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Considerations for dual citizenship

Immigrants who are living in Pennsylvania and who would like to become naturalized American citizens while retaining citizenship in their home countries should carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of dual citizenship. One of those disadvantages is the possibility of double taxation. The United States taxes its citizens on their worldwide income, but it does have tax treaties with some countries that provide some relief from this issue.

Military service should be another consideration. Some countries require military service of its citizens, but serving in another country's military may also affect an individual's American citizenship. However, the government also recognizes that in some cases this service may be mandatory, and it may be permitted. Volunteering for the military, becoming a military officer, or serving in a military that is fighting against the United States may be viewed differently.

Individuals may find that as dual citizens, they are actually less able to get help from either home country while abroad. A person's home country might prevent the United States from assisting. Furthermore, some may be prosecuted under the laws of one country for something that is not a crime in the other country.

A person who wishes to become a U.S. citizen may benefit from consulting an attorney to discuss these possibilities and how best to deal with them. For example, if they do not intend to ever return to their home country, they may not need to be as concerned about the laws of that country being in conflict with U.S. laws. An attorney may also be able to discuss tax implications and other issues. The process of naturalization can be complex, and having the guidance of an attorney may ensure that it moves along efficiently and that all documentation is filled out correctly.

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