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Dual Nationality & Loss of Citizenship

Dual Nationality & Loss of Citizenship

The Supreme Court of the United States has stated that dual nationality is "a status long recognized in the law" and that "a person may have and exercise rights of nationality in two countries and be subject to the responsibilities of both. The mere fact that he [sic] asserts the rights of one citizenship does not without more mean that he renounces the other" (see Kawakita v. U.S., 343 U.S. 717 [1952] ).

Current Law

United States law does not contain any provisions requiring U.S. Citizens who are born with dual nationality or who acquire a second nationality at an early age to choose one nationality or the other when they become adults (see Mandoli v. Acheson, 344 U.S. 133 [1952] ).  The current nationality laws of the United States do not specifically refer to dual nationality.

While recognizing the existence of dual nationality and permitting Americans to have other nationalities, the U.S. Government does not endorse dual nationality as a matter of policy because of the problems which it may cause. Claims of other countries upon dual-national U.S. Citizens often place them in situations where their obligations to one country are in conflict with the laws of the other.

In addition, their dual nationality may hamper efforts to provide diplomatic and consular protection to them while they are abroad.  It generally is considered that while a dual national is in the other country of which the person is a citizen, that country has a predominant claim on the person.  In cases where a dual national encounters difficulty in a foreign country of which the person is a citizen, the ability of the U.S. Government to provide assistance may be quite limited since many foreign countries may not recognize the dual national's claim to U.S. Citizenship.

Loss of U.S. Citizenship

Loss of U.S. citizenship is an important decision that should not be taken lightly.  The U.S. Embassy discourages Americans from giving up their U.S. nationality.  Renouncing one’s U.S. citizenship is an irrevocable act.  There is a processing fee of $2,350; please carefully consider your options.  The process to obtain a Certificate of Loss of Nationality takes approximately 6 months, from the date of the second visit.  Once the loss of U.S. nationality occurs, you are no longer eligible to receive U.S. consular support abroad and will be subject to current visa requirements for future travel to the United States.  Further information on Renunciation of U.S. Nationality is available at the Department of State’s website.

Giving up U.S. citizenship requires two visits.  If you are convinced that giving up your U.S. citizenship is necessary, please make an appointment by scheduling a “Notarials and other Services” appointment through the American Citizen Services appointment system; you must also bring your U.S. passport or any proof of U.S. citizenship to the scheduled first visit.  At your first visit, you will be given detailed information about the required documents and the process of filing a Certificate of Loss of Nationality, and will be scheduled for the second visit, approximately 2-3 weeks from the date of your first visit.

Contact Us

  • The U.S. Embassy does not offer phone or email consultations.  Answers to general inquiries can be found on our ACS Frequently Asked Questions page on the tab to the left.  For inquiries regarding specific cases that are not addressed on our website, please email us at SeoulinfoACS@state.gov.