There can be quite a few benefitr of dual citizenship. But before we get into that, what does dual citizenship entail?
Dual citizenship is the legal process of obtaining citizenship in two countries at the same time. Dual citizens receive passports from each respective country and benefit from a number of privileges, freedoms and responsibilities as a result. For some however, dual citizenship (or maintaining citizenship in a country like the United States) can be problematic.
Although beyond the scope for this article, if you’re interested in learning why US citizenship can be problematic, take a look at Why US citizens in Australia are considering giving up their US citizenship!
Benefits of Dual Citizenship
Dual citizenship can happen in a few different ways. It could be the result of having parents from different countries, or you could have been born in a country that wasn’t your home nation, but you’ve qualified in some other way. For the latter case, you can usually receive dual citizenship if you’ve lived in a country for long enough. In this article, we’ll touch on some benefits of dual citizenship.
The Best of Both Worlds
Dual citizenship allows you to receive the benefits and privileges offered by both countries that you are a citizen of. For example it often means that you become eligible for social services in both countries, you can vote and potentially, you could even run for political office. Perhaps the biggest advantage is that it means that you will have the right to live and to work in both of countries, as you won’t need to apply for any residence permits, work permits or visas.
Dual citizenship affords you the opportunity to carry two passports at once. So if you’re a citizen of the USA as well as Australia, for example, your American passport allows you to travel to more than 100 countries for short-term stays or vacations without requiring a visa. Your Australian passport affords you similar visa-free stays in various countries, but not necessarily the same countries as your US passport.
Thus, having multiple citizenships and passports means that you’re likely to be able to travel to more countries visa-free, and potentially to more countries for longer periods of time visa free as one passport may hold relatively more strength than the other! If you’re interested in comparing the relative strength (and coverage) of your passport against another, we recommend taking a look at the Passport Index website as that allows you compare one passport against another. Take a look and let us know what you think.
As a dual citizen, you’ll also be able to purchase land and property in your respective countries, typically without restrictions. In certain countries, only citizens can own land, which leaves non-citizens with no opportunity to get onto the property ladder there. Dual citizenship allows you to purchase land and property in both countries, so if you travel there regularly, you can actually own your own home in one or both countries
Dual citizenship gives you the chance to fully immerse yourself in two distinct cultures in a way that goes beyond a traditional holiday. You have the opportunity to learn about the vivid history of a country, discover the quirks of their culture and experience a new way of living.
If you’re eligible for dual citizenship and are wanting to relocate, remember that you’ll want to have all of your taxes in order first. Additionally, you’ll also want to understand how taxes work in each country and more importantly, you’ll need to understand just how the two tax systems (of Australia and the other country) operate and work together, particularly where a double tax agreement applies.
If you’re considering a second citizenship or passport, or if you’re already a dual citizen and require assistance with your taxes for one or both countries contact us today. With 15 years of experience and with clients in over 100 countries, you’re in good hands here at Expat Taxes.