How to Apply for US Dual Citizenship

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While it is possible to claim dual citizenship, meaning a person holds citizenship in two countries (sometimes three), the United States being one of them, the legal process for doing so is long and complicated and may leave you to question if the resulting effort is worth it. For the record, there is no official application or legal process in which to apply for "U.S. dual citizenship," on the other hand, the U.S. State Department does recognize dual citizenship.

Obtain U.S. citizenship by either being born in the United States or in another country to legal citizens of the U.S (which automatically makes you a dual citizen). You can also become a U.S. citizen by obtaining a Green Card and going through the process of becoming a naturalized citizen of the U.S. Taking this route means you will have to surrender your passport and renounce citizenship to your home country.

U.S. Immigration and Customs seal.

Contact the consulate for your home country, either by telephone or Internet, once you have become a U.S. citizen.

Ask the consulate if you will be allowed to obtain a passport from your home country. Some countries will permit you to obtain a passport without having to renounce your newly acquired citizenship from the United States, while other countries, with more extreme governments, might punish you with a prison sentence (should you decide to return).

Follow the steps outlined by the consulate to obtain a passport from your home country. Once you obtain the passport, you will once again be considered a citizen of that country---as long as it does not require you to renounce your U.S. citizenship. This process will automatically make you a dual citizen.

The American flag.

Note there is no official policy in the United States that says you cannot be issued a passport from another country if you are citizen of the U.S. Furthermore, the U.S. government will not revoke your citizenship if you claim citizenship in another country. If you've done your homework, and have basically kept political opinions to yourself, your goal to achieve dual citizenship through legal means might become a reality.

Warnings

  • Even though freedom of speech is guaranteed in the United States Constitution, keep political opinions to yourself if you have not yet become a citizen. What you say and do can be used against you and could prevent you from becoming a citizen.

Tips

  • Obey the laws in the country of which you wish to obtain citizenship. Fill out application forms perfectly. Do not skip details. Be on time for appointments with government officials. Be prepared to walk through miles of red tape, interviews, forms, documents and phone calls. If you are a spouse of an American citizen, you still have to get a Green Card, but you only have to wait 3 years to apply for U.S. citizenship.

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About the Author

After graduating with a journalism degree from Emerson College in 1989, James Dryden went to work immediately in the publishing industry, first as a type-setter then as a copy editor, layout artist, writer, photographer and proofreader.