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U.S. Citizenship Laws & Policy

The information below provides general guidance about how a person may acquire or lose U.S. citizenship. View information on the passport/midwife lawsuit, Castelano et al. v. Clinton et al.

Loss of Citizenship and Nationality

A U.S. citizen by birth or naturalization INA 301 (8 U.S.C. 1401), INA 310 (8 U.S.C. 1421) or a U.S. noncitizen national INA 308 (8 U.S.C. 1408), INA 101(29) (8 U.S.C. 1101(29)) will lose U.S. nationality (“expatriate”) her or himself by committing a statutory act of expatriation as defined in INA 349 (8 U.S.C. 1481), or predecessor statute, but only if the act is performed (1) voluntarily and (2) with the intention of relinquishing U.S. citizenship.  The U.S. Supreme Court has spoken (Afroyim v. Rusk, 387 U.S. 253 (1967) and Vance v. Terrazas, 444 U.S. 252 (1980)):  a person cannot lose U.S. nationality unless he or she voluntarily relinquishes that status. 

Other Citizenship and Nationality Links


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