There are very limited circumstances where a U.S. Citizen (USC), whether a naturalized citizen or through birth, can lose citizenship. Living outside the United States will not cause a USC to lose citizenship.
However, it is possible for a USC to lose citizenship even though it is very rare. Here are the various ways a USC can lose or give up US citizenship:
Applies only to Naturalized Citizens:
1. If citizenship or green card was obtained through fraud, or concealment or misrepresentation of a material fact.
Applies to All US Citizens:
1. Becoming a naturalized citizen of another country while at least 18 years old and with the intention of giving up US Citizenship. This only applies to individuals who obtain citizenship through naturalization, not by birth.
2. Entering military service of another country. There are specific limitations to this, including a requirement that there was an intent to relinquish US citizenship.
3. Joining the government of another country. There are specific limitations to this, including an intent requirement that may be presumed if there was an oath or affirmation taken or a declaration of allegiance to that country.
4. Convicted of Committing treason or certain other acts against the US government.
5. Affirmatively Renouncing Citizenship
It is important to note that in all the above circumstances, there is intent element attached. Specifically, the person must perform an act with the intention of relinquishing United States nationality. Furthermore, notwithstanding affirmatively renouncing citizenship, the US government must prove the intent element in a formal proceeding before a USC will be stripped of his/her citizenship. As such, it is very rare that a USC loses their citizenship because it is difficult to prove the “intent” element.
If you have a question about your US Citizenship or wish to file for Naturalization, please contact us at (248) 557-3645 for a free 15-minute telephone consultation.