How Many Citizenships Can You Have?

Posted by Frank Gogol
Updated on April 27, 2022

Is it possible to have more than one citizenship? This is a question that many people ask when planning to become citizens of another country. So, how many citizenships can you have? Before you decide to obtain citizenship in another country, you should find out whether the legislation there allows dual citizenship.

Can a Person Have More than One Citizenship?

Having more than one citizenship is possible. However, it all depends on the citizenship laws in every country, because while one country might allow more than one citizenship, another might not.

Dual Citizenship Explained

When someone has dual citizenship, they have a passport for two different countries, and he/she is a citizen of both simultaneously. One of the countries that allow dual citizenship is the United States, even though they do not always encourage it.

Being a citizen of the U.S. and another country at the same time can happen automatically sometimes. For instance, if a child is born in another country and the parents are citizens of the United States, then the little one would have citizenship of both countries. Now, of course, there are some exceptions for this situation, such as the year the child was born. Another possible scenario is when someone marries a foreign national.

How Many Citizenships Can a Person Have?

A person can have more than one citizenship, all depending on where they are from and what countries they obtain citizenship for.

Americans are allowed to have dual citizenship, even though the U.S. legislation does not exactly encourage this status. But as mentioned earlier, some people can automatically obtain dual citizenship.

A Note on Losing Dual Citizenship

There are some things to bear in mind regarding U.S. citizenship. If you have dual citizenship and one citizenship is the American one, then you should always be faithful to America, or else you risk losing your citizenship.

For instance, when traveling abroad, a U.S.A. citizen should have an American passport. If you continue to use the ex-country passport instead or show that you still belong to the other country, then you will be suspected of lying when taking the Oath of Allegiance. As a result, your citizenship will be taken away from you.

European Dual Citizenship

Meanwhile, different countries in Europe only allow their nationals and citizens to have one citizenship. Some of these countries include Denmark, Monaco, Croatia, and Germany (although there are some exceptions for this one).

Then, you have countries that allow their citizens and nationals to hold two or more citizenships. These countries include the United Kingdom, the U.S.A., Canada, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Belgium, Switzerland, and Ireland, but there are some others too. This case of multiple citizenships is due to globalization, which happened because of numerous people marrying someone from another country. One can hold more than 3 citizenships.

How to Get Multiple Citizenships?

You can get multiple citizenships through different methods. But before you do that, make sure to learn if a country’s legislation allows dual citizenship before you attempt to do anything. There are a few ways to get dual citizenship:

  • Family Ties
  • Investing
  • Marriage

Each of these ways to get dual citizenship is explored in more detail below.

Family Ties

In some countries, you can obtain citizenship by descent, which is possible if you are able to prove that you have family ties to that country. If you use this method and you indeed have family ties there, then getting citizenship is quite simple.

Investing

Another way to get multiple citizenships is by investing. Nowadays, this is the easiest and quickest way to get another citizenship. If you invest in a certain country or buy real estate there, then you can get the citizenship you want. It may take about six months for this to happen.

Marriage

Lastly, you can also get citizenship by marriage. So, if you were lucky enough to find someone from another country and fell in love, you might eventually get married and get citizenship. Of course, you should never marry only for citizenship.

Diversify Your Passport Portfolio

Getting multiple citizenships will allow you to diversify your passport portfolio. You should consider getting a passport wherever you have an ancestry, but make sure that the new passport will not bring you some issues.

For instance, you can have a U.S. passport, and then obtain a New Zealand, Irish, U.K., and Estonian passport, and this will be a great way to bring some diversification. It’s always important to figure out if the country you get a passport for has a better or worse situation. Based on that, you will find out if you are protected or not.

Decide What Kind of Portfolio You Want

When you are planning to diversify your portfolio, it’s also important to decide the amount of diversification you will aim for. So, you will have to look into your options and decide where you wish to travel and what exactly you want. This way, you will find the number of passports that you require. It’s always important to figure out how many citizenships you need, and not how many you want. In general, a person will need around four passports for diversification.

Some people can build a strong profile thanks to being able to claim citizenship by birth. After that, they add 2-3 others through naturalization or investment. In the end, this will boost a profile considerably.

Determine What Passports to Keep

Once you do everything else, you will have to think of which passports you intend to keep. Getting rid of a passport should only be a concern when there are some major changes that will bring you down.

For instance, you might decide to renounce the U.S. passport and all the things it involves. It all depends on you and how many options you have, and whether you think you will be better off without that particular citizenship.

Decide Where You Want to Live

Apart from diversification and all the other aspects, it’s also important to know where you want to live. Which country is most dear to you? Where do you want to spend your life? You might have a residence, but this doesn’t let you stay in a country forever. After it expires, you may not be needed anymore. So, when you decide where you want to live, you can start securing your place there through citizenship.

How Many Citizenships Should a Person Have?

You know how many citizenships you can have, but how many should you have? Well, it all depends on you. Usually, four passports are enough, while for some people, 2-3 are just right.

The first thing you should do is diversify and then cover your bases. Then, you will know how many you should have. It’s important to find the things that you want and then build a passport portfolio around that.

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Final Thoughts

The number of citizenships you can have depends on your current citizenship and the country you want to obtain citizenship in. While some countries allow dual citizenship or more citizenships simultaneously, others don’t, and they make you renounce your former one.

It’s important to know where to look for when seeking new citizenship, especially if you want to have multiple ones at the same time. Always research a country’s legislation before taking a decision.


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