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Can you lose your U.S. citizenship after naturalization?

On Behalf of | Jul 22, 2022 | Immigration

You’re going through a lot of work to earn your U.S. citizenship. Once you get it, it can be one of your greatest assets and change your life. Citizenship would give you higher education, job opportunities and a place to grow (or start) your family.

So, when it comes to getting your citizenship, you might be worried about having your citizenship revoked and losing all your benefits if you do something wrong. You shouldn’t have to worry too much – here’s what you should know:

You can’t easily use your citizenship — but it can happen

Birthright citizenship under the 14th Amendment grants everyone who was born in the U.S. significant advantages – and they can generally only lose citizenship if they voluntarily renounce it. If you’re an immigrant who recently received citizenship through naturalization, however, there are a few ways you could be naturalized:

  • Lying on your immigration paperwork: Before receiving your citizenship, you will have to go through some paperwork and questions to approve your naturalization. These questions may not be the easiest (especially if English isn’t your first language) and you could answer something incorrectly or falsely which could result in a denaturalization action against you. 
  • Hiding your identity: If you hid facts about your identity or criminal actions in your past, that could also result in a loss of citizenship.
  • Subversive activity: If you join a group that the government has labeled “subversive” within five years of naturalization, you could find yourself deported.
  • Refusal to testify before congress: Hopefully, you’ll never be put in this position, but if you are, the failure to do so within 10 years of naturalization can lead to deportation.
  • Dishonorable discharge: If you achieved your citizenship through military service, a dishonorable discharge within five years can lead to denaturalization.

There are many organizations in the world – not all of them are as legal or accepting as others. If you are found partaking in a subversive group within five years of your naturalization, then you could be putting your citizenship in jeopardy. 

If you believe there were actions that may put you in danger of losing your citizenship, then you may wish to seek out legal assistance. 

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