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Picture covers of my passports to demonstrate the topic and main point of my article
Original photo by Sonia Anand

Has the U.S. Passport Lost the Strength it Once Had?

For years, the U.S. passport has been ranked as one of the top 5 most powerful travel documents globally. However, I’m astounded to hear that it has lost significant value in 2020 during the pandemic. Due to our country’s response of COVID-19, Americans have been banned from visiting over 75 countries around the world to avoid a second wave. While other nations like New Zealand have successfully contained the virus, Americans continue to break quarantine and social distancing measures with over 6 million cases nationwide. Thus, we currently have very limited freedom of movement and the U.S. passport has significantly lost the strength it once had. 

After speaking to several of my peers, most Americans are disappointed in those who aren’t abiding by the restrictions. Therefore, many people are increasingly looking into obtaining dual citizenship through their parents and grandparents who previously immigrated to America. This rapidly growing interest stems from the extensive benefits that becoming a dual national provides. You can access countries that Americans are banned from which opens the doors for freedom of movement. Additionally, you receive full rights in another country to live, work, VOTE, access free education, and universal healthcare. Many look at this as an insurance policy and back-up plan because of the current state of our nation.

While it may seem difficult to obtain, many Americans don’t realize that they are in fact eligible for dual nationality in another country. For example, in Ireland and Italy you can apply for a passport if your parents/grandparents are immigrants from these countries. They allow dual nationality and so it won’t interfere with U.S. citizenship. In my personal experience, I have recently become a dual citizen between the U.S. and UK because my mother and grandparents are from England. I worked very hard for two full years without any help from lawyers or immigration agencies. I’m incredibly proud of myself as all of my hard work has thankfully paid off! Because of uncertainty in the future and my general passion for traveling, I want to open as many doors and opportunities as possible. Additionally, being able to live abroad in Europe is something I plan to do in the near future. 

Since the U.S. passport is losing its notable power, having dual nationality and obtaining a second passport is becoming the new status symbol because of the endless opportunities it can provide. If you’ve ever dreamed about living in another country or want to keep your options open, I strongly recommend looking into the possibility of obtaining dual nationality. You never know where you’ll be in life 10 years from now and what that added support can do for you. 

Picture of me receiving my passport
Original photo by Sonia Anand

Sonia Anand

Montclair '21

Sonia Anand is a Senior at Montclair State University, studying Business Administration with a concentration in Management. Some of her passions include traveling the world, content creating, and luxury fashion. She is a dual national between the U.S. and UK and plans to hold an international career while experiencing living in different countries. With her extroverted and outgoing nature, she loves to take risks and push boundaries out of her comfort zone.
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