What is Dual Citizenship? Benefits and Process of Getting It
26 Sep 2022

What is Dual Citizenship? Benefits and Process of Getting It

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Key Takeaways

Dual Citizenship means possessing citizenship or passports of two countries simultaneously. You can obtain dual citizenship by birth, naturalisation, marriage, or investing and enjoy its many benefits including better living standards, stronger passport for overseas travel, etc.

Immigrants often move abroad after assessing the merits and opportunities of living in a foreign land. The better working environments, income, and living standards make residing overseas an attractive option. Such immigrants may want to become citizens of the foreign land. In such cases, they have two options – they can apply for citizenship of the new land and give up their homeland citizenship, or they can apply for dual citizenship. This article explains the meaning, benefits, and process of getting dual citizenship.

What is Dual Citizenship?

Dual citizenship, also known as dual nationality, means that an individual can simultaneously possess citizenship of two different countries. Such individuals must share the rights and obligations of citizens of both nations whose citizenship they hold.

Essentially, dual citizenship allows you to hold passports of two countries and makes you obligated to follow the laws of both countries.

Benefits of Dual Citizenship

The following are among the many benefits of dual citizenship.

  • Holding dual nationality allows you to own property in a foreign country.
  • You can access various employment opportunities without worrying about visa restrictions and enter into business deals previously unavailable on your original passport.
  • If you get dual citizenship in a country with a stronger passport than your home country, you can travel to more destinations with the 'visa on arrival' facility'.
  • Dual nationality gives you access to better education, healthcare, and other facilities that enhance your lifestyle.
  • A second passport allows you to securely relocate to either country of which you hold citizenship during politically or economically turbulent times in either country.

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Process of Getting Dual Citizenship

Below are the different ways you can obtain dual citizenship in different countries.

  • By Birth

    Non-resident individuals could gain citizenship of a nation if their parents were born in that country. However, this does not apply to every country. For instance, a child born in Canada can gain US citizenship if their parents are US-born. However, a child born to an Indian couple based in the UAE will continue to hold Indian citizenship.

  • By Naturalisation

    To be eligible for dual citizenship by naturalisation, you must live in a country for a certain number of years as a permanent citizen. E.g., a British person living in Canada can file for dual citizenship after living there for six years.

  • By Marriage

    Many countries allow you to become permanent residents if you marry a citizen of their country. E.g., an Australian married to a French citizen can apply for French citizenship, while the French citizen can also obtain Australian citizenship.

  • By Investing

    You can acquire citizenship in a second country by investing in that country and gain permanent residency. This is a route high-net-worth individuals typically take to obtain dual citizenship.

Dual Nationality and India

According to Indian laws, you cannot hold dual citizenship of India and a foreign country. You can hold only one passport. If an Indian chooses to become a citizen of another country, they must surrender their Indian passport and, by extension, their citizenship. They can, however, retain their Indian ties by obtaining a Person of Indian Origin (PIO) or Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card. PIO and OCI cards represent their Indian origin and also allow them to invest in India or visit India anytime without going through red tape or bureaucracy.

Final Note

NRIs with Indian citizenship, as well as PIO and OCI holders, can invest in India via DBS Bank. You can open NRE account, NRO account and fixed deposits and continue managing your income sources and expenses in India with these accounts. The NRI accounts allow you to seamlessly comply with your financial obligations in India and manage your Indian finances effortlessly.

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*Disclaimer: This article is published purely from an information perspective and it should not be deduced that the offering is available from DBS Bank India Limited or in partnership with any of its channel partners.

The purpose of this blog is not to provide advice but to provide information. Sound professional advice should be taken before making any investment decisions. The bank will not be responsible for any tax loss/other loss suffered by a person acting on the above.