Does the United States recognize dual citizenship? How does getting dual citizenship work? What are the advantages of dual citizenship for American citizens? This guide covers everything you need to know about getting dual citizenship as a US citizen.
You’ll learn more about:
- Perks of dual citizenship as an American
- Dual citizenship passport requirements for a US citizen
- Best dual US-EU citizenship
What is dual citizenship?
Dual citizenship, also popularly referred to as dual nationality or second citizenship, is an individual’s citizenship status in which the person is simultaneously seen as a citizen of more than one country under the immigration law in both respective countries.
Advantages of dual citizenship for Americans
There are many advantages of dual citizenship. As a dual citizen, you’re a citizen of two countries, so you have access to the privileges and benefits of each country.
Some of the benefits of being a dual citizen include:
- The right to live, work and study in two countries
- Superior economic opportunities
- A second passport that protects your personal and financial safety
- Family security
- Increased travel freedoms
- The right to vote and hold office
- Access to health care and social security
- Own property
Does the US allow dual nationality?
Yes, the US allows dual nationality or dual citizenship, meaning you can hold onto your American passport and pursue second citizenship in another country of your choosing. As a dual citizen or dual national, you can enjoy the perks of holding citizenship in the two countries. Dual nationals have access to health care, education, and the right to vote. Do note that some countries do not recognize dual citizenship.
American dual citizenship rules
If you decide to pursue dual citizenship and are already an overseas citizen (a United States citizen living abroad), you won’t lose your American citizenship. Your residency status abroad, including your application for second citizenship or citizenship status in another country, has no impact on your United States citizenship.
With this said, it’s important to recognize that the USA follows a ‘master nationality’ rule. This means that the USA recognizes only the US nationality of an individual, regardless of whether that individual holds any other citizenship.
Note that if your parents have citizenship from another country, you may be able to secure citizenship automatically, although this will depend on the country’s nationality laws.
US dual citizenship countries list
As an American citizen, you can enjoy dual citizenship in numerous countries. To name a few, you can have citizenship in the following countries: Australia, the United Kingdom, Dominica, Cyprus, Malta, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, and Denmark.
Do note that the countries list is not exhaustive and is subject to change at the government’s discretion. Foreign nationals should check the most up-to-date nationality act and the immigration procedures in the country that they are interested in acquiring citizenship.
Dual citizenship passport requirements for a US citizen
US citizens, including dual citizens, can use an American passport to enter and leave the United States whenever they choose. Other nations may also require them to use their passport to enter and leave that country. Using a foreign passport does not threaten US citizenship at all, it’s permitted.
American dual citizenship taxes
One of the downsides of having dual citizenship is that US citizens that live outside the USA will face double taxation. Double taxation here means that US citizens will need to pay taxes in two or more jurisdictions on the same income, financial transaction, or asset. If you are a citizen of the United States, your worldwide income is subject to US income tax, even though you may have residency in another country.
On the plus side, US citizens may qualify to be excluded from certain foreign income tax credits or income earned in a foreign country. While US citizens may not be able to avoid double taxation, there are certain exemptions on income taxes in some situations.
Dual citizenship by investment
By far, the best way to get dual citizenship is through citizenship-by-investment programs. Also referred to as passport-by-investment programs or ‘economic citizenship’ initiatives, countries from across the globe offer dual citizenship by investment.
Citizenship by Investment Programs allows individuals who invest in another country to obtain dual citizenship, provided that all program requirements are met and the qualifying minimum investment is made. By far, the most popular way to invest is through property investment. For example, by buying a property in St Kitts and Nevis worth a minimum of $400,000, you and your family can obtain dual citizenship and passports in two months.
Countries that offer second citizenship by investment include:
- Malta Citizenship by Investment
- Dominica Citizenship by Investment
- St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment
If you are interested in gaining second citizenship, it is essential to understand that both your home country and the other country that you are interested in securing citizenship accept dual citizenship.
If you’re unsure about which citizenship by investment program is right for you or how to get EU dual citizenship as an American citizen, check out our 2023 Citizenship by Investment Comparison Guide.
Speak to one of our second citizenship consultants
As a boutique consultancy firm with years of experience delivering citizenship-by-investment solutions for international families, we offer several different citizenship-by-investment programs worldwide. Operating across four countries, our second citizenship consultants understand the intricacies involved in navigating past citizenship by investment program requirements.
With a 100 percent success rate in processing dual citizenship, we can help you from start to finish in your journey toward citizenship.
Dual US-EU citizenship
Malta offers a highly competitive citizenship-by-investment program in Europe.
Dual US-EU citizenship is an opportunity of a lifetime. It offers many advantages, including:
Dual US-Caribbean citizenship
Caribbean citizenship by investment programs are a very attractive and cost-effective option for Americans and other foreign nationals looking to get passports. From as little as $100,000, you can get dual citizenship in countries like Dominica or St Lucia, with excellent visa-free travel options and tax advantages. Many of these countries have no residence requirements, meaning you don’t actually have to go to the country and live there to qualify for citizenship.
Caribbean citizenship is priceless. It offers key advantages like:
- Luxury property investments at affordable rates
- A relaxed pace of life on paradise islands
- Dual citizenship permitting global travel entry to over 120 destinations
- You can apply for passports remotely
- No residence, stay, or language requirements
- Fantastic tax benefits
- Proximity to the US
Caribbean citizenship or European citizenship, which is right for you? Get some advice from one of our second citizenship consultants. We can help you compare citizenship programs and discuss your unique objectives. Schedule your free call here.
Easiest dual citizenship for an American
One of the easiest foreign citizenship opportunities for an American is to get a passport in Dominica. As long as you have an outstanding character and hold no criminal record, you can qualify for Dominica citizenship by buying real estate to the value of or exceeding $200,000 or investing $100,000 into Dominica’s government fund. The best part is you and your family all qualify for citizenship, and you can get foreign citizenship in 2-3 months
Dual citizenship through a Golden Visa program
If you’re not in a rush to acquire dual citizenship just yet but are looking for a quick way to get temporary residency first in another country, then applying for the Golden Visa is a perfect option and provides many benefits. This option allows you to secure temporary residence, which, after a certain period, you can exchange for permanent residency and citizenship.
Both Portugal and Spain offer Golden Visas. These are residency-by-investment programs that give qualifying investors temporary residence permits in exchange for making a financial donation. While you don’t get a Portuguese passport or Spanish citizenship directly, it’s possible to acquire permanent residency and dual citizenship after a certain period. Family members can also be included in the application.
After five years in Portugal, you can get permanent residence and apply for Portuguese citizenship, provided you fulfil all the requirements. Permanent residency offers an array of perks. However, with citizenship, you have the same rights as any other citizen of the country, for example, political rights to vote, which you would not have as a permanent resident. Having dual citizenship in Portugal and the USA will open many doors in terms of global mobility, investment opportunities, and tax benefits. Plus, as you will have the same rights as any other Portuguese citizen, you will have complete access to the European Union (EU) and be able to enjoy Portugal’s excellent healthcare system and social service programs.
Find out whether Portugal’s Golden Visa or Spain’s Golden Visa suits you best.
How to Obtain Dual Citizenship in Other Ways
United States of America dual citizenship can be acquired in different ways, namely:
Acquiring second citizenship by birth
Getting second citizenship by marriage
Obtain second citizenship by descent
Get second citizenship through naturalization
How Global Citizen Solutions can help
Since there are so many United States of America dual citizenship-by-investment programs that have different types of investments, program requirements, and timeframes to citizenship, it’s important to consult with a specialist on the best options available to you.
Other articles that you may be interested in are:
Frequently Asked Questions about Dual Citizenship for US Citizens
Can I have dual citizenship as an American?
Yes, US citizens can have dual citizenship without any difficulty, but it’s important to note that not all countries recognize dual citizenship. Other countries may not permit dual citizenship, meaning that you will need to relinquish your US citizenship. If your country of birth recognizes dual citizenship, then it is easier to get a second passport as you can get birthright citizenship.
It is also important to note that, while there are multiple benefits, being a dual citizen is a complex legal status, and a dual national owes permanent allegiance to the US and the foreign country or foreign state. Plus, you will need to be aware of where you owe taxes.
Does the US allow dual citizenship?
Yes, the US government allows dual citizenship. As long as you are not a citizen of a country whereby you cannot have dual citizenship, you should be able to acquire dual citizenship in America, and vice versa, provided you meet all the citizenship requirements. And having US citizenship and a second citizenship in a foreign state or country has significant advantages.
How do I get dual citizenship as a US citizen?
You can get dual citizenship as a US citizen through marriage, descent, birth, the naturalization process, or citizenship-by-investment. Citizenship by birth refers to if you are a child born to citizen parents or born on the territory. A person born abroad in wedlock to two US national parents will acquire United States citizenship.
What are the advantages of having dual citizenship?
There are so many advantages of holding dual citizenship. From increased global mobility, you have twice the number of opportunities and the right to study, work, and live in two countries. A second passport in a foreign state or country enhances your quality of life and your personal and financial security.
Remember that if you are interested in gaining second citizenship, it is very important to understand that both your home country and the other country that you are interested in securing citizenship accept dual citizenship.
How to check if I have dual citizenship?
Contact the consulate or embassy of the foreign country where you think you might have a right to citizenship. Present them with all of the information and documents they claim are needed to decide – for example, proof that you have a citizen parent.
If you apply for dual citizenship, the government authority will usually issue an approval letter inviting you to then to apply for a passport and acquire citizenship.
What countries can have dual citizenship with America?
Many countries permit dual citizenship with America, including, but not limited to, Portugal, Spain, Malta, Cyprus, Greece, the UK, Australia, Dominica, and more. Other countries will have their own immigration laws and immigration services. It is worth checking with the government agency in the country that you are interested in to see whether the country accepts dual citizenship or if you would need to give up your original citizenship.
Note that certain countries may not allow you to work in certain federal jobs or in public office if you are a dual national.
Does the United States recognize dual citizenship?
Yes, the United States does recognize and permit dual citizenship. It is best to speak with the citizenship and immigration services in the country that you are interested in seeking citizenship to ensure that you are able to do so and that you would not be required to give up your original citizenship.
It can also be a good idea to consult a law firm that specializes in immigration law to understand the eligibility requirements to gain second citizenship and assist you with the citizenship application.
Can you get a US security clearance with dual citizenship?
Yes, you can get US security clearance with dual citizenship.
Dual citizenship versus dual nationality: What's the difference?
Dual citizenship refers to being able to hold citizenship in two countries, and dual nationality means you have the nationality of two countries. Some countries like the United States make you pick a ‘primary nationality’ over a foreign nationality/other nationality.
Can you have American dual citizenship with Canada?
Yes, if you are an American citizen and become a citizen of Canada without renouncing your US citizenship, you will have dual citizenship. Dual citizens can enjoy the advantages of having both American and Canadian citizenship, provided they meet the eligibility requirements.
It can also be a good idea to consult a law firm that specializes in immigration law to understand the eligibility requirements to gain second citizenship in Canada if you are an American citizen.
Can you have American dual citizenship with Australia?
Yes, you can have dual citizenship with the US and Australia in certain situations.
Can you have American dual citizenship with Ireland?
Yes, it is possible to have dual citizenship in America and Ireland. Dual citizens can enjoy the advantages of citizenship in both countries.
Can you have American dual citizenship with Italy?
Both the United States and Italy allow dual citizenship. Italy has allowed dual citizenship with America since 1922. Dual citizens can enjoy the advantages of citizenship in both countries.
Can you have American dual citizenship with Mexico?
If you have Mexican nationality, it is possible to have dual citizenship. While America does not encourage dual citizenship, it is possible to have dual citizenship as an American and Mexican citizen. It is best to speak with citizenship and immigration services in both countries to ensure that everything runs smoothly with applying for second citizenship and to avoid any cases of immigration fraud.
Can you have American dual citizenship with the Philippines?
Both countries allow dual citizenship. Dual citizens with Filipino citizenship and US citizenship can enjoy the advantages of both countries.
Can you have American and Chinese citizenship?
Obtaining dual citizenship is not permitted in China. You can, therefore, not have Chinese citizenship and American citizenship, you can only have one nationality.
Are dual citizens required to do military service?
You may be required to fulfill military service requirements under the country’s law. Certain countries allow nationals who have been living elsewhere to live for a certain amount of time in the country before they are required to begin military service.
Can you have Indian citizenship and American citizenship?
The Constitution of India does not permit individuals to hold Indian citizenship and the citizenship of another country at the same time.
Can you have triple citizenship?
Yes, you can have triple citizenship – or multiple citizenships – and the same rules will apply as for dual citizenship. You will need to ensure that each country allows you to have more than one citizenship. It is best to speak with citizenship and immigration services to ensure that you are able to secure triple citizenship.
Can you have American and British citizenship?
Yes, it is possible to have both American and British citizenship, as both countries allow dual citizenship. As a legal citizen of both countries, you can enjoy the advantages of both countries. With two passports, you have increased personal and financial freedoms and will be able to travel to more countries freely.
It is best to speak with the immigration services in both the USA and the UK to ensure the process of applying for dual citizenship runs smoothly.
Can you have American and El Salvadoran citizenship?
Salvadoran citizens who naturalize in the US can maintain their Salvadoran citizenship, but only if they were born in El Salvador. Being a citizen of the United States means that you will have access to an array of perks, including excellent career opportunities.