Free CLE Event on Dual Citizenship

This coming St. Patrick’s Day (March 17), I will be a panelist on a Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) event on dual citizenship, together with Dr. Dana Raigrodski and David Freeburg. The event is free and approved for CLE credit in Washington State.

Click HERE to register.

The event’s scheduling is no coincidence. Ireland provides a pathway to children and grandchildren of its citizens to apply for citizenship themselves, an opportunity of which many in the Irish diaspora have taken advantage. We will discuss the Irish example, as well as that of other countries that have similar citizenship laws.

We will also discuss the different legal approaches to dual citizenship. In the United States, acquisition of a foreign citizenship does not jeopardize status as a U.S. citizen. On the other hand, countries such as China do not recognize dual citizenship. This makes dual citizenship a dynamic legal issue, with different implications depending on the two countries in question.

While the United States does not prohibit its citizens from holding a second passport, there are still important considerations to be taken into account by Americans who are or are contemplating becoming citizens of a foreign country. I will draw on my experience as a former U.S. consular officer to illustrate some of the potential risks.

In some cases it may be more convenient for an American to use a second passport to enter a particular country (perhaps because that country requires Americans to obtain visas). However, in case of arrest, the person may be denied access to U.S. consular assistance. A second citizenship could also complicate efforts to obtain security clearances from the U.S. government.

Once again, registration is free and attorneys can get CLE credit. Don’t miss out and make this event part of your St. Paddy’s Day craic.

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