Under U.S. law, a U.S. citizen can be a national or citizen of two countries. An individual can obtain dual nationality or dual citizenship through birth, or marriage, or by applying and meeting certain eligibility requirements. For example, an individual can obtain dual citizenship by being born to two U.S. citizens in a foreign country, he or she can be a citizen of the country where he or she was born and a citizen of the U.S. Why would someone want to be a dual national or dual citizen of another country? There are numerous benefits to having dual citizenship or dual nationality. Dual citizens or dual nationals can carry two passports and essentially live , work, and travel freely between the two countries. Other benefits include: the right to own property in both countries, greater ease in obtaining certain travel visas,  and access to a wider range of financial opportunities. Dual citizenship or dual nationality also has the advantages of broadening a country’s economic base by promoting trade and investment between the dual citizen’s two respective countries.

The government of India has recently passed a law allowing for what is essentially dual nationality, it is called the Overseas Citizenship of India program (OCI). Under OCI, a foreign national, who was eligible to become a citizen of India on January 26, 1950 or was a citizen of India on or at anytime after January 26, 2950, or belonged to a territory that became part of India after August 15, 1947, and his/her children and grand children, provided his/her country of citizenship allows dual citizenship in some form or other under the local laws, is eligible for registration as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI). Minor children of such person are also eligible for OCI registration. However, if the applicant had ever been a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh, he/she will not qualify for registration as OCI.  The benefits include: 1.) multiple entry, multi-purpose life long visa to visit India; 2.) exemption from reporting to police authorities for any length of stay in India, and 3.) right to live, work, and own property in India.

Some other countries that allow for dual nationality and or dual citizenship are: Australia, Barbados, Belgium, Bangladesh, Canada, Cyprus, United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland, South Korea, South Africa (requires permission) , Egypt(requires prior permission), Greece, France, Finland, Germany (requires prior permission), India (OCI and PIO), Iraq, Italy, Israel, Ireland, Hungary, Iceland, Sweden, Slovenia, Syria, Serbia, Armenia, Lebanon, Malta, Mexico, Spain ( allows only with certain Latin american countries), Tonga, Phillipines, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka (by retention), Pakistan (accepts only with 16 countries), Portugal, Turkey (requires permission).

A U.S. citizen who applies for another country’s citizenship or nationality does not risk losing U.S. citizenship, unless the U.S. citizen applied for the foreign citizenship voluntarily, by free choice, and with the intention to give up U.S. citizenship. As long as you do not intend to relinquish your U.S. citizenship in the process of applying for dual citizenship or dual nationality, you will preserve your U.S. citizenship and become a dual citizen or dual national.  There are numerous benefits to dual nationality or dual citizenship, contact Subhan  Law Office, LLC today to discuss your eligibility and the benefits in greater detail at 414-223-5718 or toll free at 1-855-946-6848.

To learn more about the Overseas Citizenship of India program click here.