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Loss of citizenship after naturalization

Some California residents might wonder whether their citizenship can be revoked. It is not possible to revoke the citizenship of a natural-born U.S. citizen, although they can renounce it. However, in a few very rare cases, a naturalized citizen may have that citizenship revoked.

Lies about things such as a person's real identity or criminal activity in the process of obtaining citizenship can lead to a loss of that citizenship. For up to 10 years after naturalization, a person may be required to testify before a congressional committee if that committee is investigating the person's participation in subversive activities. A person who does join a subversive group, such as Al Qaeda or the Nazi party, within five years of gaining citizenship might have that citizenship revoked. Finally, people can lose their naturalized citizenship if they are dishonorably discharged from the military in the first five years of service.

Denaturalization is the name for the process of stripping a naturalized citizen of that citizenship. It is considered a civil court case and not an immigration case. It is possible to appeal a decision to take away a person's citizenship. Denaturalization may lead to deportation.

A person who is applying for naturalization or who is facing deportation or other immigration-related issues might want to contact an attorney. Immigration law is complex and also subject to change, so even if a friend or relative has been in a similar situation, circumstances may have changed. An attorney may be able to assist with paperwork and documentation for citizenship or might be able to help a family member stay in the country. Education, investment and having certain job skills may lead to certain types of visas that allow for temporary or longer-term residence in the United States.

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