Everything you need to know about
Dual Citizenship in the US

A Second Passport is not just for the “James Bonds” and super wealthy of this world. 

The truth is that it’s possible for ANYONE to obtain dual citizenship. And USA citizens are not an exception to this.

The United States allows dual citizenship. This means American citizens don’t have to give up their US citizenship if they get citizenship in another nation.

If you are foreign born, and looking to become a US citizen, you can also become a dual US citizen.

In this in-depth article we’ll cover cover the rules for American dual citizenship, the four ways US citizens can get it, and how foreigners can gain dual citizenship in the USA.

The 14 Easiest Options To Get Dual Citizenship And A Second Passport

Find the perfect second passport options for your personal situation with this comparison sheet showing All The Easiest Citizenship & Passports at a glance.

Easiest Citizenship & Second Passport Options Comparison Table

Inside you’ll find…

  • The 5 easiest options to obtain EU citizenship & passport and 9 options outside the EU
  • How and where to obtain a valuable citizenship and passport after just two years of residency (while paying next to nothing)
  • The best instant citizenship options for singles, families and those who want EU citizenship
  • Which options allow you to obtain a second passport while spending the least amount of time in the country
  • The 14 countries that might give you FREE citizenship & passport if you have parents, grandparents or even great-grandparents from there

This sheet could save you tens of thousands of dollars and YEARS of time.

Does the US allow Dual Citizenship?

Yes, Americans can have dual citizenship in the US and another country. And foreigners who obtain US citizenship can keep their previous citizenship. 

Although in the past it was possible for US nationals to lose their citizenship if they naturalized in another country the laws have changed and it’s now almost impossible to lose US citizenship unless you renounce it.

“A U.S. citizen may naturalize in a foreign state without any risk to his or her U.S. citizenship. However, persons who acquire a foreign nationality after age 18 by applying for it may relinquish their U.S. nationality if they wish to do so.”

That means you will not lose US citizenship after acquiring a second citizenship unless you intentionally renounce your US citizenship. 

The State Department automatically presumes you intend to keep your US citizenship and become a dual citizen when you apply for foreign citizenship.

In some cases you could lose your American citizenship if you run for foreign office, join a foreign military, or commit treason against the United States.

And certain other countries do not allow dual citizenship, and could require you to renounce your US citizenship if you wish to obtain citizenship there.

In the USA, you can hold multiple passports, and be a citizen of multiple countries, completely legally. 

But it is important to note that if you have a US passport, you must use it to enter and leave the United States, even if you are a dual citizen.

If you are a foreigner looking to get American dual citizenship...

Officially, the Oath of Allegiance required to become a United States citizen includes renouncing your previous citizenship. 

However in practice, the United States does not actually take any legal steps to strip you of your dual citizenship. 

You’ll be just fine, as long as the country of your original citizenship also allows dual citizenship.

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1. Dual citizenship opens up the world to travel

With an American passport, you can travel visa-free to 157 nations.

US Visa-Free Countries

That’s pretty good. Much better than a passport from China or Lebanon, for example, which severely limit how many countries you can easily visit.

But an Italian passport gives you visa free travel to 161 countries, plus the right to live and work almost anywhere in Europe.

Dual American / Italian citizenship expands the number of countries an American can move to, hassle-free, from 1 to 27.

A Chilean passport gives you visa-free access to all of South America and even Russia, and the possibility to live in any South American country (except Venezuela) under the Mercosur’s freedom of movement agreement.

2. Dual citizenship gives you a place to go, no matter what happens in your home country

Dual citizenship is what we call the ultimate insurance policy.

When you look at countries in crisis, like Venezuela, you realize what a major benefit having a second citizenship and passport can be.

If things ever go bad in your home country, and you need to get out, dual citizenship automatically gives you can exit strategy.

3. Dual citizenship protects you from a revoked passport

Did you know your passport is actually the property of the United States government?

It says so inside the document, take a look.

The government can revoke your passport at its own discretion. Look at Edward Snowden, who was left nationless after leaking incriminating documents, and had to rely on the good will of other nations.

But even if you don’t plan on dropping the next big Wikileaks reveal, it is now IRS policy to revoke, or not renew, passports of people they suspect owe them a certain amount of taxes. 

It doesn’t take charges, a conviction, or even any evidence– again, the government has sole discretion.

If you have only one passport, then a single government holds total control over where you can travel, conduct business and live.

Putting this much trust into a single entity that has a history of vastly abusing its power is just not a good idea. 

You also have no guarantee that the government won’t expand its powers further. Smart people always have a Plan B.

4. Dual citizenship could potentially reduce your taxes drastically

Dual citizenship, or even simple foreign residency, allows you to move abroad and potentially reduce your tax burden significantly.

US citizens who establish residency abroad can take advantage of the “Foreign Earned Income Exclusion”, which allows you to write off over  $100,000 of income each year, tax-free.

Depending on the tax laws where you settle, you could even pay no taxes at all. Many countries around the world have substantially lighter tax burdens than much of the Western world, including the US.

5. Dual citizenship can allow you to distance yourself from any negative aspects of your home country

Let’s be honest, America’s world politics have made US citizens pretty unpopular in some parts of the world.

It could even make you the target for terrorism. On the other hand, nobody ever threatens to bomb a plane full of Lithuanians.

Being a dual passport holder means you will have the option of renouncing your current citizenship.

Or consider the fact that US citizens can drastically reduce their tax burden by renouncing their US citizenship. 

It’s a radical step to even think about for most people, but having multiple citizenships means that you’ll always have the option.

Even if you never choose to do it, having the ability to renounce if your situation ever changes gives you tremendous freedom in your life.

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Four Ways Americans Can Get Dual Citizenship

Here are the four ways ANYONE can get dual citizenship:

  • 1. Ancestry - If you are lucky enough to have ancestors from the right country, you may be eligible for an almost FREE second citizenship by descent
  • 2. Time - After you live in a country long enough, you can become eligible for a second passport through naturalization
  • 3. Money - This involves taking advantage of a citizenship by investment program to legally buy citizenship and acquire a second passport.
  • 3. Flexibility - These are unconventional ways to get a second passport such as giving birth in a foreign country, marrying a foreign citizen or even changing your religion...

Option #1: Get Dual Citizenship Through Ancestry

If you are lucky enough to have parents, grandparents or even great-grandparents from certain countries, you may already be eligible for dual citizenship by descent.

These countries include:

Every country has different requirements to qualify, but you will usually have to demonstrate an uninterrupted lineage between you and your ancestors.

“Uninterrupted” usually means that no ancestor renounced or lost their citizenship before passing it on to the next descendant in your lineage.

To get a better idea of how this process works, download a free in-depth intelligence report on How To Get an Italian Passport & Citizenship By Descent here.

Italian Citizenship By Descent
Further ReadingCitizenship By Descent Example: How To Get an Italian Passport

Even if you don’t have Italian ancestors this report will give you a better idea of how citizenship by descent works.

Usually you’ll start by setting up an appointment with your nearest consulate.

Don’t be surprised if they make you wait months. Spend that time gathering the necessary documents. You might also need them officially translated and certified.

Typical documents required include your birth certificate, marriage and/or divorce certificate (if applicable) and passport, as well as the birth certificates of any children you have.

You’ll also need birth certificates (and death certificates) for your ancestors. You’ll also need any naturalization certificates those ancestors acquired.

If you are interested in pursuing citizenship by descent, check out our in-depth article on citizenship by descent that covers how to get dual citizenship through your ancestry in eight countries. 

Option #2: Get Dual Citizenship Through Naturalization

In most countries around the world you can become eligible for dual citizenship through naturalization by living in a country for long enough.

First you become a legal resident, and then maintain that residency for a certain number of years (generally at least five years). 

Some countries make it harder than others for foreigners to obtain residency and citizenship. 

In the United States, immigration rules make it difficult for foreigners to obtain a Green Card. But in Panama, for example, the process is very quick, affordable and easy.

After five years, you can apply to become a Panamanian citizen.  

In some countries (like Panama), you don’t even need to actually spend significant amounts of time there before you become eligible to apply for dual citizenship. But it’s still best to be able to demonstrate strong ties to the country in order to be approved.

This is a great option for people who do not want to uproot their lives right away, but want a Plan B for where to live, and a second passport a few years down the road.

But keep in mind that residency (and dual citizenship) opportunities change frequently.

Countries generally make it easier for foreigners to establish residency and obtain citizenship when they need money, or talent. When the dual citizenship rules are favorable, you’ll want to act quickly before they change.

We have recently compiled all the easiest options into a Passport Comparison Sheet that lets you see all the best opportunities at a glance…

Easiest Citizenship & Second Passport Options Comparison Table

Inside you’ll find…

  • The 5 easiest options to obtain EU citizenship & passport and 9 options outside the EU
  • How and where to obtain a valuable citizenship and passport after just two years of residency (while paying next to nothing)
  • The best instant citizenship options for singles, families and those who want EU citizenship
  • Which options allow you to obtain a second passport while spending the least amount of time in the country
  • The 14 countries that might give you FREE citizenship & passport if you have parents, grandparents or even great-grandparents from there

This sheet could save you tens of thousands of dollars and YEARS of time.

Option #3: Get Dual Citizenship Through Investment

The fastest (but definitely not the cheapest) way to acquire a second passport is through investing money in the country in exchange for a passport.

It’s called economic citizenship or citizenship by investment and is a legitimate way to buy a second passport to get dual citizenship.

Some countries have you make an outright donation to the government in exchange for citizenship.

Others require, on top of an outright donation to the government, you make an actual investment in property, financial instruments or businesses within a preselected pool of investment opportunities. 

These can range from a couple of hundred thousand dollars to several million dollars.

Because of the steep price, it makes more sense for a lot of people to just acquire residency in a country and let time work for them until naturalization.

But even if economic citizenship is right for you, it still makes sense to first check whether you are eligible for citizenship by ancestry if you need a dual citizenship quickly.

That being said, there are several options that offer passports of varying quality.

The Caribbean has five active citizenship by investment programs that will grant you and your family citizenship starting at $110,000 (for singles) and $150,000 (for a family of four).

Their passports are of decent quality (they rank between B and B- in the Sovereign Man Passport Index). 

But the highest quality passports by investment are from Europe. Cyprus will require you to fork out over two million dollars for a passport, but Malta will give you citizenship for “just” $880,000. 

We consider Malta the best value option if you are looking for a high-quality European passport.

Both of these passports get an A score on our Sovereign Man Passport Index.

We discuss who economic citizenship is right for and all 13 official programs in more detail inside our in-depth article on citizenship by investment.

Compare ALL 13 Citizenship-By-Investment Options At A Glance...

This comparison sheet will give you a birds-eye view of the most important things you need to know about each citizenship-by-investment program…

  • The differences between the programs (number of visa-free countries, price, investment options, taxation, …)
  • Which countries you can enter without a visa with each passport (and the differences between them)

It could potentially help you save tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars by picking the best passport for your personal situation at the lowest price…

Option #4: Get Dual Citizenship Through Flexibility

If you’re willing to be flexible, you can acquire citizenship abroad in some unconventional ways, like getting married, giving birth in a foreign country, or even converting you’re religion.

Get dual citizenship through Marriage

Most countries loosen the requirements for citizenship if you marry a citizen of another country. 

You are still generally required to live there, but being married to a citizen of the country will usually make it a lot easier and quicker for you to become eligible for dual citizenship. 

If your spouse can claim ancestry though bloodlines, but you can, you could still use ancestry as a potential path to dual citizenship. 

You could have him or her go through that process first and then help you acquire citizenship through marriage. Check with a qualified immigration attorney first, as this might not always be the most expedient or convenient option.

Get dual citizenship by adopting a child or giving birth abroad

Another option is to either adopt a child or give birth to a child in a country that grants citizenship to everyone born on its territory.

Some countries have fairly lenient rules for residency, and eventually dual citizenship, for persons who are legal guardians of citizens of their country.

Brazil is a fantastic option.

Immediately after your newborn’s birth, you, your spouse and your other children have the right to apply for a “residency of indefinite term,” which grants you the right to stay, live and work in Brazil.

You can apply for citizenship one year after securing residency. You’ll need to pass a Portuguese language test. From there it will take a few months for the Brazilian government to process your citizenship application.

So, within two years of having a baby in Brazil, your entire family could have second passports in hand.

And Brazil is also not the only country that gives citizenship by birth. If you want to give your future child the invaluable gift of a second citizenship and passport, download our free report The Four Passports ANYONE Can Obtain.

Four Passports Anyone Can Obtain eBook
Further ReadingCitizenship-By-Birth: A full list of countries that give citizenship by birth inside our free report The Four Passports ANYONE Can Obtain

Get dual citizenship by changing your religion

Are you Jewish? Do you want to be? If so, you can get an Israeli passport.

The “Law of Return” provides means for all Jews, and individuals of Jewish ancestry, to acquire Israeli residency and citizenship.

Israeli law defines Jewish ancestry as having at least one Jewish parent or grandparent.

But if ancestry won’t work, the law also provides the ‘right of return’ to anyone who converts to any denomination of Judaism.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to provide adequate documentation proving either Jewish ancestry or conversion to Judaism, the Israeli authorities won’t just take your word for it, they’ll check.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you don’t have time to read the full article, here are the most frequently asked questions we get…

Does the United States allow dual citizenship?

Yes, Americans can have dual citizenship in the US and another country. And foreigners who obtain US citizenship can keep their previous citizenship.

Although in the past it was possible for US nationals to lose their citizenship if they naturalized in another country the laws have changed and it’s now almost impossible to lose US citizenship unless you renounce it.

Click here to read about the four ways ANYONE can get a second passport.

Will I lose my US citizenship if I become a citizen of another nation?

No, you can keep your US citizenship, and become a dual citizen. You could lose your US citizenship is if you intentionally renounce it, run for office in a foreign country, join the military of a foreign country, or commit treason.

For more details click here to read more on this.

How can Americans get Dual Citizenship?

There are four ways Americans can use to obtain a second passport & dual citizenship:

  1. Ancestry: If you are lucky enough to have parents, grandparents or even great-grandparents from the right country, you may already be eligible for a second citizenship by descent (at almost no cost).
  2. Time: After you live in a country long enough, you can become eligible for a second passport through naturalization. This option usually takes several years, but the advantage is that anyone can do this. And in some countries you don't even have to spend much time there.
  3. Money: This involves taking advantage of a citizenship by investment program to legally buy citizenship and acquire a second citizenship.
  4. Flexibility: These are unconventional ways to get a second citizenship and passport, such as giving birth in a foreign country, marrying a foreign citizen or even changing your religion…

Click here to learn more about all four ways.

What are the easiest options to get dual citizenship?

The easiest option for most people is Panama’s citizenship and passport.

If you’re looking for the easiest European option then Portugal is the easiest EU option for most people.

We have created a comparison table of the 14 easiest citizenships and passports.

Click here to learn more.

Conclusion & Further Resources

Here at Sovereign Man we believe dual citizenship and a second passport make sense for everyone and there’s nothing holding Americans back from getting it.

The first option you should look into is citizenship by descent. If you are lucky enough to have the right ancestors it’s the easiest and cheapest option.

Next, you should consider citizenship by naturalization – acquiring residency in a country for a few years before acquiring citizenship.

If you are more flexible you can consider options, such as having a baby in Brazil.

And finally, you can consider citizenship by investment if money isn’t an issue.

To continue your research check out our other in-depth articles and download our free resources below

Download Our 4 Free Resources

Download Our Free
Easiest Citizenship & Passport Comparison Sheet

Download our free Easiest Citizenship & Passport Comparison Sheet and see all the options you have at a glance.

Easiest Citizenship & Second Passport Options Comparison Table

Inside you’ll find…

  • The 5 easiest options to obtain EU citizenship & passport and 9 options outside the EU ​
  • How and where to obtain a valuable citizenship and passport after just two years of residency (while paying next to nothing)
  • The best instant citizenship options for singles, families and those who want EU citizenship
  • Which options allow you to obtain a second passport while spending the least amount of time in the country
  • The 14 countries that might give you FREE citizenship & passport if you have parents, grandparents or even great-grandparents from there

This sheet could save you tens of thousands of dollars and YEARS of time.

Download Our Free Report
The Four Passports ANYONE Can Obtain

Download our free guide on The Four Passports ANYONE Can Obtain (Including a European one) to learn more.

  • Four second passports ANYONE can obtain
  • Which country will give you a second passport while spending barely any time there.
  • How to get an excellent second passport from Europe.
  • Which second passport option is the most affordable and best value.
  • Where you can get a valuable second passport in less than HALF the time compared to other countries.
Four Passports Anyone Can Obtain eBook

Download Our Free Report
Italian Passport & Citizenship By Descent

Inside this free version of our premium intelligence, you’ll see how this process works if you have Italian ancestors. 

And even if you don’t have Italian ancestors, this report is still useful to get a better idea of how the process works.

  • Step-by-step instructions on how to get an Italian passport & citizenship if you have Italian ancestors.
  • The little-known fast-track shortcut that will cut the process down from years to just a few months!
  • And much more…
Italian Citizenship By Descent

Download Our Free
Citizenship By Investment Comparison Sheet

This comparison sheet will give you a birds-eye view of the most important things you need to know about each citizenship-by-investment program…

  • The differences between the programs (number of visa-free countries, price, investment options, taxation, …)
  • Which countries you can enter without a visa with each passport (and the differences between them)

It could potentially help you save tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars by picking the best passport for your personal situation at the lowest price…

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Our intelligence reports cover all four ways and dozens of options step-by-step to get a second passport and citizenship…

Additionally, we also have intelligence on everything from new residency, foreign banking, options to reduce, defer, or even eliminate your taxes, to incredible investment picks outside the mainstream.

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