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What you should know about dual citizenship in the U.S.

Even if you have come to California or elsewhere in the United States with the intention of becoming a citizen, you may still have strong ties and a sense of loyalty to your home country. If you do not want to renounce your former nationality, it may be possible for you to gain dual citizenship. At the U.S. Law Center, we see many cases involving people who go through the process of becoming a U.S. while still remaining a national of their country of birth.

According to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, if you are a citizen of another country, whether you are able to have dual nationality is largely based on the laws of your home. This is because you are not mandated by U.S. law to select only one nationality when you complete the naturalization process in this country. Another way to gain dual nationality is to acquire it at birth. If you are a U.S. citizen and you give birth in another country, you automatically confer U.S citizenship to your child, while the resident country also typically grants citizenship. 

If you have dual nationality, you must be able to adhere to the laws of both countries. Nationality and citizenship in the United States both involve allegiance, and this has the potential to cause problems with your other country’s policies. Questions over passports and other travel issues could become problems, as well, depending on the laws that apply to your other nationality. More information about naturalization and citizenship in the United States is available on our Web page.

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