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The laws regarding the American citizenship have undergone some changes over time in terms of what may make people lose their nationality. There are numerous cases of citizens who, even against their will, lost their citizenship due to legal loopholes. For example, before 1922, an American could lose his citizenship if he married a foreigner. 

Another reason to qualify for the loss of citizenship was being born outside the United States between 1934 and 1978, and not live in this country.  This was known as “the retention requirement”.

Currently, changes in legislation have reduced the number of cases of people who lose their citizenship involuntarily. However, as we noted in recent articles in our blog, there are many cases of individuals who decide to renounce their American citizenship, primarily, as a way to avoid paying taxes.

The question then arises: can people recover their American citizenship after they have renounced it?

If the loss of citizenship was voluntary, you cannot recover it. However, when the loss occurs for involuntary reasons, it is possible to recover it. For example:

  • Since 1994, the Immigration and Nationality Technical Corrections Act of 1994 recognizes that those who were born outside the United States before May 24, 1934, and had a foreign father and an American mother are American.
  • Those who were born outside the United States between 1934 and 1978, and had acquired the nationality at birth because one parent was American, but later lost it for failing to meet the requirements of permanent residence in the United States may also recover their American citizenship.
  • All those who lost their citizenship before September 22, 1922, for marrying a foreigner and living outside the United States have been able to recover their nationality since 2002. In addition, those who lost their citizenship after that date for marrying a foreigner who was considered ineligible for the citizenship may recover it as well.

If you have lost your citizenship involuntarily, you can write a very detailed letter with the specifications of your case and the reasons why you should regain yourcitizenship.It is important to include your full name, your date and place of birth, your contact numbers, the reasons why you have lost the citizenship and your intentions regarding the citizenship at the time when the loss occurred.

It is useful to know that the process can take 4 to 6 months before having an answer. Nevertheless, if the request is granted after the person has sworn allegiance to the United States, he will be able to enjoy the rights to be an American again.

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