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Dual Citizenship & Dual Passports

Dual Citizenship & Dual Passports

Often circumstances permit individuals to have citizenship with 2 countries at the same time. This usually occurs by marriage or birth of parents from 2 countries. In addition, people get naturalized in a second country like the U.S. and do not then renounce their former countries citizenship. Sometimes, like for Canadians, this is continued for government sponsored medical or retirement programs, real property ownership advantages, tax benefits or family ties. Generally, acquiring these second citizenships do not risk the loss of the first citizenship.

The problem or risk occurs where an applicant specifically and voluntarily applies for a second passport with free choice and intent to give up U.S. citizenship. It is this manifestation of intent that is critical. It is often determined by statements, conduct, living locations, receipt of social security and medicare benefits, the payment of federal taxes, banking arrangements and many other factors of daily living.

Dual nationals owe allegiance to both countries and must follow the laws of each country. A U.S. passport must be used to enter and exit the U.S. and usually the foreign passport must be used to enter and exit that country. Third party countries can be entered and exited with either passport. Caution! Sequestering money abroad to violate federal income tax laws by using the foreign passport as identification may have serious U.S. tax implications and ramifications. Consult with an international accountant and tax attorney as well as a Charleston Immigration Attorney before attempting this tax dodge. It may be illegal.

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