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Just as U.S. citizenship can be granted, it can also be revoked. The process, called denaturalization, only applies to naturalized citizens, as natural-born U.S. citizens cannot have their citizenship revoked against their will. Denaturalization can be a frightening experience, as former citizens who have been denaturalized can be subject to deportation.
So why can a person be denaturalized? And how does the denaturalization process work?
Reasons for Denaturalization
The grounds for denaturalization generally fall into one of three categories:
Process of Denaturalization
Denaturalization proceedings must occur in federal court, prompted either by a civil proceeding or pursuant to a criminal conviction. For civil denaturalization, the United States Attorney's Office must file the revocation of naturalization actions in Federal District Court and prove the allegations by clear, convincing, and unequivocal evidence. For criminal denaturalization, criminal charges are filed, and the burden of proof is the same as for every other criminal case: proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
It is possible to appeal a denaturalization order, if there is reason to believe the lower court made legal errors. If your citizenship has been revoked, or if denaturalization proceedings have been instituted against you, you'll need the help of an experienced immigration attorney. Contact one in your area today.