits or performs, or who has committed or performed, any act of expatriation under the provisions of this chapter or any other Act shall be presumed to have done so voluntarily, but such presumption may be rebutted upon a showing, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the act or acts committed or performed were not done voluntarily.
     
  21. Yes and the first points, a), states clearly that:

    (a) A person who is a national of the United States whether by birth or naturalization, shall lose his nationality by voluntarily performing any of the following acts with the intention of relinquishing United States nationality

    I have many friends who came to France fro the U.S. and now hold two passports - therefore two nationalities. I will also soon fit that description. The "with the intention" part is key...
     
  22. fenixpollo

    fenixpollo Mod Chicken

    Arizona
    American English
    Notice, redisca, that while the law implies that dual citizenship might be illegal, the law has been interpreted otherwise -- as HogansIslandar pointed out above.
    It appears that the courts have focused on (a), not on its subsections.
     
  23. curly

    curly Senior Member

    English - Ireland
    I can tell you that Ireland allows multiple citezenship, One of the conditions being that we cannot avail of the Irish embassy in the country of which we are a citezen. Another is that our passport is the property of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, which has always made me wonder what he does with them when the expire..
     
  24. Brioche

    Brioche Senior Member

    Adelaide
    Australia English
    The big softies who run Australia should follow that rule.
    Back in July, when there was trouble between Israel and Lebanon, a great mob of dual nationals who are permanently resident in Lebanon waved their Australian passports and demanded that Australia evacuate them.
     
  25. jonto New Member

    English UK
    As far as I know, it's the same in the UK. I have UK/Irish dual nationality and was told that I couldn't avail of the British embassy in the Republic of Ireland, but apart from that there seems to be no problem with having dual or multiple citizenship for a UK citizen. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong).
     
  26. Chaska Ñawi

    Chaska Ñawi modus borealis

    an old Ontario farmhouse
    Canadian English
    The Canadian government evacuated many Canadians from Lebanon. Some had dual citizenship, some held only Canadian citizenship. Many had gone back during the summer vacation to visit family, attend weddings, etc. Their dual citizenship made them no less Canadian. Some had lived in Canada for thirty or forty years, paid taxes, and then retired to Lebanon. I haven't been terribly proud of our government lately, but I was at that time.

    Not many people objected to the stand .... but it was noted that many among the dissenters spend all their winters in Florida and Hawaii, and would undoubtedly expect to be evacuated in the event of hurricane, earthquake, or tsunami.
     
  27. invictaspirit Senior Member

    Kent, SE England
    English English
    The United States can write as many laws as it likes requiring naturalised Brits to renounce or cancel their British citizenship but it won't mean a damn thing. :) You can't renounce British citizenship. If you are born a British citizen you have a totally inalienable right to be British which no other government can cancel to a British passport.

    You can destroy your British passport, wear a tshirt saying 'I hate the UK', live in another country for 50 years publishing articles about how you are no longer British...but if you change your mind they still have to let you come home with full employment and residency rights.

    People who have been naturalised as British (people who were born to another nation and who aquired UK citizenship some time later) do not have this right and can be stripped of their British nationality should they continually break laws or be a threat to national security.

    But...irrespective of race or creed, if you were born here and were British at birth, you can not lose your right to a passport and residency, no matter what you promise a foreign government.
     
  28. Redisca

    Redisca Junior Member

    NYC area
    English-Russian; USA
    The United States wrote a law requiring someone to renounce or cancel their citizenship? :confused: Wow, that's news to me. Do you have a citation?
     
  29. invictaspirit Senior Member

    Kent, SE England
    English English
    A description of the US naturalization oath is given in Section 337(a) of the INA [8 USC § 1448(a)]. Of particular relevance to the dual citizenship issue is that, as part of the oath, a new citizen must pledge "to renounce and abjure absolutely and entirely all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which the applicant was before a subject or citizen."

    I assume this is taken seriously and has legal weight?
     
  30. I don't think it is interpreted, at this point in time, to mean that you must give up your first nationality. Are all Mexican citizens who are naturalized in the US required to give up their Mexican citizenship? No. Same goes for Europeans, I know many who have been naturalized and yet maintain their first nationality. Laws are interpreted, and that one is not interpreted in that manner at the time being. However, it was interpreted in that way for a period of a few years (maybe in the 70's?) in the U.S. before that decision was reversed.
     
  31. Brioche

    Brioche Senior Member

    Adelaide
    Australia English
    You certainly can renounce your UK citizenship.
    See British Nationality Act 1981.
    After you have acquired another citizenship, you fill out Form RN1.
    The Home Secretary will not accept your renuciation of citizenship if you are of unsound mind, or under 18, or if you would become stateless.

    A person who renounces British citizenship has a right (once only) to resume that citizenship if the renunciation was necessary to enable him or her to keep or obtain some other citizenship.

    As I mentioned above, you cannot be a member of the Australian Federal Parliament if you have an second citizenship. UK immigrants who want to stand for the federal parliament have to renounce their UK citizenship.

    Becoming the citizen of another country does not mean the loss of UK citizenship. The only way to lose UK citizenship is via Form RN1.
     
  32. invictaspirit Senior Member

    Kent, SE England
    English English
    It's a technicality. It isn't real. It's just a piece of paper to satisfy foreign governments who insist on it. In practice if you are a born British citizen you never lose the right to resume citizenship.

    "A person who renounces British citizenship more than once, or for any other reason, may be allowed to resume that citizenship if the Home Secretary thinks fit."

    This always happens and has never been denied. OK...fair enough, it says 'may be'. An interesting test case might be a person who renounced UK citizenship three times, in order to aquire other nationalities, and committed awful crimes elsewhere and eventually fled home. If that has happened I believe that person would have been re-admitted anyway.

    It remains the case that no-one who was a born British citizen has ever been permanently stripped of his/her nationality by the UK government.
     
  33. ert New Member

    Uk - English
    What if you commit treason or assassinate the Queen or something, couldn't they take away your British citizenship even then? (just to give an extreme example).
     
  34. Lusitania Senior Member

    Lisbon
    Portugal Portuguese
    In Portugal it's possible to have dual citizenship.
    Many migrants do. Especially from other CPLP countries.
     
  35. ESustad Senior Member

    Washington, DC
    English - (Minnesota)
    Old thread, but hopefully I'm not out of line in resurrecting it. (Immigration lawyer here.) To naturalize as a US citizen, one must renounce all allegiances to foreign countries. However, some countries (e.g., Mexico, Turkey, Iran) do not recognize renunciation of citizenship. While a Mexican who acquires US citizenship must renounce Mexican citizenship, Mexico will consider that individual Mexican for life.
     
  36. Pedro y La Torre

    Pedro y La Torre Senior Member

    Paris, France
    English (Ireland)
    Do budding U.S. citizens really have to do it? Do U.S. authorities now require proof? I know more than one or two Irish people who've gotten U.S. citizenship but retain their Irish passports too.
     
  37. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    I think we have discussed it here before..

    When I got a US citizenship, among other papers I received a Xeroxed flyer that said that by becoming a US citizen I had to abandon all other citizenships and titles of nobility (!:mad:). I just ignored that becuse there is no way to track and enforce that.
     
  38. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    I think this is one of those subjects that we are not aware of as part of normal everyday life. According to Wikipedia (take that as it is), there are 14 countries in the EU that have some sort of restriction on dual citizenship. Austria, for example, doesn't allow dual citizenship for Austrians. If an Austrian becomes a citizen of another country they lose their Austrian citizenship. If we are natural-born citizens of a country the issue just never comes up. This is not unique to the U.S.

    According to the Home Office, here is the policy in the UK:

     
  39. ESustad Senior Member

    Washington, DC
    English - (Minnesota)
    Yes, at the ceremony, the naturalizing alien takes an oath renouncing all other citizenships. In practice, the US tolerates other citizenships, since the renunciation is unenforceable, particularly if the first country refuses to recognize it. It has been an issue for Iranian nationals who naturalize in the US as young adults. Iran is among the countries that doesn't recognize renunciation of citizenship, and also has (or had) compulsory military service for males. So, an Iranian who becomes a US citizen at age 19 and returns to Iran to visit will be liable for conscription, which would have serious consequences vis-a-vis his oath to the US.
     
  40. Pedro y La Torre

    Pedro y La Torre Senior Member

    Paris, France
    English (Ireland)
    I didn't know that about Britain, interesting. Interesting too how the Irish are excluded. :D
     
  41. Sepia Senior Member

    High German/Danish
    Sounds great but does not even work in the real world. Remember what the USA did to naturalized Citizens originating in Germany and Japan during WW II. It did noch help them a bit to have only one citizenship. So what difference should it make to have two.
     
  42. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
    My niece was born in Brasil of two American parents. They returned to the USA when she was about four months old. She held dual citizenship until she was 18 years old. On her 18th birthday she had to declare whether she would be Brazilian or American. Dual citizenship was not permitted after she reached her majority.
     
  43. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    France
    USA Northeast
    I've had dual nationality for a while now (US and French) and no one has ever questioned it. I've never renounced anything, even been asked to renounce it and hold two passports. I know quite a few people in the same situation. I use one passport or another depending on which direction I'm travelling in and which one is advantageous.
     
  44. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
    A quick search shows you are correct. I guess it was Brazil that required the declaration.
     
  45. Vanda

    Vanda Moderesa de Beagá

    Belo Horizonte, BRASIL
    Português/ Brasil
    I have Italian citizenship - although those farabutto from Belo Horizonte never hand me my passport- my sister has hers for 10 years now. When she comes to Europe, she enters as Italian, when she returns she uses the Brazilian one to enter here. Now about USA, this is so typical of its government. when we read about the great inventors - of the past at least - they are all American, and then when we learn their nationality they are Russians, Jews, Germans and so one. This is really a play of political interest of the USA, I am afraid to say.
     
  46. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    I don't think it is about the USA. I have a suspicion all countries "appropriate" their accomplished dual citizens to themselves. Sergey Brin (the co-founder of Google) is considered Russian in Russia, although his family emigrated to the US when he was little. Same with Nabokov, although he left Russia in his early 20s and write all his works in emigration.
     
  47. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    It has to be considered, Vanda, that we are a nation made up primarily of immigrants. Once you become a citizen of the U.S. your original nationality (in the sense of where you were born) is only relevant to heritage. If I were to become a citizen of Brazil would you consider me Brazilian or still of U.S. nationality?

    And I'd like to point that "Jew" is not a nationality.
     
  48. learnerr Senior Member

    Russian
    Why do you think so? Well, I do not know either who many people consider him, but personally I have always considered him an American without any afterthought, and for me it is so natural that I just never stopped on it. With Russia he has little to nothing to do.
    Nabokov, true, is all a Russian to me; apart from the fact that he has written in Russian, that might have to do with the fact that he did not renounce his being Russian, rather the contrary.
    As for people like Sikorsky, they are half by half to me, rather Americans than Russians, because their work was done not just physically on American territory, but in American framework of working.
    Yes, things like that, I think, are about any country.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2014
  49. Vanda

    Vanda Moderesa de Beagá

    Belo Horizonte, BRASIL
    Português/ Brasil
    As far as I know - correct me if I am wrong - the person can't have 2 citizenships in USA, like he has to ''abandon'' his original citizenship. I can be Brazilian and Italian, don't have to give up anyone.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2014
  50. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    Officially, yes -- only in the sense that the citizenship oath includes a renunciation of other citizenships. In real life, no. A second citizenship isn't generally recognized by the U.S. (there are a few exceptions) but it doesn't affect the daily lives of those who hold passports from another country as well as the U.S. See above.

    It might be worth noting that the U.S. is not alone in this. Germany, for example, has the same rule for any naturalized citizen from a non-EU country unless it is specifically forbidden by the person's "home" country. Brazil happens to be one of the countries who says that Brazilian citizenship cannot be renounced.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2014

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