Expats and Citizenship

Date Created: 12.05.2014

Expats are well known for their love affairs with other countries. They may speak fondly of the places which nurtured them throughout their childhoods but their loyalty towards their hometowns is more nebulous than that of their peers who stayed put and have never lived elsewhere.

Expats leave behind everything they have grown accustomed to—family, friends, lifestyle and food. They plunge head first into a new life with a new language, customs and behaviours and they thrive from this experience. In fact, expats often fall so much in love with their new lives that they never return to their home countries. They may even decide to become a citizen of their new chosen country of residence.

If you think that adopting a new citizenship is for you, firstly try to determine if the idea is sustainable for your entire future and that of your family if you are making this decision for more than just yourself. Expat advice is essential if you want to navigate the choppy waters of citizenship renunciation, naturalisation and denaturalisation. Ask other expats why they decided to become a citizen of another country and perhaps they could share light on what happened to them during the process.

The reasons for taking on a new citizenship are varied, they could include:

A loved one? Often an expat will fall in love with a local resident and decide that this is who they want to marry and spend the rest of their life with. Simple…You’ll never leave your loved one so you become an official citizen of your new home.

Home is where the heart is? Expats can be so enamoured by their new homes and the culture there that they know their heart is set on staying in this foreign country for life. It’s no longer ‘foreign’ and so you naturally decide to legally adopt the country’s nationality. Permanent residency and official citizenship is a natural step.

Want to have a say? An expat’s time abroad can potentially cover a huge segment of their lives. Perhaps they want to work in politics or have the right to vote but can’t because they are not an official citizen.

It’s important to note that not all countries allow you to have dual citizenship. This is something to check with your embassy that you can have your cake and eat in by enjoying the benefits of having both nationalities!

This guest blog post was written by Expat Explorer, brought to you by HSBC Expat.