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Renounce or lose your citizenship

Renouncing and losing your citizenship both result in no longer being a U.S. citizen. Learn how to voluntarily renounce your citizenship or how you might involuntarily lose it.

What happens when you renounce or lose your U.S. citizenship

Renouncing or losing your citizenship both happen under very limited circumstances. Both mean that you:

  • No longer have rights and responsibilities as a U.S. citizen. But you may still be:
  • Must become a citizen of another nation or risk becoming "stateless"
  • May need a visa to return to the U.S.

How to renounce your U.S. citizenship

Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate in the country where you intend to live to sign an oath to renounce your U.S. citizenship.

Learn more about the renunciation process.

How you may lose your U.S. citizenship

You may lose your U.S. citizenship in specific cases, including if you:

  • Run for public office in a foreign country (under certain conditions)
  • Enter military service in a foreign country (under certain conditions)
  • Apply for citizenship in a foreign country with the intention of giving up U.S. citizenship
  • Commit an act of treason against the United States
  • Are a naturalized U.S. citizen who faces denaturalization due to committing certain crimes

Learn more about acts that could result in losing your U.S. citizenship.

LAST UPDATED: January 11, 2024


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