The situation in which a person holds the status of a citizen in two different countries is called dual citizenship. This is a concept where an individual is a citizen of two countries at the same time. All the countries around the world have their own laws related to citizenship.
An individual may acquire dual citizenship through automatic operation. Automatic operation is a situation in which a child born abroad to US citizens becomes a citizen of the country where it was born and is also a US citizen because it was born to US citizen parents. An American citizen may also become a citizen of a foreign country by marriage.
A foreign national who becomes a US citizen through the naturalization process will not lose the citizenship of the country where he was born. The US laws allows it citizens to hold dual citizenship. It does not say that the foreign national must give up his nationality to acquire US citizenship and it also does not require the person to choose either one of the two nationalities.
At times, some people are granted citizenship by certain countries. When a person is granted citizenship automatically, he does not lose his US citizenship. However, people who acquire citizenship from a foreign country, by voluntarily applying for it, may lose US citizenship. If a person wishes to lose US citizenship, the US law allows him to do so by applying for foreign nationality voluntarily and with an intention of losing his US citizenship. Intention to give up US citizenship may be demonstrated through the conduct of the person and his statements. The American government recognizes dual citizenship but does not encourage it, because of the problems that may arise.
Though the dual national owes allegiance to America as well as the foreign country, the country in which the dual national stays claims stronger allegiance. People holding dual citizenship will be required to abide by the laws of both the countries. Both the countries have the right to impose their laws when the dual national travels to that particular country.
Dual nationals and the US citizens may use their US passports to enter and leave America. Similarly, dual nationals may use the passports of the other country to enter and leave that country. The dual nationals do not risk losing US citizenship by using their foreign passport.
Most countries, including the United States, allow a person to lose or renounce their citizenship. If a person wishes to lose his foreign citizenship, information about it may be obtained from the embassy or the consulate of the foreign country, in the United States. Citizens of the United States may renounce US citizenship by contacting the US embassies and consulates abroad.