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Dual Citizenship: What You Should Know 

4 min read
Dual Citizenship: What You Should Know 

Dual citizenship means that a person is a citizen of two different countries. Most of the time this refers to a person who is born in another country and becomes naturalized in a second, such as with the United States. While some people obtain dual citizenship so that they can live in another country, there are other reasons why a person may become a dual citizen. Besides the different motivations for dual citizenship, there are actually a number of benefits as well. 

If you are considering becoming a dual citizen, we are going to discuss some of the things you should know, including the types of things you may need to do to become a dual citizen and what benefits you will have as a dual citizen. 

How to Get Dual Citizenship 

Dual citizenship is usually applied for through the country you are seeking citizenship in and you must pass certain criteria to attain citizenship, such as living in the country for a set number of years, being a productive member of the population (such as by working, owning a business or contributing to the community in some way) and/or passing an exam. Different countries have different rules and the amount of time and effort it takes can vary greatly. Additionally, some countries make it very difficult for foreigners to become citizens or only accept a limited number of people at a time. 

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Besides obtaining citizenship through the standard method, children born in foreign countries are typically granted citizenship in both the country they are born in and their parent’s country of origin. For instance, a child born in the United Kingdom to parents who are American citizens would be given both American and UK citizenship. Therefore, some people obtain dual citizenship by birth rather than by choice. 

Be aware that your country of origin typically dictates the number of citizenships you may have. Some countries allow only two or dual citizenship, some allow for many different citizenships, and some countries require that you renounce your previous citizenship to obtain another. It’s important to know this before applying or you could spend a lot of time trying to become a citizen only to find out it does not matter. 

Benefits of Obtaining Dual Citizenship 

There are many reasons to become a dual citizen. 

Firstly, it allows you to live and work in a country without the need for a green card or visa. You may behave just as any other citizen. While doing so you do not have time limits on how long you can stay and you do not have to worry about checking in with government authorities or updating paperwork. This is why many people seek citizenship in another country, in order to work and make money better than they could in their home country. 

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Another benefit is that you are allowed to have the same rights and protections in either country that a citizen has. This means protection under the law but also the right to own property, invest, trade currency and other things that may not be allowed. In some countries, it is entirely impossible to own property without becoming a citizen and others put limits on the jobs you can have and etc. 

As a dual citizen, you are also able to carry two passports, one from each country. This can make travel much easier in certain regions of the world. You may also be able to sponsor family members to become citizens, depending on the country in which you are a dual citizen. The US allows dual citizens to sponsor family members to get their green card and work towards becoming a citizen. 

Being a dual citizen also gives a person full access to the social services of that country. This includes health and well-being benefits. Many countries limit the amount of assistance provided to non-citizens or may deny them outright. This can make it even more difficult to live in that country. 

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Becoming a dual citizen is not an easy process. It can take years to complete and a lot of paperwork. However, once a person completes the process, they are entitled to a number of benefits as a citizen of another country. These include property ownership, family sponsorship, and access to public services. 

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