One can say that a citizen is a member of a state, with rights and responsibilities allocated to him or her. Thus, the state recognizes the person as a citizen of that particular state or country as the case may be. The word citizenship flows from a Latin word, which means “city.”
The question is: how many citizenships can you have?
In a case where you find yourself as a citizen of a particular state or country, it gives you the right to live, work, pay tax, and even vote in that country. A practical example of citizenship is someone born in the United States; it means that the baby is a citizen of the United States. Now, the question is, how many citizenships can you have at a time? Practically speaking, you can have about 195 citizenships as we have 195 countries in the world, but the reality is that most countries do not accept persons with dual citizenship.
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Benefits Of Having Multiple Citizenships
The benefits of having multiple citizenship or dual citizenship are numerous. However, for this article, we would be looking at quite a few of them.
In a situation where there is war or famine or economic crisis in your present country, and you have dual citizenship with a more stable country, it would present you with an opportunity to escape that present security threat and economic woes.
Having multiple citizenships can boost your business, as you can easily set up your business in your second country where you also have citizenship, and even in your country of birth. It also allows you to move freely to oversee the business.
Travelling from one country to another is one problem that dual citizenship can solve, as you do not need to go through the whole visa application process, which could be time-consuming, and most times, you get declined. With a second citizenship, you could travel to that country without any visa application; all you need is your International passport for identification.
A better life:
Having second or dual citizenship can open you to a whole world of a better living as dual citizenship could give you the privilege to access better health care, schooling, and a better way of life.
How Can I Have Multiple Citizenships?
There are four basic ways one can obtain multiple citizenships in the world today. They are;
It is a kind of citizenship that is obtainable from virtually all countries in the world. Once your mother gives birth to you in that country or state you are, automatically you become a citizen of that country. However, some countries only provide this kind of citizenship to individuals that have proof that they gave birth to their parents in that country. For example, a country like Hungary will provide you with a citizenship passport if your parents are born in that country.
It is a kind of citizenship that comes into play when you live in a foreign country for a certain number of years. It is the specific number of years that determine whether you can qualify under consideration as a citizen. However, the number of years varies in different nations, as some can take up to ten years. In a country like Canada, you would need to stay in that country with your resident permit for about four to six years before you are eligible to apply for naturalization. For students with a student visa, if you want to become a citizen of Canada, you should get a permanent residence first.
Most foreign countries allow fast-tracked residential permits based on marriage. The moment you get married to a citizen of that country, you tend to obtain a quick, permanent residence permit, which, in turn, speeds up your citizenship.
Many countries in the world today, offers citizenship, once an individual with a high net income comes to invest in the economy of that host country. Some other countries would grant you an automatic permanent residence to the investor, which will, in the long run, speed up the time it will take for you to become a citizen of that country.
Countries That Do Not Permit Dual Citizenship
Here, we would be looking at countries that would never give you second citizenship. For the sake of this article, we shall take a look at five great nations that are doing well economically and otherwise but would not give you dual citizenship.
China would never grant you second citizenship as it is a law in the country. However, many believe that the process they have put in place to enforce the law is quite weak. It is because they consider their citizens as Chinese citizens and would not forbid any of their citizens from getting dual citizenship.
Japan has one of the most rigid immigration laws in the world. It is a country that would not allow any of its citizens to hold multiple citizenships. They would also not grant citizenship to a foreigner, except the foreigner wants to renounce their original citizenship. It even applies to the children as they wait until they are adults before choosing where they want to hold their citizenship.
There is a prohibition of citizens from the Netherlands from getting dual citizenship. However, there are some exceptional cases. These are cases where you were born in another country, or you got married to another person in a different country.
The country Poland does not see any citizen with dual citizenship as valid and does not recognize such a person in the country. Although it tolerates it to a certain extent, Poland authorities will not acknowledge anyone who says they are foreign citizens.
Before this time, Singapore permitted dual citizenship as you could even get citizenship in just two years. However, it is no longer like that in Singapore, as they now forbid dual citizenship. Singapore also made it compulsory for its citizens to go through military service so that each citizen can be able to protect the country from any external attack.
Some Adverse Effects Of Multiple Citizenships
Not all countries permit dual citizenship, as we already know by now. However, if you choose to go ahead and get multiple citizenships from countries that do allow it, it is crucial you know some adverse effects that it may have on you if you hold multiple citizenships.
In some rare cases, you find out that some countries impose tax liability to their citizens, even when the citizen works or own a business outside the country. Countries like the United States would still place you on tax, also if you run your business on foreign soil. As a result, the tax burden can be much on an individual. It is because you have to pay tax to the government of the country where you currently work or engage in business.
However, the United State Government has made various channels to aid individuals or their foreign citizens from paying more tax. You can check out the United States internal revenue to know more about the “Alternative Minimum Tax.”
Restrictions from holding public offices:
Most countries see people with multiple citizenships, as persons with divided loyalty, so they perceive them to be a treat to the government. They can quickly go against government policy because they know they also hold another citizenship. Thus, most times, it leads to countries setting up laws that forbid people with dual citizenship to work or hold any government offices.
In most cases, before you receive a government position, you would need to renounce your other citizenship as proof of loyalty to that nation. Although, in some societies, they allow individuals with multiple nationalities to hold public offices, you still need to use those countries’ passports to enter or exit that country, no matter what.
Countries that require compulsory military service for its citizens can have a challenge with individuals with multiple citizenships. However, citizens of countries like the United States can engage in such military service in other countries, without it affecting their US citizenship.
The United States And Multiple Citizenships
The United States does not permit multiple nationalities. However, the fact is that it does not have a sound enforcement system in this regard. From research, we find out that the way the United States government handles individuals with multiple citizenship is that they see you as a primary citizen of the state.
For example, let’s say you are holding dual citizenship with Germany and the United States; you are obliged to enter or even exit the United States with your passport, which shows that you are one of the citizens of the United States.
Every country in the world has its law that pertains to you holding multiple citizenships. The fact is that some of these countries have no problem with making you a citizen with all the rights and obligations. On the other hand, some states would want you to denounce your citizenship with any other country before you can be issued their citizenship. Thus, in answering the question, how many citizenships can you have, you must understand that you can have as many citizenships as you want in nations or country that allows for multiple citizenships.