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Loss of citizenship as a naturalized citizen

Individuals in California who are naturalized citizens may wonder if there are any grounds under which their citizenship can be revoked. There are a few limited grounds for revoking the citizenship of a naturalized citizen, but the burden of proof is higher than in most civil cases. Furthermore, an individual has the right to appeal.

However, if an individual conceals information or is dishonest on paperwork when filing for citizenship, such as lying about criminal activity or their identity, this may be grounds for revoking citizenship. This can be done at any time after citizenship is granted.

For 10 years after naturalization, an individual is obligated to testify before Congress regarding subversive acts, and refusal to do so may result in a loss of citizenship. Furthermore, an individual's citizenship may also be revoked if they belong to a subversive group such as Al Qaeda or the Nazi Party. However, it must be reasonably clear to the individual that the group is a dangerous one. If there is insufficient evidence that the individual did not know that the group was dangerous, then they may have a valid defense. Yet another reason for revoking a naturalized citizenship is a dishonorable military discharge prior to five years of service.

An immigrant who is faced with loss of citizenship may wish to consult an attorney. There is a formal legal process that the government must go through in order to do so, and an individual in such a case has the opportunity for defense with assistance from the attorney. That attorney might also be able to provide help during the filing process, allowing an immigrant to pursue citizenship efficiently.

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  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • State Bar of California | California Board of Legal Specialization
  • Avvo
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Irvine Chamber