Births and Citizenship
Dual nationality is the simultaneous possession of two citizenships. Dual nationality results from the fact there is no uniform rule of international law relating to the acquisition of nationality. Each country has its own laws on the subject, and its nationality is conferred upon individuals on the basis of its own independent domestic policy. Individuals may have dual nationality not by choice but by automatic operation of these different and sometimes conflicting laws.
While recognizing the existence of dual nationality and permitting Americans to have other nationalities, the U.S. Government does not encourage it as a matter of policy because of the problems it may cause. Claims of other countries on a dual-national U.S. citizen may conflict with U.S. law, and dual nationality may limit U.S. Government efforts to assist citizens abroad. It is generally considered that while dual nationals are in the country of which they are citizens that country has a predominant claim on them.
When a person is naturalized in a foreign state and is thereafter found not to have lost U.S. citizenship, the individual consequently may possess dual nationality. It is prudent, however, to check with authorities of the foreign state to see if dual nationality is permissible under local law. The Dutch Ministry of Justice [Ministerie van Justitie] is the sole authority in the Netherlands regarding the acquisition and retention of Dutch citizenship. Please see www.ind.nl.
Information concerning the entitlement and conditions under which an individual qualifies for Dutch citizenship can also be obtained from the Dutch City Hall [Gemeentehuis, Afdeling Nationaliteit] in one's place of residence.
The acquisition of a second nationality by whatever means does not eliminate or remove any of the rights or obligations an American citizen has vis a vis the United States. Along with the rights and privileges of a citizenship come certain responsibilities. For example:
- American citizens who also hold another country's passport must enter and depart from the United States on their valid U.S. passport. They do not need an ESTA, they do not need a visa and cannot travel on their other country's passport.
- All American citizens must report world-wide income by filing an annual U.S. income tax return, regardless of whether they also pay taxes elsewhere, regardless of the fact they hold another country's passport. For more information see www.irs.gov.
- An American citizen male, regardless whether he also holds another country's citizenship, must register with the U.S. Selective Service System within three months of his 18th birthday. For more information see our section on Selective Service.
Renunciation of U.S. Citizenship