Dual citizenship for US citizens: all you need to know is here

Att. Eray Tüfek

Att. Eray Tüfek


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The USA allows its citizens to have dual citizenship. This means that Americans don’t need to renounce their original citizenship if they decide to get a second passport.

There are 62 countries that the USA allows to have dual citizenship with. The second passport allows living and working in a foreign country without restrictions.

What is dual citizenship for US citizens?

Dual citizenship means that you are a citizen of two countries simultaneously and have all the rights and responsibilities that their respective constitutions grant to citizens in both countries. It also means that you must obey the laws of both countries.

Having US dual citizenship can be beneficial if you want to live and work in another country and not deal with complicated visa applications. It also can open paths to travelling to more countries and relocating to another place if something happens in your country of residence.

Dual citizenship is permitted. The American government doesn’t require American citizens to renounce their US citizenship. However, inside the country, a person with dual citizenship is considered a US citizen rather than a citizen of another country. Due to that, for example, US citizens are required to enter and leave the US with a US passport.

Sometimes, a person can get a second citizenship automatically. For example, a child born on the USA’s soil gets American citizenship even if their parents are citizens of another country. In other cases, you will need to go through the citizenship application process. You might need to fulfil certain requirements, depending on how you obtain your chosen citizenship.

Different countries have different rules, but the easiest countries to get dual citizenship are states like Turkey, Vanuatu, Grenada, and Dominica. They offer citizenship by investment that can be obtained in 2—8 months.


Countries that allow dual citizenship with the USA

62 countries allow US citizens to have dual citizenship. Most of them are located in Europe and Latin America.

US dual citizenship countries list

Europe Albania, Belgium, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Luxemburg, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom
Africa Algeria, Angola, Belize, Benin, Egypt, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa
Americas Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru
Asia Armenia, Bangladesh, the Philippines
Caribbean Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia
Middle East Israel, Pakistan, Syria
Oceania Australia, New Zealand, Vanuatu

Some countries allow dual citizenship under certain circumstances.

For example, the Netherlands require US citizens to renounce their American citizenship if they obtain a Dutch passport by naturalisation. However, if an American marries a Dutch person, they can get dual citizenship.

List of countries that allow dual nationality for Americans under certain conditions

Country Condition 
Bulgaria Having at least one Bulgarian parent
Croatia Having dual citizenship is not allowed in the case of naturalisation
Germany Having at least one German parent
Netherlands 1. Being married or having a registered partnership with a Dutch national.
2. Being born in the Netherlands and living in the Netherlands at the time of application for naturalisation.
3. Being younger than 18 and participating in the naturalisation or option procedure of parents.
4. Having a residence permit for asylum.
5. The country of the current nationality doesn’t allow you to renounce its nationality.
Panama Being born abroad to Panamanian parents and obtaining citizenship of the country of birth (citizenship may be retained until a person reaches 18 years old, then they need to choose one citizenship).
South Korea 1. Being a spouse of a Korean national.
2. Contributing greatly to the Republic of Korea.
3. Having outstanding abilities in specific fields: science, economy, culture and sports.Having difficulties with renouncing other citizenship.
4. Having difficulties with renouncing other citizenship.

6 advantages of dual citizenship for the USA citizens

1. Work, live, and study in both countries. With dual citizenship, you can move from the USA to the country of your second citizenship. You will be able to stay there for however long you prefer, and you won’t need to apply for a visa or a residence permit.

2. Own a property. Some countries restrict non-citizens from buying property; for example, Switzerland limits the number of foreigners who can buy property each year. But if you become a citizen, you can benefit from the right to buy property freely.

3. Back-up plan. If something unpleasant happens in one of the countries, you can leave it under any circumstances, even if the borders are closed. For example, in 2016, when Trump was elected President, many Americans started seeking Canadian citizenship so that they could move to Canada.

4. Easier access to more countries. Even though the American passport is strong, some countries still require US citizens to obtain visas. Several examples are China, India, Indonesia, and Brazil. A second passport can open a visa-free way to enter them.

5. Healthcare and social services. While medical services are expensive in the USA, some countries offer their citizens relatively cheap and high-quality medical care. For example, Turkey is famous for its high medical standards, and if you have dual American-Turkish citizenship, you can visit Turkey any time and benefit from its healthcare system.

6. Social security. In any country, it is generally easier to access medical, social, and other services if you are a citizen.   

Disadvantages of dual citizenship for US citizens

Military services. US citizens with dual citizenship may be required to serve in the military in another country. This obligation may be imposed upon the arrival to the country of second citizenship. For example, Israel requires formal military service of their citizens, men and women alike.

Limited assistance abroad. If something happens in another country, the US government may not consider you an American citizen, especially if you’ve entered another country with a passport of your second nationality.

Double taxation. A US citizen living abroad must file taxes with the US government based on original citizenship and the country of residence. And because the US taxes the worldwide income of its citizens, not just US-source income, many dual citizens are also at risk for double taxation.

Barriers to some forms of employment. People who want to pursue a career in the US government or have a job connected with classified information may not be able to get a position.

People with dual citizenship by birth have fewer problems in that respect than those actively seeking dual citizenship. The US government may be concerned about why they need it at all.

Long and complicated process. Generally, the process of getting dual citizenship is tricky and time-consuming. For example, if you plan to obtain one by naturalisation, you might need to wait 5—10 years for a second passport. However, you can obtain citizenship by investment in 2—6 months.

How to avoid double taxation

The USA has double taxation avoidance agreements with some countries, such as the United Kingdom, Australia, France, etc. However, if no such agreement exists, dual citizenship holders might need to pay taxes in both countries.

Usually, countries with the highest tax rates either have a double taxation avoidance agreement with the USA or don’t allow dual citizenship with the country.

Claim the Foreign Tax Credit, an IRS provision that aims to eliminate the possibility of double taxation of the same income. If you’re an American living in a country whose income tax rate is higher than the US, claiming the Foreign Tax Credit could give you more than enough US tax credits to eliminate your tax liability for the US.

Choose dual citizenship in a country with zero taxes on income. 14 countries currently have a zero income tax, such as Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis, the UAE, and Vanuatu.

Ways of obtaining dual citizenship for US citizens

A US citizen can get dual citizenship through several options. Among the most popular are by birth or descent, marriage, naturalisation, and investment.

By investment. One of the easiest ways to obtain citizenship is by investment. Not all countries allow it; however, there are a few that offer this option. Among them are Turkey, Dominica, Grenada, and others.

Requirements for obtaining dual citizenship by investment differ from country to country. However, there are some general ones that applicants must meet to participate in the program. An applicant must:

  • be over 18 years old;
  • have no criminal record or prosecution;
  • be able to confirm the legality of the income.

Besides investors themselves, close family members can also participate in the application. That includes spouses and children under 18 years old. Some countries’ programs also allow the application to include adult children, parents, and siblings. The amount of investment starts at $100,000, and the process of obtaining citizenship usually takes from 2 to 8 months.

By birth or descent. Depending on the country’s rules, a child can get citizenship of another country if they were born in it or if one or both of their parents are citizens of that country. For example, everyone born on American territory automatically receives American citizenship, while Turkish citizenship can only be obtained if at least one of their parents holds a passport of Turkey.

By marriage. US citizens can get second citizenship if they marry a citizen of another country. However, not all countries allow that.

By naturalisation. Citizenship by naturalisation is one of the most complicated ways to become a citizen of another country. It requires an applicant to fulfil certain requirements. Usually, it means that the applicant must live in the country for some time, know the language at a level sufficient for everyday life, and pass tests on the country’s history and culture.

8 countries that grant citizenship by investment to US citizens 

Some countries grant citizenship by investment. That means an individual can buy a property or invest and get a second passport. Usually, these states don’t require investors to reside in the country.

Turkey. Located in Eurasia, Turkey has strong ties with the EU countries. It offers wealthy people to get citizenship by investment of at least $400,000. There are several options to choose from, including bank deposits, business investments, the purchase of government bonds, the purchase of units in an investment fund, and the purchase of a property.

Investors can return money or sell a property in 3 years after obtaining a Turkish passport.

The process of getting Turkish citizenship lasts for 6—8 months.

Vanuatu is a country in Oceania that grants citizenship for a non-refundable contribution of $130,000+ to the government fund.

You can obtain Vanuatu citizenship in 1—2 months.

Schedule your online consultation now!

Ditch the office, embrace wisdom: Get expert legal guidance, personalized for you, through convenient online consultation.