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Can an American lose his citizenship by staying out of the country too long?

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Can an American lose his citizenship by staying out of the country too long?

Old Nov 27th, 2008, 03:35 PM
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Can an American lose his citizenship by staying out of the country too long?

This was a topic of discussion at dinner. I seem to remember something about a person having to return to the US periodically, but can't find anything on the Web to corroborate that thought. Does anyone know?
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Old Nov 27th, 2008, 03:55 PM
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Not that I know of Maggi but I am cetainly no expert.

But, those that have dual citizenship when born (citizenship of the country they were born in and US citizenship due to a parent being a citizen of the US) use to have to be brought to the US before their 18th birthday. That was the case with my father. But I don't know if that is still even true.

There are lots of Americans that have lived outside of the US for ages and they don't lose their citenship to my knowledge.
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Old Nov 27th, 2008, 03:55 PM
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I think that has something to do with having a Greencard. I don't think you can have citizenship taken away. Maybe different for natural born citizens and immigrant citizens though.
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Old Nov 27th, 2008, 07:14 PM
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A US citizen cannot lose their citizenship without becoming a citizen of another country.
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Old Nov 27th, 2008, 08:24 PM
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Thanks LoveItaly, et al. It didn't sound right to me either. Appreciate the input! And Happy Thanksgiving everybody!
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Old Nov 27th, 2008, 08:43 PM
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I've been out of the country for 10 years and have not only NOT lost my citizenship but the lovely people at the IRS make sure annually that I stay in touch!
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Old Nov 27th, 2008, 11:33 PM
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... and depending on the situation one doesn't lose his citizenship upon acquiring another,either.

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Old Nov 28th, 2008, 06:18 AM
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That used be the case in certain cases, but many, many years ago. I believe things changed at some point after a Supreme Court decision. It does not definitely happen any more, as others have said.
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Old Nov 28th, 2008, 06:43 AM
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No.

Attendance is not a requirement for US citizenship. As mentioned paying taxes though may be.
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Old Nov 28th, 2008, 07:11 AM
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You only have to pay if you make more than $90,000 USD but you have to file annually. And you wouldn't have your citizenship revoked, you would just pay a giant fine.
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Old Nov 29th, 2008, 03:58 PM
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If you are a native born American you cannot have your citizenship REVOKED for any reason, including treason. You can give up your citizenship but it cannot be taken away.

That is not true of a naturalized citizen or one born of native parents outside of U.S. territory.
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Old Nov 29th, 2008, 04:36 PM
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Assuming you are a native born american the only way to lose your citizenship is to specifically renounce it. How long you live where has nothing to do with anything as far as the US is concerned.

If you are a naturalized citizen, I believe there are conditions under which citizenship can be rescinded - but it involves criminal activity ad deception in the naturalization process. (I believe citizenship has been rescinded for a couple of nazi war criminals who lied about who they were.)
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Old Nov 29th, 2008, 04:50 PM
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There is a Department of State advice about possible loss of US citizenship at
http://travel.state.gov/law/citizens...nship_778.html
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Old Nov 29th, 2008, 08:19 PM
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Since I am a naturalized citizen of 55 years perhaps that is why I remember reading something about loss of citizenship. Thanks all.
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Old Nov 29th, 2008, 09:46 PM
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The IRS has no idea where I went, but the embassy keeps renewing my passport and even sent me a series of emails to try to get me to vote in the last election.
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Old Nov 30th, 2008, 03:56 AM
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I believe you can lose your citizenship if you enlist in a foreign army. Not very likely I know, but during WWI my father drove ambulances for the French before the US entered the war (as a member of the American Field Service). At a later time an immigration agent suggested he had renounced his citizenship because of that. It was worked out.
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Old Nov 30th, 2008, 04:15 AM
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Maybe the confusion is about how long one can remain in a foreign country. Not the U.S. rules but the fact that your stay in a specific European country is limited to 3 or 6 months. The wife and I were just discussing this yesterday: I recall reading on this website that you can't stay in Germany for more than a few months at a time without some sort of visa (and I don't mean the credit card; that's a given). For years we dreamt of spending the year after retirement just tooling around through every nook and cranny of our favorite country, but recently a thread here indicated that we could only stay for a much shorter time. I'm still confused about that one.
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Old Nov 30th, 2008, 05:51 AM
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Otzi, the rules for getting a long term visa are quite simple - have you got enough money to live in the country so that you won't be a drain on that country.

Everything after that is detail
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Old Nov 30th, 2008, 07:26 AM
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The U.S. rules are full of "may" but nothing concrete.

If you serve in the North Korean or Iranian army or run for office there or vote in the elections, you "may" lose your citizenship. Apart from cases like that, the U.S. has more or less made its peace with dual nationals.

It is always interesting to know that if you renounce a nationality one way or the other, it doesn't necessarily mean that the other country recognizes your renunciation.
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Old Nov 30th, 2008, 09:23 AM
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I think sometimes countries don't recognize someone renouncing their citizenship because they want to draft them into the military. I was on a train from the Czech Republic to Krakow, and I met an expat Polish guy who had moved to Cuba and then Austria, as I recall, during the time Poland was Communist, and he was concerned about returning to Poland and making sure they didn't know he was originally from there. I believe he had an Austrian passport at that point, but I remember him talking about how it could be a problem.
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