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Loss of Citizenship
 

Causes of Citizenship Loss
U.S. citizens are subject to loss of citizenship if they perform certain acts voluntarily and with the intention to relinquish U.S. citizenship.  These acts include:

  1. Obtaining naturalization in a foreign state; 
  2. Taking an oath, affirmation or other formal declaration to a foreign state or its political subdivisions;
  3. 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;
  4. Accepting employment with a foreign government if (a) one has the nationality of that foreign state or (b) a declaration of allegiance is required in accepting the position;
  5. Formally renouncing U.S. citizenship before a U.S. consular officer outside the United States;
  6. Formally renouncing U.S. citizenship within the U.S. (but only "in time of war");
  7. Conviction for an act of treason.

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 in accordance with Section 349 (a) (5) of the Immigration Nationality Act.

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:

  1. Formally renounces U.S. citizenship before a consular officer;
  2. Takes a policy level position in a foreign state;
  3. Is convicted of treason; or
  4. 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, and 4 will be developed carefully by U.S. consular officers to ascertain the individual's intent toward U.S. citizenship.

Loss of Nationality and Taxation
In general, any person who lost U.S. citizenship within 10 years immediately preceding the close of the taxable year, whose principle purpose in losing citizenship was to avoid taxation, will be subject to continued taxation.  For the purposes of this statute, persons are presumed to have a principle purpose of avoiding taxation if 1) their average annual net income tax for a five-year period before the date of loss of citizenship is greater than $100,000, or 2) their net worth on the date of the loss of U.S. nationality is $500,000 or more (subject to cost-of-living adjustments). The effective date of the law is retroactive to February 6, 1995.

Further Information
If you have any further question regarding loss of citizenship, renunciation and dual nationality issues, please contact the American Citizen Services Section of the consulate, Advice about Possible Loss of U.S. Citizenship and Dual Nationality, or go to: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service.