Pros and Cons of Dual Citizenship

Imagine being a citizen of two countries simultaneously! Yes! According to 'dual citizenship' laws, an individual can be regarded as a citizen of two states/countries. This law has its own merits and demerits, which we will be seeing in this write-up.
Dual citizenship laws are very stringent, and each country has its own unique set of standards and criteria for granting citizenship to individuals. This law has often invoked big debates, controversies, and disagreement amongst various governments. In the US, this ongoing debate, especially led to a concept of 'dual nationality'. In his famous speech of 1915, six years after giving up his presidency, Theodore Roosevelt denounced this law and termed it as 'hyphenated Americans'.

Many countries haven't allowed dual citizenship because they think that it will amount to increased immigration of outsiders, high crime rates, less employment opportunities for their citizens, and a general socio-cultural imbalance in the society. On the other hand, other countries promote dual citizenship as they feel it increases the competency level of their citizens. This opens the doors for free and liberal trade, thereby increasing job opportunities and helping the country to make a global impact.

Advantages of Dual Citizenship
  • A citizen with a dual passport can travel to both countries, which certainly takes much less time to process than the normal visa procedure.
  • It is also of utmost importance to business people wishing to invest in the real estate market of that country. In other words, they can buy property easily in both territories.
  • Investment can be done in both countries, and so it opens a two-way path for their income.
  • A dual citizen is likely to be bilingual, so he can be an asset to a firm that has its business ventures spread globally. Cultural exchange of ideas, intermingling of new people, languages, and more opportunities for people to show their talents are some other advantages a dual citizenship can have.
  • An individual can also live and claim benefits in both countries.
  • As far as work is concerned, it's very beneficial to those who have business in both countries, and also to those who work for companies that have a noteworthy presence in both nations.
Disadvantages of Dual Citizenship
  • Legal transactions, misconduct, and illegal activities are some of the crimes for which different countries have their own set of laws. If a dual citizen is found to be involved in such crimes, it's uncertain with which laws he should be persecuted. This legal uncertainty may be magnified in serious crimes and frauds committed by a dual citizen.
  • Another issue is whether the state should grant them equal rights in the issues concerning political and social cases of the country.
  • It's a fact that people don't feel a bonding for a particular community, unless they are allowed to freely and constructively participate in issues related to that nation.
  • Also, authorities against dual citizenship argue that it may threaten the political identity of the country. National security may be threatened if terrorists or similar organizations or their members use dual citizenship as an easy path to cross borders.
  • Another basic question that arises is, which country will the 'dual' citizen be loyal to? People whose loyalties are either divided or elsewhere, may be a threat to the nation's security. It may undoubtedly lead to illegal immigration in various sorts.
  • Many countries have mandatory participation from its citizens in military training and wars. In such cases, what job should a dual citizen be assigned? Such an individual may voluntarily quit the training and go to the other country, and return when things are better. If such breach of national security is done, then what?
Dual citizenship is an ongoing debate, and people, states, and immigration law makers, all have different views. Still, it exists and is very successful in many countries, especially the liberalized economies.

Martina Navratilova (tennis icon), tennis star and model Anna Kournikova, iconic actor Arnold Schwarzenegger (former Governor of California), Madeleine Albright (US Secretary of State 1997 - 2001), Cristeta Comerford (White House chef for over 10 years), and Jennifer Granholm (former Governor of Michigan), are a few personalities who belonged to a different country, but accepted US as their homes. Some may or may not have dual citizenship (they may have naturalized American citizenship), but they still form the success story of immigrants.