A dual citizenship is a provision under which an individual is liable to be a citizen of two countries at the same time. This means that an individual is free to retain his nationality of the country to which he belongs. Also, he is permitted to hold a citizenship of the country where he is currently residing.
Any country while considering the provision of a dual citizenship has to look into many aspects before giving it a final approval. This mainly involves the social reactance of the country to such an amendment. In other words, it can be stated as the response of the local citizens of a country towards such an act. With this, are the opinions related to naturalization and citizenship which includes both ethnic and political divergence that comes into existence. The fear and concern of the permanent residents already living in a different country also arises. More so, the question of the doubt would arise as to whether they would be accepted by the locals as their own.
The debate over dual citizenship has recently come into the picture since the modification made by the German government. In January 2008, amendments made in the German Nationality Law permits a German citizenship to children born in Germany to immigrant parents, inspite of having a citizenship of another country. However, it still does not permit dual citizenship. After they reach a certain age of maturity or a maximum age of 23 years, they would have to select the country and citizenship of their choice.
Another similar instance took place in 2007 when the European Union recognized the concept of multiple nationalities as being permissible. For instance, any citizen of Germany by birth is permitted to retain this natural citizenship inspite of residing in some other country.
The concept of a dual or a multiple citizenship is one with mixed opinions and responses. Despite such mixed reactions, there have been instances where the children born to parents belonging to two different ethnicities have been permitted to avail the citizenship of both the countries, depending on the descent. A record number 620, 000 people were naturalized during 2003 to 2007. Out of these, half were allowed to avail a dual citizenship. Of these, around 18% belong to an EU nation while the others belonged to the developing nations.
However, it has to be remembered that this dual citizenship is only allowed if the country of origin agrees to it as well. This cannot always be the case since the reasons posed might be unconditional and with respect to other pros and cons. There might be reasons enough for the native country of the immigrant not to permit a dual citizenship.
Thus, it can be said that this highly controversial matter would always be subjected to constant discussion over and over again. Hence, for an immigrant, it is best suggested to weigh his options accordingly.