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Potential problems with dual citizenship

Immigration issues can be complicated, and South Carolina residents may have questions about the impact of naturalization on their rights in other countries in which they are citizens. At times, dual citizenship can be beneficial, allowing one to tap into rights in more than one country. To many, the ability to own land in either nation might be advantageous. In other cases, access to various health and governmental programs could be helpful. However, there are situations that can prove challenging for a dual citizen.

A U.S. citizen is obligated to pay federal income taxes on his or her worldwide income. If those funds are also subject to foreign taxation because of one's citizenship in another country, this could make a dramatic impact on the amount of money that is left after taxes, although tax treaties provide some relief in this regard. Foreign military situations can also be challenging, especially if a dual citizen is obligated or chooses to serve in a military that is opposing the United States. Dual citizenship can lead to difficulties if a problem occurs while an individual is on foreign soil. In cases involving criminal accusations, for example, there could be uncertainty about which laws would be used for prosecution. Certain career choices can also be eliminated due to dual citizenship interfering with one's ability to obtain a security clearance.

In considering the natuarlization process, it may be difficult to realize that these disadvantages exist. Those who are born on U.S. soil and who are able to claim foreign citizenship because of their parents' origins may also be unaware of the potential conflicts that could arise. Seeking the advice of counsel may be helpful for reviewing the implications of dual citizenship. This may help to ensure that any restrictions or challenges can be evaluated in advance of applying for U.S. citizenship.

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