Citizenship is a particular status within a country and is slightly different for each country. Dual citizenship is a status whereby a person is a citizen of two countries and enjoys the benefits citizenship within both countries.
Although the definition for citizenship may be slightly different for each country, generally citizenship allows a person to vote in a particular country, to us that country’s passport and to be protected by that country’s diplomatic mission when abroad.
There are some countries which require people to renounce their citizenship from any other country before becoming their citizen. To learn whether or not one can hold dual citizenship you must first check with the governments of both countries for any contradictions in citizenship policy.
Canada allows its citizens to hold dual citizenship, especially if the second country is part of the British Commonwealth (Great Britain or Australia for example).
To get a better idea of how dual citizenship works we will describe a situation where dual citizenship is allowed:
Say a person is born in the United Kingdom. They automatically become a British citizen.
One day, they decide to immigrate to Canada and they become a Permanent Resident of Canada.
Currently they have British citizenship and Canadian Permanent Residency.
After a period of time, they decide to apply for Canadian citizenship. Since they never renounced their British citizenship, they retain this status throughout the process.
After this person completes the required citizenship application, passes the knowledge test, passes the language test and takes the Canadian oath of allegiance, they become a Canadian citizenship which they can then add onto their British citizenship status.
This person can now possess passports from Britain and Canada, vote in British and Canadian elections and have all of the other rights that citizenship confers onto people in these two countries.
This process works in much the same way for many different countries, but it is important to remember to check with both countries foreign affairs agencies to make sure that there are no other requirements for dual citizenship.