Immigration And Dual Citizenship: Is It Possible? Vendla A. Bramble Axia College of University of Phoenix What would compel someone into leaving home, which is quite possibly the only world he or she may have ever known, and move to another country? People immigrate to other countries for a variety of reasons; sometimes it is not of their own volition. Economic reasons have always been a huge deciding factor; one only has to examine Ireland’s Great Potato Famine to understand why people left in such large numbers.
Religious and political persecution also plays a key factor in someone immigrating to a new country, which will hopefully be a safer environment. Upon arriving in a new country some immigrants choose to retain citizenship with their old world while also becoming citizens of their new home. Why would someone willingly put themselves in a situation that would, at best, provide even more paperwork and, at worst, cause hassle, and grief whenever they traveled abroad?
Everyone, or nearly everyone, the world over takes pride in his or her ethnic heritage, so it stands to reason even if someone immigrated to another country they would not wish to forget the culture, it is a part of who they are. Telling a person they can no longer be a part of that person’s native culture, but instead must conform to another standard is not only cruel, it is xenophobic. Countries that accept dual citizenship stand to enrich themselves culturally and socially; with enlightened understanding, and less paranoia, dual citizenship is possible.
Before someone immigrates to another country they should take a long serious look at the choices available, especially if there is a desire to hold dual citizenship. Some countries do not seem to have a problem with the idea of their citizens being dual nationals, whereas other countries forbid it. Note. From I Vow To Thee My Country Sejersen, T. B. , p. 3, (2008) Another factor a potential immigrant must take into consideration is whether their family (i. e. father, mother, grandparents, other close blood kin) came from the country they wish to go to.
If so it could be the desired country will already consider them a citizen, and there may be mandatory obligations placed upon the immigrant when they arrive. These obligations could be military service, other political requirements, taxes to be paid on property that has been in the family for many generations, or even the obligation to marry someone because of a familial promise, or affiliation. For the purpose of this paper, five countries will be examined for the feasibility of immigration with dual citizenship status.
They are the United States, Canada, Mexico, Ireland, and New Zealand. While the United States does not encourage dual citizenship, it also does not discourage the idea. Immigrants are no longer required to renounce citizenship in another country; however, if the immigrant is from a known “hostile” country it is strongly suggested they renounce loyal ties to their former home. It would be in said immigrants best interest if they did as suggested, or else there is a strong possibility they will not be allowed into the country. Immigrating to the United States is not as easy as it used to be.
At one point all a person had to do was arrive in the country, merely give the statement he or she wanted to live here, and they became a citizen. A few cursory questions were addressed, a brief medical examination for any contagious diseases would be conducted, the immigrant renounced allegiance to their former county, and the immigrant was allowed in. Now there are stringent health requirements; if something serious is found it could send the immigrant back to their country of origin or be placed in mandatory quarantine…or even both methods could occur.
Political affiliations are also put under scrutiny, which goes right back to the question of whether or not the immigrant is from a known “hostile” country. Personal economic strength is also a deciding factor, whether the person will be accepted into the United States. The screening for each potential immigrant is rigorous and lengthy, far too long to go into detail here. Anyone wishing to immigrate to the United States should thoroughly study a book titled “U. S.
Immigration Made Easy” written by attorney Ilona Bray. The book gives detailed information on what an immigrant can expect, what they must do, and how to go about the process. The process generally takes between three to five years of living in the United States, before an immigrant can take the citizenship exams and apply for U. S. Citizenship. Canada is a bit more open minded than most people give them credit for when it comes to accepting immigrants and granting them dual citizenship.
Canada does not oppose dual citizenship or require anyone to renounce citizenship of his or her homeland; however there are some basic guidelines they have in place. Potential immigrants must show they can be financially stable on their own, and must either have health insurance or show they are healthy enough to not be a burden on the health system. They must also have a Canadian sponsor, who guarantees the immigrant will have a home, or the person in question must show living arrangements have already been secured.
An immigrant must live in Canada for three years before taking a citizenship test and become a full-fledged Canadian citizen. For a more comprehensive view of the immigration process, it is recommended an immigration candidate visit the Minster of Public Works and Government Services Canada web site: http://www. cic. gc. ca/english/resources/publications/dual-citizeship. asp Compared to Canada or the United States, it is fairly easy to obtain citizenship in Mexico. Mexico does not require anyone to renounce citizenship of the country an immigrant hails from.
A potential citizen merely fills out a form and turns it in with some other paperwork, and a fee, then waits a few months to be called back. When the call summons the citizen candidate to the immigration office, the candidate fills out even more forms, pays another fee, and waits an extra couple of months. Once that process is complete the immigrant receives a naturalization certificate allowing them to live in Mexico. From there the person is required to study the history of the country, learn Spanish and after two years have passed with them living in Mexico they can take the naturalization test.
Immigrants are highly advisable to contact the Embassy of the United States for Mexico before moving to Mexico, to make sure there are not any surprises or extra details that should be taken into consideration. The embassy website can be found at: http://www. usembassy-mexico. gov Some people dream of moving to Ireland and becoming an Irish citizen. What is not generally known is if the immigrant had parents or grandparents who were born in Ireland they are already considered an Irish citizen, even if they were born in another country. These particular immigrants will find, ecause of this status, they have obligations waiting for them upon arrival. If the immigrant does not have such a lofty pre-set status, they need not worry. Ireland does not require immigrants to renounce their former country citizenship. There are certain criteria, however, when applying for naturalization in Ireland. The applicant must be in good character, of sound mind, and financially secure. There must be no unspent criminal convictions and the application must not be involved in terrorism, or have been involved in crimes against humanity.
After paying hefty fees and filling out extensive paperwork, the candidate for Irish citizenship must live in Ireland for five years before they are allowed to take the Naturalization and Citizenship test. Since gaining citizenship is a lengthy time consuming process it is advisable to visit the web site of the Irish Embassy in Washington, D. C. at http://www. irelandemb. org/ The Embassy is more than happy to go into detail and help those wishing to immigrate to the “Emerald Isle. Becoming a citizen of New Zealand is another fairly easy country to become a part of, if the immigrant is willing to travel a long distance to live there. New Zealand is not willing to force immigrants to renounce their former country’s citizenship, and do seem to encourage residents to keep those citizenships. To obtain a New Zealand citizenship it takes five years of dedication with a full residency permit, extensive paperwork, and some hefty fees. Plus there is the expected citizenship test to study for and pass. The immigration criteria for New Zealand are remarkably similar to what can be found for Ireland.
As with any country someone wishes to immigrate to, it is a good idea to do some homework on New Zealand. An excellent web site, in lieu of locating a New Zealand embassy, would be at NZS. com. http://www. nzs. com/new-zealand-articles/lifestyle/citizenship. html. This site gives detailed information on what an immigrant needs to know and what must be done. Despite countries across the globe willing, and even in some cases welcoming, dual citizenship there are some factions who adamantly object to the very idea of immigration and dual citizenship.
These groups’ arguments range from conflicting interests, divided loyalties, political betrayal, sabotage and international conflict on a global scale which would topple government regimes. Many even try to claim allowing dual citizenship, or nationality, will bring undesirables into their countries. There are objections which go even further claiming it would be a drain on the economy, immigrants would create unemployment and steal jobs from those who should rightfully have them, and there would be a burden on health, and public services.
Plus they claim by allowing immigration and dual citizenship we would be allowing dangerous criminals into the country. The Foundation For Immigration Reform (2002) summed up the objections by stating “One of the essential duties of a country’s consular and diplomatic corps is to provide protection and assistance to the country’s citizens abroad. In the case of dual citizenship, there may be competing interests between the two countries. Another objection is tax liability.
Many governments are wary of dual citizenship, arguing that it encourages people to “shop around” for a country with lower taxes. Other arguments go to the core of the symbolic meaning of citizenship. Some point out that dual citizenship makes possible the use of citizenship as a badge of convenience rather than that of undivided loyalty, and impairs the “singleness of commitment” that is the hallmark of allegiance. ” ( 7) data gathered from NationMaster. com (2009) What the opposition seems to forget is that no country on this planet is composed of just one particular race.
If those who are opposed to the idea of immigration or dual citizenship paid close attention to just how much time, and hard work, went into obtaining the privilege there would be far less objections to the entire concept. To obtain citizenship, in the country of choice, can take anywhere from two to eight years. Along with the long wait there are massive amounts of paperwork to wade through. Extensive and sometimes personal background checks are also involved, plus there are medical examinations to be endured. The candidate’s monetary outlay can, at times, be staggering and the potential citizen has to study for citizenship tests.
Even after all the waiting and hoops to jump through, there is no iron clad guarantee the candidate will meet all the requirements, and there is always the possibility of a major glitch that will send them back to the beginning, or even back to the immigrant’s country of origin. Every country is comprised of many nationalities and each person should have the right to acknowledge his or her heritage. A person’s ethnic – cultural makeup is part of who they are, and they should be allowed to embrace every aspect of it.
The author of this paper comes from an ethnic heritage rich in history, Irish and Germanic, and is very proud of that fact. If Ireland and Germany were to approach the author, and state said person had the right to hold dual citizenships with them, while still holding onto the born right to be a U. S. Citizen, the author would do so with head held high. If ethnic diversity and individuality were not part of our lives, the world would be a far poorer and sadder place. References Barone, M. (2005) Dual Citizenship Retrieved August 29, 2009 from U. S. News and World Report ttp://www. usnews. com/blogs/barone/2005/11/30/dual-citizenship. html “Best of both worlds: Canada allows its immigrants to have dual citizenship; they can be Canadian citizens and still retain the citizenship of the country from which they came. ” Canada and the World Backgrounder 72. 3 (Dec 2006): 8(4). General OneFile. Gale. Apollo Library-Univ of Phoenix. Retrieved September 23, 2009 from http://find. galegroup. com/itx/start. do? prodId=ITOF Bray, I. (2007) U. S. Immigration Made Easy (13th Ed. ) Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press Christensen, P. B. , P. A. (2005) Immigration Law
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