Multiple citizenship
Multiple citizenship is a status in which a person is concurrently regarded as a citizen under the laws of more than one state
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

. Multiple citizenship
Citizenship is the state of being a citizen of a particular social, political, national, or human resource community. Citizenship status, under social contract theory, carries with it both rights and responsibilities...

s exist because different countries use different, and not necessarily mutually exclusive, citizenship requirements. Colloquial speech refers to people "holding" multiple citizenship but technically each nation makes a claim that this person be considered its national. For this reason, it is possible for a person to be a citizen of one or more countries, or even no country
Statelessness is a legal concept describing the lack of any nationality. It is the absence of a recognized link between an individual and any state....


Citizenship of multiple countries

Individual countries follow their own rationales in establishing their criteria for citizenship. Each country has different requirements for citizenship, as well as different policies regarding dual citizenship. These laws sometimes leave gaps where the acquisition of other citizenships does not render the original citizenship invalid, creating a possible situation for an individual to hold two or more nationalities. Common reasons to bestow citizenship are:
  • At least one parent is a citizen (jus sanguinis
    Jus sanguinis
    Ius sanguinis is a social policy by which citizenship is not determined by place of birth, but by having a parent who are citizens of the nation...

  • The person was born on the country's territory (jus soli
    Jus soli
    Jus soli , also known as birthright citizenship, is a right by which nationality or citizenship can be recognized to any individual born in the territory of the related state...

  • The person marries a person holding the citizenship (jure matrimonii).
  • The person becomes naturalized
    Naturalization is the acquisition of citizenship and nationality by somebody who was not a citizen of that country at the time of birth....

  • The person was adopted
    International adoption
    International adoption is a type of adoption in which an individual or couple becomes the legal and permanent parents of a child that is a national of a different country...

     from another country as a minor
    Age of majority
    The age of majority is the threshold of adulthood as it is conceptualized in law. It is the chronological moment when minors cease to legally be considered children and assume control over their persons, actions, and decisions, thereby terminating the legal control and legal responsibilities of...

     and at least one adoptive parent is a citizen.
  • In a few countries, the person makes a substantial monetary investment, e.g., Austria
    Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

    , Cyprus
    Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

    , Dominica
    Dominica , officially the Commonwealth of Dominica, is an island nation in the Lesser Antilles region of the Caribbean Sea, south-southeast of Guadeloupe and northwest of Martinique. Its size is and the highest point in the country is Morne Diablotins, which has an elevation of . The Commonwealth...

     and St. Kitts & Nevis.

Once citizenship is bestowed, the bestowing country may or may not consider a voluntary renunciation of that citizenship to be valid. In the case of naturalization, some countries require applicants for naturalization to renounce their former citizenship. However, this renunciation may not be recognized by the bestowing country. Technically the person in question may still possess both citizenships. For example, the U.S. requires applicants for naturalization to renounce all prior allegiance to any other nation or sovereignty as part of the naturalization ceremony. In the case of a British citizen, however, the UK honors renunciation of citizenship only if done with competent UK authorities. Consequently, British citizens naturalized in the US remain British citizens in the eyes of the British government, even after renouncing British allegiance to the satisfaction of U.S. authorities.

The Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

 frames its citizenship laws as relating to "the island of Ireland", thereby extending them to Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

, which is part of the United Kingdom. Therefore, anyone born in Northern Ireland who meets the requirements for being an Irish citizen through birth on the island of Ireland (or a child born outside of Ireland but with a qualifying parent) may exercise an entitlement to Irish citizenship by acting in such a way that only an Irish citizen is entitled to do (such as applying for an Irish passport). Conversely, that such a person has not acted in this way does not necessarily mean that they are not an Irish citizen. See Irish nationality law
Irish nationality law
Irish nationality law is the law of the Republic of Ireland governing citizenship. A person may be an Irish citizen through birth, descent, marriage to an Irish citizen or through naturalisation. Irish nationality law is currently contained in the provisions of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship...

 and British nationality law
British nationality law
British nationality law is the law of the United Kingdom that concerns citizenship and other categories of British nationality. The law is complex because of the United Kingdom's former status as an imperial power.-History:...

. People born in Northern Ireland are British citizens on the same basis as people born elsewhere in the United Kingdom. People born in Northern Ireland can hold either a British Passport
British passport
British passports may be issued to people holding any of the various forms of British nationality, and are used as evidence of the bearer's nationality and immigration status within the United Kingdom or the issuing state/territory.-Issuing:...

 or an Irish Passport
Irish passport
Irish passports are issued by the Consular and Passport Division of the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin, Ireland.-Physical appearance:...

, or both if they so choose.

Multiple citizenship prohibited/discouraged

Some countries consider multiple citizenship undesirable and take measures to prevent it. This may take the following forms:
  1. Automatic loss of citizenship if another citizenship is acquired voluntarily (e.g., Azerbaijan
    Azerbaijani nationality law
    The Azerbaijani nationality law is a nationality law which determines who is a citizen of Azerbaijan.-Current law:The current citizenship law is guided by the 1995 Constitution of Azerbaijan and, more importantly, the Law of Azerbaijan on Citizenship of the Republic of Azerbaijan, which was...

    , China
    Nationality Law of the People's Republic of China
    The Nationality Law of the People's Republic of China regulates citizenship in the People's Republic of China . Such citizenship is obtained by birth when at least one parent is of Chinese nationality or by naturalization....

    , Czech Republic
    Czech nationality law
    The citizenship law of the Czech Republic is based on the principles of Jus sanguinis or "right by blood". In other words, descent from a Czech parent is the primary method of acquiring Czech citizenship . Birth on Czech territory without a Czech parent is in itself insufficient for the conferral...

    , Denmark
    Danish nationality law
    Danish nationality law is ruled by the Constitutional act of Denmark and the Consolidated Act of Danish Nationality .Danish nationality can be acquired in one of the following ways:...

    , India
    Indian nationality law
    The Indian citizenship and nationality law and the Constitution of India provides single citizenship for the entire country. The provisions relating to citizenship at the commencement of the Constitution are contained in Articles 5 to 11 in Part II of the Constitution of India...

    , Indonesia
    Indonesian nationality law
    The Indonesian nationality law is a law regulating about who an Indonesian citizen is, the requirements and how to obtain Indonesian citizenship, the loss of Indonesian citizenship, the requirements and how to re-obtain Indonesian citizenship, and the penal provision...

    , Japan
    Japanese nationality law
    Japanese nationality is a legal designation and set of rights granted to those people who have met the federal criteria for citizenship by parentage or by naturalization...

    , Kazakhstan
    Kazakhstani nationality law
    The Kazakhstani nationality law is ruled by the Constitution of Kazakhstan and the Law on Citizenship . Dual citizenship is not recognized by the Republic of Kazakhstan.-External links:**...

    , Malaysia, Nepal
    Nepal citizenship law
    The regulates provisions for Nepali citizenship in Articles 8, 9 and 10. The was first promulgated on 28 February 1964 and provides for a single citizenship for the entire country. The was enacted on 26 November 2006...

    , Norway
    Norwegian nationality law
    Norwegian nationality law is based on the principle of Jus sanguinis. In general, Norwegian citizenship is conferred by birth to a Norwegian parent, or by naturalisation in Norway.Norway restricts, but does not absolutely prohibit, dual citizenship....

    ). In the case of the Czech Republic two specific exceptions apply: 1. restoration of the Czech citizenship (while keeping the one possessed to date) when the citizenship of former Czechoslovakia was illegally taken away in the years 1948-1990 by the Communist regime, and 2. Czechs as former Czechoslovakians that as of September 31, 1992 had Slovak citizenship causing the automatic loss of the Czech citizenship could apply to regain that Czech citizenship without losing the Slovak one thus becoming dual citizens too.
  2. Possible (but not automatic) loss of citizenship if another citizenship is acquired voluntarily (e.g., Singapore, South Africa
    South African nationality law
    South Africa rewrote its nationality law since the end of Apartheid in 1994 and the establishment of majority rule in the country under the African National Congress...

  3. Possible (but not automatic) loss of citizenship if people with multiple citizenships do not renounce their other citizenships after reaching the age of majority
    Age of majority
    The age of majority is the threshold of adulthood as it is conceptualized in law. It is the chronological moment when minors cease to legally be considered children and assume control over their persons, actions, and decisions, thereby terminating the legal control and legal responsibilities of...

     or within a certain period of time after obtaining multiple citizenships (e.g., Japan
    Japanese nationality law
    Japanese nationality is a legal designation and set of rights granted to those people who have met the federal criteria for citizenship by parentage or by naturalization...

  4. Criminal penalties for exercising another citizenship (e.g., Saudi Arabia
    Saudi Arabia
    The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...


In popular discourse, reference to countries that "recognise" multiple citizenship may refer only to the lack of any specific statute forbidding multiple citizenship (leaving aside the difficulties of enforcing such statutes).

However, it is possible to become a citizen of multiple countries some or all of these countries forbid dual or multiple citizenship. For example, Germany and Austria usually do not allow dual citizenship except for persons who obtain more than one citizenship at the time of birth or are members of the EU and more exceptions. Germans and Austrians can apply for a permit to keep their citizenship (Beibehaltungsgenehmigung) before taking a second one (e.g., Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger is an Austrian-American former professional bodybuilder, actor, businessman, investor, and politician. Schwarzenegger served as the 38th Governor of California from 2003 until 2011....

 holds Austrian and U.S. citizenship). Spain has dual citizenship treaties with Bolivia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

, Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

, Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica , officially the Republic of Costa Rica is a multilingual, multiethnic and multicultural country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east....

, Guatemala
Guatemala is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east, and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast...

, Nicaragua
Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The country is situated between 11 and 14 degrees north of the Equator in the Northern Hemisphere, which places it entirely within the tropics. The Pacific Ocean...

, Paraguay
Paraguay , officially the Republic of Paraguay , is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the...

, Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

, the Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

, Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, and Honduras
Honduras is a republic in Central America. It was previously known as Spanish Honduras to differentiate it from British Honduras, which became the modern-day state of Belize...

, and Spaniards residing in these countries do not lose their rights as Spaniards if they adopt that nationality. For all other countries, Spanish citizenship is revoked upon the acquisition of foreign citizenship.

Multiple citizenship encouraged

Some countries consider multiple citizenship desirable as it increases opportunities for their citizens to compete globally, and/or have taken active steps towards permitting multiple citizenship in recent years (e.g., Switzerland since 1 January 1992 and Australia since 4 April 2002). India has introduced a form of overseas citizenship, which stops just short of full dual citizenship and is in all aspects, like Permanent Residency.

Sub-national citizenship

  • Under the U.S. Constitution (Amendment XIV
    Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
    The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was adopted on July 9, 1868, as one of the Reconstruction Amendments.Its Citizenship Clause provides a broad definition of citizenship that overruled the Dred Scott v...

    ), all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States
    United States nationality law
    Article I, section 8, clause 4 of the United States Constitution expressly gives the United States Congress the power to establish a uniform rule of naturalization. The Immigration and Naturalization Act sets forth the legal requirements for the acquisition of, and divestiture from, citizenship of...

     . Under the U.S. Constitution, certain rights accrue as an incident of State citizenship, and access to federal courts can sometimes be determined on State citizenship.
  • Switzerland has a three tier system of citizenship
    Swiss nationality law
    Swiss citizenship is the status of being a citizen of Switzerland and it can be obtained by birth, marriage or naturalisation.The Swiss Citizenship Law is based on the following principles:...

     - Confederation, canton and commune (municipality).
  • Although considered part of the United Kingdom for British nationality
    British nationality law
    British nationality law is the law of the United Kingdom that concerns citizenship and other categories of British nationality. The law is complex because of the United Kingdom's former status as an imperial power.-History:...

     purposes, the Crown Dependencies of Jersey
    Jersey, officially the Bailiwick of Jersey is a British Crown Dependency off the coast of Normandy, France. As well as the island of Jersey itself, the bailiwick includes two groups of small islands that are no longer permanently inhabited, the Minquiers and Écréhous, and the Pierres de Lecq and...

    , Guernsey
    Guernsey, officially the Bailiwick of Guernsey is a British Crown dependency in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy.The Bailiwick, as a governing entity, embraces not only all 10 parishes on the Island of Guernsey, but also the islands of Herm, Jethou, Burhou, and Lihou and their islet...

     and the Isle of Man
    Isle of Man
    The Isle of Man , otherwise known simply as Mann , is a self-governing British Crown Dependency, located in the Irish Sea between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, within the British Isles. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title of Lord of Mann. The Lord of Mann is...

     have local legislation restricting certain employment and housing rights to those with "local status". Although the British citizenship of people from these islands gives them full citizenship rights when in the United Kingdom, it does not give them the rights that British citizenship generally confers when in other parts of the European Union (for example, the right to reside and/or work).
  • The Australian territory of Norfolk Island
    Norfolk Island
    Norfolk Island is a small island in the Pacific Ocean located between Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia. The island is part of the Commonwealth of Australia, but it enjoys a large degree of self-governance...

     has immigration law
    Immigration law
    Immigration law refers to national government policies which control the phenomenon of immigration to their country.Immigraton law, regarding foreign citizens, is related to nationality law, which governs the legal status of people, in matters such as citizenship...

    s that restrict residence in the territory to those with "local status". Most Norfolk Islanders are Australian citizens
    Australian nationality law
    Australian nationality law determines who is and who is not an Australian, and is based primarily on the principle of Jus soli. The status of Australian citizenship was created by the Nationality and Citizenship Act 1948 which received Royal Assent on 21 December 1948 and came into force on...

  • The statuses of permanent residency of Hong Kong
    Hong Kong
    Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

     and Macau
    Macau , also spelled Macao , is, along with Hong Kong, one of the two special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China...

    , each a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, are overlaid on Chinese nationality as stipulated in their respective basic laws. Those who concurrently have Chinese nationality and permanent residency in either SAR are entitled a Chinese passport issued by that SAR, which affords them more visa waivers. Laws may confer specific rights to certain persons by virtue of being a Chinese national (e.g. right to transmit nationality by birth), a resident (permanent or all) of the region (e.g. right to vote in local elections), or a combination of both (e.g. right to hold public office above a certain level). It is now possible to be a permanent resident of both Special Administrative Regions.
  • People from Åland have joint regional (Åland) and national (Finnish
    Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

    ) citizenship. People with Ålandic citizenship (hembygdsrätt) have the right to buy property and set up a business on Åland, which Finns without regional citizenship cannot. Finns can get Ålandic citizenship after living on the islands for five years and Ålanders lose their regional citizenship after living on the Finnish mainland for five years.
  • The government of Puerto Rico
    Puerto Rico
    Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

     began issuing Puerto Rican citizenship
    Puerto Rican citizenship
    Puerto Rican citizenship was first legislated by the U.S. Congress in Article 7 of the Foraker Act of 1900 and later recognized by the Puerto Rican constitution...

     certificates in September 2007 after Juan Mari Brás
    Juan Mari Brás
    Juan Mari Brás was an advocate for Puerto Rican independence from the United States who founded the Puerto Rican Socialist Party...

    , a lifelong supporter of independence, won a successful court victory which validated his claim that Puerto Rican citizenship was valid and can be claimed by anyone born on the island or with at least one parent who was born there.
  • In Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

    , citizens hold also citizenship of their respective Entity which is generally the Entity of their residence. It can be either citizenship of Republika Srpska
    Republika Srpska
    Republika Srpska is one of two main political entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the other being the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina...

     or of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
    The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the two political entities that compose the sovereign country of Bosnia and Herzegovina . The two entities are delineated by the Inter-Entity Boundary Line...

    . One cannot hold both entity citizenships simultaneously.


  • Following the federalization of Czechoslovakia in 1968, Czechoslovak citizens also possessed an internal citizenship of either the Czech
    Czech Republic
    The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

     or Slovak Republic
    The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

    . Upon the nation's peaceful dissolution
    Dissolution of Czechoslovakia
    The dissolution of Czechoslovakia, which took effect on 1 January 1993, was an event that saw the self-determined separation of the federal state of Czechoslovakia. The Czech Republic and Slovakia, entities which had arisen in 1969 within the framework of Czechoslovak federalisation, became...

     in 1993, this was used to determine whether they ought to receive Czech
    Czech nationality law
    The citizenship law of the Czech Republic is based on the principles of Jus sanguinis or "right by blood". In other words, descent from a Czech parent is the primary method of acquiring Czech citizenship . Birth on Czech territory without a Czech parent is in itself insufficient for the conferral...

     or Slovak citizenship
    Slovak nationality law
    right|150pxSlovak nationality law is based on the principles of Jus sanguinis. Slovak citizenship is primarily acquired on the basis of descent from a Slovak parent, rather than birth in the territory of Slovakia....

  • Before the break-up of Yugoslavia
    Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

     in 1991, Yugoslav citizens possessed an internal citizenship of their own republic (e.g. Serbia
    Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

    , Croatia
    Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

    , Slovenia
    Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

     etc.) as well as Yugoslav citizenship. In Serbia and Montenegro
    Serbia and Montenegro
    Serbia and Montenegro was a country in southeastern Europe, formed from two former republics of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia : Serbia and Montenegro. Following the breakup of Yugoslavia, it was established in 1992 as a federation called the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia...

     this system was in effect until 2006.

Supra-national citizenship

  • In European Union
    European Union
    The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

     law there is the concept of EU citizenship
    Citizenship of the European Union
    Citizenship of the European Union was introduced by the Maastricht Treaty . European citizenship is supplementary to national citizenship and affords rights such as the right to vote in European elections, the right to free movement and the right to consular protection from other EU states'...

     which flows from citizenship of a member state. A citizen of an EU country is free to live and to work
    Freedom of movement for workers
    The freedom of movement for workers is a policy chapter of the acquis communautaire of the European Union. It is part of the free movement of persons and one of the four economic freedoms: free movement of goods, services, labour and capital...

     in another EU country for an unlimited period of time, but member states may reserve the right to vote in national elections, stand for national election, become a public servant in highly sensitive ministries (Defence for example), etc. only for their citizens. An EU state may place restrictions on the free movement rights of citizens of newly admitted states for several years, such provisions remain in force mostly for nationals of Bulgaria
    Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

     and Romania
    Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

     (maximally up to 2014; for Switzerland 2016); in the past, and to a lesser extent, such provisions also affected Estonia
    Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

    , Latvia
    Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

    , Lithuania
    Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

    , Poland
    Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

    , the Czech Republic
    Czech Republic
    The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

    , Slovakia
    The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

    , Hungary
    Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

     and Slovenia
    Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

     (up to 2011—only in Germany
    Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

     and Austria
    Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

    —maximum period allowed by association agreements).
  • The Commonwealth of Nations
    Commonwealth of Nations
    The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

     has a Commonwealth citizen
    Commonwealth citizen
    A Commonwealth citizen, which replaces the former category of British subject, is generally a person who is a national of any country within the Commonwealth of Nations....

    ship for the citizens of its members. Some member states (such as the United Kingdom) allow non-nationals who are Commonwealth citizens to vote and stand for election while resident there. Others make little or no distinction between citizens of other Commonwealth nations and citizens of non-Commonwealth nations.
  • Commonwealth of Independent States
    Commonwealth of Independent States
    The Commonwealth of Independent States is a regional organization whose participating countries are former Soviet Republics, formed during the breakup of the Soviet Union....

     nations (the republics of the former Soviet Union) are often eligible for fast track processing to citizenships of other CIS countries, with varying degrees of recognition/tolerance of dual citizenship between the states.

Overseas citizenship

There exists a provision for an alternative form of Indian nationality, the holders of which are to be known as Overseas Citizens of India (OCI). The Constitution of India
Constitution of India
The Constitution of India is the supreme law of India. It lays down the framework defining fundamental political principles, establishes the structure, procedures, powers, and duties of government institutions, and sets out fundamental rights, directive principles, and the duties of citizens...

 does not permit dual citizenship or dual nationality, except for minors where the second nationality was involuntarily acquired. Indian authorities have interpreted this to mean a person cannot have another country's passport while simultaneously holding an Indian one. This is even the case for a child claimed by another country as its citizen, who may be required by the laws of this country to use the corresponding passports for foreign travel (e.g., a child born in the United States to Indian parents). Indian courts have given the executive branch wide discretion over this matter. Overseas Citizenship of India is not a full citizenship of India and thus, does not amount to dual citizenship or dual nationality. E.g., the OCI cannot vote, stand for elections, or take up government posts. Moreover, people who have acquired Citizenship in Pakistan or Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

 are not eligible for Overseas Citizenship.

National cohesiveness

Some have questioned whether allowing dual citizenship
Citizenship is the state of being a citizen of a particular social, political, national, or human resource community. Citizenship status, under social contract theory, carries with it both rights and responsibilities...

 impedes cultural assimilation
Cultural assimilation
Cultural assimilation is a socio-political response to demographic multi-ethnicity that supports or promotes the assimilation of ethnic minorities into the dominant culture. The term assimilation is often used with regard to immigrants and various ethnic groups who have settled in a new land. New...

, increases "disconnectedness" from the political process, and degrades national identity/cohesiveness. The rise in tension between mainstream and migrant communities is cited as evidence of the need to maintain a strong national identity
National identity
National identity is the person's identity and sense of belonging to one state or to one nation, a feeling one shares with a group of people, regardless of one's citizenship status....

 and culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

. They assert that the fact that a second citizenship can be obtained without giving anything up (e.g. the loss of public benefits, welfare, healthcare, retirement funds, and job opportunities in the country of origin in exchange for citizenship in a new country) both trivializes what it means to be a citizen and nullifies the consequential, transformational, and psychological change that occurs in an individual when they go through the naturalization process. In effect, the self-centered taking of an additional citizenship contradicts what it means to be a citizen in that it becomes a convenient and painless means of attaining improved economic opportunity without any real consequences and can just as easily be discarded when it is no longer beneficial. Proponents argue that dual citizenship can actually encourage political activity providing an avenue for immigrants who are unwilling to forsake their country of origin either out of loyalty or due to a feeling of separation from the mainstream society because of language, culture, religion, or ethnicity.

A 2007 academic study concluded that dual citizenship had a negative effect on the assimilation and political connectedness of first generation Latino immigrants to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. The study determined that dual nationals were:
  • 32% less likely to be fluent in English;
  • 18% less likely to identify as "American";
  • 19% less likely to consider the U.S.A. as their homeland;
  • 18% less likely to express high levels of civic duty;
  • 9% less likely to register to vote; and
  • 15% less likely to have ever voted in a national election.

The study also noted that although dual nationality likely disconnects immigrants from the American political system and impedes assimilation, the initial signs suggest that these effects seem to be limited almost exclusively to the first generation (although it is mentioned that a full assessment of dual nationality beyond the first generation is not possible with present data).

Concern over the effect of multiple citizenship on national cohesiveness is generally more acute in the United States. The reason for this is twofold:
  • The United States is a "civic" nation and not an "ethnic" nation. American citizenship is not based on belonging to a particular ethnicity, but on political loyalty to American democracy and values. Regimes based on ethnicity—which support the doctrine of perpetual allegiance as one is always a member of the ethnic nation—are not concerned with assimilating non-ethnics since they can never become true citizens. In contrast, the essence of a civic nation makes it imperative that immigrants assimilate into the greater whole as there is not an "ethnic" cohesiveness uniting the populace.
  • The United States is an immigrant nation. The US has prospered due to its generous immigration policy of taking in and absorbing a very diverse stock of immigrants. As US immigration is primarily directed at family reunification and/or refugee status rather than education and job skills, the pool of candidates tends to be poorer, less educated, and consistently from less stable countries (either non-democracies or fragile ones) with less familiarity or understanding of American values, making their assimilation more difficult and important.

The degree of angst over the effects of dual citizenship seemingly corresponds to a country's model for managing immigration and ethnic diversity:
  • The differential exclusionary model, which accepts immigrants as temporary "guestworkers" but is highly restrictive with regard to other forms of immigration and to naturalisation of immigrants. Japan
    Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

    , China
    Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

    , Taiwan
    Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

    , and the countries of the Middle East tend to follow this approach.
  • The assimilationist model, which accepts that immigrants obtain citizenship, but on the condition that they give up any cultural, linguistic, social, etc. characteristics that differ from those of the majority population. The United States
    United States
    The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

     is the primary example of this model and given its massive immigration tradition and increasingly diverse population, is very sensitive to matters regarding integration (see Immigration to the United States
    Immigration to the United States
    Immigration to the United States has been a major source of population growth and cultural change throughout much of the history of the United States. The economic, social, and political aspects of immigration have caused controversy regarding ethnicity, economic benefits, jobs for non-immigrants,...

  • The multicultural model, which grants immigrants access to citizenship and to equal rights without demanding that they give up cultural, linguistic, intermarriage restrictions or otherwise pressure them to integrate or inter-mix with the mainstream population. Europe
    Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

    , Canada
    Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

    , and Australia
    Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

     have historically taken this approach although there is some evidence that they are moving gradually toward the assimilationist model (especially in Europe as the number of non-European immigrants to the continent continues to increase) (see Immigration to Europe
    Immigration to Europe
    Immigration to Europe increased from the 1980s onward, as a result of people from developing countries wanting to escape war, oppression, natural disasters or poverty. Some EU countries saw a dramatic growth in immigration after World War II until the 1970s. Most European nations today have...


Appearance of foreign allegiance

People with multiple citizenship may be viewed as having dual loyalty, having the potential to act contrary to a government's interests, and this may lead to difficulties in acquiring government employment where security clearance may be required.

In the United States, dual citizenship is associated with two categories of security concerns: foreign influence and foreign preference. Contrary to common misconceptions, dual citizenship in itself is not the major problem in obtaining or retaining security clearance
Security clearance
A security clearance is a status granted to individuals allowing them access to classified information, i.e., state secrets, or to restricted areas after completion of a thorough background check. The term "security clearance" is also sometimes used in private organizations that have a formal...

 in the United States. As a matter of fact, if a security clearance applicant's dual citizenship is "based solely on parents' citizenship or birth in a foreign country", that can be a mitigating condition.
However, exercising (taking advantage of the entitlements of) a non-U.S. citizenship can cause problems. For example, possession and/or use of a foreign passport
A passport is a document, issued by a national government, which certifies, for the purpose of international travel, the identity and nationality of its holder. The elements of identity are name, date of birth, sex, and place of birth....

 is a condition disqualifying one from security clearance and "... is not mitigated by reasons of personal convenience, safety, requirements of foreign law, or the identity of the foreign country" as is explicitly clarified in a Department of Defense policy memorandum which defines a guideline requiring that "... any clearance be denied or revoked unless the applicant surrenders the foreign passport or obtains official permission for its use from the appropriate agency of the United States Government".
This guideline has been followed in administrative rulings by the United States Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

 (DoD) Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA) office of Industrial Security Clearance Review (ISCR), which decides cases involving security clearances for Contractor personnel doing classified work for all DoD components. In one such case, an administrative judge ruled that it is not clearly consistent with U.S. national interest to grant a request for a security clearance to an applicant who was a dual national of the U.S. and Ireland.

Multiple citizenship among politicians

This perception of dual loyalty can apply even when the job in question does not require security clearance. In the United States, dual citizenship is not very common among politicians or government employees; however, it does occur. For example, Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger is an Austrian-American former professional bodybuilder, actor, businessman, investor, and politician. Schwarzenegger served as the 38th Governor of California from 2003 until 2011....

 retained his Austrian citizenship during his service as a Governor of California
Governor of California
The Governor of California is the chief executive of the California state government, whose responsibilities include making annual State of the State addresses to the California State Legislature, submitting the budget, and ensuring that state laws are enforced...

. In 1999, the U.S. Attorney General's office issued an official opinion that a statutory provision that required the Justice Department to employ only "citizen[s] of the United States" did not bar it from employing dual citizens.

In 2006 Boris Johnson (at the time a Member of the British Parliament and currently Mayor of London), renounced the US citizenship he had acquired through being born in New York. ] He declared: "After 42 happy years I am getting a divorce from America. It is not just that I no longer want an American passport. In fact, what I want is the right not to have an American passport." His renunciation was prompted by US laws which require a US citizen entering the United States to use a US passport, rather than any other passport.

One small controversy did arise in 2005 when Michaëlle Jean
Michaëlle Jean
Michaëlle Jean is a Canadian journalist and stateswoman who served as Governor General of Canada, the 27th since Canadian Confederation, from 2005 to 2010....

 was appointed the Governor General of Canada
Governor General of Canada
The Governor General of Canada is the federal viceregal representative of the Canadian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II...

 (official representative of the Queen). Although Jean no longer holds citizenship in her native Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

, her marriage to French-born filmmaker Jean-Daniel Lafond
Jean-Daniel Lafond
Jean-Daniel Lafond CC is a French-born Canadian filmmaker, and the husband to the former Governor General Michaëlle Jean, making him the Viceregal Consort of Canada during her service.-Biography:...

 allowed her to obtain French citizenship several years before her appointment. Article 23-8 of the French civil code allows the French government to withdraw the French nationality from French citizens holding government or military positions in other countries and Jean's appointment made her both de facto head of state and commander-in-chief of the Canadian forces. The French embassy released a statement that this law would not be enforced because the Governor General is essentially a ceremonial figurehead. Nevertheless Jean renounced
Renunciation of citizenship
Renunciation is a voluntary act of relinquishing one's citizenship . It is the opposite of naturalization whereby a person voluntarily acquires a citizenship, and related to denaturalization where the loss of citizenship is not voluntary, but forced by a state.-Historic practices:The old common law...

 her French citizenship two days before taking up office to avoid controversy.

Former Canadian Prime Minister John Turner
John Turner
John Napier Wyndham Turner, PC, CC, QC is an English Canadian lawyer and retired politician, who served as the 17th Prime Minister of Canada from June 30 to September 17, 1984....

 was born in the United Kingdom and retains his dual citizenship to this day. Stéphane Dion
Stéphane Dion
Stéphane Maurice Dion, PC, MP is a Canadian politician who has been the Member of Parliament for the riding of Saint-Laurent–Cartierville in Montreal since 1996. He was the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and the Leader of the Opposition in the Canadian House of Commons from 2006 to 2008...

, former head of the Liberal Party of Canada
Liberal Party of Canada
The Liberal Party of Canada , colloquially known as the Grits, is the oldest federally registered party in Canada. In the conventional political spectrum, the party sits between the centre and the centre-left. Historically the Liberal Party has positioned itself to the left of the Conservative...

 and the previous leader of the official opposition
Official Opposition (Canada)
In Canada, Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition , commonly known as the Official Opposition, is usually the largest parliamentary opposition party in the House of Commons or a provincial legislative assembly that is not in government, either on its own or as part of a governing coalition...

, holds dual citizenship with France as a result of his mother's nationality; Dion has, however, indicated a willingness to renounce French citizenship if a significant number of Canadians view it negatively, in order not to hamper his party's prospects in a future election.

The Constitution of Australia
Constitution of Australia
The Constitution of Australia is the supreme law under which the Australian Commonwealth Government operates. It consists of several documents. The most important is the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia...

, in Section 44
Section 44 of the Australian Constitution
Section 44 of the Australian Constitution is a section of the Constitution of Australia that deals with restrictions on who may become a candidate for election to the Parliament of Australia...

(i), explicitly forbids people who hold foreign citizenship from sitting in the parliament of Australia
Parliament of Australia
The Parliament of Australia, also known as the Commonwealth Parliament or Federal Parliament, is the legislative branch of the government of Australia. It is bicameral, largely modelled in the Westminster tradition, but with some influences from the United States Congress...

. A court case (see Sue v Hill
Sue v Hill
Sue v Hill was an Australian court case decided in the High Court of Australia on 23 June 1999. It concerned a dispute over the apparent return of a candidate, Heather Hill, to the Australian Senate in the 1998 federal election...

) determined that Britain is a foreign power for purposes of this section of the constitution despite Australia and Britain holding a common nationality at the time of Australian federation, and ruling that Senator-elect
Australian Senate
The Senate is the upper house of the bicameral Parliament of Australia, the lower house being the House of Representatives. Senators are popularly elected under a system of proportional representation. Senators are elected for a term that is usually six years; after a double dissolution, however,...

 Heather Hill
Heather Hill
Heather Hill is a former English-Australian politician.Hill was born in 1960 in London. In 1971 her family moved to Australia, arriving in Brisbane, Queensland on 6 October of that year. She attended school in Brisbane...

 had not been duly elected to the national parliament because at the time of her election she was a subject or citizen of a foreign power. (This restriction does not apply to members of the state parliaments, where regulations vary by state.)

In New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, controversy arose in 2003 when Labour
New Zealand Labour Party
The New Zealand Labour Party is a New Zealand political party. It describes itself as centre-left and socially progressive and has been one of the two primary parties of New Zealand politics since 1935....

Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 Harry Duynhoven
Harry Duynhoven
Harry James Duynhoven is a New Zealand politician. He is the current mayor of the city of New Plymouth and surrounding districts. He assumed office in October 2010. He was a Member of Parliament for the Labour Party.-Early life:...

 applied to renew his citizenship of the Netherlands. Duynhoven, the New Zealand-born son of a Dutch-born father, had possessed dual citizenship from birth but had temporarily lost his Dutch citizenship due to a 1995 change in Dutch law regarding non-residents. While New Zealand's Electoral Act allowed candidates with dual citizenship to be elected as MPs,
Section 55
of the Act stated that an MP who applied for citizenship of a foreign power after taking office would forfeit his/her seat. This was regarded by many as a technicality, however; and Duynhoven, with his large electoral majority, was almost certain to re-enter Parliament in the event of a by-election
A by-election is an election held to fill a political office that has become vacant between regularly scheduled elections....

. As such, the Labour Government
Fifth Labour Government of New Zealand
The Fifth Labour Government of New Zealand was the government of New Zealand between 10 December 1999 and 19 November 2008.-Overview:The fourth National government, in power since 1990, was widely unpopular by 1999, with much of the public antagonised by a series of free-market economic reforms,...

 retrospectively amended the Act, thus enabling Duynhoven to retain his seat. The amendment, nicknamed "Harry's Law", was passed by a majority of 61 votes to 56. The revised Act allows exceptions to Section 55 on the grounds of an MP's country/place of birth, descent, or renewing a foreign passport issued before the MP took office.

Both the Estonian president Toomas Hendrik Ilves
Toomas Hendrik Ilves
Toomas Hendrik Ilves is the fourth and current President of Estonia. He is a former diplomat and journalist, was the leader of the Social Democratic Party in the 1990s and later a member of the European Parliament...

 and the former Lithuanian president Valdas Adamkus
Valdas Adamkus
Valdas Adamkus was President of Lithuania from 1998 to 2003 and again from 2004 to 2009.In Lithuania, the President's tenure lasts for five years; Adamkus' first term in office began on February 26, 1998 and ended on February 28, 2003, following his defeat by Rolandas Paksas in the next...

 had been naturalized U.S. citizens prior to assuming their offices. Both have renounced their U.S. citizenships: Ilves in 1993 and Adamkus in 1998. This was necessary because neither individual's new country permits retention of a former citizenship. Adamkus was a high-ranking official in the Environmental Protection Agency, a federal government department, during his time in the United States.


In some cases, multiple citizenship can create additional tax
To tax is to impose a financial charge or other levy upon a taxpayer by a state or the functional equivalent of a state such that failure to pay is punishable by law. Taxes are also imposed by many subnational entities...

 liability. Countries that impose tax will generally use a combination of three factors when determining if a person is subject to taxation:
  • Residency: a country may tax the income of anyone who lives there, regardless of citizenship or whether the income was earned in that country or abroad;
  • Source: a country may tax any income generated there, regardless of whether the earner is a citizen, resident, or non-resident; or
  • Citizenship: a country may tax the worldwide income of their citizens, regardless of whether they reside in that country or not.

Most countries use residency and/or source when determining if a person should be subject to taxation. A few countries, such as the Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

  and the United States, do use citizenship as one of the determining factors for tax liability. These two countries, however, differ in their treatment of expatriate citizens. The Philippines taxes its expatriates only on Philippine-source income, while U.S. expatriates are subject to tax on all of their worldwide income, although U.S. law
Internal Revenue Code
The Internal Revenue Code is the domestic portion of Federal statutory tax law in the United States, published in various volumes of the United States Statutes at Large, and separately as Title 26 of the United States Code...

 provides measures to reduce or eliminate double taxation issues for some expatriates.

A person with multiple citizenship may have a tax liability to his country of residence and also to one or more of his countries of citizenship; or worse, if he was unaware that one of his citizenships created a tax liability, then that country may consider him to be a tax evader. Many countries and territories have contracted tax treaties
Tax treaty
Many countries have agreed with other countries in treaties to mitigate the effects of double taxation . Tax treaties may cover income taxes, inheritance taxes, value added taxes, or other taxes...

 or agreements for avoiding double taxation
Double taxation
Double taxation is the systematic imposition of two or more taxes on the same income , asset , or financial transaction . It refers to taxation by two or more countries of the same income, asset or transaction, for example income paid by an entity of one country to a resident of a different country...

. Still, there are cases in which a person with multiple citizenship will owe tax solely on the basis of holding one of those citizenships.

For example, a person who holds both Australian and United States citizenship, lives and works in Australia. He would be subject to Australian taxation, because Australia taxes its residents, and he would be subject to US taxation because he holds US citizenship. In general, he would be allowed to subtract the Australian income tax he paid from the US tax that would be due. Plus, the US will allow some parts of foreign income to be exempt from taxation; for instance, in 2006 the foreign earned income exclusion allowed up to US$82,400 of foreign salaried income to be exempt from income tax
Income tax
An income tax is a tax levied on the income of individuals or businesses . Various income tax systems exist, with varying degrees of tax incidence. Income taxation can be progressive, proportional, or regressive. When the tax is levied on the income of companies, it is often called a corporate...

. This exemption, plus the credit for foreign taxes paid mentioned above, often results in no US taxes being owed, although a US tax return would still have to be filed. In instances where the Australian tax was less than the US tax, and if there was income that could not be exempted from US tax, the US would expect any tax due to be paid.

The United States Internal Revenue Service
Internal Revenue Service
The Internal Revenue Service is the revenue service of the United States federal government. The agency is a bureau of the Department of the Treasury, and is under the immediate direction of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue...

 has excluded some regulations, e.g. Alternative Minimum Tax
Alternative Minimum Tax
The Alternative Minimum Tax is an income tax imposed by the United States federal government on individuals, corporations, estates, and trusts. AMT is imposed at a nearly flat rate on an adjusted amount of taxable income above a certain threshold . This exemption is substantially higher than the...

 (AMT) from tax treaties that protect double taxation. In its current format even if U.S. citizens are paying income taxes at a rate of 56%, far above the maximum U.S. marginal tax rate, the citizen can be subject to U.S. taxes because the calculation of AMT does not allow full deduction for taxes paid to a foreign country. Other regulations such as the post date of foreign mailed tax returns are not recognized and can result in penalties for late filing if they arrive at the IRS later than the filing date.

Issues with international travel

Many countries, even those that permit multiple citizenship, do not explicitly recognise multiple citizenship under their laws: individuals are treated either as citizens of that country or not, and their citizenship with respect to other countries is considered to have no bearing. This can mean (e.g., in Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, Mexico, many Arab countries
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

, and former Soviet republics
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

) that consular officials abroad may not have access to their citizens if they also hold local citizenship. Some countries provide access for consular officials as a matter of courtesy, but do not accept any obligation to do so under international consular agreements. The right of countries to act in this fashion is protected via the Master Nationality Rule
Master Nationality Rule
The Master Nationality Rule is a consequence of Article 4 of The Hague Convention on Certain Questions Relating to the Conflict of Nationality Laws of 1930.This provides that;The United Kingdom Home Office explains:...


A multiple citizen who travels to a country that claims him or her as a citizen may be required to enter or leave the country on that country's passport. For example, in terms of the South African Citizenship Act, it is an offence for a major (aged 18 years and older) South African citizen with dual citizenship to enter or depart the Republic of South Africa making use of the passport of another country. He or she may also be required to fulfill requirements ordinarily required of its resident citizens, including compulsory military service
Military service
Military service, in its simplest sense, is service by an individual or group in an army or other militia, whether as a chosen job or as a result of an involuntary draft . Some nations require a specific amount of military service from every citizen...

 or exit permits.

See also

  • Naturalization
    Naturalization is the acquisition of citizenship and nationality by somebody who was not a citizen of that country at the time of birth....

  • Immigration
    Immigration is the act of foreigners passing or coming into a country for the purpose of permanent residence...

  • Nationality
    Nationality is membership of a nation or sovereign state, usually determined by their citizenship, but sometimes by ethnicity or place of residence, or based on their sense of national identity....

  • Nationality law
    Nationality law
    Nationality law is the branch of law concerned with the questions of nationality and citizenship, and how these statuses are acquired, transmitted, or lost. By custom, a state has the right to determine who its nationals and citizens are. Such determinations are usually made by custom, statutory...

  • Canadians of convenience
    Canadians of convenience
    The term "Canadians of convenience" was coined by Canadian politician Garth Turner in 2006 in conjunction with the evacuation of Canadian citizens from Lebanon during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict...

  • Talbot v. Janson
    Talbot v. Janson
    Talbot v. Janson, , was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the jurisdiction of the court extended to the seas and that a citizen of the United States could also hold the citizenship of another nation ....

External links

Council of Europe
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