So I've given a look over State Department policy and am unsure about exact actions that can result in revoked citizenship.

From here it seems naturalizing with intent to lose citizenship in another country is grounds for expatriation but its meaning is vague.


Let's say I somehow made my own country and declared myself president of it, and everybody in the borders at the time is granted citizenship. Do I automatically lose my U.S. citizenship? Do the other US citizens? Were they naturalized even or does that not count as naturalization and they just are citizens of the new country? Have I now forced them to choose between my stylish empire in the making or the world of American citizenry? What about getting new US citizens, what if my government had no qualms about you retaining US citizenship, are you still acting with intent to lose citizenship? This may sound wacky and unrealistic but discussing this simplified example could have some useful procedural clarifications.

  • Did you read the whole document? It seems pretty clear to me.
    – Dale M
    Aug 4, 2015 at 8:40
  • but all it said in the section "Disposition of Cases When Administrative Premise Is Inapplicable" is that the premise that you for sure wish to retain citizenship is no longer the case, and said it's up to some other details as per the consulars office. So all it says is then that maybe you might not want US citizenship anymore/
    – Skyler
    Aug 4, 2015 at 8:44
  • @Skyler The link says that acquiring citizenship in another country is a case where the premise applies.
    – cpast
    Aug 4, 2015 at 13:08
  • @cpast but becoming head of state of another country is a case where the premise doesn't apply.
    – phoog
    Sep 26, 2017 at 13:21
  • @phoog I think I was talking about the people who were inside the borders and just became citizens, but you're correct that the premise wouldn't apply to someone becoming a foreign head of state.
    – cpast
    Sep 26, 2017 at 15:20

1 Answer 1


The way "with intent to lose citizenship" works in US law is extremely demanding; it is very hard to establish it by doing anything short of appearing before a consular officer and formally renouncing citizenship. Other ways include serving in the military of a country at war with the US, being convicted of treason for committing one of the specified potentially expatriating acts (serving in an army at war with the US is sort of a trial-less special case of that, because engaging in a war against the US is treason), or serving in a "policy-level position" in a foreign government.

The State Department says as much in the link. Obtaining citizenship is listed as a case where the administrative premise applies; so is swearing allegiance to a foreign state, serving in the military of a state at peace with the US, and serving in lower-level government posts of a foreign state. In those cases, the person retains US citizenship but at some point in the future may be asked by the State Department if they wanted to renounce it. Intent to renounce citizenship is established only by explicit declaration if you've only obtained citizenship in another country.

With "policy-level posts" the premise doesn't apply, but then the State Department just decides on a case-by-case basis. You may well lose US citizenship (although the King of Thailand was born in the US, and I'm not sure if he's considered to have lost citizenship), but it's not automatic. Your senior ministers may lose citizenship, but it is likewise not automatic. But the normal citizens? The link explicitly says that the administrative premise covers that.

  • 2
    "Other ways include serving in the military of a country at war with the US, being convicted of treason for committing one of the specified potentially expatriating acts, or serving in a "policy-level position" in a foreign government." In all of those cases, they still need to establish intent to lose citizenship in order for citizenship to be lost. The intent is a separate requirement from the expatriating action.
    – user102008
    Aug 5, 2015 at 8:25
  • @user Correct; I'll clarify later.
    – cpast
    Aug 5, 2015 at 9:44
  • With the late King of Thailand, I suspect that the State Department decided not to force the issue, and that he never did either (for example by visiting the US after becoming king).
    – phoog
    Sep 26, 2017 at 13:24
  • It turns out that he did visit the US as king, in 1960, but since that occurred before Afroyim and similar jurisprudence on loss of nationality that established the importance of intention, any analysis of his US nationality at the time would have concluded that he lost it when he became head of state, if not before.
    – phoog
    Aug 9, 2022 at 8:26

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