For individuals born in the United States, citizenship is a birthright than can never be revoked for any reason, as it is protected under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. For those born elsewhere and naturalized in the United States, citizenship is not commonly revoked, but it is also not permanently guaranteed. There are certain circumstances where a naturalized citizen can lose their citizenship through denaturalization. If you lose your citizenship through denaturalization, you become subject to deportation or removal from the United States.
Reasons for Denaturalization
The following are common grounds for denaturalization in the United States:
- Dishonorable discharge: Individuals who become naturalized by joining the United States military can lose their citizenship if they are dishonorably discharged before serving five years
- Concealment or falsification of relevant facts: Any fabricated detail or misrepresentation on immigration paperwork can jeopardize your status, even if it is discovered after you have been naturalized.
- Refusal to testify before the United States Congress: You cannot refuse to testify before the United States Congress regarding potential subversive acts for a 10-year period after receiving citizenship.
- Membership in subversive groups: If you join what the government deems to be a subversive group, such as a white supremacy group or something of the like within five years of becoming naturalized, your citizenship can be revoked.
Losing Citizenship by Voluntary Act
Citizenship can also be revoked for individuals who commit any of seven expatriating acts considered to be voluntary:
- Serving in the military of another nation
- Becoming a naturalized citizen of another country
- Formally declaring allegiance to another country
- Serving in the government of another country
- Formally renouncing nationality abroad before a United States diplomat or consular official
- Formally renouncing nationality abroad in writing while the United States is at war
- Being convicted of treason or engaging to overthrow the United State government
Each expatriating act has its own specific stipulations and guidelines. If you were accused of any voluntary act of renouncing citizenship, contact an experienced Philadelphia immigration lawyer for assistance in appealing denaturalization.
Denaturalization occurs in federal court, much like other types of federal civil court cases. If you are found to violate the terms of citizenship in this country, you will be deported after the verdict is reached. If your children were granted citizenship based on your status, they may be denaturalized as well.
With denaturalization cases, there is a lot at stake for the individual who may be facing removal. There is also a high bar for the government to prove denaturalization is warranted. Like other court cases, you have the right to appeal a revocation of citizenship. Your Philadelphia immigration lawyer will review your individual case to assess if there is reason to appeal and potentially maintain your status as a citizen of the United States.
Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. Represent Clients Facing Loss of Citizenship
If you were notified that your status is in jeopardy, it is important to act quickly. At Surin & Griffin, P.C., our team of dedicated Philadelphia immigration lawyers will review every detail of your case to provide the most effective legal appeal to fight denaturalization. We understand what is at stake and we will not give up until we have done everything possible to advocate for your right to remain a United States citizen. Call 215-925-4435 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we represent clients throughout Pennsylvania and across the nation.