While obtaining visas can be a lengthy and complicated process, some individuals look to obtain citizenship in another country when they plan to work or live there for an extended period of time. Dual citizenship can be a controversial topic in some situations, mostly when it comes to politics. Although there are some additional responsibilities associated with being a citizen of multiple countries, the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages in most cases. Being a citizen of two or more nations may also mean paying taxes in those territories, especially if the dual citizen has significant wealth or income. But, there are also several instant benefits to holding dual citizenship passports. Take a look at some of the top benefits of having citizenship in more than one country.

Minimal Restrictions on Travel

Many individuals move to the United States as a planned career move, especially foreign citizens with needed technical skills. The individuals with plans to remain in the U.S. permanently will often maintain their original citizenship status as a bond to their homeland. This can also allow for minimal restrictions when traveling between the U.S. and their home nation. This advantage is very important to dual citizens who also hold passports or citizen rights in more than two countries, which is more common than most people realize.

Increased Access to Social Benefits

Individuals who have planned on dual citizenry often will be eligible for Social Security benefits in all nations in which they hold citizenship, especially if they have an earnings and taxation record in the country. In the United States, this can be a particularly important benefit for Canadian citizens who have worked long enough in both countries to qualify for retirement and health benefits. But, the same opportunity is available in countries such as Ireland that have a large population of generational immigrant families who want to stay connected to their homeland. It can also impact insurance rates and accessibility to affordable health care, as well as lower tuition levels for college and technical training.

Diplomatic Protection

It is easy to run afoul of the law in a foreign country. Being a citizen of multiple countries can make a major difference in how a situation is adjudicated, even when the individual in question is innocent. This can be an especially important advantage for Americans who hold multiple citizenship status. The United States consulate can also have input on a questionable charge or particular case when a U.S. citizen is involved.

Hold Political Offices

While this advantage may not impact everyone, the right to vote usually will be a component of dual citizenry, and often can be done by absentee vote. This also includes eligibility for holding local and state political positions. Some nations may require a renouncement of other national loyalties, depending on the country.

It is important to remember that the United States does not formally recognize dual citizenship, but has also remained neutral with respect to a legal or political policy position. However, once all the paperwork has been handled, many Americans can enjoy the benefits of their dual citizenry. No matter where you are from, you can explore the benefits of living in another country, while still maintaining access to your homeland.