The headaches and the blessings of dual-citizenship

by Jonas Horvei

It is said that humans are born. In some way this is true, nevertheless there is also heavy restrictions imposed on each individuals. Such restrictions could for instance be the place where you are born, your parents, the economic power your parents have, the passport you hold, and whether you have dual-citizenship or not. In a world that continues to become more and more globalized traveling abroad and working abroad are steadily becoming increasingly important for many individuals who want to experience life in a different country than where they grew up.

While of course the economic power of the individual and his family is often the biggest determiner, this time I want to talk about dual-citizenship and the challenges it imposes on the individuals. With increasingly more intermarriages, we also see a surge in people who are eligible for dual citizenships. While I think in many cases this can be an incredible blessing. For instance think of an American citizen that also holds the passport of Sweden. Normally for an American working in most places in the EU is an incredibly big challenge due to the Schengen agreement. With an additional passport to Sweden, such barriers are removed and almost all of Europe becomes a possibility both for working and traveling.

Unfortunately for many of the dual-citizenship holders, this can also be a source of frustration. This frustration is based on the fact that many countries do not recognize dual-citizenship and forces the holder to pick either one of them while renouncing their other passport. Like a person from Japan and America will have to pick either Japan or America as their passport due to Japan not recognizing dual citizenship. So for a person who feels closely tied to both of these countries making the right decision is not such a simple matter. As each passport holds a different value one. It often makes me sad to hear my friends in China often having to pay deposits amount to almost 10,000 dollars just to go on a vacation abroad, it is simply unfair and makes traveling and migration for people without rich backgrounds very difficult.

While we all might think sometimes, being a dual citizenship sounds as this amazing treasure and key to freedom in terms of traveling, and in terms of opportunities to working abroad. Regardless of that think the fact that many countries still do not recognize dual citizenships easily becomes a source of frustration and the making of difficult choices especially of those who do feel attached to more than just one of the countries which they hold a passport to. Whether all countries should recognize dual citizenship or not I am not really certain if it is the right solution. With the increasing amount of globalization, I think the ideal solution would be to soften the barriers and make them less restrictive so that people can travel where they want, work where they want as long as they have the skill and migrate where they want regardless of which country one holds a citizenship of. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to change anytime soon, maybe never as long as discrimination and racism is a part of our daily life.

So meanwhile, for those of you that hold citizenships from different countries, different countries which both recognize dual citizenships as a right should treasure how lucky you are and the freedom you have to move, work and live your life in so many places compared to many others. In many ways, I am jealous of dual-citizenships holders. Still after reflecting on the whole thing, it seems that it is not always as nice it sounds like and I might have been reserving my judgments too soon. When you are forced to pick one passport over the other you might never in truly know if if you made the right decision or not.

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