If you are a person who travels with great regularity, you may have found yourself with questions about dual citizenship. For example, you may wonder what are the laws, rules, and regulations regarding dual citizenship in the United States of America. In fact, the matter of dual citizenship in the United States is a rather complicated matter.
The History of Dual Citizenship in the United States
For most of the history of the United States, dual citizenship was impermissible. In other words, a citizen of the United States could not lawfully be a citizen of another country. If you U.S. citizen sought and obtained citizen in another nation, that individual would lose his or her U.S. citizenship.
In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court took action regarding the prohibition against dual citizenship in the United States. The nation’s highest court struck down most prohibitions on dual citizenship.
Despite the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. government remained opposed to the concept of dual citizenship. Different federal governmental agencies put up roadblocks to dual citizenship, despite the determination of the Supreme Court regarding this matter.
Naturalization and the Oath of Citizenship
If a foreign national wants to become a citizen of the United States, the oath that must be taken at the naturalization ceremony includes a statement in which that individual renounces his or her previous citizenship. Even in light of the decision of the Supreme Court regarding laws pertaining to dual citizenship, the federal government has taken the position that the failure to honor the renouncement clause of the oath can result in a person losing his or her U.S. citizenship.
In more recent years, the federal government has not been as aggressive in dealing with people who take the oath but do not actually conduct themselves in a manner that reflects a renunciation of prior citizenship. You must keep in mind that the manner in which this type of issue is addressed is largely a matter of the presidential administration in power in Washington. Although there has not been any significant discussion of this issue, at least publicly, you probably can safely assume that the Trump Administration takes a dimmer view of dual citizenship than might most of the previous administrations in recent times.
Children and Parents Who Naturalize to the United States
Adults take the oath of citizenship when they naturalize to the United States. Minor children do not. They become citizens of the United States by operation of the law when their parents are naturalized.
Because children do not take the oath, they do not make a statement in which they renounce their citizenship in another nation. Generally speaking, in the United States and elsewhere around the world, the oath of citizenship is said to create a binding contract. Because minor children do not take the oath, they have no so-called contractual obligation to renounce their citizenship elsewhere. Thus, these children would have dual citizenship in the United States and another nation.
U.S. Citizen Naturalizing in Another Nation
In the case of a U.S. citizen naturalizing to another nation, that individual usually obtains and can maintain dual citizenship. The federal government does not have a history of taking action against these individuals to seek a renunciation of their U.S. citizenship. In addition, most other countries around the world do not have a clause in their oaths of citizenship that call for a renunciation of prior citizenship.
Birth Location of a Person
There are some instances in which a person obtains dual citizenship by virtue of where they are born. A solid example involves U.S. citizens in Canada at the time a mother gives birth. If the parents are U.S. citizens, the child is by virtue of the citizenship of the parents a U.S. citizen. According to Canadian law, the child is a citizen of Canada as well. In other words, the child has dual citizenship by virtue of the circumstances of his or her birth.
Not all countries automatically vest citizenship on a child of foreign parents that is born within the borders of that nation. Therefore, depending on where the birth does occur, a child may remain only a citizen of the United States, and not obtain a dual citizenship status.
Celebrities with Dual U.S. Citizenship
There are a number of celebrities that have dual citizenship with the United States and another nation. These celebrities include:
- Jim Carrey
- Kim Catrell
- Nicole Kidman
- Natalie Portman
- Angelina Jolie
- Kirsten Dunst
- Ricky Martin
- Salma Hayek
- Charlize Theron
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Documents International LLC, a leading apostille service for individuals and businesses.
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