Forbidding multiple citizenship: how?

When applying for permanent residency or naturalized citizenship anywhere you can expect extensive interviews, being asked to produce documents(many you probably don’t even have like childhood immunizations pray your officer is the waiving kind) from your home country or anyplace you have lived documenting everything in your life its possible to document. Some countries are more picky than others.

When I was applying for permanent residency there was a space on the form to list all citizenships you hold which I did, but then one officer noticed on my birth certificate my mothers place of birth was Germany.

.:dubious:She refused to believe I or my mom had never pursued this, as she said I was clearly considered a citizen of Germany by Germany. I had to kind of argue because she actually wanted me to go document my German citizenship or get some form from the German embassy, she dropped it eventually though. So trust me your documents will betray you.

In a first-world country, maybe. I think it’s quite reasonable in poorer countries where immigration is limited and the vast majority of people seriously interested in naturalisation would be rich foreign retirees who want to buy freehold beachfront property and drive the economy into an orgy of unproductive durable-consumer-goods speculation.

The goal of enforcement is not to find 100% of the cases but to find the dishonest ones so everyone else is willing to obey the law by the feeling that “we’re all in it together”. The government balances the cost of enforcement against whatever their policy goals are. If they’re really serious, they can always check your passport stamps, look at your plane tickets, and search your luggage. Vanuatu catches the hidden Australians that way.

Of course, in the EU enforcement is a lot harder because you all can cross so many borders without showing a passport. And also because the British government has a policy of explicitly defeating such requirements by allowing you to apply to resume nationality quite easily after you’ve renounced it. (Lots of new politicians in the ex-colonies make a big deal of “renouncing” their British citizenship during their campaign for office, and then quietly resume it after they leave office or when they need to flee the country.)

My favorite citizenship story took place when I was in college at the Big U, a hundred or so years ago.

A young gentleman in my Chemistry class was entertaining us during a particularly boring lab with his recent entanglement. His US citizen parents were employed at the US Embassy in Turkey when he was born. As per protocol, he received the “Report of Citizen Born Abroad” document, a US passport was issued to him, and once his parents’ tour of duty ended, he went home with them to live a typical American life. He grows up, graduates from high school, and enters college.

An interesting piece of mail arrives at his home. It’s an official summons from the government of Turkey. TURKEY considers him to be a citizen of Turkey, and he is hereby DRAFTED.

He is ordered to report for duty in Turkey YESTERDAY, or he will be thrown in prison!

I’m sure there was a lot of Embassy doings to settle the matter. I never got the follow up story from him.

Those were the days when young men in college knew the student deferment was forever GONE, and many held low numbers in the draft lottery and expected the love letters from Uncle Sam which began, “Greetings.”