With immigration to the United States, securing a U.S. Permanent Resident Card is often a sufficient result for foreign nationals. Even forfeiture of their citizenship in the nation from whence they came is a price they are willing to pay in order to be naturalized as an American with full rights and responsibilities. Even so, some people might want to retain their citizenship in one country and also acquire a new set of privileges in another. Some people, in fact, may be a citizen in multiple countries based on whom their parents are and where both the individual and their parents were born.
As the name implies, dual citizenship is the status of those who hold claims to citizenship in two separate nation-states. To be sure, dual citizenship has its drawbacks. Immigration officials, for example, might not let travelers pass if they possess passports from multiple countries, which might seem suspicious. Dual citizens, too, might even have to pay taxes in both jurisdictions. Just the same, there are a few positives to be found in conditions of dual citizenship:
On an emotional or spiritual level, citizenship at home may represent the strong bond that one has with his or her country, and citizenship in a foreign territory may come to be a badge of honor for that person after the hardships of the immigration process. In this way, dual citizenship is an important symbol of one's identity as a worldly individual, and as such, is important to try to preserve.
While dual citizenship may tend to complicate immigration and can result in surrender of one's status as a national in one of the two countries, in cases where a citizen runs into trouble on foreign soil amidst travel, diplomatic representatives of the citizen-state can offer their support and a limited amount of protection from harsh impositions of justice. In other words, this is not full diplomatic immunity, but it may be of substantial relief to some.
As noted, dual citizenship may require compound taxation be paid by the holder, but at the same time, there are benefits of being a citizen that may partially balance out these concerns. Generally, being a national of a nation will yield greater access to Social Security, health care, employability, and property rights.
The pros and cons of dual citizenship are often dependent on which the relationship of the two countries to which a person can claim citizenship. Before one attempts to gain full rights in a foreign jurisdiction through immigration, he or she should consider what exactly he or she might be sacrificing in doing so.