Over on BootsnAll this week, they’re talking about dual citizenship and which countries you would pick if you had a choice.
I was born in England to a British father and Maltese mother, and with the introduction of the ability to hold another nationality’s passport as well as a Maltese one in 2000, became a dual citizen. It didn’t mean much to me at the time; I was 13 and don’t remember anything other than having to kiss a crucifix (Malta is a super duperly Catholic country) and sign a piece of paper, as well as griping about how boring waiting in a stuffy government office for hours to do that had been. (Sorry, Mum) However, what it meant in the long run was that I was entitled to free schooling, a monthly stipend at university, the ability to work without the need for a permit and various other benefits. As a Maltese citizen I could jump through loop holes that foreigners would struggle with. (Thanks, Mum)
I only applied for my first British passport at the beginning of this year. I figure I will be better off travelling as a British citizen rather than a Maltese one because certain visas will be less expensive (or not even a requirement) and I feel safer knowing that, should I need help, a British embassy will be much easier to find than a Maltese one. My Dad seems to think the opposite, claiming that British tourists tend to be targeted more often but if I thought like that I would never go anywhere. In a crisis I can always wave my Maltese passport around as well and confuse the hell out of everyone :)
Given that I am already a dual citizen, and also that both countries are members of the EU, the idea of being restricted when it comes to choosing where to live or work is a foreign concept to me. However, applying for my Indian visa was my first taste of what it can be like, and I can only imagine the stress that must come with needing to obtain one simply to live somewhere. I’ve seen this firsthand with a few foreign friends I’ve had and I’m glad it’s not an issue I have to deal with.
So – to answer BootsnAll’s question – if I had to choose two nationalities, I think having any EU passport would be a great idea and I’m a bit of an Anglophile so I’ll keep the British one too, please!