[USC02] 8 USC CHAPTER 12, SUBCHAPTER III, Part III: Loss of Nationality
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8 USC CHAPTER 12, SUBCHAPTER III, Part III: Loss of Nationality
From Title 8—ALIENS AND NATIONALITYCHAPTER 12—IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITYSUBCHAPTER III—NATIONALITY AND NATURALIZATION

Part III—Loss of Nationality

§1481. Loss of nationality by native-born or naturalized citizen; voluntary action; burden of proof; presumptions

(a) A person who is a national of the United States whether by birth or naturalization, shall lose his nationality by voluntarily performing any of the following acts with the intention of relinquishing United States nationality—

(1) obtaining naturalization in a foreign state upon his own application or upon an application filed by a duly authorized agent, after having attained the age of eighteen years; or

(2) taking an oath or making an affirmation or other formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign state or a political subdivision thereof, after having attained the age of eighteen years; or

(3) entering, or serving in, the armed forces of a foreign state if (A) such armed forces are engaged in hostilities against the United States, or (B) such persons serve as a commissioned or non-commissioned officer; or

(4)(A) accepting, serving in, or performing the duties of any office, post, or employment under the government of a foreign state or a political subdivision thereof, after attaining the age of eighteen years if he has or acquires the nationality of such foreign state; or (B) accepting, serving in, or performing the duties of any office, post, or employment under the government of a foreign state or a political subdivision thereof, after attaining the age of eighteen years for which office, post, or employment an oath, affirmation, or declaration of allegiance is required; or

(5) making a formal renunciation of nationality before a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States in a foreign state, in such form as may be prescribed by the Secretary of State; or

(6) making in the United States a formal written renunciation of nationality in such form as may be prescribed by, and before such officer as may be designated by, the Attorney General, whenever the United States shall be in a state of war and the Attorney General shall approve such renunciation as not contrary to the interests of national defense; or

(7) committing any act of treason against, or attempting by force to overthrow, or bearing arms against, the United States, violating or conspiring to violate any of the provisions of section 2383 of title 18, or willfully performing any act in violation of section 2385 of title 18, or violating section 2384 of title 18 by engaging in a conspiracy to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, if and when he is convicted thereof by a court martial or by a court of competent jurisdiction.


(b) Whenever the loss of United States nationality is put in issue in any action or proceeding commenced on or after September 26, 1961 under, or by virtue of, the provisions of this chapter or any other Act, the burden shall be upon the person or party claiming that such loss occurred, to establish such claim by a preponderance of the evidence. Any person who commits or performs, or who has committed or performed, any act of expatriation under the provisions of this chapter or any other Act shall be presumed to have done so voluntarily, but such presumption may be rebutted upon a showing, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the act or acts committed or performed were not done voluntarily.

(June 27, 1952, ch. 477, title III, ch. 3, §349, 66 Stat. 267; Sept. 3, 1954, ch. 1256, §2, 68 Stat. 1146; Pub. L. 87–301, §19, Sept. 26, 1961, 75 Stat. 656; Pub. L. 94–412, title V, §501(a), Sept. 14, 1976, 90 Stat. 1258; Pub. L. 95–432, §§2, 4, Oct. 10, 1978, 92 Stat. 1046; Pub. L. 97–116, §18(k)(2), (q), Dec. 29, 1981, 95 Stat. 1620, 1621; Pub. L. 99–653, §§18, 19, Nov. 14, 1986, 100 Stat. 3658; Pub. L. 100–525, §§8(m), (n), 9(hh), Oct. 24, 1988, 102 Stat. 2618, 2622.)

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in subsec. (b), was in the original a reference to this Act, meaning act June 27, 1952, ch. 477, 66 Stat. 163, known as the Immigration and Nationality Act, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1101 of this title and Tables.

Amendments

1988—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 100–525, §9(hh), substituted "A person" for "From and after the effective date of this chapter a person".

Subsecs. (a) to (c). Pub. L. 100–525, §8(m), (n), amended Pub. L. 99–653. See 1986 Amendment notes below.

1986—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 99–653, §18(a), as amended by Pub. L. 100–525, §8(m)(1), inserted "voluntarily performing any of the following acts with the intention of relinquishing United States nationality" after "his nationality by".

Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 99–653, §18(b), substituted "or upon an application filed by a duly authorized agent, after having attained the age of eighteen years" for "upon an application filed in his behalf by a parent, guardian, or duly authorized agent, or through the naturalization of a parent having legal custody of such person: Provided That nationality shall not be lost by any person under this section as the result of the naturalization of a parent or parents while such person is under the age of twenty-one years, or as the result of a naturalization obtained on behalf of a person under twenty-one years of age by a parent, guardian, or duly authorized agent, unless such person shall fail to enter the United States to establish a permanent residence prior to his twenty-fifth birthday: And provided further, That a person who shall have lost nationality prior to January 1, 1948, through the naturalization in a foreign state of a parent or parents, may, within one year from the effective date of this chapter, apply for a visa and for admission to the United States as a special immigrant under the provisions of section 1101(a)(27)(E) of this title".

Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 99–653, §18(c), inserted ", after having attained the age of eighteen years" after "political subdivision thereof".

Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 99–653, §18(d), as amended by Pub. L. 100–525, §8(m)(2), substituted "if (A) such armed forces are engaged in hostilities against the United States, or (B) such persons serve as a commissioned or non-commissioned officer; or" for "unless, prior to such entry or service, such entry or service is specifically authorized in writing by the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense: Provided, That the entry into such service by a person prior to the attainment of his eighteenth birthday shall serve to expatriate such person only if there exists an option to secure a release from such service and such person fails to exercise such option at the attainment of his eighteenth birthday; or".

Subsec. (a)(4). Pub. L. 99–653, §18(e), (f), as amended by Pub. L. 100–525, §8(m)(3), inserted "after attaining the age of eighteen years" after "political subdivision thereof," in subpars. (A) and (B).

Subsecs. (b), (c). Pub. L. 99–653, §19, as amended by Pub. L. 100–525, §8(n), redesignated former subsec. (c) as (b) and substituted "Any" for "Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, any", and struck out former subsec. (b) which read as follows: "Any person who commits or performs any act specified in subsection (a) of this section shall be conclusively presumed to have done so voluntarily and without having been subjected to duress of any kind, if such person at the time of the act was a national of the state in which the act was performed and had been physically present in such state for a period or periods totaling ten years or more immediately prior to such act."

1981—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 97–116 struck out "(a)" designation as added by section 4 of Pub. L. 95–432, which was not executed since it would have resulted in a subsec. (a) designation of "(a)(a)", and substituted in par. (1) "special immigrant" for "nonquota immigrant".

1978—Subsec. (a)(5). Pub. L. 95–432, §§2, 4, redesignated par. (6) as (5). Former par. (5), which dealt with expatriation of persons who voted in a political election in a foreign state or participated in an election or plebiscite to determine sovereignty over foreign territory, was struck out.

Subsec. (a)(6), (7). Pub. L. 95–432, §4, redesignated pars. (7) and (9) as (6) and (7), respectively. Former pars. (6) and (7) redesignated (5) and (6), respectively.

Subsec. (a)(8). Pub. L. 95–432, §2, struck out par. (8) which dealt with expatriation of persons who were dismissed or dishonorably discharged as result of deserting the military, air, or naval forces of the United States in time of war.

Subsec. (a)(9). Pub. L. 95–432, §4, redesignated par. (9) as (7).

1976—Subsec. (a)(10). Pub. L. 94–412 struck out par. (10) which dealt with the expatriation of persons who remained outside of the jurisdiction of the United States in time of war or national emergency to avoid service in the military.

1961—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 87–301 added subsec. (c).

1954—Subsec. (a)(9). Act Sept. 3, 1954, provided for forfeiture of citizenship of persons advocating the overthrow of the Government by force or violence.

Effective Date of 1988 Amendment

Amendment by section 8(m), (n) of Pub. L. 100–525 effective as if included in the enactment of the Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments of 1986, Pub. L. 99–653, see section 309(b)(15) of Pub. L. 102–232, set out as an Effective and Termination Dates of 1988 Amendments note under section 1101 of this title.

Effective Date of 1986 Amendment

Pub. L. 99–653, §23(g), as added by Pub. L. 100–525, §8(r), Oct. 24, 1988, 102 Stat. 2619, provided that: "The amendments made by sections 18, 19, and 20 [amending this section and section 1483 of this title] shall apply to actions taken before, on, or after November 14, 1986."

Effective Date of 1981 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–116 effective Dec. 29, 1981, see section 21(a) of Pub. L. 97–116, set out as a note under section 1101 of this title.

Short Title

Act Sept. 3, 1954, ch. 1256, §1, 68 Stat. 1146, provided: "That this Act [amending this section] may be cited as the 'Expatriation Act of 1954'."

Savings Provision

Amendment by Pub. L. 94–412 not to affect any action taken or proceeding pending at the time of amendment, see section 501(h) of Pub. L. 94–412, set out as a note under section 1601 of Title 50, War and National Defense.

Abolition of Immigration and Naturalization Service and Transfer of Functions

For abolition of Immigration and Naturalization Service, transfer of functions, and treatment of related references, see note set out under section 1551 of this title.

Right of Expatriation

R.S. §1999 provided that: "Whereas the right of expatriation is a natural and inherent right of all people, indispensable to the enjoyment of the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and whereas in the recognition of this principle this Government has freely received emigrants from all nations, and invested them with the rights of citizenship; and whereas it is claimed that such American citizens, with their descendants, are subjects of foreign states, owing allegiance to the governments thereof; and whereas it is necessary to the maintenance of public peace that this claim of foreign allegiance should be promptly and finally disavowed: Therefore any declaration, instruction, opinion, order, or decision of any officer of the United States which denies, restricts, impairs, or questions the right of expatriation, is declared inconsistent with the fundamental principles of the Republic."

§1482. Repealed. Pub. L. 95–432, §1, Oct. 10, 1978, 92 Stat. 1046

Section, act June 27, 1952, ch. 477, title III, ch. 3, §350, 66 Stat. 269, provided that an individual with dual nationality who voluntarily claims the benefits of the foreign state nationality loses his United States nationality by having continuous residence in the foreign state for 3 years after having attained 22 years of age unless prior to the 3 year period he takes an oath of allegiance to the United States, or his residence in the foreign state was for a reason specified in section 1485(1), (2), (4), (5), (6), (7), or (8) of this title or section 1486(1) or (2) of this title.

Effective Date of Repeal

Pub. L. 95–432, §1, Oct. 10, 1978, 92 Stat. 1046, provided that repeal of this section is effective Oct. 10, 1978.

§1483. Restrictions on loss of nationality

(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (6) and (7) of section 1481(a) of this title, no national of the United States can lose United States nationality under this chapter while within the United States or any of its outlying possessions, but loss of nationality shall result from the performance within the United States or any of its outlying possessions of any of the acts or the fulfillment of any of the conditions specified in this Part if and when the national thereafter takes up a residence outside the United States and its outlying possessions.

(b) A national who within six months after attaining the age of eighteen years asserts his claim to United States nationality, in such manner as the Secretary of State shall by regulation prescribe, shall not be deemed to have lost United States nationality by the commission, prior to his eighteenth birthday, of any of the acts specified in paragraphs (3) and (5) of section 1481(a) of this title.

(June 27, 1952, ch. 477, title III, ch. 3, §351, 66 Stat. 269; Pub. L. 97–116, §18(r), Dec. 29, 1981, 95 Stat. 1621; Pub. L. 99–653, §20, Nov. 14, 1986, 100 Stat. 3658; Pub. L. 100–525, §8(o), Oct. 24, 1988, 102 Stat. 2618; Pub. L. 103–416, title I, §105(a), Oct. 25, 1994, 108 Stat. 4308; Pub. L. 104–208, div. C, title VI, §671(b)(3), Sept. 30, 1996, 110 Stat. 3009–721.)

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in subsec. (a), was in the original, "this Act", meaning act June 27, 1952, ch. 477, 66 Stat. 163, known as the Immigration and Nationality Act, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1101 of this title and Tables.

Amendments

1996—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 104–208 struck out comma after "United States nationality".

1994Pub. L. 103–416 in section catchline substituted "loss of nationality" for "expatriation", in subsec. (a) substituted "lose United States nationality" for "expatriate himself, or be expatriated" and "loss of nationality" for "expatriation", and in subsec. (b) substituted "lost United States nationality" for "expatriated himself".

1988—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 100–525 amended Pub. L. 99–653. See 1986 Amendment note below.

1986—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 99–653, as amended by Pub. L. 100–525, substituted "paragraphs (3)" for "paragraphs (2), (4),".

1981—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 97–116, §18(r)(1), substituted "paragraphs (6) and (7) of section 1481(a)" for "paragraphs (7), (8), and (9) of section 1481".

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 97–116, §18(r)(2), substituted "and (5)" for "(5), and (6)".

Effective Date of 1996 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 104–208 effective as if included in the enactment of the Immigration and Nationality Technical Corrections Act of 1994, Pub. L. 103–416, see section 671(b)(14) of Pub. L. 104–208, set out as a note under section 1101 of this title.

Effective Date of 1988 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 100–525 effective as if included in the enactment of the Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments of 1986, Pub. L. 99–653, see section 309(b)(15) of Pub. L. 102–232, set out as an Effective and Termination Dates of 1988 Amendments note under section 1101 of this title.

Effective Date of 1986 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 99–653 applicable to actions taken before, on, or after Nov. 14, 1986, see section 23(g) of Pub. L. 99–653, set out as a note under section 1481 of this title.

Effective Date of 1981 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–116 effective Dec. 29, 1981, see section 21(a) of Pub. L. 97–116, set out as a note under section 1101 of this title.

Right of Expatriation

Provisions preserving the right and disavowal of foreign allegiance, see note under section 1481 of this title.

§§1484 to 1487. Repealed. Pub. L. 95–432, §2, Oct. 10, 1978, 92 Stat. 1046

Section 1484, act June 27, 1952, ch. 477, title III, ch. 3, §352, 66 Stat. 269, related to loss of nationality by naturalized national by continuous residence for 3 years in the territory or foreign state of which the individual was a former national or in which his place of birth was situated or continuous residence for 5 years in any other foreign state or states.

Section 1485, acts June 27, 1952, ch. 477, title III, ch. 3, §353, 66 Stat. 270; Aug. 4, 1959, Pub. L. 86–129, §1, 73 Stat. 274, provided exceptions for certain persons from loss of nationality pursuant to section 1484.

Section 1486, acts June 27, 1952, ch. 477, title III, ch. 3, §354, 66 Stat. 271; Aug. 4, 1959, Pub. L. 86–129, §§2, 3, 73 Stat. 274; Sept. 26, 1961, Pub. L. 87–301, §20, 75 Stat. 656, provided exceptions for certain persons from loss of nationality by continuous residence for five years in any foreign country of which the individual was not a national or in which his place of birth was situated.

Section 1487, act June 27, 1952, ch. 477, title III, ch. 3, §355, 66 Stat. 272, related to loss of American nationality through expatriation of parents.

§1488. Nationality lost solely from performance of acts or fulfillment of conditions

The loss of nationality under this part shall result solely from the performance by a national of the acts or fulfillment of the conditions specified in this part.

(June 27, 1952, ch. 477, title III, ch. 3, §356, 66 Stat. 272.)

§1489. Application of treaties; exceptions

Nothing in this subchapter shall be applied in contravention of the provisions of any treaty or convention to which the United States is a party and which has been ratified by the Senate before December 25, 1952: Provided, however, That no woman who was a national of the United States shall be deemed to have lost her nationality solely by reason of her marriage to an alien on or after September 22, 1922, or to an alien racially ineligible to citizenship on or after March 3, 1931, or, in the case of a woman who was a United States citizen at birth, through residence abroad following such marriage, notwithstanding the provisions of any existing treaty or convention.

(June 27, 1952, ch. 477, title III, ch. 3, §357, 66 Stat. 272; Pub. L. 100–525, §9(ii), Oct. 24, 1988, 102 Stat. 2622.)

Amendments

1988Pub. L. 100–525 substituted "before December 25, 1952" for "upon the effective date of this subchapter".