Dual Citizenship for US Citizens

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Dual Citizenship for US Citizens


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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 23rd August 2011, 11:43 AM
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All,

In the thread about owning land in the Philippines, I noticed a lot of discussion about being a dual citizen for US citizens. FYI, my kids were all born here in RP and are duel citizens. There is no issue with that. However what I had heard it is different for US born citizens. I did some quick research and came upon the following information from the US State Department web site.

US State Department Services Dual Nationality
Quote:
The concept of dual nationality means that a person is a citizen of two countries at the same time. Each country has its own citizenship laws based on its own policy. Persons may have dual nationality by automatic operation of different laws rather than by choice. For example, a child born in a foreign country to U.S. citizen parents may be both a U.S. citizen and a citizen of the country of birth.

A U.S. citizen may acquire foreign citizenship by marriage, or a person naturalized as a U.S. citizen may not lose the citizenship of the country of birth. U.S. law does not mention dual nationality or require a person to choose one citizenship or another. Also, a person who is automatically granted another citizenship does not risk losing U.S. citizenship. However, a person who acquires a foreign citizenship by applying for it may lose U.S. citizenship. In order to lose U.S. citizenship, the law requires that the person must apply for the foreign citizenship voluntarily, by free choice, and with the intention to give up U.S. citizenship.

Intent can be shown by the person's statements or conduct. The U.S. Government recognizes that dual nationality exists but does not encourage it as a matter of policy because of the problems it may cause. Claims of other countries on dual national U.S. citizens may conflict with U.S. law, and dual nationality may limit U.S. Government efforts to assist citizens abroad. The country where a dual national is located generally has a stronger claim to that person's allegiance.
The part about “with the intention to give up U.S. citizenship” is pretty vague and could be interpreted many ways. Of course the bottom line would be how the US government interprets it if it ever came down to it. I am pointing this out just to show that getting citizenship in another country for a US citizen can be a serious thing and you should think carefully and understand all of the ramifications before doing so.

One other thought is that if you become a dual citizen in the Philippines, the US government would no longer be able to help out if you get into trouble. Becoming a Philippine citizen will not make you Filipino, you will still be a foreigner. In my 5 years here I have seen foreigners on the bad side of the law many times because of some minor dispute with a Filipino that in the US would not even cause a whisper. I wont bore you with details but I can related many such incidences where Americans have been charged with various crimes for simple statements, misunderstandings, or other petty issues.

I am in a different situation than most since I have a business on Clark and have a special visa along with that. However I can say absolutely that I would never want to give up the protection that my blue passport provides when I am in a foreign country.

Just my 2cents which is worth less than a peso these days.

Mike

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Old 23rd August 2011, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by mikeshane View Post
All,

In the thread about owning land in the Philippines, I noticed a lot of discussion about being a dual citizen for US citizens. FYI, my kids were all born here in RP and are duel citizens. There is no issue with that. However what I had heard it is different for US born citizens. I did some quick research and came upon the following information from the US State Department web site.

US State Department Services Dual Nationality


The part about “with the intention to give up U.S. citizenship” is pretty vague and could be interpreted many ways. Of course the bottom line would be how the US government interprets it if it ever came down to it. I am pointing this out just to show that getting citizenship in another country for a US citizen can be a serious thing and you should think carefully and understand all of the ramifications before doing so.

One other thought is that if you become a dual citizen in the Philippines, the US government would no longer be able to help out if you get into trouble. Becoming a Philippine citizen will not make you Filipino, you will still be a foreigner. In my 5 years here I have seen foreigners on the bad side of the law many times because of some minor dispute with a Filipino that in the US would not even cause a whisper. I wont bore you with details but I can related many such incidences where Americans have been charged with various crimes for simple statements, misunderstandings, or other petty issues.

I am in a different situation than most since I have a business on Clark and have a special visa along with that. However I can say absolutely that I would never want to give up the protection that my blue passport provides when I am in a foreign country.

Just my 2cents which is worth less than a peso these days.

Mike
Thats a great post Mike, thanks.
I know we "can" loose our citizenship by force if we take an oath such as to protect and defend a foreign country and swear and allegiance to that foreign power.
When my wife and I joined the Brgy Police here and again later when joining the Philippine National Police (PNP) I went to the embassy in Manila with a written copy of the oath to be taken to be very sure nothing was in it that could threaten my US citizenship.
In the event of any drastic emergency or life threatening medical issue, that US passport is an automatic way out of here even with the assistance of the US government at the embassy.
To give up US citizenship would be foolhardy for ANY reason!


Gene
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Old 23rd August 2011, 09:01 PM
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I read the same thing. The intent issue is very vague. If you keep you're passport current, pay taxes in America, and stay out of politics and government positions in the Philippines (including the military) you should be OK. Keeping a house and/or a bank or credit card from America would be a good thing as well. Always keep an address in America, with a sibling or relative, not a P.O. box. If you are ever questioned by a consular official on whether you want to renounce your citizenship, never say"Yes". If all of the things above are done, it will be very difficult to improve intent. So in closing, I have to agree that this is not an easy decision or something that should be done without a lot of careful consideration. It is worth consideration for some expats, however. And this information could provide useful pointers in those cases. One question i have for anyone out there if anyone can answer. If you were to become a citizen would applying for a Philippine passport send up any red flags when you went to renew your American passport? That is where I still remain uncertain.

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Old 20th September 2013, 09:23 PM
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If you are a U.S. Citizen by the US Courts have taken a very definitive stand on what it takes to give up that citizenship. Simply taking an oath of loyalty doesn't cut it! The Philippine Politicians with dual citizenship who proudly declare that they renounced and gave up their US citizenship in order to hold office have not actually done so.You must go before a US Consular Officer, Complete and Swear to an affidavit renouncing citizenship AND surrender your US passport!
The US doesn't encourage dual citizenship because taking on such status limits/nullifies their ability to assist you should you then run afoul of the other Nation's laws!
Example, pre WWII, many German Americans of dual citizenship, while visiting Germany, were forceably drafted into the German Army! They held German citizenship and thus, while on German soil were subject to German requirements regarding National Service!
Likewise, if you are in the US and wanted for a crime in the Country of your 2nd Citizenship, kiss your ability to resist extradition goodbye! Also, if arrested/jailed in the non US country with whom you hold dual citizenship, DO NOT contact the US Embassy for assistance as they will not/can not help you

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