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How to Lose U.S. Citizenship

Written By The Shapiro Law Group on May 07, 2010

Because the rights and privileges of United States citizenship are so valuable, it is important to recognize the ways in which those rights and privileges can be lost.

For instance, American students over the age of 18 who renounce their U.S. citizenship to attend a public university overseas might find that they have committed more than a ministerial act to broaden their education.

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, there are a number of actions that can potentially cause expatriation of an individual, including: renouncing a U.S. citizenship; taking a foreign oath of allegiance; serving in a foreign army; and even naturalization in another country. If such expatriating acts are accompanied by “evidence of intent” to relinquish citizenship, then U.S. citizenship can be lost.

Furthermore, courts have generally held that individuals who renounce U.S. citizenship in order to attend public universities in foreign lands, own foreign property, or get a better job overseas have made voluntary choices that demonstrate intent.

The most clear and certain way of losing U.S. citizenship is by renunciation in front of a U.S. Consular Officer in a foreign land, but it is not the sole means of losing this valuable privilege.

Similarly, citizens of foreign lands may lose their natural citizenship when they take an oath of loyalty as part of the process of becoming a U.S. citizen, depending on the laws of their home country.

If you want to know more about protecting or renouncing your rights and privileges of citizenship, check out our Website or call us at (847) 564-0712.