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Dual Citizenship?

John316John316 Posts: 39Registered User Junior Member
edited February 2008 in College Admissions
Hey you guys, im currently a juinor and was planning ahead for college aps. etc. and noticed on the common app. that it does have a place for putting down dual citizenship. I was born in the UK but obtained my US citizenship three years ago. I was wondering if putting this down would hurt/help me on my app? Would i only be considered an international student? I dont want colleges to think I don't have my US citizenship, because I do.

Thanks so much
Post edited by John316 on
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Replies to: Dual Citizenship?

  • oldfortoldfort Posts: 16,122Registered User Senior Member
    "The US State Department -- traditionally quite combative in its handling of dual-citizenship claims -- has changed the way it handles these cases in recent years, and it is now much easier to retain such a status without a fight than it used to be.

    The situation is slightly less clear for someone who becomes a US citizen via naturalization and still wishes to take advantage of his old citizenship. People who go through US naturalization are required to state under oath that they are renouncing their old citizenship, and conduct inconsistent with this pledge could theoretically lead to loss of one's US status.

    However, the State Department is no longer actively pursuing cases of this nature in most situations"


    I would just put down US citizenship, not dual.
  • Bowler HatBowler Hat Posts: 231Registered User Junior Member
    If you are a US citizen, then you are not an international student. I don't think your British citizenship will be of much relevance, unless you plan on writing about your life in the UK, etc.
  • JeepMOMJeepMOM Posts: 2,499Registered User Senior Member
    Dual citizenship will come up on college applications - and you will be required to provide the appropriate information - including which passport you intend to be using.

    I would recommend that you read information on college web sites regarding what is required and how you will be considered - or call/e-mail the specific schools that you are interested and ask that question - how will you be considered - as a US resident or as an International applicant.
  • oldfortoldfort Posts: 16,122Registered User Senior Member
    There is no interpretation on whether you are a US citizen or not - you are a US citizen. One school can't have a different interpretation than another school. It doesn't matter which passport you use the most often. If you need financial aide, don't be considered as an international. The only documentation would be required would be your natuarization certificate.
  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner Posts: 14,373Registered User Senior Member
    Dual Nationality


    The concept of dual nationality means that a person is a citizen of two countries at the same time. Each country has its own citizenship laws based on its own policy.Persons may have dual nationality by automatic operation of different laws rather than by choice. For example, a child born in a foreign country to U.S. citizen parents may be both a U.S. citizen and a citizen of the country of birth.

    A U.S. citizen may acquire foreign citizenship by marriage, or a person naturalized as a U.S. citizen may not lose the citizenship of the country of birth.U.S. law does not mention dual nationality or require a person to choose one citizenship or another. Also, a person who is automatically granted another citizenship does not risk losing U.S. citizenship. However, a person who acquires a foreign citizenship by applying for it may lose U.S. citizenship. In order to lose U.S. citizenship, the law requires that the person must apply for the foreign citizenship voluntarily, by free choice, and with the intention to give up U.S. citizenship.

    Intent can be shown by the person's statements or conduct.The U.S. Government recognizes that dual nationality exists but does not encourage it as a matter of policy because of the problems it may cause. Claims of other countries on dual national U.S. citizens may conflict with U.S. law, and dual nationality may limit U.S. Government efforts to assist citizens abroad. The country where a dual national is located generally has a stronger claim to that person's allegiance.

    However, dual nationals owe allegiance to both the United States and the foreign country. They are required to obey the laws of both countries. Either country has the right to enforce its laws, particularly if the person later travels there.Most U.S. citizens, including dual nationals, must use a U.S. passport to enter and leave the United States. Dual nationals may also be required by the foreign country to use its passport to enter and leave that country. Use of the foreign passport does not endanger U.S. citizenship.Most countries permit a person to renounce or otherwise lose citizenship.

    Information on losing foreign citizenship can be obtained from the foreign country's embassy and consulates in the United States. Americans can renounce U.S. citizenship in the proper form at U.S. embassies and consulates abroad.

    http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1753.html
  • oldfortoldfort Posts: 16,122Registered User Senior Member
    OP became an US citizen through naturalization. By law:
    "People who go through US naturalization are required to state under oath that they are renouncing their old citizenship, and conduct inconsistent with this pledge could theoretically lead to loss of one's US status." Even though immigration is not enforcing it, strictly speaking OP has renounced his UK citizenship when he became an American citizen. It is also to his benefit now to be an American when applying to US universities.
  • Columbia_StudentColumbia_Student Posts: 5,046Registered User Senior Member
    I have to agree with oldfort. I don't think you have to renounce your UK citizen to become a US citizen. If that is the case that is news to me. The only time that I can think of when you need to renounce your passport is when you're applying for government clearance. You can only hold one passport in that case and it makes perfect sense because you can't have loyalty to both countries( even if UK and US are friends now). You can google it and find out.
  • oldfortoldfort Posts: 16,122Registered User Senior Member
    I had to when I became an American citizen. I did google it because it was many years ago when I became an American citizen. Some countries may always regard you as their citizen no matter what. I think that's the case with Taiwan, Israel...UK may be one of those countries.
  • John316John316 Posts: 39Registered User Junior Member
    Thanks for all the replies

    Well the Dual Citizenship law is very complicated.

    Yes I am a dual citizen, and I never had to give up my UK citizenship, and all the make you do is sign something swearing your alligence to the US if any incident did come up, NOT making me renounce my UK citizenship.

    "People who go through US naturalization are required to state under oath that they are renouncing their old citizenship"
    this is one of those laws that is written, but not enforced, they have not enforced this law in the better part of two decades after realizing the issues it causes with other countries (ie other countries not recognizing youve denounced it).

    Oldfort: yes the UK is one of those countries. so even if they did make me renounce it, the UK would still see me as a citizen. Israel, which use to be part of the British empire, does the same thing.


    So as I have never renounced my british citizenship under oath, I am technically a dual citizen,. According to stat there are a few million duals living in the united states. We hold passports for both countires.

    The question is, whether I should tell that to the colleges im applying too. I read somewhere that when they put down they had dual citizenship with the us and other countries, they were being sent info. from colleges international divison.

    I defiantly don't want to put into the international catagory, so im thinking ill just not mention it.

    Thanks again for all your help!
  • JeepMOMJeepMOM Posts: 2,499Registered User Senior Member
    JOHN - just remember that the applications do ask for the information - and that if you lie and are found out - it is grounds for denying you admission (or to dismiss you if already a student) - also you will be required by law - if male - to be registered with selective service - and this also affects your ability to apply for financial aid - be careful.
  • islandgirl1960islandgirl1960 Posts: 102Registered User Junior Member
    I think many posters are making way too much of this. My daughter is a dual national, and she put that down on all her applications. She asked her cc about it, and he said by all means include it. I think the colleges use that info to see if you qualify as a diversity candidate in some way. BTW, my daughter does not - like the OP, hers is a European nationality, but it does mean she can work in the EU some day!
  • JeepMOMJeepMOM Posts: 2,499Registered User Senior Member
    I agree ^^ - the information is used for statistics - but the OP needs to be honest about it
  • Bowler HatBowler Hat Posts: 231Registered User Junior Member
    Crap - should I have put that down in my app? I was accepted EA... will this jeopardise my admission? @___@
  • MidwestMom2Kids_MidwestMom2Kids_ Posts: 6,665Registered User Senior Member
    I think the point is not - for those who are US citizens - that you need to reveal that you also have citizenship elsewhere in order to be honest. No one will care.

    I think the point is - it is cool, unique, possibly a hook, to have dual citizenship somewhere else (Israel, UK, where-ever - don't Greece and Croatia also allow people born there to be dual citizens?) - so by all means, mention it on your application. It might give you a bit of an edge. An admissions officer might think you are adding a little bit of extra diversity to their student population.
  • Dennis173Dennis173 Posts: 868Registered User Member
    My maternal grandparents that were born in Spain never renounced their citizenship when they became naturalized. My father who was born in the dominican republic also has not renounced his citizenship. I do no think that the US government enforces this rule. Other countries allow dual citizenship, and do not accept renunciations of their citizenship.

    I think that mentioning your dual citizenship will be an edge for you, because colleges are looking for diversity and people from all places.
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