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Do I have to renounce my US Citizenship if I become an Australian Citizen?

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Filed: Other Country: Australia
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Hi there,

I'm currently living in Australia and am about to become an Australian citizen. However, my hubby and I plan to split our time between the two countries indefinitely. In fact, we are trying to move back to the States for a few years quite soon. Do I have to renounce my US Citizenship if I become an Australian Citizen? What do I need to know about this responsibility?

Many thanks!

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Philippines
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According to US law you do NOT have to renounce your US citizenship but allows dual citizenship. Australia allows dual citizenship too, so you are all good to enjoy the benefits of both citizenship.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Egypt
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The answer is that you will almost surely have no problems, but here's what the government says on this issue.

For a US citizen:

If you become a citizen of another country automatically (without applying), then you do not lose US citizenship.

If you actively seek another citizenship and you apply for it, your US citizenship MAY technically be at risk.

But this is something thst is almost never (if at all) enforced. I've never heard of any such cases.

http://answers.usa.gov/system/templates/selfservice/USAGov/#!portal/1012/article/3399/Dual-Nationality

"Loss of Citizenship

You will not lose your U.S. citizenship if you gain foreign citizenship automatically, such as through marriage. However, you may lose U.S. citizenship if you voluntarily apply for foreign citizenship."


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Filed: Other Country: Australia
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I had to apply for my citizenship because I am married to my husband, an Australian citizen. Would that count? I mean, I can stay a permanent resident, but that gets complicated, and in order to live/work with my husband here the best option is citizenship. I'm assuming that's what they mean (though it's not "automatic", and I'm guessing I don't have to worry?

Thanks so much!! Gosh, I love this website!

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Egypt
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I had to apply for my citizenship because I am married to my husband, an Australian citizen. Would that count? I mean, I can stay a permanent resident, but that gets complicated, and in order to live/work with my husband here the best option is citizenship. I'm assuming that's what they mean (though it's not "automatic", and I'm guessing I don't have to worry? Thanks so much!! Gosh, I love this website!

It's really unclear to me. I think when they say automatically, they mean automatically; without taking any steps to apply. There are countries that aitomatically give you citizenship upon marriage to a citizen of their country. There are countries (like the US) that automatically give uou citizenship under certain circumstances if your parents become citizens. In these cases, no application would be required.

Whether you technically fall under "automatic" or not, it's extremely unlikely that anything would happen. Like I said, I've never heard of this being a problem. But you could do some more research if it'll make you feel more comfortable.

Personally, I wouldn't worry about it, but if you want to be 100% accurate, you'd have to say that this would give the US government a legal way to strip you of citizenship if you ran afoul of them... but unless you do something bad enough to get the federal government seriously involved, it's not going to be an issue. :-)


For a review of each step of my N-400 naturalization process, from application to oath ceremony, please click here.

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I was in the exact same situation and I got my citizenship a year ago. My understanding is it's totally fine. I would not have done it otherwise. Just use your Aussie passport to enter and leave Australia and your US passport to enter and leave US. Oh and don't forget to vote in every election for the rest of your life. ;) if you're in Melbourne, I'll grab a beer with you and tell you all about it.


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Filed: Country: Australia
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Adding my 5 cents worth....or is that a 'dimes' worth.... :-)

Just went through this with my USC wife who is now a dual Aus / US Citizen.

Excerpt from the US Embassy website (Canberra, AU):

"Dual nationality can also occur when a person is naturalized in a foreign state without intending to relinquish U.S. nationality, and is thereafter found not to have lost their U.S. nationality."

From our investigations and research, if a USC is ever asked by US Gov Official or Immigration in relation to getting AUS Citizenship 'was it your intention to renounce/relinquish your US Citizenship?"

For our case, the simple and honest answer is "No". End of story.

This site has official info and if in any doubt, check with them.

http://canberra.usembassy.gov/dual_nat.html

Hope the above helps.


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The United States does not favor dual nationality as a matter of policy, but does recognize its existence in individual cases. The Supreme Court of the United States has stated that dual nationality is "a status long recognized in the law" and that "a person may have and exercise rights of nationality in two countries and be subject to the responsibilities of both. The mere fact that he asserts the rights of one citizenship does not without more mean that he renounces the other," (Kawakita v. U.S., 343 U.S. 717, 1952). (The Embassy does not have Supreme Court cases on file; interested parties may wish to consult with local law school libraries.) These concepts apply also to persons who have more than two nationalities.

The current nationality laws of the United States do not specifically refer to dual nationality. The automatic acquisition or retention of a foreign nationality does not affect U.S. citizenship; however, under limited circumstances, the acquisition of a foreign nationality upon one's own application or the application of a duly authorized agent may cause loss of U.S. citizenship under Section 349 (a)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act [8 U.S.C. 1481 (a)(1)].

While recognizing the existence of dual nationality and permitting Americans to have other nationalities, the U.S. Government does not endorse dual nationality as a matter of policy because of the problems that it may cause.

Edited by latoslatos

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Australia
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I had to apply for my citizenship because I am married to my husband, an Australian citizen. Would that count? I mean, I can stay a permanent resident, but that gets complicated, and in order to live/work with my husband here the best option is citizenship. I'm assuming that's what they mean (though it's not "automatic", and I'm guessing I don't have to worry? Thanks so much!! Gosh, I love this website!

Don't worry. But here is the one thing you need to pay attention to: when you enter and leave the US, use your US passport. When you enter and leave Australia, use your Australian passport.

Also - be aware of "tax residency". If you are living in the US, and you try to get out of paying taxes in Australia, you are at risk of losing your Australian Medicare card. If maintaining that card is important to you and your family, then get tax advice from someone who deals with US/Australian tax issues on a regular basis.

My partner is Australian with a US Green Card. I'm a USC with Permanent residency in Australia. We are a same-sex couple, so I cannot get citizenship by marriage (yet). My partner files as both an Australian and US tax resident. I file as a US tax resident and an Australian non-resident for tax purposes. We are currently spending most of our time in the US, but think that we will end up in Australia in our dotage...

Waving from Queensland,

Sukie in Oz

Edited by Sukie

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Egypt
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The United States does not favor dual nationality as a matter of policy, but does recognize its existence in individual cases. The Supreme Court of the United States has stated that dual nationality is "a status long recognized in the law" and that "a person may have and exercise rights of nationality in two countries and be subject to the responsibilities of both. The mere fact that he asserts the rights of one citizenship does not without more mean that he renounces the other," (Kawakita v. U.S., 343 U.S. 717, 1952). (The Embassy does not have Supreme Court cases on file; interested parties may wish to consult with local law school libraries.) These concepts apply also to persons who have more than two nationalities.

The current nationality laws of the United States do not specifically refer to dual nationality. The automatic acquisition or retention of a foreign nationality does not affect U.S. citizenship; however, under limited circumstances, the acquisition of a foreign nationality upon one's own application or the application of a duly authorized agent may cause loss of U.S. citizenship under Section 349 (a)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act [8 U.S.C. 1481 (a)(1)].

While recognizing the existence of dual nationality and permitting Americans to have other nationalities, the U.S. Government does not endorse dual nationality as a matter of policy because of the problems that it may cause.

Excellent! Here's the text of the legal code you cited above. It supports what another poster said: that for a person to lose his US citizenship, the government would have to show that that person intended to give up U.S. citizenship at the time. Maintaining ties to the U.S. at the time of application for foreign citizenship should provide easy proof that there was no intention to relinquish US citizenship.

INA: ACT 349 - LOSS OF NATIONALITY BY NATIVE-BORN OR NATURALIZED CITIZEN

Sec. 349. [8 U.S.C. 1481]

(a) A person who is a national of the United States whether by birth or naturalization, shall lose his nationality by voluntarily performing any of the following acts with the intention of relinquishing United States nationality-

(1) obtaining naturalization in a foreign state upon his own application or upon an application filed by a duly authorized agent, after having attained the age of eighteen years; or

(2) taking an oath or making an affirmation or other formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign state or a political subdivision thereof, after having attained the age of eighteen years; or

.

.

.

http://www.uscis.gov/iframe/ilink/docView/SLB/HTML/SLB/act.html

Edited by JimmyHou

For a review of each step of my N-400 naturalization process, from application to oath ceremony, please click here.

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Kenya
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I always thought that if you swear an oath to a foreign state proactively then you cannot have two citizenships? However if you already possess a foreign citizenship (like someone with a Green card) then you can keep both as you swore allegiance to the USA at the Natualization Process.

Many countries require you to swear the following to the Head of State, to Defend that country and Protect their Constitution...if done AFTER you have US Citizenship that might be an issue?

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