A noncommercial collection of information about citizenship, dual citizenship and multiple citizenship

[Please refer to How to Read a Country Entry for help interpreting this material. It was produced prior to March 2001 as part of a US government report entitled Citizenship Laws of the World. The accuracy and depth of these country listings varies significantly, and some information may be incorrect. At best, this page presents only part of the story for a particular country. Additional information for this country may be available in Country Information]


CITIZENSHIP: Citizenship is based upon Title 8 of U.S. Code 1401 - 1409, dated 1986.

BY BIRTH: Child born within the territory of the United States, regardless of the citizenship of the parents.

- Child born abroad, both of whose parents are citizens of the United States, and one of whom resided in the United States before the birth of the child.
- Child born abroad, one of whose parents is a citizen of the United States who resided in the United States for at least five years before the birth of the child.

BY NATURALIZATION: United States citizenship may be acquired upon fulfillment of the following conditions:
- Person must be 18 years old, have resided in the United States for at least five years as a lawful permanent resident, be able to speak, read, and write English, be of good moral character, be familiar with the history and culture of the country, be attached to the principles of the United States Constitution, and have renounced former citizenship.
- Foreign citizens who marry citizens of the United States need only reside in the United States for three years, but must still fulfill the other conditions.

OTHER: Certain provisions for granting citizenship have been extended to persons who have performed specific military service to this country. For more information, contact the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.


Based on the U.S. Department of State regulation on dual citizenship (7 FM 1162), the Supreme Court of the United States has stated that dual citizenship is a “status long recognized in the law” and that “a person may have and exercise rights of nationality in two countries and be subject to the responsibilities of both. The mere fact he asserts the rights of one citizenship does not without more mean that he renounces the other,” (Kawakita v. U.S., 343 U.S. 717) (1952).

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) does not define dual citizenship or take a position for it or against it. There has been no prohibition against dual citizenship, but some provisions of the INA and earlier U.S. nationality laws were designed to reduce situations in which dual citizenship exists.

United States law does not contain any provisions requiring U.S. citizens who are born with dual citizenship or who acquire a second citizenship at an early age to choose one or the other when they become adults (Mandeli v. Acheson, 344 U.S. 133) (1952). The current citizenship laws of the United States do not specifically refer to dual citizenship.

While recognizing the existence of dual citizenship and permitting Americans to have other citizenships, the U.S. Government does not endorse dual citizenship as a matter of policy because of the problems that it may cause. Claims of other countries on dual-national U.S. citizens often place them in situations where their obligations to one country are in conflict with the laws of the other.

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