Friday, February 17, 2012

Should I get Dual Citizenship?

Fernando: I have followed your blog for a couple of years and look forward to every new post.  Your move to Ireland got me thinking about dual citizenship. 

Should I try to obtain dual citizenship in Ireland?   I am a natural born US citizen of Irish ancestry who qualifies for Irish citizenship.  I am married and 50 years old with three nearly grown up children. I have made changes over the last few years in response to the global economic crisis, and understand that our system could change drastically.  I also have faith in our (US) American culture and government.  I think the US is the last best hope for the future and don’t plan to abandon my home country. I am eligible to be an Irish citizen.  My wife and children are not eligible for Irish citizenship.  Are there advantages for me to apply for dual US and Ireland citizenship?  Would I be able to shelter my family in Ireland as a dual citizen if things went very bad in the US? Thanks.

John in Florida

The answer to your question is YES. YES. YES.
Forget everything you’ve ever read about survival, preparedness and the end of the word. Dual citizenship is by far the most important thing you can do to prepare for disasters of large magnitude. Think Jews trying to escape Nazi Germany and countries shutting their border to avoid conflict. Think Bosniaks stuck in sieged Sarajevo, and the UN not allowing you to leave unless you proved citizenship somewhere else. You want something more relative to current events? Think post world war or post civil war in Spain like my grandparents and my father went through, leaving Spain to a country that on one hand welcomed immigrants, but on the other treated you like a second hand citizen. Think losing your job in USA, not finding one for months, even years. If the economic situation in USA gets much worse you’d have a right to go to any European country, and some I assure you would be much better than a run down State in USA. While the welfare system has been abused time and again by people that just don’t want to work, it is true that if you honestly cant find a job a little help is welcomed. In Europe you would have that help getting settled, and free health care.
Let me put it this way: When I was leaving Argentina I left with a couple suitcases as all my worldly belongings, and even that I could have dropped and leave with my jacket and what was in my pockets. You know the only things I couldn’t have gone without?
1)The plane ticket of course, to get the hell out of there.
2)The savings to  get started elsewhere.
3)The Argentine passport that allowed me to leave Argentina, and most of all, the EU passport, the citizenship that would allow me to reside in any European country.
In retrospective I if I lost everything else, I could have gone to a friend’s house for a few days, get some money borrowed or loaned. The only thing I couldn’t have improvised or get in some other way was the European Citizenship.
Do get it now. As my wise grandfather said, having gone through relocating without having one himself.  “Just have it, even if you never end up leaving I just want you to have it”.
If you do it now its just a matter of some paperwork, spending a few bucks, some time and little else, it may take a few months but you eventually get it, and if you ever truly need it like I did, you’ll be so grateful of having that option.
Join the forum discussion on this post!


Anonymous said...

For US-born citizens of Asian ethnicity, what countries can be recommended to get dual citizenship in?

K said...

About a dozen years ago I had a Vietnamese American who easily got a residence permit in Taiwan due in large part to him pretending to have Chinese ancestors.