We are sometimes asked if it’s possible for a U.S. citizen who has been naturalized to lose his or her U.S. Citizenship. The answer is it’s possible but it’s rare.
However, a naturalized citizen can lose his or her status through a process called “denaturalization.” If you are denaturalized, you will be deported from the United States. Citizens will only be denaturalized in serious circumstances.
Citizens born in the United States cannot lose their citizenship against their will. They can renounce it on their own accord.
Grounds to Lose U.S. Citizenship
- 1 Membership of a Dangerous or Subversive Group
If the U.S government can prove you joined a subversive group within five years of becoming a naturalized citizen, you could be denaturalized. Joining groups dedicated to the overthrow of the state is considered a violation of the oath of allegiance. The types of organization which could lead you to lose your citizenship are ISIS or white supremacist groups.
2 Falsifying or Concealing Relevant Facts
It’s important to be truthful when you are filling out the applications for citizenship. You must also answer the interview questions honestly. Even if U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) does not discover untruths at the time of granting your application, it can file a denaturalization action after you become a citizen. These lies or non-admissions could include providing a false name or failing to disclose criminal convictions that would have barred your application.
3 Refusal to Provide Testimony to Congress
It’s unlikely to happen to you but if you are called to testify before Congress, you could lose your citizenship if you refuse. A pertinent example would be a congressional committee that’s looking into your alleged involvement in a subversive act. The requirement to testify to maintain your naturalized status expires after 10 years.
4 Dishonorable Discharge from the Military
Some people serving in the military can gain citizenship through their service. However, you could lose your citizenship if you are dishonorably discharged before you have served for five years. You must have been sentenced by a court martial. Conduct like desertion or rape could lead to a dishonorable discharge.
Under the denaturalization process, a naturalized citizen is stripped of his or her citizenship in a federal court. The case follows the standard rules of civil court cases in federal courts and is not an immigration case, although it affects your immigration status.
If you are facing possible denaturalization it’s vital to talk to a Texas family immigration attorney as soon as possible. Contact us at (512) 474-4445.