Can U.S. Citizenship be Revoked After You Naturalize?

Understanding U.S Citizenship

Understanding U.S Citizenship involves knowing the process of acquiring or losing one's us citizenship. In the United States, individuals can become uscis citizens through naturalization if they meet certain requirements. This includes being a lawful permanent resident for at least five years (3 years through marriage), passing a naturalization interview, demonstrating good moral character, showing an understanding of the English language and U.S. government, and getting sworn in by a USCIS officer. To navigate the complex naturalization process, it is advisable for you to consult an experienced immigration attorney. Feel free to call our office at 559-777-6587. 

What is the process of naturalization for U.S. citizenship?

As mentioned earlier, in order to become a citizen, you must prove you have been a lawful permanent resident for at least 5 years (3 through marriage). If a person has ever been convicted of any felony, this may result in ineligibility for naturalization and perhaps revocation of your legal permanent residency, aka green card. After this, you need to show you are a person of good moral character. Certain misdemeanor crimes can bar you from proving you have good moral character.

Aside from this, you need to pass the naturalization interview, which consists of the civics exam, and demonstrating eligibility for naturalization.

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Can naturalized citizens have their U.S. citizenship revoked?

According to the immigration and nationality act, under certain circumstances, citizens can lose their U.S. citizenship through naturalization. Some of the ways an American citizen can lose their naturalization status include:

  1. Fraud or Misrepresentation: If someone obtained their citizenship through fraudulent means or by providing false information during the naturalization process, their citizenship could be revoked.
  2. Criminal Activity: Committing certain crimes can lead to loss of citizenship, particularly if those crimes are related to fraud in obtaining citizenship, terrorism, or other serious offenses.
  3. Dishonorable Discharge from the Military: If a naturalized citizen serves in the US military and receives a dishonorable discharge, they may lose their citizenship.
  4. Voluntary Renunciation: A citizen can voluntarily renounce their US citizenship through a formal process at a US embassy or consulate abroad.
  5. Acts of Treason: Engaging in acts of treason against the United States can result in loss of citizenship.
  6. Joining Foreign Military Forces: Serving in the military forces of a foreign country, particularly if it's considered an act of loyalty to that country, can lead to loss of US citizenship.

It's important to note that the process for revoking citizenship can vary depending upon the factors and in order to fully understand your specific issue, you need to consult with an immigration lawyer.

Denaturalization and Its Implications

Denaturalization is another term of art that refers to the revocation of someone's american citizenship. That said, it's important to note that although people can have their citizenship taken away, for many years the numbers were small. From 1990 to 2017, the government averaged only 11 cases a year. That said, under the Trump administration, the government increased its resources in thee cases.



  1. Patricia Mazzei, Congratulations, You Are Now a U.S. Citizen. Unless Someone Decides Later You’re Not., The New York Times (July
    23, 2018), available at

Katie Benner, Justice Dept. Establishes Office to Denaturalize Immigrants, The New York Times (Feb. 26, 2020),

INA § 340(a)