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What Are the Pros and Cons of Dual Citizenship?

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  • Written By: Elise Czajkowski
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 14 April 2014
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The main pro of dual citizenship is the ability to live, work, and claim benefits in two different countries. It may, however, make international travel more complex and increase one's tax liability. The details of holding citizenship in two countries vary dramatically depending on the countries involved, and the decision to hold dual citizenship should be made on a case by case basis.

For many, the primary benefit of dual citizenship is the freedom to move between two countries easily. This often means not having to apply for a visa or other permission to enter or leave a country as often as one wishes. It can also simplify the process of purchasing a home or business in either country.

Another pro of holding dual citizenship is being able to work in both countries. Many companies will not accept applicants who do not already have the legal right to work in that country, and obtaining a work visa can be a complex and expensive procedure. Some companies may even prefer candidates with dual citizenship, if they have branches in both countries.

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By acquiring citizenship in a country, a person is then eligible for all of the rights and benefits of a citizen of that country. This generally includes voting in elections and receiving state benefits, such as pensions and healthcare. While residency may be a factor in claiming benefits, many people with dual citizenship are eligible to receive all the rights of citizens of both countries for their entire lives.

One of the downsides of dual citizenship is having responsibilities to both countries, which can include taxation and military service. The tax laws for dual citizens vary between countries and are often tied to employment and residency. It is important to consult a tax professional to ensure that all taxes are paid properly.

Holding two passports can make international travel confusing. Often, one must enter and leave a country on the same passport. Immigration officials in one country may not have access to passport data from other countries, and this can lead to problems when traveling.

Many countries do not allow their citizens to hold citizenship in another country. Those that do, may still restrict a citizen from exercising certain rights, or may deny him a passport or access to benefits unless he renounces his citizenship in the other country. Every country has its own immigration laws, and they may change frequently.

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Discuss this Article

ysmina
Post 4

US does allow dual American citizenship if the other country also allows it. But technically, a US citizen's citizenship in another country is not recognized. It's kind of funny because the government knows it, but just ignores it.

The only exception is if a US citizen wants to work in a government agency where intelligence and highly sensitive information will be shared. Then, naturally, it is required for the US citizen to drop the other citizenship. The FBI won't even process someone's application for a job that has access to intelligence, if the applicant doesn't drop the other citizenship first.

turquoise
Post 3

@donasmrs-- No, a visa is not necessary, but you have to exit the country with the other country's passport.

So, for example, let's say that I have a dual citizenship in USA and Argentina. If I want to go to Argentina with my USA passport, they will ask for a visa at the airport. So when I'm leaving the US, I give my Argentina passport so that I can travel to Argentina without a visa. When I reach Argentina, I will again give my Argentina passport for processing.

Similarly, when I'm leaving Argentina, I will use my US passport at the Argentina airport and when I enter the US.

I know it sounds confusing, but it really is not. Plus, all the new passports of most countries now have the embedded chip system. So information is shared across all systems.

donasmrs
Post 2

So how does someone with two passports travel? Do they still have to get a visa to go to the other country?

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