By Julie Sparks in Citizenship & Naturalization | on 2023-06-04 17:29:35
The short answer is yes, but there are several considerations you should have in mind before obtaining dual citizenship. At J. Sparks Law, we can answer questions like this for anyone in the Austin area with immigration or citizenship concerns. It’s always best to have an experienced immigration attorney addressing your questions and properly guiding you to achieve your immigration goals.
Dual citizenship or dual nationality involves having citizenship of two different countries at the same time. There is nothing that prevents a U.S. citizen from obtaining citizenship of another country. Similarly, the U.S. government does not require someone to give up their citizenship of another country before being naturalized as a U.S. citizen.
There is also nothing that stops a dual citizen from working for the federal government or gaining security clearance in most situations. However, being a dual citizen may prevent certain people from obtaining higher security clearance, depending on your circumstances.
It is always important to consult with a lawyer to advise you before obtaining citizenship of another country if you are a federal employee.
Although the Oath of Allegiance to the United States seems to require you to renounce “allegiance and fidelity” to other nations, dual citizenship is not explicitly addressed under U.S. immigration law. The only guiding light is an opinion by the U.S. Supreme Court, which is interpreted to say a U.S. citizen can have dual citizenship with another country that allows it.
Just because dual citizenship is allowed under U.S. law, however, does not mean your country of origin also allows it. For example, countries such as India and China do not allow dual citizenship, and if you obtain U.S. citizenship as a citizen of either of those countries, your U.S. citizenship will not be recognized by those countries.
In some cases, a foreign national obtaining U.S. citizenship may automatically lose their native country’s citizenship. It is, therefore, important that you consult an experienced citizenship lawyer to fully understand the implications of dual citizenship from your native country’s perspective before seeking U.S. citizenship. You can also contact your native country’s embassy to ascertain whether dual citizenship is allowed in that country.
Once you’ve ascertained that your native country of origin will recognize your U.S. citizenship status and that this will not negatively affect your security clearance if you have one, you will then apply for U.S. citizenship. There is no application for dual citizenship; rather, by applying and going through the naturalization process and becoming a U.S. citizen, the dual citizenship status attaches once you are sworn in as a U.S. citizen. To start the naturalization process, you would need to file an N-400 Application for Naturalization with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
If you are contemplating applying for U.S. citizenship through this naturalization process, our experienced immigration lawyers can help guide you through the process. Contact J. Sparks Law, PLLC, today to schedule a consultation to discuss how we can help you.
Julie Sparks is Board-certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Immigration and Nationality Law, one of a few such attorneys in Texas. After 15 years of practice in this field, she has represented immigrants from more than 70 countries.
Ms. Sparks is a member of the Texas Bar Association and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Julie has also been a featured speaker at Southwestern Law School and at the national 2015 AILA Fundamentals Conference.