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Dual Citizenship

Dual Citizenship

For a person to become a U.S. Citizen, he or she must prove “attachment” to the principles of the U.S. and the U.S. Constitution. To do so, applicants must take the oath of allegiance, which states in part, “that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or to which I have heretofore been a subject or a citizen.” Although the U.S. government does not encourage dual citizenship, it continues to tolerate dual citizenship. The reason for this is that the U.S. government has an obligation under international law to recognize the laws of foreign states within their own territory. This means that if another country continues to treat one of its citizens as a citizen, despite his or her later acquisition of U.S. citizenship, the U.S. must respect that decision of the foreign state. Each country is free to determine how it will treat an individual who is a citizen of both that country and the U.S. For this reason, it is very important to check the laws of the foreign country to see if the foreign country recognizes dual citizenship, and what effect an oath of allegiance to the U.S. will have upon citizenship in the other country. Most of the world’s countries do not recognize dual citizenship, although there are many exceptions.

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