dual u.s. and Finnish citizenship

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bohica
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dual u.s. and Finnish citizenship

Post by bohica » Sun Feb 08, 2004 12:31 pm

Does anyone know where I can find official information about what dual citizenship means for our children from the U.S. perspective? I've been reading things that they have to live in the U.S. for a few years in order to pass on their citizenship or to vote. If anyone has a link or an address I can write, that would be great. :D



dual u.s. and Finnish citizenship

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eashton
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Post by eashton » Sun Feb 08, 2004 3:01 pm

If one or both of you are American citizens who are and were married at the time of the child's birth, the best place to ask about this is the US Embassy as they usually aid expats in registering births in Finland to US citizens and obtaining passports for them. If neither of you are US citizens, naturalised or otherwise, or married, I wouldn't even suggest that you bother trying in today's rather paranoid, ultra-right-wing 'family values' climate. The duality of citizenship is of no concern to the US.

http://uscis.gov/graphics/howdoi/child.htm

and

http://www.usembassy.fi/ in the consular services section.

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bohica
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Thanks

Post by bohica » Sun Feb 08, 2004 5:42 pm

Thanks eashton, that was exactly what I was looking for. I guess I should have been more clear. I'm a born U.S. citizen. Our children are dual U.S./Finnish citizens and their mother is a Finn. We got married before they were born. Our kids have never lived in the States.

I've had bad experiences with the embassy, but I'll definitely check out that other link.

I suppose you're right about the current gov't. You can't be too careful, you know. You never know what kind of terrorists might come out of Finland, especially when they're 2 years old. :lol:

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eashton
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Re: Thanks

Post by eashton » Sun Feb 08, 2004 6:22 pm

If you are a US citizen, then all you should have to do is register the births at the embassy and apply for passports for them. I've never heard of expats having to put their kids go through some citizenship test to make their passports/citizenship valid as it is their birthright, just as it would be in Finland. Of course, these days one never knows, but make an appointment and march on over to Fortress America down on embassy row and make those people do what they're paid to do here on the frontier.

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bohica
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thanks again

Post by bohica » Sun Feb 08, 2004 7:11 pm

Both of my kids have U.S. passports, but I'm trying to find if there are any restrictions on this, since I've heard rumors. I.e. can they lose their citizenship when they turn 18 if they haven't lived long enough in the U.S., etc.

Thanks again :D

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DAL
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Post by DAL » Sun Feb 08, 2004 7:48 pm

I have a 9 year old son who is a dual citizen (Finnish/American) and has lived in Finland his whole life. What the US Emabassy told me is that he will be a US Citizen his entire life, as the US doesn't care what the other country stipulates for citizenship. The only issues is that he will lose his US citizenship by joining the armed forces of another country, which is something he will have to face in the next 15 years or so.

So in his case, by default he will have to make a choice. If you find anything new out please let us know as that informaiton is at least 4 years old.
Dustin

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eashton
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Post by eashton » Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:47 pm

DAL wrote: So in his case, by default he will have to make a choice. If you find anything new out please let us know as that informaiton is at least 4 years old.
I think they must misunderstand the requirement. He can fulfill his mandatory military training in the Finnish armed forces without forfeiting his citizenship to the US as it is involuntary, required and not normally involved in military offensives.

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DAL
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Post by DAL » Mon Feb 09, 2004 1:19 am

Well I read the acts and you are right.....and wrong :D

As with anything the US Government does, the right answer is it depends. Here is the link from the State Department that deals with the question specifically and references the acts so you can read the law if you so choose...I did and wish I had those two hours back. :D

http://travel.state.gov/military_service.html
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kultary
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Post by kultary » Mon Feb 09, 2004 9:59 am

DAL wrote:Well I read the acts and you are right.....and wrong :D

As with anything the US Government does, the right answer is it depends. Here is the link from the State Department that deals with the question specifically and references the acts so you can read the law if you so choose...I did and wish I had those two hours back. :D

http://travel.state.gov/military_service.html
I have 3 kids with dual citizenship (I still need to register the 4th). The embassy explained to me that they will retain dual citizenship for their entire lives. They will need to serve their mandatory military service in Finland, but it won't affect their standing as American citizens unless the US government can find evidence that they have specifically 'shown an intent' to renounce their US citizenship.

-ry

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eashton
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Re: thanks again

Post by eashton » Mon Feb 09, 2004 10:20 am

bohica wrote:Both of my kids have U.S. passports, but I'm trying to find if there are any restrictions on this, since I've heard rumors. I.e. can they lose their citizenship when they turn 18 if they haven't lived long enough in the U.S., etc.
No, children with a family claim to citizenship should never have to worry about it being revoked. Of course, when they get to tax paying age things can and do get a bit more interesting. Some countries require citizens to spend a certain amount of time each year inside the country but no such requirement exists for the US last I knew. Although, these days you probably get labelled 'Expat - hater of freedom' for leaving the confines of the lower 48 for all I know.

Also, do keep in mind that citizenship and the US passport are not equivalent, just in case there are those who assume the two are interchangeable. The passport can be revoked without endangering the status as a citizen though the instances that this can be done and is done are rare and extreme.

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Hank W.
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Post by Hank W. » Mon Feb 09, 2004 10:41 am

The thing is, that Finnish citizenship can be revoked, or an intent of retaining must be made. The magic age is 22; there is a few guidelines to that as well on the UVI pages.
Cheers, Hank W.
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bohica
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Post by bohica » Mon Feb 09, 2004 7:43 pm

I was just at the embassy today. I've had problems with them in the past, but they were helpful this time. They basically told me everything that kultary said.

As for losing your citizenship, they said it's "very difficult" to do, and from the sound of it, almost impossible to do inadvertently. Basically, they said you have to ask to lose it, and even then they give you some time to think about it. The years abroad thing was for naturalized citizens and that law was repealed about 6 or 7 years ago. Service in the Finnish army isn't a problem, unless the U.S. and Finland go to war. :lol: The guy said that the law tends to "favor" keeping rather than losing your citizenship.

But like Hank said, it also depends. For example, they gave the example that if your kid decides to go into Finnish politics that "might" affect his or her U.S. citizenship. And the laws can and do change.

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bohica
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Post by bohica » Mon Feb 09, 2004 7:47 pm

I meant what DAL said, not Hank.

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Post by amayer » Thu Feb 12, 2004 1:00 am

bohica wrote: As for losing your citizenship, they said it's "very difficult" to do, and from the sound of it, almost impossible to do inadvertently. Basically, they said you have to ask to lose it, and even then they give you some time to think about it.
Unless, of course, the US Congress passes Bush's "Patriot II Act", which would allow *any* citizen of the US to be stripped of their citizenship and deported from the country, for things ranging from the obvious (taking up arms against the US) to the completely insane (political activities that could be viewed as "anti-American"... can't remember how it's worded, but basically all the protests I've been to over the past 4 years would include me in this category). Obviously, naturalized citizens would be sent back to wherever they were born, but for those of us born and raised here... dunno. One would hope Canada, but maybe Guantanamo Bay? American Samoa? Some retired Navy aircraft carrier in the middle of the Bering Strait?

Let's just hope Bush leaves before Patriot II Act even comes up for a vote.


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