Dual citizenship, or multiple citizenship, is when a single person is legally recognized as a citizen of two or more countries at the same time.
Not all countries allow their citizens to hold dual citizenship. It is important to double check whether your country permits dual citizenship before seeking to acquire one.
There are many benefits to being a dual citizen, from quality of living to global mobility.
A second passport from a stable country can be life-saving in the event of any kind of political, economic or social unrest in one’s home country.
Many passports are quite restrictive in their visa-free mobility, forcing citizens to obtain visas whenever they need to travel abroad. A second passport can offer individuals from these countries increased global mobility.
See our Passport Index for the visa-free score of every passport in the world.
New business opportunities open up to dual citizens as they can now do business in the host country as well as travel abroad more freely.
Dual citizenship may prove advantageous for tax optimization purposes. For example, some countries only tax income earned from that country and do not subject capital gains to taxes either. This allows investors to manage their wealth more efficiently and effectively.
Second citizenships can offer access to world-class health care, education and an improved lifestyle.
There are several ways of acquiring a second citizenship and the corresponding passport. These are birth, naturalization, marriage and investment.
Some countries allow non-resident individuals to obtain citizenship if their parents were born in that country. For example, Hungary allows persons not living in the country to obtain Hungarian citizenship provided they can show in the application that their parents are citizens.
Naturalization is the process by which a resident of a country can acquire citizenship, usually by residing in that country for a certain number of years as a permanent resident. For example, permanent residents of Canada must reside in Canada for four out of six years in order to be eligible to apply for citizenship. Persons with temporary status, such as students and foreign workers, must first gain permanent resident status in order to start counting their years as residents toward the citizenship requirement.
It is important to double check the requirements of your country of residence if you hope to acquire a second citizenship through naturalization.
Some countries grant fast-track permanent resident status to individuals who have married a citizen of that country, thereby speeding up the time to citizenship. For example, Canada allows spousal sponsorship, which results in automatic permanent resident status for the foreign spouse.
More and more countries are offering citizenship by investment programs or residency by investment programs to high net worth investors. Citizenship by investment is the process of acquiring a second citizenship by investing in the economy of the host country. Residency by investment programs offer permanent residency after the investment, which again speeds up the time to citizenship.
Many countries allow dual citizenship outright, while others allow it only in special circumstances. The following is Arton Capital’s comprehensive list of countries and their dual citizenship policies.
|Afghanistan||No||A former citizen of Afghanistan, who fled the country due to political instability or war and has acquired new citizenship, may still hold “unofficial” Afghan citizenship|
|American Samoa||Yes||American Samoa follows U.S. guidelines for dual citizenship.|
|Andorra||No||Spain recognizes dual nationality with Andorra.|
|Antigua & Barbuda||Yes|
|Austria||No||Dual citizenship is allowed for individuals who gain two nationalities at birth. Dual citizenship is also allowed if it is in the interest of Austria.|
|Bahamas||No||Dual citizenship allowed until 18 years of age.|
|Bangladesh||No||Bangladeshi citizens and their children who have foreign citizenship must apply for a Dual Nationality Certificate.|
|Bosnia & Herzegovina||Yes||Provided there is a bilateral agreement between the two states.|
|Botswana||No||Dual citizenship allowed until 21 years of age.|
|Brunei Darussalam||No||Dual citizenship allowed until 18 years of age.|
|Cameroon||No||Dual citizenship allowed until 21 years of age.|
|Central African Republic||Yes|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa)||No||Dual citizenship allowed until 21 years of age.|
|Republic of Congo (Brazzaville)||Yes|
|Georgia||No||Allowed only when citizenship is granted to a foreigner by the President.|
|Germany||Yes||Must apply for a retention permit in order to keep German nationality before applying for second citizenship.|
|Guatemala||Yes||Dual citizenship allowed as long as the other country allows it too.|
|Guinea-Bissau||Yes||Dual citizenship allowed if emigration occurred for economic reasons.|
|Honduras||Yes||Dual citizenship allowed if a treaty exists with that country.|
|Iceland||Yes||Dual citizenship allowed if the other country also allows it.|
|Japan||No||Dual citizenship allowed until 22 years of age.|
|Lesotho||No||Dual citizenship allowed until 21 years of age.|
|Liberia||No||Dual citizenship allowed until age of maturity.|
|Lithuania||Yes||Dual citizenship allowed only in certain circumstances.|
|Malawi||No||Dual citizenship allowed until 22 years of age.|
|Micronesia||No||Dual citizenship allowed until 18 years of age.|
|Montenegro||No||Dual citizenship allowed only if a bilateral treaty exists with the other country.|
|Namibia||Yes||Dual citizenship allowed only for Namibian citizens by birth.|
|Netherlands||No||Dual citizenship allowed if you were born in another country and thus acquired nationality, or lived there as a minor, or if you automatically acquired your spouse’s nationality.|
|Nigeria||Yes||Dual citizenship allowed for citizens of Nigeria by birth.|
|Norway||No||Dual citizenship allowed if original nationality cannot be renounced.|
|Pakistan||Yes||Only with the 18 countries with which it has an agreement.|
|Palau||No||Dual citizenship allowed until 21 years of age.|
|Papua New Guinea||Yes|
|Paraguay||Yes||Multiple citizenship allowed for citizens by birth or descent where international treaties exist.|
|Saint Kitts & Nevis||Yes|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||Yes|
|Sao Tome and Principe||No|
|Slovenia||Yes||Dual citizenship allowed for citizens by birth or descent.|
|Solomon Islands||No||Dual citizenship allowed until 18 years of age.|
|South Africa||Yes||Dual citizenship allowed only if permission is granted to keep South African citizenship beforehand.|
|Spain||Yes||Dual citizenship allowed if desire to keep Spanish nationality is declared within 3 years of acquiring the foreign nationality.|
|Sri Lanka||Yes||Must submit an Application for Retention in order to be allowed dual citizenship.|
|Switzerland||Yes||Dual citizenship allowed provided the other country does not require forfeiture of original nationality.|
|Tajikistan||Yes||Dual citizens will only be considered citizens of Tajikistan.|
|Tanzania||No||Dual citizenship allowed until 18 years of age.|
|Trinidad & Tobago||Yes||Dual citizenship allowed only for citizens of Trinidad & Tobago by birth or descent.|
|United Arab Emirates||No|
|British Virgin Islands||Yes|
|Yemen||Yes||Dual citizenship allowed only if prior permission granted.|
|Zimbabwe||Yes||Dual citizenship allowed only for citizens by birth.|
Some countries do allow their citizens to hold multiple citizenships. Check your country’s government website or embassy to find out whether multiple citizenship is allowed. Arton Capital’s comprehensive list above will tell you whether at least dual citizenship is recognized
Arton Capital empowers individuals and families to become Global Citizens. We are a financial advisory firm specializing in investor programs for residence and citizenship, and consider ourselves the all-important link between dreams and reality. We offer a bespoke service experience supported and sustained by long-term relationships.