Do I Have to Give Up My Previous Citizenship After Becoming a U.S. Citizen?

The short answer is No. United States allows foreign nationals to naturalize and become U.S. citizens and the country also allows people to hold dual nationality. People who are citizens of foreign countries may become U.S. citizens and they may not be required to give up their current nationality.

Renouncing your previous citizenship is not really up to the U.S. Government but rather your previous country. Citizenship laws differ from country to country and some countries do not allow the citizens to hold dual citizenship.

However, a U.S. citizen who voluntarily becomes a citizen of a foreign country after age 18 can relinquish their U.S. citizenship. To relinquish U.S. citizenship the person must apply for foreign citizenship voluntarily with the intention to renounce U.S. citizenship. Intent may be shown by the person’s conduct and statements.

A U.S. citizen may become a citizen of a foreign country if he/she gets married to a citizen of that foreign country and such U.S. citizens who automatically become citizens of foreign countries will not lose U.S. citizenship.

Similarly, a person who applies for naturalization and becomes a citizen of the United States, need not forsake his country of origin.

Citizenship laws of America on dual citizenship

Citizenship laws of America do not require a person to give up his citizenship to obtain U.S. citizenship. Such a foreign national may become a U.S. citizen and remain a citizen of his/her home country.

But being a dual citizen depends on the home country. If the home country allows dual citizenship you can also become a U.S. citizen without renouncing your current citizenship.

Impacts of Dual nationality

Dual nationals must follow the laws of both countries and both countries will enforce their laws. Dual nationals must use the passports issued by the United States to travel to the United States and they must use the passports issued by the other foreign country to travel to that foreign country.

However, you need to remember that there are few countries that require people to choose one citizenship or another, and such foreign countries will take away your citizenship after you become a U.S. citizen.

There are a few problems that arise with dual nationality. In certain cases the laws of the home country and the U.S. conflict with each other which can put them in difficult situations.

The U.S. government might not be able to help you get consular protection if you are abroad, especially if you are in the country of your second nationality.

In the end, the U.S. government allows dual nationality if your home country allows it.

There are many celebrities in the U.S. who hold dual citizenship and normal people who also own dual citizenship.

If you would like to also hold dual citizenship connect with an experienced immigration lawyer to understand your choices.