Yes. You can lose your naturalization in the U.S. This is a very seldom occurrence, but things happen, and they do for different reasons. I will cover these reasons in a moment.
Losing naturalization is also known as Denaturalization. Denaturalization is when a naturalized American citizen is stripped of their citizenship. Citizens who have been denaturalized can also be deported from the country. This case of deportation is mostly for non-natural-born U.S. citizens.
For natural-born U.S. citizens, the institution cannot strip their citizenship in the real sense because they have the birthright citizenship that covers them in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. However, they can decide to renounce U.S. citizenship of their own volition.
Here are the reasons that can form the basis of Denaturalization of one’s U.S. citizenship:
- Falsification of Relevant Facts
The key here is to be truthful. Be honest in your interviews and paperwork. This is because no matter what, the truth always comes out. Even if the USCIS missed a lie you pushed, the agency can have your citizenship called back. Such lies can be about one’s identity or hidden criminal records.
- Refusal to Testify Before Congress
If there is a case of allegations involving subversion of the U.S. government, you may be summoned to testify before the U.S. congress for further investigations. This requirement to testify to maintain citizenship status expires after ten years.
- Membership in Subversive Groups
Your U.S. citizenship can also be recalled if you join what is regarded as a subversive association or organization, namely Al Qaeda, etc., within five years of turning a naturalized citizen.
- Dishonourable Military Discharge
Remember that one of the legal ways to be eligible for naturalization in the U.S. is serving in the U.S. military. But then, the court can revoke your citizenship in the case of misconduct. If a court-martial discharges you based on misconduct like sexual assault or desertion, you can be denaturalized.
The Denaturalization Process
The Denaturalization process is followed in a federal court where all standard rules are followed according to a U.S. federal civil court ruling. Naturalized citizens, now denaturalized, have to leave the country. If they happen to have children granted citizenship based on their naturalization, those children will have to forfeit the citizenship status too.
Similar to any civil case, the process of Denaturalization begins with a formal complaint against the defendant. Next, the citizen in question, the defendant, has to defend themselves at trial or hire an attorney. Then, they have 60 days to reply on whether the claim was false or that the statute of limitations has expired.
Learn more about What is the process to be naturalized in the US?