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Dual citizenship

I am American-born of Maltese parents and have been through the same experience as Mr Norman Bonello (The Sunday Times, December 11) and the Australians featured in the TV programme Waltzing Matilda who are seeking to regain Australian citizenship after having felt compelled by local circumstances to renounce it and become Maltese.

The certificates granting dual citizenship to people of Maltese descent who were born overseas state that these people never ceased to be Maltese according to the law of 1964. So people like us should have never had to renounce our foreign citizenship to become Maltese - how can you become what you already are?

I was born in 1961 and had to renounce my American citizenship in 1991, but according to the law I was already a Maltese in 1964! The officials at the Department of Citizenship and Expatriates told me that the 1964 law only applied to those applying for dual citizenship and not for those renouncing their foreign citizenship. Are they saying that they had such foresight in 1964 to pass a law that would come into effect in 2000?

My brother successfully applied for dual citizenship but was discriminated against because he was an American. Now he is being told that he never ceased being Maltese when, in fact, he ceased being Maltese when he turned 18 and did not renounce his American citizenship!

I appeal to the government to nullify the process in which people like us were forced by circumstance to renounce their foreign citizenship and give us the opportunity to regain the citizenship from our respective embassies.

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