In a previous post, I explained the reasons the Ministry of the Interior rejected a 2014 policy proposal to allow dual citizenship. First among them was the assertion that Taiwan's renunciation requirement is similar to that of other countries, with a number of countries specifically called out:
Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the PRC, Belgium, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Germany, Austria and Italy.
While many of these countries are not necessarily places Taiwan should seek to emulate as a progressive and democratic country, perhaps more importantly, this list is simply factually incorrect.
Of the 14 countries listed by the MOI, 7 countries (Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the PRC, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore) do not allow dual citizenship for anyone—whether citizen by birth or naturalization. On the other hand, 4 countries (the Philippines, Belgium, Sweden, and Italy), allow dual citizenship for anyone, including naturalized citizens. Only 3 (South Korea, Germany and Austria) have a law similar to Taiwan's, but all 3 countries apply exceptions more broadly than those listed in Article 9 of Taiwan's Nationality Law.
South Korea, for example, extends the privilege of dual nationality to naturalized citizens married to Korean nationals, as well as those who make a sworn oath not to use the privileges of their second citizenship while in South Korea. Germany and Austria allow applicants to apply for permission to retain their citizenship during the naturalization process, which may be granted for a number of reasons, including difficulty or cost of the renunciation process.
What about the other 200-odd countries of the world? Where do they stand on dual citizenship?
While the MOI is correct that nationality laws are varied and complex, they are not beyond the powers of Google. I looked up the dual nationality law of every country, and put them into 4 categories: allowed, not allowed, and allowed with restrictions. My findings were surprising. Of 174 countries surveyed:
- 122 allow dual nationality with few or no restrictions,
- 40 do not allow dual nationality at all, although even these are not all strictly enforced,
- 6 allow dual nationality with restrictions, and of these Taiwan is the only country that does not apply broad exceptions which allow most naturalized citizens to retain their original nationality.
Below are the results of my survey, listing which countries allow, do not allow, or restrict dual nationality.
Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Comoros, Egypt, Eritrea, Gambia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Libya, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Bangladesh, Cambodia, Kyrgyzstan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Turkmenistan, Vietnam
Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK
Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Palestine, Syria, Turkey
Canada, Mexico, USA
Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu
Central and South America
Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela
Algeria, Botswana, Cameroon, Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gabon, Guinea, Madagascar, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania
Azerbaijan, Bhutan, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Khazakstan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Thailand, Uzbekistan
Bosnia, Estonia, Ukraine
Afghanistan, Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Yemen
Central and South America
Bahamas, Cuba, Haiti, Suriname
With broad exceptions, applied equally:
South Korea, Austria, Germany, Lithuania, Norway
With few exceptions, restricted only for naturalized citizens:
So what is the truth about dual nationality laws? The truth is, most countries are headed in the right direction, and almost all countries enforce their nationality laws fairly; most everyone is treated the same way under the law. Taiwan is the only odd one out, and something needs to be changed.
You can help!
If someone you know may be eligible for Taiwanese naturalization, please share this article with them, and like us on Facebook and Twitter to show your support. If you are eligible for naturalization, but are unwilling or unable to proceed due to the renunciation requirement, please join our mailing list. You'll be the first to know of any meeting, rally, press conference, or other public action where your support would be most valuable.
 Please note that, while I tried to find up-to-date and accurate information, this list may contain errors. Among other search results, these were the main references consulted: