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How Dual Nationality Works

What is dual nationality exactly? Dual nationality means that someone is a citizen of two different countries at once. However, we must keep in mind that the nationality laws in each country differ. It’s not uncommon for someone to have dual nationality simple due to the laws in place, rather than personal choice.

For example, suppose a husband and wife, both U.S. citizens, were living in England because of the husband’s job. When the couple’s child is born in London, the child could eventually be considered a citizen of the United States and Britain once the residency requirements and other conditions have been satisfied in the UK.

How Do U.S. Citizens Acquire Foreign Nationality?

Suppose you’re a U.S. citizen. You could acquire foreign nationality by marrying someone from a foreign country. Or, if a foreign national becomes a U.S. national, he or she may not lose the nationality of the country where they were born. U.S. immigration law does not demand that people choose one nationality over another, nor does U.S. law mention dual nationality.

“Can I lose U.S. nationality?” Yes, that is possible. A U.S. citizen can lose their U.S. nationality by applying for nationality in a foreign country freely, voluntarily, and by their free will, and with the intention of giving up their U.S. nationality.

How does someone demonstrate “intent” to give up their U.S. nationality? It comes from the person’s conduct and statements. While the U.S. Government acknowledges dual nationality, it does not encourage it because it can cause problems and confusion.

“The country where a dual national is located generally has a stronger claim to that person’s allegiance. However, dual nationals owe allegiance to both the United States and the foreign country,” according to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs.

Are you interested in learning more about dual nationality? Contact our office to meet with a Plano immigration attorney!