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  ).
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  ). 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
The automatic acquisition or retention of a foreign nationality does not affect U.S. citizenship; however, the acquisition of a foreign nationality upon one's own application may cause loss of U.S. citizenship under Section 349(a)(1) of the Immigration and Naturalization Act (8 U.S.C. 1481). In order for loss of nationality to occur under Section 349(a)(1), it must be established that the naturalization was obtained with the intention of relinquishing U.S. citizenship. Such an intention may be shown by a person's statements or conduct. If the U.S. Government is unable to prove that the person had such an intention when applying for and obtaining the foreign citizenship, the person will have both nationalities.
Renunciation and relinquishment 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.
If you are convinced that giving up your U.S. citizenship is necessary, please make an appointment by scheduling a “notarial” service through the American Citizen Services appointment system for your initial interview. At the first interview, you will be given the necessary forms and will learn more about the process of filing a Certificate of Loss of Nationality.
Necessary follow-up interviews and other required steps will be discussed during the first appointment.
Please go the following website for more information. http://travel.state.gov/law/citizenship/citizenship_776.html.
Which Passport to Use
Section 215 of the Immigration and Naturalization Act ( 8 U.S.C. 1185) requires U.S. Citizens to use U.S. passports when entering or leaving the United States unless one of the exceptions listed in Section 53.2 of Title 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations applies. Dual nationals may be required by the other country of which they are citizens to enter and leave that country using its passport, but do not endanger their U.S. citizenship by complying with such a requirement.
- The Embassy does not offer phone consultations for general inquiries. If your concerns are not addressed on our website, please email us at SeoulinfoACS@state.gov.