Sunday, February 8, 2009

Should I Get Dual Citizenship?

My grandmother on my mother's side was born in Ireland so despite my German last name (O'Vosseller?) I am in fact more Irish than anything else (except perhaps American!).

Anyway a few years back my parents returned from a trip to the Emerald Isle with exciting news. They learned that Ireland offers citizenship to anyone with a parent or grandparent who was native born there. Most importantly (to me at least) is that there is no need to give up U.S. citizenship because both Ireland and the U.S. allow dual citizenship with one another.

Now that Ireland is part of the EU, citizenship there offers some especially tempting benefits:

  • Freely travel throughout the EU (no long lines at immigration anywhere in the EU)
  • Free to work in any EU country (no special work permit needed)
  • Free to live in any EU country
  • Free to purchase property in any EU country
  • Benefits that come after living in EU for some amount of time include: health insurance, pension rights, voting, social service, discounted college tuition, unemployment compensation, etc.
Another important benefit is that getting this done before having kids will make them eligible as well.

As the world flattens and international business grows in the coming years I think that dual citizenship could become quite valuable. I haven't acted on this sooner because for several years I was working at a defense contractor which prohibits it. Now I'm thinking about it again.

I'm writing this first to let others know about the option. If you have Irish roots look into it here and contact your local embassy/consulate.

But really I want to ask if you know of any reason why I shouldn't do this? The only reason I can think of is that it would limit my ability to return to defense work. Am I missing anything? What else should I consider?

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