Loss of Nationality
Loss of Nationality
For Filipino Translation of this page, click here.
If you have questions regarding Loss of Nationality, please read the information below, then email ACSInfoManila@state.gov.
POTENTIALLY EXPATRIATING ACTS
Section 349 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1481) as amended, states that U.S. citizens are subject to loss of citizenship if they perform certain specified acts voluntarily and with the intention to relinquish U.S. citizenship. Briefly stated, these acts include:
- obtaining naturalization in a foreign state (Sec. 349 (a) (1) INA);
- taking an oath, affirmation or other formal declaration to a foreign state or its political subdivisions (Sec. 349 (a) (2) INA);
- entering or serving in the armed forces of a foreign state engaged in hostilities against the U.S. or serving as a commissioned or non-commissioned officer in the armed forces of a foreign state (Sec. 349 (a) (3) INA);
- accepting employment with a foreign government if (a) one has the nationality of that foreign state or (b) an oath or declaration of allegiance is required in accepting the position (Sec. 349 (a) (4) INA);
- formally renouncing U.S. citizenship before a U.S. diplomatic or consular officer outside the United States (sec. 349 (a) (5) INA);
- formally renouncing U.S. citizenship within the U.S. (but only under strict, narrow statutory conditions) (Sec. 349 (a) (6) INA);
- conviction for an act of treason (Sec. 349 (a) (7) INA).
More specific information on possible loss of nationality is available on the Department of State's main web site.
ADMINISTRATIVE STANDARD OF EVIDENCE
As already noted, the actions listed above can cause loss of U.S. citizenship only if performed voluntarily and with the intention of relinquishing U.S. citizenship. The Department has a uniform administrative standard of evidence based on the premise that U.S. citizens intend to retain United States citizenship when they obtain naturalization in a foreign state, subscribe to a declaration of allegiance to a foreign state, serve in the armed forces of a foreign state not engaged in hostilities with the United States, or accept non-policy level employment with a foreign government.
DISPOSITION OF CASES WHEN ADMINISTRATIVE PREMISE IS APPLICABLE
In light of the administrative premise discussed above, a person who:
- is naturalized in a foreign country;
- takes a routine oath of allegiance to a foreign state;
- serves in the armed forces of a foreign state not engaged in hostilities with the United States, or
- accepts non-policy level employment with a foreign government,
and in so doing wishes to retain U.S. citizenship need not submit prior to the commission of a potentially expatriating act a statement or evidence of his or her intent to retain U.S. citizenship since such an intent will be presumed.
When, as the result of an individual's inquiry or an individual's application for registration or a passport it comes to the attention of a U.S. consular officer that a U.S. citizen has performed an act made potentially expatriating by Sections 349(a)(1), 349(a)(2), 349(a)(3) or 349(a)(4) as described above, the consular officer will simply ask the applicant if there was intent to relinquish U.S. citizenship when performing the act. If the answer is no, the consular officer will certify that it was not the person's intent to relinquish U.S. citizenship and, consequently, find that the person has retained U.S. citizenship.
PERSONS WHO WISH TO RELINQUISH U.S. CITIZENSHIP
If the answer to the question regarding intent to relinquish citizenship is yes , the person concerned will be asked to complete a questionnaire to ascertain his or her intent toward U.S. citizenship. When the questionnaire is completed and the voluntary relinquishment statement is signed by the expatriate, the consular officer will proceed to prepare a certificate of loss of nationality. The certificate will be forwarded to the Department of State for consideration and, if appropriate, approval.
An individual who has performed any of the acts made potentially expatriating by statute who wishes to lose U.S. citizenship may do so by affirming in writing to a U.S. consular officer that the act was performed with an intent to relinquish U.S. citizenship. Of course, a person always has the option of seeking to formally renounce U.S. citizenship abroad in accordance with Section 349 (a) (5) INA.
DISPOSITION OF CASES WHEN ADMINISTRATIVE PREMISE IS INAPPLICABLE
The premise that a person intends to retain U.S. citizenship is not applicable when the individual:
- formally renounces U.S. citizenship before a consular officer;
- serves in the armed forces of a foreign state engaged in hostilities with the United States;
- takes a policy level position in a foreign state;
- is convicted of treason; or
- performs an act made potentially expatriating by statute accompanied by conduct which is so inconsistent with retention of U.S. citizenship that it compels a conclusion that the individual intended to relinquish U.S. citizenship. (Such cases are very rare.)
Cases in categories 2, 3, 4 and 5 will be developed carefully by U.S. consular officers to ascertain the individual's intent toward U.S. citizenship.
APPLICABILITY OF ADMINISTRATIVE PREMISE TO PAST CASES
The premise established by the administrative standard of evidence is applicable to cases adjudicated previously. Persons who previously lost U.S. citizenship may wish to have their cases reconsidered in light of this policy.
A person may initiate such a reconsideration by submitting a request to ACSInfoManila@state.gov
Each case will be reviewed on its own merits taking into consideration, for example, statements made by the person at the time of the potentially expatriating act.