Except for the person who don’t own any citizenship, and who are called “stateless persons”, most people belong as citizens to at least one state. You can become a citizen by being born into one particular country (if the state allows this), or you can apply for obtaining citizenship, but you have to fulfill other criteria too. But how can you have dual citizenship?
- Through birthplace.
Think of the place where you were born. It may happen that you were born in a country where you didn’t exercise your citizenship, if it is granted by the state. For instance, a British citizen born in the US has the right to American citizenship. You have to inform yourself regarding the immigration laws in the birth country and see if you can do this.
There are even websites that help you find everything you need about the citizenship and about the waiver program and other circumstances, such as www.e-visa-usa.com.
- Take into account your parents’ citizenship.
Lots of countries offer citizenship based on the right of blood (also called jus sanguinis). Under this principle, when you are born you can get one or both citizenships from your parents, regardless of the birthplace. For instance, if you are born in the US, but your parents are British citizens, you are also entitled to British citizenship. You should also have a look at the laws regarding dual citizenship in both of the countries you want. Some countries even require you to give up the first citizenship if you want the second one.
- Right of blood.
The process you need to undergo if you want to gain the citizenship through your parentage depends on the country you apply in. For more accurate information, you might want to check with the consulate of the country in order to see what you have to do exactly.
- By investment.
Many countries do issue residence visas or other permits for individuals who want to invest in that particular country’s economy. With the resident visa you can apply for citizenship after a number of years. However, this is quite an expensive method, since the minimum investment set by the countries can range between several hundred thousand dollars to even several million dollars. For instance, the US ask for an investment of $1 million in exchange for a permanent resident permit.
Even so, it can take a pretty long time to become a citizen in this way, since not all the countries give you this right immediately after the investment. In fact, other countries require you to remain a resident in that country before becoming a citizen, so you should be prepared for any possibility.