California Dual Citizenship Lawyer
Dual citizenship describes someone who holds two legal and valid passports at the same time. This often happens to those who may have been a child of U.S. citizens that happened to be born abroad. Still, it can also occur to those who immigrated to the United States and underwent naturalization.
Over our years of providing client-focused service, Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law has helped many clients acquire dual citizenship. Our California dual citizenship lawyers have years of combined experience in assisting, educating, and guiding those who have the opportunity to be national to more than just one country.
We will provide a confidential and no-obligation case review to discuss the process for naturalization or keeping foreign citizenship. Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online to schedule your appointment today.
Cases Where a California Dual Citizenship Attorney Can Help
Dual nationals must ensure that they meet each country’s requirements to maintain citizenship in each country. Each country will require allegiance from the dual citizen, and failure to do so can lead to serious complications.
Also, having dual citizenship requires the holder to follow the law of more than one country. And at times, people can find themselves in positions that would compromise their U.S. citizenship or lead to the loss of their U.S. citizenship altogether.
Possible Issues of Using Another Passport
In cases where help is needed, the U.S. Embassy has limited to no power to assist a dual citizen. This can present complications, especially if the other country is in conflict with the U.S. or trying to force a reaction from a local family member.
Additionally, in cases of an exit ban, dual citizens who did not use their American passport to enter their second nationality may be placed on hold in that country for an unspecified time. Exit bans can create extreme financial hardships as those affected must cover their living expenses in another country.
Prohibition of Dual Citizenship in Other Countries
While the U.S. has no law limiting how many citizenships one can hold, other countries might. If this is part of their national law, the second nationality might have to be let go. Those having dual citizenship should research the foreign laws of their second country to confirm they do not need to relinquish their citizenship.
How to Apply for Dual Citizenship
While having two citizenships is most common, no limit in U.S. law restricts how many countries a person can be a citizen of. However, not all countries follow the same policies, sometimes making it illegal to hold more than one valid citizenship at a time.
In many cases, U.S. citizens can claim citizenship from another country, knowingly or unknowingly. For example, think of Spanish grandchildren who suddenly will find they qualify for citizenship in Spain.
Some examples of qualifying cases for dual citizenship are:
- Being born in the United States to one or both parents who are foreigners in the United States.
- Being born in another country, not the United States, to one or two U.S. citizen parents.
- Naturalizing as a U.S. citizen while maintaining the nationality of their native country.
All dual citizens are required to present their U.S. passports at all exits and entries to the United States. When they arrive at their second nationality, they must also present valid passports there.
Naturalization for Dual Citizens
One of the most common reasons immigrants choose to work with a dual citizenship lawyer is because they have chosen to go through the naturalization process in the United States.
Naturalization is the process of someone becoming a U.S. Citizen after they immigrate to the United States. This is a long process for many, as the minimum requirement is that they hold permanent residency for at least five years before applying to become naturalized. Additionally, they must be able to navigate the application process successfully.
While there are multiple visa immigration programs offered in the States, not all lead to U.S. citizenship. Naturalization candidates should work with a dual citizenship attorney, as the process can become quickly overwhelming, and they may find that they will require legal assistance.
Applicants need to go through several steps to reach their goal of naturalization. Steps include proving their legal presence in the U.S., showing a continuous residence and good moral character, passing the general civics test, and finally, pledging their allegiance to the United States.
Revocation of Naturalization
There are cases where the naturalized may lose their U.S. Citizenship status. Usually, it is due to the following:
- Seeking Naturalization Illegally — While unlikely to get this far, there have been instances where applicants do not meet their requirements and still go through the naturalization process. In these cases, the USCIS will immediately revoke their naturalization.
- Willful Misrepresentation — Failure to disclose information on an application that would sway the decision to approve naturalization can lead to revocation at any time during the application process, including the interview.
- Military Discharge Before Five Years — Excluding honorary discharges, any other separation from the U.S. military after agreeing to serve for five years can lead to the revocation of their U.S. citizenship status for former foreign nationals and other naturalized citizens.
Risk of Losing Your U.S. Nationality
Those with dual citizenship will find that they have added responsibilities more than those who are just U.S. Citizens. Dual citizens pledged to two nations and adopted to abide by whatever laws passed by those countries, understanding that they should not conflict with each other.
The causes of dual citizens losing their dual citizenship status are from what the Department of State calls Potentially Expatriating Acts. These include:
- Naturalization in a foreign state after turning 18
- Taking an oath, affirmation, or other declaration of allegiance to a foreign state after turning 18
- Willingly entering and serving a foreign state’s armed forces engaged in hostilities against the U.S.
- Accepting employment with a foreign government after turning 18 if one has the nationality of that foreign state and is making an oath or declaration of allegiance as required in accepting the position
- Formally relinquishing U.S. nationality before a U.S. diplomatic or consular officer when in another country outside the United States.
- Formally relinquishing U.S. nationality while in the United States
- Conviction of treason against the United States government or for attempting by force to overthrow or bear arms against the government
Dual citizens cannot perform these actions voluntarily without risking a loss of U.S. citizenship. Those unsure about whether any of these situations apply to their case should contact Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law, as we understand dual citizenship law and can help answer any questions.
Relinquishing Your U.S. Citizenship
Those who have moved and wish to remove their U.S. citizenship can complete a questionnaire called DS-4079. Additionally, they must provide a statement confirming that they wish to relinquish their U.S. National status. By law, all U.S. Citizens are also considered U.S. Nationals.
When Form DS-4079 and the personal statement are submitted, the applicant will sign their statement at the consular office and submit it to the Department of State.
Relinquishing for Tax Avoidance
Anyone who relinquishes their U.S. citizenship to avoid paying taxes will find they are still liable for any outstanding balances owed to the IRS. Tax evasion is a crime and will be treated as such, even if the U.S. citizen relinquishes citizenship.
Call a California Dual Citizenship Attorney Today
Our immigration lawyers have years of combined experience in answering questions regarding dual citizenship and assisting those intending to navigate the naturalization process. We are here to guide you each step of the way.
If you have any questions about dual citizenship or the naturalization process, call Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law at (559) 878-4958 or Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online today for a no-obligation consultation over the phone or in person at our local office.