The rise of global mobility and increased interrelations among nations and their citizens has led to a significant increase in the number of individuals who hold citizenship in two countries. Dual citizenship, also known as multiple citizenship, refers to the status of an individual holding citizenship in more than one country simultaneously. While the idea of dual nationality may be alluring, it is vital to recognize the potential pros and cons of dual citizenship before deciding to pursue it.

dual citizenship global mobility This phenomenon was first coined by individuals who had left their home country to seek better opportunities for themselves and their families as foreign nationals in new countries. Following a period of residence and establishing a meaningful bond with the new country, many foreign nationals would gain dual citizenship through the naturalization process. At the same time, children born overseas would acquire the right to dual citizenship through their foreign parents.

Today, the notion of holding citizenship in multiple countries and dual citizenship advantages are widely known. As a result, special investment immigration programs have been introduced to provide a path to citizenship in exchange for a positive contribution to the country’s image and prosperity. However, as with any major decision, there are a set of advantages and disadvantages of dual citizenship.

The article will assess the pros and cons of dual citizenship, shedding light on the benefits of dual citizenship and the potential drawbacks dual nationals face. Whether you are considering obtaining dual citizenship or simply seeking to understand its implications, you will gain insight into what it means to be a dual citizen, and the immigration services that can assist you in your dual citizenship goals.

What is dual citizenship, and how does it differ from second citizenship?

Dual and second citizenship are distinct terms that both refer to having two passports of more than one country, but the conditions in certain countries are not the same.

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship means holding the status of a citizen of two countries that have established a bilateral agreement. Dual citizens enjoy unrestricted travel in both countries and the freedom to engage in work, business, property ownership, and various activities that may be redistricted to foreign residents. Nevertheless, there are downsides to dual citizenship, such as potential additional taxes or even compulsory military service.

Second citizenship

On the other hand, dual and second citizenship involve holding the passports of two countries; however, with second citizenship, the two countries do not have bilateral agreements concerning foreign nationals obtaining citizenship in the other country. The country permits its nationals to possess multiple citizenships, but their rights and obligations in those nations are not acknowledged. People with second passports might have increased taxes or restrictions on the type of jobs they’re eligible to pursue.

The Benefits of Dual Citizenship and Second Citizenship

Expanded travel free

A passport is a gateway to new destinations, and holding two passports from two countries gives travel access that holders of both passports enjoy. For example, a citizen of the United States who also holds a Grenada passport can enter New Zealand and Japan without a visa. On the other hand, their Grenada passport would provide visa-free access to China. Dual passport holders can leverage their passports’ strengths for international travel when necessary.

More business and investment opportunities

Multiple citizenship allows individuals to conduct business activities across several countries, allowing them to select the nation that aligns best with their financial objectives or offers a more favorable environment for investments and business operations. This can include economic stability, a lenient taxation system, and governmental support for new enterprises.

Civil liberties

dual citizenship right to vote Civil liberties encompass a variety of rights and assurances that governments pledge to uphold, whether through constitutional provisions, legislation, or judicial interpretation. As a result, dual citizenship grants extensive political rights and protections regardless of the passports of other countries the dual citizen might possess.

Dual citizens can vote in federal and local elections and participate in the civil and political life of both countries of citizenship. They have the freedom to enter their country of citizenship at any given time without a re-entry permit or other conditions and limitations that governments impose on foreign citizens.

While a permanent resident and a dual national both enjoy the right to reside in a country indefinitely, in some countries, the legal citizen may also have the right to unrestricted property ownership that a permanent resident may not.

More healthcare options

A dual citizen not only has access to two healthcare systems but can choose the most advanced or specialized system for their needs. For instance, a US citizen who has dual nationality with Ireland can take advantage of Ireland’s free healthcare system instead of paying for comprehensive medical coverage in the United States.

More options for higher education

The advantage dual citizens and their families possess regarding higher education is two-fold; Citizenship in two countries expands the options for universities and other types of advanced education, such as apprenticeships and special learning programs.

Additionally, studying in a foreign country as a foreign national includes higher tuition. Duals citizens pay the lowest tuition fees for higher education as well as access national grants and funding schemes.

The possibility of reducing taxes

Depending on the countries involved, dual citizenship is often advantageous for tax purposes. For many foreign investors seeking alternative citizenship, a primary consideration when choosing a citizenship by investment program is the country’s income tax laws.

Some jurisdictions, such as the United Arab Emirates, Vanuatu, and St. Kitts and Nevis, impose no income taxes or exempt income tax on citizens earning income overseas. A common strategy expats use to lower income taxes is to acquire citizenship from a tax-friendly country where they are not required to pay taxes, and benefit from tax exemptions provided to citizens with a second residence living outside their country of original citizenship.

The Disadvantages of Second and Dual citizenship

While the advantages of dual citizenship are appealing overall, there are some reasons why dual citizenship is bad.

A double tax burden

On the other side of the opportunity to reduce taxes for dual citizens is the risk of double taxation. Without a double taxation agreement, dual citizens will owe taxes to two jurisdictions, leading to potential financial complexities from overlapping tax obligations.

Exempt from some career paths

While dual citizens have more employment opportunities, they may not be eligible to take up specific jobs and positions in government. These positions include politicians, judges, ministers, and certain roles requiring a high security clearance.

Military obligation

Most countries that formally recognize dual citizenship don’t impose mandatory military service on their citizens; however, many countries have established compulsory national service once citizens reach the age of maturity. A dual citizen holding two citizenships in countries with mandatory military service may encounter complications regarding their obligations to both countries of citizenship.

How to get dual or second citizenship

Citizenship by birthright: The most common route to dual citizenship is citizenship by birthright. This is when children are automatically granted citizenship in two countries at birth based on the immigration law of those countries. Birthright citizenship is typically determined by jus soli (based on the place of birth) or jus sanguinis (based on blood relatives). A child born to a foreign-citizen parent may acquire citizenship from their birth country and the other citizenship from their parent.

permit citizenship by descentCitizenship by descent: Although typically considered birthright citizenship, those who receive citizenship by birthright generally do so by submitting a citizenship application after birth. Ancestral citizenship involves proving one’s ties to a county through their family history in the direct line. In many countries, like Bulgaria, Finland, Poland, and Italy, family members include grandparents and great-grandparents.

Citizenship by naturalization: The naturalization process is the primary way foreign nationals gain citizenship in other countries they have no familial ties. The eligibility requirements generally involve living in the country for a minimum period and can include proving language proficiency and knowledge of the country’s history and customs.

Citizenship by marriage: Marriage to a citizen often excludes the requirements for typical naturalization, such as the length of residence, language proficiency, and merits based on other point-scoring factors like paid taxes and employment.

Obtaining dual nationality through citizenship by investment

Citizenship by investment (CBI) is a legal pathway allowing foreigners to acquire dual citizenship in a foreign country by contributing to its economy or image. This form of migration has become increasingly popular for those seeking dual citizenship. The specialized legal processes of economic citizenship primarily revolve around investing in real estate, government bonds, businesses, or other qualifying investments, depending on the country’s specific needs.

Upon meeting the investment criteria and passing due diligence checks, applicants and their family members can gain citizenship and second passports, allowing them to enjoy the rights and freedoms of being a dual citizen. 

Dual citizenship countries with CBI programs 


Minimum Investment

Processing Time

Eligible Family Members

St. Kitts and Nevis


Four months

Spouse, children under 25, and parents over 65



Three to six months

Spouse, children under 30, parents, grandparents, and unmarried siblings over 18

St. Lucia


Three to six months

Spouse, children under 30, parents and grandparents over 55, and unmarried siblings under 18

Antigua and Barbuda


Three to six months

Spouse, children under 30, parents and grandparents over 55, and unmarried siblings



Three to six months

Spouse, children under 30, parents and grandparents over 65



Four to six months

Spouse and children under 18



Three to six months

Spouse, unmarried children under 18, and parents



60 days

Spouse, children under 25, and parents and grandparents over 50

Malta (citizenship by naturalization)


12 to 36 months

Spouse, unmarried children under 20, parents over 55

How can Global Citizen Solutions help me?

Investors can encounter many difficulties when seeking dual citizenship, so it is beneficial to have experts on hand to provide personalized assistance throughout the complicated process.

A migration specialist and an immigration lawyer can help you with the following:

  • Minimize the visits you have to make to the designated country
  • Have someone who works solely on your behalf
  • Reduce the hassle associated with putting your citizenship application together
  • Acquire insider knowledge from someone with years of experience in the market

Let’s get you moving forward in your quest to becoming a dual citizen. Contact us by filling out the contact form below.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Pros and Cons of Dual Citizenship

Does dual citizenship mean more taxes?

Whether or not dual citizenship means more taxes depends on the tax laws of the countries of citizenship and whether or not both countries have a double taxation agreement. You can pay taxes in one jurisdiction or avoid paying them in another through a double taxation agreement or by holding second citizenship in a tax-free country.

Why do countries not like dual citizenship?

A primary concern for governments with reservations about their citizens pursuing dual citizenship is the potential conflict of loyalty that dual citizens might face when having ties to multiple nations. Governments worry that individuals with dual citizenship may prioritize the other nation’s interests over their own, especially during times of national crisis or conflict. Additionally, dual citizenship may create complexities in enforcing laws and regulations, as individuals may take advantage of differing legal systems to evade responsibilities or legal consequences.

Can I lose my citizenship if I obtain dual citizenship?

Whether or not you can lose your citizenship after you obtain second citizenship depends on your home country’s laws around alternative citizenship. If you are a national of a country that does not allow dual citizenship, you may be forced to renounce your new citizenship or risk losing your current citizenship.

Can I pass on dual citizenship to my children?

Concerning the pros and cons of dual citizenship, one advantage is that in many countries, you can pass citizenship on to your children through citizenship by descent. For instance, a child is eligible for an Australian passport through Australian-citizen parents, while a child can receive citizenship from their parents and grandparents in Mexico.

Can I renounce dual citizenship if I change my mind?

Most governments provide a system for renouncing citizenship. The specific process and requirements for renunciation will vary from country to country.

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