We are a 7-passport kind of family these days! I recently picked up my Dutch passport in time for my solo trip to Florida last week. As many of you know, it was a year ago this month that I became a Dutch citizen (more on that later), so it felt appropriate to complete the process now by actually making the effort to go get it! Until now, my only proof of citizenship was a fairly dull piece of paper stating the facts. No longer. Now I have a beautiful little red burgandy book to flash in the EU lines at the airports. If I feel like it. Yes, I’m gloating a little bit, and yes, after 6 1/2 years I’ve earned full gloating rights.
The kids have had dual citizenship since birth, when we went down to the US consulate (it’s like going into a jail with the lovely view of the Concert Gebouw and Museum Plein) to register their arrival. They’ve got it made. Poor Maarten will never join the rest of us in the realm of duality as he would have to give up his Dutch passport in order to receive an American one. It’s complicated, but it simmers down to this: 1) Dutch are nicer to foreigners and believe it possible to be loyal to two countries – as long as said foreigner hails from a western, wealthy nation (or whatever requirements must be met to be entered in The Big Book of Nationalities that can Keep their Passports) and is married to a dutch citizen, and 2) Americans believe that people of American birth can branch out and embrace another country while remaining true to their own, while those unfortunates wanting to embrace America as their own must prove the loyalty they lack in birth by severing ties with their homeland.
Like I said, it’s complicated. But thank you, my countries, for giving me a loophole. And thank you, Rob, for informing me of this loophole. Because I really dig being a dual citizen.