Having previously spoken with Lawyer Monthly on immigration matters, here Micha-Rose Emmett, Group Managing Director at CS Global Partners provides an outlook on dual citizenship around the globe, the benefits thereof, for both the citizen and the host nation, and the need for increased dual citizenship in bridging international relationships.
Multiple nationality, or dual citizenship, refers to holding citizenship in more than one country.
Dual nationals receive a number of benefits, including increased global mobility, enhanced security, access to better education and healthcare systems, and substantial business and investment opportunities.
Countries that allow dual citizenship also reap significant rewards. Through offering additional citizenship options countries attract valuable individuals with unique skills and expertise, bolster their economy and enhance trade partnerships.
Dual citizenship has recently increased in popularity and many countries have amended their stance on citizenship programmes to allow individuals to become naturalised without renouncing their original nationality. Australia and Switzerland are prominent examples of countries that have permitted dual citizenship during the last 25 years.
Many countries however, do not allow people to obtain a second passport for fear the country could suffer a decline in patriotic allegiance or individuals could misuse their newfound citizenship.
However, allowing individuals to acquire dual citizenship has proven to be mutually beneficial for both the individual and the country.
Dual citizenship can be highly beneficial for a country’s economy. Citizenship by Investment programmes for example, allow investors to obtain permanent citizenship in exchange for an astute investment into the country in which they desire to live as a full citizen.
Individuals who seek a second citizenship often have strong business acumen and are keen to develop their business on a global scale. Dual citizenship provides business expansion opportunities for entrepreneurs and, in turn, profitable businesses prove advantageous for their host country.
Dual citizenship creates ‘global citizens’ as possessing more than one passport increases global mobility and allows visa free travel to a multitude of countries. The advantage of granting those who travel on a regular basis another citizenship is that they will likely act as ambassadors for the country they reside in and promote its ideals and values across the globe.
Obtaining second citizenship means an individual can participate in all the benefits a country has to offer including healthcare, education and security. Those who benefit from a country in which they have actively pursued citizenship typically display a high level of loyalty and act as spokespeople for the country and its systems. As dual citizenship allows people to move and transact freely, positive information about a country will be readily shared, bringing new investment opportunities and improving the country’s reputation.
Partnerships Between Respective Countries
Dual citizenship increases the communication between two countries which may not have been close previously. It also facilitates an increase in trade and investment between the dual citizen’s two respective countries. Those with more than one citizenship often maintain strong ties with their country of origin which encourages continued contact and investment throughout their lifetime.
Socio-economic integration is also encouraged when countries allow individuals to obtain another citizenship. Holding a second citizenship widens the pool of jobs a foreign-born national is eligible to apply for and decreases administrative difficulties for jobseekers and those who process applications. An increase in dual citizenship between two countries also results in stronger alliances and a decreased chance of international dispute: International relationships are inevitably enhanced when individuals can acquire another citizenship.
Those with another citizenship to their name are far more likely to invest in real estate. This is due to the fact that high net worth individuals are often the ones who are investing in citizenship by investment programmes, and therefore base their purchasing decisions on countries which offer the most attractive property and citizenship investments.
Individuals with New Skills, Expertise and Viewpoints
Countries that offer dual citizenship attract skilled and talented individuals from across the globe. The incomers are desirable and productive members of society who bring with them a range of skills, talents, expertise and qualifications which greatly enhance a country.
Individuals who participate in citizenship by investment programmes generally invest in government approved initiatives which improve business prospects and financial stability within a country.
Citizenship of a country allows individuals the right to participate in the country’s politics, thereby broadening the number of people who can vote and will actively participate in political debate, often providing valuable and unique viewpoints.
Those who are in possession of more than one citizenship can also often pass citizenship to their children via descent, meaning future generations can benefit from their parents’ citizenship and contribute to their adopted country. Children are also like to contribute to their second citizenship country in a similar way that their parents did; creating relationships between two nations.
Countries which insist upon citizens renouncing former nationality upon obtaining naturalisation do so to their detriment. Dual citizenship offers a wealth of opportunities to the country and the individual in a symbiotic relationship which benefits both.