Does the United States Recognize and Permit Dual Citizenship?

I am often asked if becoming a United States Citizen means giving up your citizenship in your home country. This question often arises in the context of EB-5, because holding an EB-5 Green Card for five years qualifies you to apply for Naturalization to become a US citizen.

From the standpoint of the United States government, you are not required to give up your citizenship in your home country in order to become a United States citizen. Remember, however, I am only answering this question from the perspective of the US government. It is very possible that your home country may view your US Naturalization as an act that automatically results in the loss of citizenship in your home country. If retaining your citizenship in your home country is important to you, I recommend you consult your home country’s Consulate or Embassy to get an answer to this question. 

Though not directly related to EB-5, this fact may also be of interest. If a child of a foreign citizen is born in the United States, the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution grants them automatic US citizenship, without requiring that they give up whatever foreign citizenship they may also earn from their parents’ nationality. 

It is important to remember that retaining dual citizenship can be complicated. It puts one at risk of having one’s US citizenship revoked. The US government can revoke your citizenship if you take certain actions—actions the government interprets as reflecting an intention to give up your US citizenship in favor of another nationality. This includes actions such as taking an oath of allegiance to a foreign country or joining a foreign country’s military.

Dual citizenship can offer many opportunities and advantages, but like all matters of immigration law, it should be treated with care.

If you have any related questions, please feel free to contact us or call 415-221-2345.

Vaughan de Kirby
California Immigration Attorney

EB-5 Regional Center Program Ends 12/22/17

Congress has extended the current Regional Center program to December 22nd, 2017, at which time it will sunset unless extended. We anticipate future legislation that will call for an increased investment amount and more stringent requirements. For this reason, we recommend to our clients that they take action under the current law if at all possible.

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