Anyone out there have dual nationality?

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listmaker
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Anyone out there have dual nationality?

Post by listmaker » 08 April 10 5:12 pm

I'm an American by birth, though I've lived in Australia since arriving here with my parents as a teen about a hundred years ago. Was checking out the citizenship requirements here, and the passport renewal requirements for the States and am wondering if I should go ahead and become a dual national?

If anyone is, or has been, in the same position, I'd love to hear of any advantages/disadvantages.

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Re: Anyone out there have dual nationality?

Post by Richary » 08 April 10 7:09 pm

Well I was born in England so am entitled to a British passport. This was useful when I travelled to Europe in the 90s as getting into the different countries meant no worries about visas etc.

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Re: Anyone out there have dual nationality?

Post by rhinogeo » 08 April 10 7:10 pm

Two passports are always better than one :wink:

When people ask me why I've got two passports (EU (British) & Australian) I reply that it's because I'm an international man of mystery of course :PIt's actually due to my father coming from Scotland

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Re: Anyone out there have dual nationality?

Post by Team Wibble » 08 April 10 7:25 pm

Mr Wibble is dual Australian/American citizen (born in Australia to Aussie/US parents).

An advantage is that you can choose which citizenship to enter a country under when travelling, and it's typically faster entering the US as a dual citizen rather than a foreign national (although Mr Wibble hasn't done this since he was a kid, and both he and his sister, with obviously Australian accents and having never visited the US prior, confuzzled some passport control clerks!).

A potentially more useful advantage, but one that you'd hope never to need, is the ability to call on either the US or Australian embassy if in a sticky situation overseas, depending on which embassy has more influence in that country.

It allows you to be a chameleon - if either of your countries of citizenship have soured their reputation overseas, then when travelling you can choose to be one or the other. You can also take advantage of different visa arrangements between countries (ie, Australians not needing a visa to visit NZ, etc etc). Also increases your chances of being able to work in either country.

Disadvantages? None that we can think of, apart from the usual being the butt of American jokes when it suits, and also being the butt of Australian jokes when it suits (so you can't win, really).... but that's not something that's going to change if you're a bit American and a bit Australian already, regardless of citizenship :mrgreen:

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listmaker
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Re: Anyone out there have dual nationality?

Post by listmaker » 08 April 10 8:11 pm

Thanks for the info - though I had to cut, paste and enlarge the tiny line of ants at the end of Rhinogeo's post so I could read it!

I knew there'd be another American hiding here somewhere - that's the sort of information I was after, Team Wibble. And yeah, I'm used to the jokes. :mrgreen:

It all came up after the youngest asked if I'd take her shopping in New York, and I thought well, what a fun thing that would be. There'd be plenty of caches to find in that neck of the woods. :mrgreen: Let's see, when did my US passport expire..... :shock:

So, now to convince the reluctant spouse to cough up for two passports and one shiny new citizenship. And then a couple of tickets to New York. Ha! ](*,)

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Re: Anyone out there have dual nationality?

Post by Big Matt and Shell » 08 April 10 8:20 pm

listmaker wrote:I knew there'd be another American hiding here somewhere - that's the sort of information I was after, Team Wibble. And yeah, I'm used to the jokes. :mrgreen:
What jokes, we held back for a while...At least till you brought it up

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Re: Anyone out there have dual nationality?

Post by rhinogeo » 08 April 10 9:22 pm

listmaker wrote:... It all came up after the youngest asked if I'd take her shopping in New York, and I thought well, what a fun thing that would be. There'd be plenty of caches to find in that neck of the woods....
I spent quite a bit of time caching in NY in October last year it's well worth it 8) ... and a lot more challenging than I thought it would be with the signals bouncing off the buildings ... I was sitting on top of a cache in Bryant Park and my GPSr told me I was a block away on 43rd St :shock:

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Re: Anyone out there have dual nationality?

Post by pjmpjm » 11 April 10 11:45 am

Hi Fellow Geocacher

Am in the same situation as you, an American by birth, and finally took up my Australian citizenship only in 1988 after living in this county for many years and having my son and grandchildren born here. My wife is in the same situation. Our son, while born in Australia, is eligible to have a US passport because at his birth we registered him as a US citizen, born overseas. So he is in the special situation of being a dual citizen by birth, not by choice.

If you do take out Australian citizenship, when you travel to the US you must enter that country on your US passport, because of course, you cannot ever get a US visa. Likewise, when you return to Australia, you must enter on your Australian passport, for the same reason. So when travelling between these two countries, you always have to carry -- and show -- two passports. I was told at Los Angeles Airport in 2006 that, while it's of course perfectly legal to carry two passports -- and essential in my case -- I could attract adverse attention at international borders in the future, as worldwide travel requirements become more and more strict.

If you would travel outside Australia and were sure that you would never need to enter the US, then you could travel only on your Australian passport. However, I personally would never take this chance. If my airplane would have to make an emergency landing anywhere within US territory, I don't know what would happen if I carried only my Australian passport. So I always have two passports with me when I travel internationally, for better or for worse.

You can see where I'm going with this theme -- two passports sound great and is probably a great advantage, but there are potential disadvantages, in that you could appear suspicious. Such is the modern world we live in . . .

Another major question for me in the 1980s was whether or not I would lose my US citizenship by choosing to take up citizenship in another country. (This would never be a problem for my son.) I was told at the US Consulate in Sydney that sometime during the 1970s or 1980s the US Supreme Court gave a ruling that meant that there were only two ways that I could lose my US citizenship -- by legally renouncing it, and by joining in the armed forces of a country at war with the US. Apparently, in earlier years, dual citizenship was frowned on by US authorities and even thought to be illegal. In other words, it was believed that Americans could only hold a single citizenship. Laws in Australia are quite different and as far as I know, there has never been a problem with dual citizenship.

I haven't written about the advantages of holding Australian citizenship -- being able to go in and out of the country without worrying about your visa expiring, voting, etc.

Anyhow, I hope my feedback helps. This matter has been fairly central to my life for decades, and it's rare that I find anyone else in the same boat, so to speak. Write again if you think I can help further.

Good luck!

pjmpjm

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listmaker
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Re: Anyone out there have dual nationality?

Post by listmaker » 11 April 10 12:41 pm

Thanks for your feedback, pjmpjm. I really appreciate you sharing your perspective.

I let it all slide back in the 80's because of the lack of clarity about the American view of dual citizenship, and since then life has sort of interfered. Now the kids are grown, and often travel themselves, it concerns me that I'm effectively trapped here. No matter what I do, it will be quite a while before I can leave the country.

I'm torn at an emotional level as well; I am an American and apart from two trips here, my childhood up until the age of 14 was spent there, and those of my father's family who survived and were able to get out of Europe after WWII moved there.

On the other hand, my mother's an Australian; my kids are Australian and dh is an Australian.

And I can't imagine not living under an Australian sky.

Thanks again.

Elisa

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Re: Anyone out there have dual nationality?

Post by rubai » 16 April 10 11:51 pm

Team Wibble wrote:Disadvantages? None that we can think of
I guess you'll have to remember which passport you entered a country with, otherwise you might get into trouble for leaving a country you never entered!

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Re: Anyone out there have dual nationality?

Post by Richary » 17 April 10 12:49 am

As far as the authorities know my (now ex) wife is still in Spain (Canary Islands) from 1997. There were people there to stamp the passport when we arrived, and nobody to look at it when we left a week later.

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