What is dual citizenship?
In Ukraine, many do not understand the difference between “dual citizenship” and “second citizenship“. Dual (multiple) citizenships is a situation when a person has at the same time citizenship of two or more states. In addition, each of them may require a person to perform all of his civil duties. This status becomes possible for citizens of those countries between which an agreement on dual citizenship, that is, the mutual recognition of both citizenships, is concluded. At the same time, both countries recognize for their citizens the existence of both citizenships as equivalent, and “dual citizens” – retain the civil rights of both states.
There are few countries in the world that have signed the relevant treaties among themselves. As a rule, these are former metropolises and their colonies. For example, the United Kingdom has such a treaty with Canada, India, Australia and others, France with Canada, Portugal with Brazil, Spain with a number of Latin American countries.
Second citizenship (third, fourth, etc.) is a situation where a person acquires second citizenship without the knowledge of the “native” state, of which he is a citizen from the beginning.
How can the authorities find second citizenship and what kind of punishment is provided for a second passport?
The Law of Ukraine does not obligated to notify the authorities about the receipt of another passport, but only reserves the right for a person. Only notification can be considered a reason for termination of Ukrainian citizenship, but automatic termination does not occur. This is the main problem of legislative regulation of citizenship in Ukraine. In fact, the authorities have no obligation to check that people have a second citizenship. And even if it becomes known that you have a second passport, a person may be deprived of Ukrainian citizenship., but the president (and according to the law, only the president has the right to deprive the citizenship of Ukraine) is not obliged to do so. That is, there is a field for speculations and “double approaches” – why one politician or businessman is not deprived of citizenship, although information about his second passport pops up in the media, and another is deprived of Ukrainian citizenship?
According to various estimates, in Ukraine, about half a million people have second passports (mainly Poland, Russia, Hungary, Romania). The authorities of Ukraine can find out about their second citizenship by asking the official authorities of another country whether this person has the citizenship of this country. Also, sources of information can be the database of customs departments (for which passports a person crossed the border), the tax authorities (for which passport the company is registered).
Can citizens of Ukraine have one or more passports of other states?
Each country has its own laws regarding obtaining a second citizenship and how it officially refers to the “old” citizenship of a person. However, the cost of such programs is much higher – more than 1 million euros for Malta and more than 2 million euros for Cyprus. At the same time, many European countries in exchange for investments (the purchase of real estate or government bonds, the establishment of a business) provide a residence permit status (residence permit) or permanent residence (permanent residence) with a further possibility of obtaining citizenship. At the same time, some countries, for example, Germany, when issuing their passports, require that they provide written evidence that a person has left the previous one.