Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Would you give up your citizenship?

I've been going through the mandatory five year process of acquiring permanent residence in Croatia. Every year, I've renewed my visa. Last month I passed a language test. Turns out, my last obstacle will be passing a culture test I wasn't aware of until a few days ago. My knowledge of the Croatian constitution, amendments and laws will be the difference between attaining residence and having to go through the whole five year process again.

Despite the bureaucratic inconvenience that would be, a phone call with a friend caused a bigger discomfort to situate itself in my psyche. See, attaining residence would allow me to apply for Croatian citizenship in a year. My wife and three kids already have dual citizenship. In my thinking, in another year I could become the bi-cultured individual I'd always dreamed of becoming. That's just a half joke. There's something about the idea of dual citizenship that nudges the ego up a notch.

But then my friend told me that unless I'm Croat by descent (like my wife) or was born here (like all three of my kids), the Croatian authorities would require me to cough up my American citizenship before I could become Croatian.

So what if I did it? What if I actually pass the test, go through the whole process of becoming a Croatian citizen and give up my American citizenship? What would the implications be?

Those aren't necessarily rhetorical questions.

It's an interesting thought. Of course, I may not have to think about it for another five years.