Can I Lose My Citizenship?

Yes. If you are a U.S. Citizen either by birth or through Naturalization, in some limited instances you may lose citizenship. Of course, you can also voluntarily give up your citizenship.

As a naturalized citizen you can lose your citizenship if you unlawfully obtain such citizenship. This could be due to deceit or if you were not even qualified or eligible to become a U.S. Citizen. In these cases, your citizenship can be revoked.

The most common type of these revocations are because the applicant lied on the Naturalization form. Sometimes this is because the engaged in genocide or persecution of others. Members of the Nazi party, the Communist party, or a terrorist organization, have been known to lose their citizenship and become denaturalized. To do so, the government often brings a complaint in the federal court.

Once you have become denaturalized, you are considered to have never been a U.S. Citizen. This results in the revocation of anyone who gained an immigration benefit (i.e., obtained a Green Card or the like) through you. They could all be placed in removal proceedings. Unless these derivatives (people who derived their immigration status from you) have an independent petition to stay in the United States, they will be sent back to their home countries. Also, sometimes the U.S. Passport may be revoked for other reasons even if the U.S. Citizenship is not revoked.

For U.S. born-citizens, they can lose their nationality either voluntarily, or through one of the following acts:

• Formally declaring allegiance to a foreign government after age 18;

• Accepting a position in the government of another country after age 18, if one has citizenship in, or declared allegiance to, that country;

• Joining the military force of another country either (1) in any capacity if that country is engaged in hostilities against the U.S., or (2) as an officer;

• Formally renouncing U.S. nationality abroad before a U.S. diplomatic or consular officer;

• Formally renouncing U.S. nationality in the U.S. when the U.S. is at war, if done in writing and with the approval of the U.S. Department of Justice; and

• Being convicted of treason or participating in any attempt to overthrow the U.S. Government.

Anyone can lose their citizenship.

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