Too many people either totally ignore or underestimate the dual citizenship rules, when applying for citizenship by investment programs. This topic is least talked about and can lead to lot of problems.
For example many people do not even know, because of dual nationality laws, taking up new citizenship in another country, will cause automatically lose their existing citizenship. This loss of citizenship means passport could be revoked with heavy fines and losing all rights related to family, property, work, employment, healthcare and education at home.
You have be very careful that if you lose your citizen status and passport, you become a third country national or even stateless. You wont be allowed inside your own country and in most cases you need a visa.
Many countries that operate CBI programs, do not check for dual citizenship restrictions when granting citizenship and passport. Therefore it is your responsibility to check dual nationality laws before applying.
A number of agents also aggressively promote CBI schemes in countries where dual citizenship is not allowed. Agents are not qualified to give immigration and legal advice, only qualified are immigration lawyers. It is illegal to provide immigration advice by unqualified persons in number of countries.
To be on the safe safe, we always tell clients to seek legal advice before acquiring a second nationality. If your home country restricts dual citizenship, probably just residency programs (aka golden visas) works better for you. These programs do not immediately grant citizenship or passport. You dont need to apply for citizenship all the time. This is also why golden visa programs (eg. Portugal, Greece) are so popular thant passport programs.
Of course you are free to renounce your previous citizenship and take up new nationality. For example you can renounce your chinese nationality and become a US citizen to live a comfortable life in a developed nation.
Many Asian countries forbid dual nationality to their own citizens (for eg. India, China, Singapore, GCC countries etc). Some countries like Russia, South Africa have relaxed dual citizenship rules but require prior permission to acquire foreign citizenship, else you will have a hefty fine. Some countries like Pakistan have dual citizenship arrangement only with certain nations
Article 9 of The Chinese nationality law states that: Any Chinese national who has settled abroad and who has been naturalized as a foreign national or has acquired foreign nationality of his own free will / shall automatically lose Chinese nationality.
There are many disadvantages associated with dual citizenship which cannot be ignored
- Dual citizens are bound by the laws of both countries.
- Dual citizenships are subjected to taxation laws of multiple countries.
- Dual citizens get limited consulate protection abroad.
- Dual citizens are restricted to participate in elections and politics.
- Dual citizens may be asked to do military service when needed.
Dual citizenship is at the heart of citizenship and residence planning. Please refer to our citizenship planning flowchart
Another issue we have seen is citizenship granted is confidential and not reported out by many countries. If you are a celebrity or public figure, and a leak happens (happened with Cyprus lately), your citizenship status exposed to public leaving you vulnerable.
We ask clients to carefully plan and seek legal advice from a lawyer before applying for citizenship or residency.