Wouldn’t it be great to be a citizen of two countries? Well, yes and no. There are a lot of advantages of having dual nationality, but it’s not all roses and candy.
List of Advantages of Dual Citizenship
1. You get two passports.
It would be awesome to have passports for two countries because traveling could be easier for you. In some cases, you won’t have to apply for long stay visas and go through a rigid screening process for the purpose of your trip. You are guaranteed right of entry to both nations, so it is easier to visit family, do business, or even go to school in either country.
2. You can own property in either country.
In some nations, property ownership is limited to citizens of that country. And since you have citizenship, you can buy real estate and other properties in either nation. If you wish to retire in one of these places, it is easier for you to buy a house where you can live more conveniently and more comfortably.
3. You enjoy benefits and privileges offered by each country.
With dual citizenship, you can receive the benefits and privileges from both nations. So you could get to vote twice, run for office in either country, or have access to two healthcare or social service systems. You can even work in either of these two nations without the need to apply for a working visa, or study there while enjoying tuition rates for citizens.
List of Disadvantages of Dual Citizenship
1. Your security clearance may be questioned.
If you are hoping to work for the United States government in a job that requires access to sensitive information, your dual citizenship could put you more at a disadvantage. However, those who were born into dual nationality may experience fewer problems as compared to those who actively applied for it.
2. You have to pay double when it comes to taxes.
Since you are bound by the laws of both countries, then you will also have to pay your dues to both nations, especially if you are gaining income in either one. Hopefully, the taxation laws and treaties between different countries will improve in the near future, but it would still be wise to consult with a reliable tax lawyer and tax accountant.
3. You need to undergo a complicated process.
If a child is born in the United States to foreign parents, that child automatically receives dual citizenship. However, if you wish to actively seek out dual nationality, the process can be long and expensive. For example, a person who wants to become an American citizen has to live in the U.S. as a permanent resident for five years continuously. If you are married to a U.S. citizen then this will be three years. You have to pay a couple of thousands of dollars for the processing of your application. And that does not yet include the fees for an immigration lawyer.
Although dual citizenship may come with a lot of perks, it comes with a handful of disadvantages as well. So it is best to consult with citizenship lawyers and professionals before you pursue dual nationality to determine if it is really the best move for you.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Masters Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.