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Dual nationality for South Carolina residents

Although it is difficult to obtain, it is possible under U.S. immigration law for some people in South Carolina to have nationality in both the United States and another country. Dual nationality is when a person is a national of another country while also being a national of the United States.

Immigration law in the U.S. allows for some people to obtain dual nationality. When a U.S. national becomes a foreign national through marriage, they can retain their nationality in both countries. Similarly, a foreign national who becomes naturalized in the U.S. does not lose the nationality of their birth country. People who automatically acquire foreign nationality through birth in a foreign country to U.S. parents also may possess dual nationality status.

People may lose their U.S. status if they immigrate to a foreign country with the intent to lose their status as an American. The government will consider the person's conduct and actions as evidence of intent. People who have dual nationality have the additional responsibility to follow the laws of both countries of which they are nationals.

When people have questions regarding whether they can be dual nationals or whether they are in danger of losing their U.S. nationality by becoming a foreign national, they may benefit by consulting with an immigration attorney about their status. People who are preparing to undergo the naturalization process in the United States may have additional questions regarding whether they will lose their foreign nationality status by becoming a U.S. citizen. Since immigration law regarding dual nationality status can be complicated and dependent on an individual's particular situation, seeking legal advice may be extremely important in such cases. Dual nationality can provide benefits to the person who holds it, but it also can require additional duties and responsibilities under the law.

Source: Bureau of Consular Affairs, "Dual Nationality", November 13, 2014

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