I picked up my EU passport via a Polish dual citizenship yesterday. Even though my photo was not super I am happy. I had citizenship just did not pick up the passport. I am also a US citizen. Many people ask me about the question of dual citizenship.
Rules of Dual citizenship
The rules of dual citizenship are quite easy to understand. Most countries neither deny or recognizes dual citizenship. However, if you are a dual citizen you must enter the country with the country’s passport you own. Therefore, as an American I must enter the US on my USA passport and the EU on my EU passport. Why? Because, the passport you enter determines the rules you will follow.
If I enter the USA on my Polish passport, which I am not allowed to do anyway, I would be a Polish citizen in the USA. I must enter on my US passport and I am subject to the laws of the USA and can not go crying to Poland if I get in trouble. Is this clear? You use your both your passports and must enter on the right passport, that is where you are a citizen.
Dual citizenship and taxes
What about taxes? Very easy and clear, as a USA dual citizen I am responsible for US taxes forever, not matter where I live or if I am a dual citizen.
The US government does not care. Yes this is true. Just because you have dual nationality the US tax office does not care. If you make 1 dollar in Siberia this must be reported along with all your bank accounts. I report to the US government and Polish government my pittance of teaching earrings I make in Poland teaching English. I must report all investments and bank accounts. However, most countries have treaties. The US will allow about a 90k exclusion on foreign income earned.
Which is a lot of money at least for me, so most people reading this do not have to worry. However, income in my US bank accounts I must pay interest on regardless as it is domestic income and the same rule applies for Polish income I have to report it to the Polish government. You should combine your world wide income and report it. You can not and should not hide anything.
Benefits of dual citizenship
Above is the worst part of being a dual citizen and most do not have to worry about it. Besides feeling like Jason Bourne or an International man of mystery, the best part is I get to live anywhere in Europe or American without a second thought about visas. I also get to work basically anywhere I want, the USA or in the EU as I am a “dual citizen”. This makes life very easy for me and my family. Further my family is a dual citizen so if I have children they can study in the EU or the USA and work anywhere. It makes life very interesting.
How to get a dual citizenship
Most people looking for dual citizenship are American looking to connect with their roots. The EU goes by blood or birthright jus sanguinis. This is in contrast to the US which goes by jus soli or by place of birth.
If you parents are citizens then you will be. It does not matter where you are born. However, if you are born in the EU it does not mean you will get citizenship.
Grandchildren get special treatment, but citizenship is not confirmed rather it is obtained through nationalization in most countries. So if your grandparents came from Poland for example, you can apply for naturalization but usually can not automatically get confirmed. I do not want to go into the law as it is very complex. However you ca ask question and maybe I might know. A lawyer can help but they are pricey. The law is the law, if you know it and apply you can get it. I do not think there are any loopholes.
I had a lawyer and I knew more than he did about the law. Really, I did it my way and got two citizenships.
The best place to check the law is at the consulate of your country you want to apply for double citizenship for. You need to apply.
What do you need for dual citizenship?
- All documents translated by an official translator in the official language of the country.
- Birth certificates, marriage certificates, no exceptions.
- Official statement from your country that you are free from obligations of money or law. That is you are good standing.
- Visa for the current country.
- CV and other qualitative statements proving you will be a positive good citizen. Sometimes there is a language requirement. It does not hurt to learn the language to some level.
- Police checks
- Judge and court approval
- Application for citizenship.
This is similar in all countries.
Time for dual citizenship
Count on about ten years. Forget some express marriage stunt. Live in the country and work and apply and maybe you will get it.
My brother after 20 years of living in the UK got his citizenship. Perhaps he could have got it sooner but I guess he did not apply. But he worked under a work visa then green-card.
What about citizenship through marriage? That can be another post as it is a different type of citizenship application process.
Other citizenship considerations
Some exceptions to dual citizenship are countries like Ukraine. They do not allow dual citizenship but you know, what they do not know will not hurt them some people say. But I would double check this before I took a chance.
I think countries like Italy,the Netherlands and Ireland have and perhaps the easiest dual citizenship laws. Immigration laws and nationality are always sensitive issues as the whole world wants to live in Europe and America. Maybe not the whole world but a lot of it wants to get a work visa.
If you are looking to get entrance to the US or EU for work from a Middle Eastern or African or Asian country I think you have a harder time now than say an American. Even though the law is the law, the EU has been flooded with Eu applicants and false marriages from the third world so the police and government does double checks on many people aspiring for EU citizenship.
My dual citizenship quest for jus sanguinis
I first came to Poland in 1999 and in 2009 I obtained my dual citizenship. I had Polish family, and in theory was a dual citizen, just not confirmed on paper. Then I got married lived here for many years to and EU citizen, I am still married and will be forever. I applied and waited and worked legally and did positive things for Poland. I also learned the language . But still look how long it took. So if you think you can just waltz into the EU with a marriage, think again. I knew a guy it took 19 years before he was citizen. Things have changed. I guess because I was an American and my family came to the USA with Polish passports it was easier, well over ten years latter.
But if you are looking for a wife for citizenship it is not legal and I would think again. Marriage is sacred. God sees all. You might rationalize it that you are doing it for work or money, but you can rationalize any crime like this. Marriage is sacred and forever.
If anyone has questions or comments about dual citizenship please let me know. However, please writing in full sentences without chat style, that is use proper punctuation and spelling.
I think the benefits far outweigh the trouble so if you are patient and honest why not apply for dual citizenship.