Up to Date on Immigration By Thomas W. Roach and Eamonn P.S. Roach, Attorneys

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If I am a citizen of another country and have Green Card status in the US and want to apply for US Citizenship, will I lose my home country citizenship?

It depends. The United States has no issue with US Citizens holding passports from more than one country. However, other countries may have issues with their citizens trying to hold a US passport.

If I apply for US Citizenship will I automatically lose my home country citizenship?

Again, it depends on your home country. Many countries do not have an issue with Dual Citizenship. For example, if you have a Green Card and are from Mexico, you can apply for US Citizenship and then have citizenship in both Mexico and the US. The same is true for Canadians.

What are some countries that do not allow dual citizenship?

China is one country among many others that does not recognize dual citizenship. Japan is another. However, there are some countries such as Germany where you can maintain citizenship in both if you go through a special process in Germany to preserve that citizenship before you apply for US Citizenship.

What if I applied for US Citizenship before determining whether my home country citizenship is affected?

Potential ramifications of getting US Citizenship could be:

  • Losing the ability to own property in your home country,

  • Losing the ability to inherit money or property from family members who died and had property/assets in your home country, and/or

  • Losing the ability to return to the home country without first obtaining a visa or other special permission.

If I have a Green Card and I want to apply for US Citizenship, what should I do?

You should consult with an immigration attorney who knows the laws of both the home country and US immigration law to ensure that the Naturalization process goes smoothly and make sure your home country citizenship is preserved, if able to do so.

Thomas W. Roach and Eamonn P.S. Roach are attorneys of the firm Roach & Bishop, LLP in Pasco, Washington, who practice immigration law. This information does not constitute legal advice. It is possible that this information does not apply to you. Each case depends on specific facts. If you have questions regarding the immigration laws that you would like answered in this column, please send them to: Thomas W. Roach and Eamonn P.S. Roach, 9221 Sandifur Pkwy, Suite C., Pasco, WA 99301, phone: (509) 547-7587, fax: (509) 547-7745; or email troach@roachlaw.com or eroach@roachlaw.com