Can a U.S. Citizen Have Dual Citizenship?
Legal Insight from Sebastian Simon Law Group, PLLC
The United States requires all those who are naturalizing to become a citizen to take an oath. This oath is a statement of that citizen’s unwavering allegiance to the U.S. Often, clients or our Houston immigration firm will wonder if they can retain citizenship in their native country, or conversely, petition for citizenship in another country and retain citizenship with the U.S.
This oath includes the following:
I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen.
Are There Differences for a Dual Citizen?
One of the largest challenges one faces when applying for any form of citizenship is that it can be hard to find straight answers. At first glance, the Oath of Allegiance does seem to imply that one would no longer show allegiance to their home country.
Note the following regarding dual citizenship:
- A U.S. citizen who marries a foreign-born person or otherwise becomes a citizen of another country does not risk losing their U.S. citizenship. Unless the individual consciously and freely gave up U.S. citizenship.
- A foreign-born person who acquires a U.S. citizenship will be able to retain their original citizenship if their home country allows it.
Immigration laws in the United States can be complex and even vague at times. It can be difficult to decipher the official stance on dual citizenship, but fortunately, our Houston immigration lawyers can help you make sense and keep you informed of your legal rights.
The Advantages of U.S. Citizenship
The most significant benefit of dual citizenship is that it allows the individual legal rights in both the United States and his or her original country of citizenship. For example, citizenship affords many liberties that otherwise would not be available to citizens and even permanent residents.
Some of these liberties include the following:
- The right to vote in locate, state, and federal U.S. elections
- Can remain outside of the U.S. indefinitely or for an unlimited period of time, as this can be construed as an abandonment of residency
- The individual cannot be evaluated for grounds of deportation
- The right to receive a U.S. passport
- Can petition other family members outside of the U.S. to become permanent residents
As Houston immigration attorneys, we can offer guidance with the citizenship and naturalization process. If you have any questions about dual citizenship, the immigration process, and the current laws, we can discuss your options with you and help you form the right path towards citizenship.
Attorneys Simon has been through the immigration process themselves and can use that knowledge to help you in your journey towards naturalization and citizenship. Do not hesitate to contact Sebastian Simon Law Group, PLLC today for answers to your questions. Founding attorney, Sebastian Simon, was selected as a Houston Top Lawyer by H-Texas Magazine.
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