27 Feb Dual Citizenship for immigrants: Know how Federal Law is synchronizing with Public Demand
Dual citizenship means that a person is a citizen of two countries at the same time, having legal rights and duties in association with both countries. The notion of dual nationality implies that a person is a national of two countries at the same time. Each state has its nationality laws based on its system. Persons may have dual nationality by mechanical operation of different laws rather than by preference. For instance, a child born in a foreign country to U.S. national parents may be both a U.S. federal and a national of the land of birth. Alternatively, a person having one nationality at birth may naturalize at a later date in another nation and become a dual national.
U.S. law does not specify dual nationality or require a person to prefer one citizenship or another. However, individuals who acquire a foreign nationality after age 18 by implementing for it may abandon their United States nationality if they wish to do the same. To relinquish U.S. nationality under adjustment as a foreign state citizen, the law requires that the concerned individual must apply for the foreign citizenship deliberately and with the intention to relinquish U.S. nationality. Dual nationals owe fidelity to both the United States and the foreign country. They are required to follow the laws of both countries, and either nation has the right to enforce its laws. Perceiving the difficulties regarding dual citizenship is essential. Claims of other countries upon the United States dual-nationals often place people in circumstances where their responsibilities to one country conflict with the laws of the other. Besides, their dual nationality may hinder efforts of the U.S. Government to provide consular security to them when they are abroad, especially when they are in the country of their second nationality.
All around the globe, the debate over dual citizenship was marked by two opposite points of view about citizenship, nationality, national identity, and national loyalty. Whereas, there were some people bothered about the implications of dual nationality or dual citizenship, frightened at its increase, saw it as impairing the assimilation of immigrants into society and as well as the polity, and turning the entire meaning and perception of national identity. The issue was especially salient in the United States, where the successful integration of immigrants was viewed as one of the accomplishments of American society and politics. In European countries, previous colonial possessions, and of guest operators and their children, immigrants may have been observed on some less positively and were less related, or preferably not related at all, to the popular myth of the nation. However, all these countries were under the influence of Western liberal and humanitarian values, which increasingly demanded and required equal rights for all.
Further, a realization occurred that if these “foreigners” were staying forever, it was acceptable that they should be entirely united as citizens of a common nation. Dual citizenship could be seen in these cases as impeding this full integration, threatening common understandings of loyalty to the country and what it intended. On the other side, were a variety of viewpoint which argued that dual citizenship was a prominent and to be expected consequence of immigration, and more than that, offered a promise of a better world of multiple loyalties and identities, in which nationalism and chauvinism were reduced and toleration increased. Perhaps dual or numerous citizenships was an early stage in the rise of a new kind of multinational, cosmopolitan citizenship, better adapted to a globalizing world of increased movement and secure communication.
What the U.S. government says or does about dual citizenship is only half the inquiry. If your home country forbids this practice, then becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen will result in the loss of your original citizenship.
The various countries’ laws on dual citizenship change frequently, so your best bet is to get in touch with your country’s consulate within the U.S. and find out its latest stand on the matter.
We will love to know your personal stand. What do you think? Should immigrants to the United States be allowed to hold dual citizenship status?