U.S. citizenship question

Hi all,

I have a question concerning the U.S. citizenship. My boyfriend was born in the U.S., and so he was awarded citizenship automatically. However, his family moved to Canada when he was only 1 year old and had lived in Canada ever since. When he was 16, in order to get a Canadian passport, he had to renounce his U.S. citizenship. Dual citizenship between the U.S. and Canada was not possible at the time (however I think it is not a problem now). Now we’re thinking we might get opportunities to work in the U.S. It would be way easier if he could get his citizenship back. He’s sure he didn’t do the renunciation in person before a U.S. consular, so he thinks it could be possible. Anybody know if he’s right? Any ideas on the procedures he would need to do?

Thanks! :hug:

I would contact the US Embassy that is closest to you and ask. Immigration law and citizenship laws are all so tricky.

Different countries have different laws. He’ll probably also want to check with Canadian laws.

My sister is a dual citizen, but could take her existing US citizenship and add French citizenship. Her husband, though, would have to give up his French citizenship if he were ever to pursue US citizenship. I think she told me that “in-coming” US citizens are expected renounce the other citizenship, but you can add to a US citizenship. That may also be partially due to French laws, too??

yes, as knitncook noted, immigration law is a pain in the you-know-what.

Hopefully, however, information from the following link will get your armed with initial info to get you on the road to your goal.

The following is a link to some explanations regarding US law relative to dual citizenship…about 1/2 down page they discuss which section of the laws address what constitutes one losing citizenship in the US (thereby having to start from scratch to obtain it) and what doesn’t.


Best of luck.

Thanks for the link, astonh! :cheering: That’s going to help us understand. Yup, citizenship/immigration laws are always very complicated. :wall: I think countries in general don’t like dual citizenships but tolerate it… so there’s always a lot of confusion. A custom agent (on the U.S. side) told my boyfriend once that as far as he’s concerned, he’s a U.S. citizen, period (his place of birth is written in his Canadian passport), and that he should travel to the U.S. with an American passport. :?? A Canadian custom agent would probably say exactly the opposite. :teehee:

If he renounced his citizenship when he was 16, then it doesn’t count. As it says in that website link under losing citizenship, he would have had to be 18 to lose citizenship.

Don’t hold me to this, but that’s what I just read.

All the information on immigration can be found on www.uscis.gov with all the accompanying forms you may need.

here is the what the US dept of state says regarding renunciation of citizenship. http://www.uscis.gov/files/nativedocuments/Citizenship_2004.pdf

"renunciation, or expatriation, is the most unequivocal way in which a person can relinquish US citizenship. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides for persons to voluntarily relinquish citizenship by “making a formal renunciation of nationality before a diplomatic or consular office of the United States in a foreign state, in such form as may be prescribed by the Secretary of State. A person wishing to renounce his or her US citizenship must (1) appear in person before a US consular or diplomatic officer, (2) be in a foreign country (normally at a US Embassy or Consulate); and (3) sign an oath of renunaction. Renunciations that do not meet these conditions have no legal effect. Therefore, Americans cannot effectively renounce their citizenship by mail, through an agent, or while in the United States.
Parents cannot renounce US citizenship on behalf of their minor children. Before an oath of renunciation will be administered under the INA, a person under the age of 18 must convince a US diplomatic or consular officer that he or she fully understands the nature and consequences of the oath of renunciation and is voluntarily seeking to renounce his or her US citizenship. US common law establishes an age limit of 14 and under which a child’s understanding must be established by substantial evidence.”

So ask your husband if he remebers if during the process since he was 16 how he renounced his citizenship. who did he renounce it too? was it to canadian officials only? did they ask him if he understood the consequences? if only to canadian officials and if he was not questioned by any american officials regarding consequences and he did not sign a form at the consulate, he is still a citizen.

the only other thing you need to ask is if he ever joined the Canadian army and if he ever worked for the canadian government which required him to take an oath. those may have been deemed a renounciation but you may be able argue against it.