Can the Government Take Away Your US Citizenship?

Can the Government Take Away Your US Citizenship?


Once you successfully complete the process to become a United States Citizen it is very difficult to take your citizenship away from you. 

However, there are a limited number of circumstances in which it is possible to revoke your United States citizenship. Here’s what you need to know. 

You can have your citizenship revoked if you committed fraud on your citizenship application.

In most cases, your citizenship may only be revoked if the government can prove that you committed fraud while applying for citizenship. The fraud must be specific to your citizenship application. That is, you cannot simply have your citizenship revoked because you are later accused of credit card fraud.

Nor is this an administrative process. The government must sue you in federal court to challenge your naturalization. The burden of proof is on them to prove that you committed some form of material fraud on your citizenship application. 

There are a limited number of additional instances wherein your citizenship may be revoked.

Most of these instances represent extraordinary actions that you’d have to willingly and wittingly take.

The first is if your citizenship was derived through military service and then you are dishonorably discharged.

The second is that if, in within 5 years of naturalization, you join a subversive group like al Qaeda or the Nazi Party. Within 10 years, you can be denaturalized if you refuse to testify before a congressional committee investigating your involvement in an allegedly subversive act. A subversive act is an act of treason: it’s an act meant to harm US officials or overthrow the government.

You may also be denaturalized if you vote in a foreign election, run for office in a foreign country, or enter military service in a foreign country. 

In some cases, the government successfully denaturalized child pornographers who were caught after their citizenship application was approved.

The government still has a “task force,” but it means less than you think.

In July 2018 Trump created a “denaturalization task force” that created a lot of outcry. Biden has yet to dismantle the task force.

Nevertheless, the task force didn’t mean much. There weren’t any new laws created and they were looking into specific cases of fingerprint mismatches that dated back to an operation to find such mismatches dating all the way back to the Bush Administration, called Operation Janus. 

Prior to the creation of the task force there were generally only about 7 denaturalization lawsuits every year, but even after the task force was created it was likely there were really only going to be a couple of thousand cases filed. 

Do you get deported if you get denaturalized?

No. Deportation is a separate legal process. 

Need help? Reach out to our immigration law office today.

If you are facing a denaturalization lawsuit then it is imperative you take it seriously. Reach out to a qualified immigration attorney right away, one who can help you navigate the lawsuit.

See also:

New Guidance from the Biden Administration Concerning Removal Proceedings

What Are the Most Common Defenses in Deportation Proceedings

How Does a Dismissed Criminal Case Impact a Citizenship Application


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