So, I just learned that I am eligible for citizenship in the Czech Republic because my father & grandfather were born there and I meet all the requirements. Genuinely, I had no idea until today.
Should I go for it? I can see many advantages of dual citizenship but there may be some serious pitfalls that I am missing.
I don't speak a word of Czech, or any other EU languages beside English & Spanish, but I am certainly willing to learn. This opens a bunch of doors I never imagined I had until now.
@administrator Go for it. Czech citizienship does not - like US citizenship - require you to undergo dual taxation. There are only advantages... just imagine your plane is hijacked by Al Qaida terrorists and they select the US citizens... you can then calmly show your Czech passport...
Joking apart: I really would recommend trying. Languages can be learnt somehow, and citizenship does not require you to live there. And I suppose you are over age and therefore not liable to be drafted for Czech National Service.
I would, personally, check into it but I would be very clear about taxes. You could get screwed if you're not careful.
Also, it may simplify some of your travel plans if you're inventive.
p.s. the Czech Republic may allow dual citizenship but the U.S., not.
So far, my research has shown the following:
- Dual citizenship is allowed by both USA & Czech Republic
- CZ does not dual tax, but the USA will tax you no matter where you go
- Some locations are easier to get into with one passport or another
Apparently, the US "discourages" having two passports but it's perfectly legal. It seems like there are many advantages to having two passports. As an EU citizen I could live, work & buy property there without a visa.
@administrator You are perfectly correct.
Dr GO last edited by
And you should probably be able to pay the dual citizenship from afar, as it is as easy as, "The Czech is in the mail."
Dr GO last edited by
While you are contemplating the option get in the spirit with Prague in March:
If the Czech Republic will allow dual citizenship, I would go for it.
I would look deeper into this.
The problem is the Soviet Union and the Peoples Republic of China when they were communist states caused some of the NATO members including England and the USA, to pass laws limiting commerce and trade between those states.
Those laws mostly still remain on the statute books and even today taking anything that could be perceived as a product of the USA or of England into a former communist state such as China or Russia can result in prosecution for treason in the USA or in the UK.
A toy robot for example taken to Russia for example could land you in prison for treason and have you serving 15 years if it contains micro chips under an old Law in the USA.
I kid you not.
Those laws that do remain in force are not acted upon generally but they are still laws and the risk is there that they might be acted upon.
The Czech Republic as a former member of a former communist state is in a grey area where these laws still exist.
And beyond that a dual nationality holder between the USA and a former enemy or possible future enemy of the USA may put the dual nationality holder in a difficult position.
For example a dual nationality holder taking a laptop to the Czech Republic if they are prosecuted for it, may find themselves deported to the Czech Republic, where as a US citizen with one nationality only, they would be dealt with as a US citizen.
Additionally, what nation does a dual nationality holder owe allegiance to, if both nations enter into hostilities.
My own experience with this legal can of worms was several years ago a worker in a UK company that I worked in travelled to China and took a powerpoint presentation across the border. This was while the UK government was encouraging trade with China.
In essence they were obeying the UK Government and at the same time breaking UK Law.
They had to get written permission from the government to do this seemingly trivial thing because without that written permission they faced 15 years in prison for treason.
And believe me nation states usually take treason laws and legislation very seriously.
Such laws may have made sense 40 years ago, but now the world has politically moved on, and they are I agree non-sensical now, but they can still present serious problems to ordinary citizens where those now non-sensical laws have not been repealed.
Laws are still Laws if they have not been repealed.
I think that asking the implications of holding dual nationality with the Czech republic and the USA, from the US customs or similar authorities may be a wise next step just to make sure there are no obscure laws in existence that could make your life difficult if you do adopt the dual nationality you are considering.
Obeying city ordinances or state laws is one thing and should be all we need to do but if there is an obscure federal law that trumps the state law, that could cause problems in the future for the citizen, and nationality is of course a federal issue not a state issue.
It may even be worth consulting an attorney on this who understands case law affecting dual nationalities.
I see so many potential issues that I would tread carefully.
@trumpetb In principle, some of the concerns mentioned here are correct; but the Czech Republic is a stalwart member of the European Union (much more stalwart than Hungary or he recusant UK) and a staunch NATO partner, so for the foreseeable future, armed conflict is only going to involve the US and the Czech Republic on the same side.
The comparison with UK law is lopsided as the UK does not have a written Constitution yet - they have been "muddling through" without one for the last 1,000 years - whereas the US have one that severely limits the risk of an obscure law peeking out of its corner.
Examples of such laws and ordinances:
Until very recently, taxis (or "hansom cabs" as they are still officially designated) had to carry a bale of hay for the cab horse, even though cab horses have gone out of fashion for at least 100 years...
A student at Oxford dug out a 1300's regulation that on his exam day, he was entitled to a free meal at the University Refectory, and fought that issue until he got a positive verdict and his meal. The day after the exam, he was fined an enormous sum, the equivalent of one shilling sixpence in 1264, for not wearing a sword during his exam...
I agree, comparisons with UK are lopsided the problem is laws are always interpreted by the officers applying the laws, and these can be interpreted wrongly.
There are many cases of citizens being wrongly arrested and detained and the mess does not get sorted out until there is a court hearing.
I am countenancing care and consideration before acting and declaring there are risks to taking dual nationality in this case.
In life it is unwise to deal with risks by declaring they can be ignored.
I realise that the Czech Republic is a stable and considerate partner to the EU and world community.
But can we guarantee that will always be so.
And once dual nationality is taken we must live with that and all its consequences both now and in the future.
Make sure the decision is the right one with full knowledge of all the risks.
And do not forget that this is not just a question of being bound by US Law, and the US Constitution, but once dual nationality is approved the holder will be bound by Czech Republic Laws as well as USA Laws and constitution.
I stand by what I said.
Gad, trumpetb. With an outlook like that, I'm not sure I'd want to get out of bed in the morning.
You made me smile man.
All paths contain puddles we need only to recognise that and take steps to spot the puddles before we tread in them, then we dont end up with wet feet.
We are dealing here simply with following two paths both of which contain puddles, administrator simply needs to decide if the puddles are visible and easy to avoid, or if there is a risk of rain in the future.
Of course let us remember that if we have two paths we can follow, we can choose the one with fewer puddles whenever we wish, and by this means have drier feet on all our journeys.
The Czech republic is said to be a beautiful place and well worth getting out of bed for.
It is true that a dual citizen is bound by the laws of both countries, however, I have read a number of people who have done this already (with the Czech Republic) and they have had no issues. It seems that CZ is fairly transparent about what they expect from dual citizens. I don't see a lot of people warning about any "gray areas" here, so that's good.
From what I understand, there was a push about a decade ago to prevent this, but since 2014, this law has been in place. That's not to say that I shouldn't be cautious going forward, as laws can and do change, but, for now, it seems like there a number of advantages and few disadvantages. I'm not in either country's military, nor do I work for the government, so that eliminates one major concern. I'm in my mid 30s so likely not going to be conscripted for war.
Also, if I want to escape both countries I can just run away to a non-extradition country