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The dual citizenship application process is necessary for someone to become a naturalized citizen of a country other than one in which he was born or the one in which he is currently a legal citizen. Each country has different procedures and applications for obtaining dual citizenship, and some countries do not provide dual citizenship as a legal option. It is important to check on local requirements for becoming a dual citizen.
The ability to apply for dual citizenship specifically depends on the laws of the countries involved. Some countries do not permit dual citizenship, and citizenship in the original country may automatically become void if citizenship is obtained in a second country. In other cases, countries permit dual citizenship but may not recognize it as a valid status. Some countries, such as the United States and Canada, both permit and recognize dual citizenship.
Obtaining dual citizenship through the dual citizenship application process can affect the ability to travel to other countries aside from the two countries where someone has dual citizenship. For example, getting security clearance in a third country that does not permit a dual citizenship application may be difficult. There may be other difficulties in traveling to countries that do not recognize dual citizenship as a valid legal status.
There are two different means of obtaining dual citizenship. If a person has a parent who was born in one country but was born himself in another country, he may have dual citizenship without naturalization. In this situation, applying for dual citizenship is not necessary. By virtue of birth, these individuals are automatic citizens of both the birth country of the parents and the individual's own birth country.
The consular affairs office of the countries where an individual is applying for dual citizenship are the best sources of information. These offices have information on the application forms and processes for obtaining dual citizenship and can advise individuals appropriately about the possibilities in terms of whether a dual citizenship application is available in those countries.
Once dual citizenship is obtained, an individual can carry valid passports for each. It is advised, however, not to travel carrying both passports, and the passport of the country of residence should be used when traveling. The one exception is if an individual is traveling to the other country where he has citizenship.