A second or multiple citizenship opens the doorway to becoming a global citizen, where people are blessed with greater freedom and possibilities.
Dual/multiple citizenship refers to a person who is legally recognised as a citizen of more than one country at the same time.
There is no international convention which determines the nationality or citizenship status of a person. This is defined exclusively by national laws, which can vary and conflict with each other.
A person holding multiple citizenship is, generally, entitled to the rights of citizenship in each country whose citizenship they are holding (such as right to a passport, right to enter the country, right to residence and work, right to vote, etc.), but may also be subject to obligations of citizenship (such as a potential obligation for national service, becoming subject to taxation on worldwide income, etc.).
When it comes to dual or multiple citizenship, the world is divided. There are countries whose laws allow their own citizens to acquire another citizenship without losing their present one. In contrast, other countries do not allow the acquisition or holding of another citizenship, or only do in certain cases (e.g. inheriting multiple nationalities at birth). The acquisition of another citizenship may lead to the loss of the present citizenship.
Some countries permit a renunciation of citizenship, while others do not. Some countries permit a general dual citizenship while others permit dual citizenship but only of a limited number of countries.
Therefore, the acquisition of a second citizenship is only legally possible for citizens of those countries which allow dual citizenship.
Here is a list of countries by region that allow dual citizenship.
Dual citizenship is allowed in Angola, Burundi, Comoros, Cabo Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tunisia, Uganda, and Zambia; others restrict or forbid dual citizenship.
Lesotho restricts dual citizenship, but observes jus soli (commonly referred to as birthright citizenship). There are problems regarding dual citizenship in Namibia. Eritreans, Egyptians, and South Africans wanting to take another citizenship need permission to maintain their citizenship. Eritrea taxes its citizens worldwide, even if they have never lived in the country. Equatorial Guinea does not allow dual citizenship, but it is allowed for children born abroad, if at least one parent is a citizen of Equatorial Guinea.
Most countries in the Americas allow dual citizenship, some only for citizens by descent or with other countries, usually also in the region with which they have agreements. Some countries (e.g., Argentina, Bolivia) do not allow their citizens to renounce their citizenship, so they keep it even when naturalizing in a country that forbids dual citizenship.
Most countries in the region observe unconditional jus soli, where a child born there is regarded as a citizen even if the parents are not. Some countries, such as the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Uruguay, allow renunciation of citizenship only if it was involuntarily acquired by birth to non-citizen parents.
Dual citizenship is restricted or forbidden in Cuba, Suriname, and Guyana.
Most countries in the Asia-Pacific region restrict or forbid dual citizenship. In some of these countries (e.g. Iran, North Korea, Thailand), it is very difficult or even impossible for citizens to renounce their citizenship, even if a citizen is naturalized in another country.
Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Philippines, South Korea, Tonga, Vanuatu, and Vietnam allow dual citizenship. Australia's constitution does not permit dual nationals to be elected to the federal Parliament.
Cambodia allows dual citizenship and observes jus soli for children born to legal permanent residents born in Cambodia or to children whose parents are unknown.
Hong Kong allows dual citizenship for citizens by birth but does not permit applicants for naturalization to retain their prior citizenship. However, there is no such thing as Hong Kong citizenship. The Nationality law of the People's Republic of China (CNL) has been applied in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region since 1 July 1997. Hong Kong residents who are Chinese citizens holding foreign passports must make a declaration of change of nationality to the HKSAR Immigration Department in order to be regarded as foreign nationals. Foreign nationals or stateless persons can apply for naturalisation as a Chinese national provided that they are Hong Kong residents and meet the requirements under CNL.
South Korea allows any foreign born person meeting income, language, culture, and domicile conditions to become a naturalized citizen. It also allows foreign born nationals who married to a Korean citizen, Korean men holding dual citizenship by birth who served in the Republic of Korea Armed Forces as compulsory military service, Korean women with multiple nationalities by birth who has vowed her intention not to exercise her foreign nationality in the Republic of Korea by the age of 22 and overseas Koreans at least 65 years of age.
Taiwan allows dual citizenship for citizens by birth or for its own citizens but does not permit foreign applicants for naturalization to retain their prior citizenship unless they are senior professionals or have made outstanding contributions to Taiwan.
Bangladesh allows naturalized citizenship if the person is not sentenced to a long prison term or incur a criminal fine within five years of your new citizenship. However, Bangladesh citizens are not eligible to lose their citizens, including when obtaining another nationality.
Burmese nationality law forbids its citizens to have dual citizenship, and foreigners cannot become naturalized citizens, unless they can prove a close familial connection to the country.
Pakistan restricts dual citizenship, but observes jus soli.
In Papua New Guinea, there was overwhelming support from parliament to amend their Constitution to allow dual citizenship, however the law had yet to come into force as of February 2014.
In the Philippines, Republic Act No. 9225, approved 29 August 2003, provided that natural-born citizens of the Philippines who had lost their Philippine citizenship by reason of their naturalization as citizens of a foreign country would be deemed to have re-acquire Philippine citizenship upon taking an oath of allegiance to the Republic, that their children whether legitimate, illegitimate or adopted, below eighteen (18) years of age, shall be deemed citizens of the Philippines, and that natural born citizens of the Philippines who become citizens of a foreign country subsequent to its enactment would retain their Philippine citizenship upon taking the oath.
Sri Lanka allows dual citizenship. However, under the 19th amendment of that country's constitution, dual citizens are not allowed to hold public office.
Israel allows dual citizenship except in the case of one being chosen as a member of the Knesset or appointed a government minister, in which case one must relinquish other citizenships when possible.
Iraq, Syria, Lebanon allow dual citizenship. Kyrgyz Republic allows dual citizenship, but only if a mutual treaty on dual citizenship is in force.
The Indian constitution does not allow voluntary Dual Citizenship. However, in response to persistent demands for dual citizenship, The Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) scheme was introduced by amending The Citizenship Act, 1955 in August 2005. The older PIO classification was merged with OCI in 2015.
Japan does not allow dual citizenship. This was upheld in a decision from the Tokyo District Court in January 2021. In 2016, Japanese politician Renhō held both Japan and Republic of China citizenship.
Bahrain and Qatar do not allow dual citizenship.
EU And EFTA Countries
EU and EFTA countries have varying policies regarding dual citizenship. However, under EU rules, a citizen of one EU or EFTA country can live and work indefinitely in the other EU and EFTA countries. However, this rule does not apply to citizenship, and countries can limit the right to vote and work in certain sensitive fields (such as government, police, military) to local citizens only.
France, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Sweden, Malta, Portugal, Romania allow dual citizenship.
Germany allows dual citizenship with other EU countries and Switzerland; dual citizenship with other countries is possible with special permission or if obtained at birth; children of non-EU/non-Swiss legal permanent residents can have dual citizenship if born and grown up in Germany (the parents born and grown up abroad must have resided in Germany for at least eight years and must have had the legal-permanent-resident status for at least three years, and usually cannot have dual citizenship themselves).
The United Kingdom allows dual citizenship. Note that due to the complexity of the British nationality law, there are different types of British nationality, so not every British national is also a British citizen.
The Czech Republic has allowed multiple citizenship since January 1, 2014.
Denmark has allowed dual citizenship since September 1, 2015. Note that not all Danish citizens are EU citizens. The Faroe Islands belong to Denmark, but not the EU, so their inhabitants are Danish citizens, but not EU citizens. Greenland left the EC in 1985, but Greenlanders are considered EU citizens. In practice, citizens of Faroe Islands and Greenland can choose between local and "European" passports and can become "full" EU citizens by moving to and living permanently in Denmark.
In Bulgaria, Bulgarian citizens of descent can have dual citizenship, but foreigners wanting to naturalize must renounce their old citizenship.
Croatia generally allows citizens by descent to have dual citizenship and forbids it only in certain cases, but foreigners wanting to naturalize must renounce their old citizenship. (See also Croatian nationality law)
In Austria, dual citizenship is possible with special permission or if it was obtained at birth.
Estonia forbids dual citizenship, but citizens by descent cannot be deprived of their Estonian citizenship, so they de facto can have dual citizenship.
Hungary allows dual citizenship; grants dual citizenship to people living in, and having ancestors in territories which were annexed from Hungary at the end of World War I, provided they can still speak Hungarian.
Ireland allows and encourages dual citizenship, but a naturalized citizen can lose Irish citizenship again when naturalized in another country; Ireland was the last European country to abolish unconditional birthright citizenship [in 2004] in order to stop "birth tourism" and to replace it by a modified form: at least one parent must be a citizen or a legal permanent resident.
In Latvia, since October 1, 2013 dual citizenship has been allowed for citizens of member countries of the EU, NATO and EFTA [Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland]; citizens of Australia, Brazil, and New Zealand; citizens of the counties that have mutual recognition of dual citizenship with Latvia; people who were granted the dual citizenship by the Cabinet of Ministers of Latvia; people who have applied for dual citizenship before the previous Latvian Citizenship law ; ethnic Latvians or Livonians who registered Latvian citizenship can keep previous citizenships with any country.
In Lithuania, Article 12 of the Lithuanian Constitution states that only in "individual cases provided for by law" is dual citizenship permitted. [Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, adopted on October 25, 1992, in force from November 2, 1992].
In the Netherlands, dual citizenship is allowed under certain conditions: eg, foreign citizenship may be kept if obtained at birth or in the event of naturalization via marriage.
Poland does not deal with the issue of dual citizenship, but possession of another citizenship is tolerated since there are no penalties for its possession alone. However, penalties do exist for exercising foreign citizenship, such as identifying oneself to Polish authorities using a foreign identification document. Dual citizens are usually not exempted from their duties as Polish citizens such as entering/leaving Poland using Polish passport or Polish ID card. Under some circumstances, ethnic Poles can apply for the "Polish Card" [Karta Polaka].
In Slovakia, dual citizenship is permitted to Slovak citizens who acquire a second citizenship by birth or through marriage; and to foreign nationals who apply for Slovak citizenship and meet the requirements of the Citizenship Act. Please note that after the 'Hungarian-Slovak citizenship conflict' (year 2010) some restrictions to dual citizenship may apply.
Slovenia generally allows citizens by descent to have dual citizenship and forbids it only in certain cases, but foreigners wanting to naturalize must renounce their old citizenship.
In Spain, Spanish citizens by descent can have dual citizenship; Spanish laws recognize a "dormant citizenship" for citizens naturalizing in Iberoamerican countries. They do not lose their citizenship, but their status and their rights as citizens of Spain—and of the EU—are inactive until they move back to Spain. Foreigners wanting to naturalize in Spain must usually renounce their old citizenship; exceptions are made for citizens of some Iberoamerican countries, Puerto Rico, Andorra, the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, and Portugal. Since 2014, Spain has granted Spanish nationality to Sephardi Jews regardless of nationality
The four European microstates surrounded by EU countries (Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City) are not EU or EFTA members, and only Vatican City grants (time-limited) dual citizenship (see above). Andorra, Monaco, and San Marino forbid it. In 2015, however, only 21.6% of the inhabitants of Monaco were citizens. See also Andorran nationality law and Monégasque nationality law.
Iceland, Norway allow dual citizenship.
Liechtenstein allows citizens by descent to have dual citizenship, but foreigners wanting to naturalize must renounce their old citizenship.
Switzerland allows dual citizenship, but the conditions for the naturalization of foreigners vary from canton to canton. Male Swiss citizens under the age of 25, including male dual citizens, are required to perform military or civilian service (women can do it voluntarily), and Swiss citizens (men and women) are not allowed to work for a foreign (non-Swiss) military. Foreign military service is a felony for Swiss citizens (the Swiss Guards of Vatican City are regarded as a "house police", not an army). In the Canton of Schaffhausen, voting is compulsory. For more details, see Swiss nationality law and Schweizer Bürgerrecht (in German).
The Rest Of Europe
Albania, Belarus, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Moldova, Russia and Serbia allow dual citizenship, but in Russia a second citizenship must be reported.
Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro generally do not allow dual citizenship. Ukrainian law currently does not recognise dual citizenship, but there are citizens of Ukraine who hold dual citizenship. On February 8, 2014, the Rada proposed a bill to criminalize the act of holding two citizenships.
Disclaimer: The information used in the article is sourced from Wikipedia, Henley global, Nomad Capitalist and multiple other online sources.