Citizenship Services

The American Citizens Services (ACS) Section provides information on claims to U.S. citizenship, renunciation, dual nationality, and loss of citizenship issues.

You may have a claim to citizenship if:

  • You, your father or your mother were born in the United States; or
  • You were born outside the United States or one of its outlying possessions to U.S. citizen parent(s) and your U.S. citizen parent(s) meets the *physical presence requirements.

Derivative claims to U.S. citizenship depend on the existence of a legal blood relationship between the applicant and the U.S. citizen parent.  Therefore, adopted children do not acquire citizenship automatically upon adoption.  However, they may be eligible for citizenship through naturalization if they have been processed for an immigrant visa. For more information on immigrant visas please follow this link.

 

THIRD PARTY ATTENDANCE AT PASSPORT AND CRBA APPOINTMENT INTERVIEWS

Generally, immediate family members may accompany passport or CRBA applicants to their appointment interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate, and all minor children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.  Passport or CRBA applicants also have the option of being accompanied by an attorney at their appointment interview.  Attendance by any third party, including an attorney accompanying an applicant, is subject to the following parameters designed to ensure an orderly appointment interview process and to maintain the integrity of the adjudication of the application(s):

  • Given space limitations in the consular section, not more than one attendee at a time will be allowed to accompany an applicant (or the applicant’s parent or guardian if the applicant is a minor).
  • Attendance by an attorney does not excuse the applicant and/or the minor applicant’s parent or guardian from attending the appointment interview in person.
  • The manner in which a passport or CRBA appointment interview is conducted, and the scope and nature of the inquiry, shall at all times be at the discretion of the consular officer, following applicable Departmental guidance.
  • It is expected that attorneys will provide their clients with relevant legal advice prior to, rather than at, the appointment, and will advise their clients prior to the appointment interview that the client will participate in the appointment interview with minimal assistance.
  • Attorneys may not engage in any form of legal argumentation during the appointment and before the consular officer.
  • Attendees other than a parent or guardian accompanying a minor child may not answer a consular officer’s question on behalf or in lieu of an applicant, nor may they summarize, correct, or attempt to clarify an applicant’s response, or interrupt or interfere with an applicant’s responses to a consular officer’s questions.
  • To the extent that an applicant does not understand a question, s/he should seek clarification from the consular officer directly.
  • The consular officer has sole discretion to determine the appropriate language(s) for communication with the applicant, based on the facility of both officer and applicant and the manner and form that best facilitates communication between the consular officer and the applicant.  Attendees may not demand that communications take place in a particular language solely for the benefit of the attendee.  Nor may attendees object to or insist on the participation of an interpreter in the appointment interview, to the qualifications of any interpreter, or to the manner or substance of any translation.
  • No attendee may coach or instruct applicants as to how to answer a consular officer’s question.
  • Attendees may not object to a consular officer’s question on any ground (including that the attendee regards the question to be inappropriate, irrelevant, or adversarial), or instruct the applicant not to answer a consular officer’s question.  Attendees may not interfere in any manner with the consular officer’s ability to conduct all inquiries and fact-finding necessary to exercise his or her responsibilities to adjudication the application.
  • During a passport or CRBA appointment interview, attendees may not discuss or inquire about other applications.
  • Attendees may take written notes, but may not otherwise record the appointment interviews.
  • Attendees may not engage in other conduct that materially disrupts the appointment interview.  For example, they may not yell at or otherwise attempt to intimidate or abuse a consular officer or staff, and they may not engage in any conduct that threatens U.S. national security of the embassy or its personnel.  Attendees must follow all security policies of the Department of State and the U.S. embassy or consulate where the appointment interview takes place.

Attendees may not engage in any conduct that violates this policy and/or otherwise materially disrupts the appointment interview.  Failure to observe these parameters will result in a warning to the attendee and, if ignored, the attendee may be asked to leave the appointment interview and/or the premises, as appropriate.  It would then be the applicant’s choice whether to continue the appointment interview without the attendee present, subject to the consular officer’s discretion to terminate the appointment interview.  The safety and privacy of all applicants awaiting consular services, as well as of consular and embassy personnel, is of paramount consideration.

 

The American Citizens Services (ACS) Section provides information on claims to U.S. citizenship, renunciation, dual nationality, and loss of citizenship issues.

You may have a claim to citizenship if:

  • You, your father or your mother were born in the United States; or
  • You were born outside the United States or one of its outlying possessions to U.S. citizen parent(s) and your U.S. citizen parent(s) meets the *physical presence requirements.

Any of the following documents are evidence of citizenship. If you are no longer in possession of any of these documents, you must obtain a certified copy from the issuing authority.

  • A U.S. Birth Certificate – For certified copies, please contact the state in which you were born. The National Center for Health Statistics maintains a list of states’ contact information for this purpose;
  • A Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240) – For certified copies, please contact the Vital Records Section at the Department of State;
  • A Certification of Birth (Form FS-545 or DS-1350) – For certified copies, please contact the Vital Records Section at the Department of State;
  • Inclusion in the passport of your U.S. citizen parent(s).
  • an expired, or currently valid, full validity U.S. passport

If you were born outside the United States and have not been previously documented as a U.S. citizen, and are:

  • under the age of 18: please see our instructions for obtaining a Consular Report of Birth Abroad.
  • age 18 or over the age of 18, please review the following checklist (PDF – 96KB) If you are found to have acquired citizenship at birth, it will be documented with a passport.

For more information on citizenship please contact the Consulate.

Note: Derivative claims to U.S. citizenship depend on the existence of a legal blood relationship between the applicant and the U.S. citizen parent.  Therefore, adopted children do not acquire citizenship automatically upon adoption.  However, they may be eligible for citizenship through naturalization if they have been processed for an immigrant visa. For more information please go to Immigrant Visas.

General Information
Renunciation is the act of purposely giving up or renouncing one’s citizenship. Section 349(a)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) is the section of law that governs the ability of a United States citizen to renounce his or her U.S. citizenship. That section of law provides for the loss of nationality by voluntarily performing the following act with the intent to relinquish his or her U.S. nationality:

“(5) making a formal renunciation of nationality before a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States in a foreign state, in such form as may be prescribed by the Secretary of State”.

A person wishing to renounce his or her U.S. citizenship must voluntarily and with intent to relinquish U.S. citizenship:

  1. Appear in person before a U.S. consular or diplomatic officer in a foreign country (normally at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate); and
  2. Sign an oath of renunciation.

Renunciations that do not meet the conditions described above have no legal effect.  Because of the provisions of section 349(a)(5), Americans cannot effectively renounce their citizenship by mail, through an agent, or while in the United States.  In fact, U.S. courts have held certain attempts to renounce U.S. citizenship to be ineffective on a variety of grounds, as discussed below.

In the first instance, before one can actually renounce U.S. citizenship, you must be pre-interviewed and counselled about the serious consequences of renunciation. Please email HamiltonConsulate@state.gov to set up an appointment. After a period of reflection on the seriousness of this act, you may then make the necessary appointment to formally renounce U.S. citizenship. We offer renunciation appointments on a Monday or Tuesday.

The fee for the renunciation service is $2,350; this fee is payable on the day of your appointment to formally renounce your U.S. Citizenship.

Renunciation of Children’s Citizenship
Parents cannot renounce U.S. citizenship on behalf of their minor children. Before an oath of renunciation will be administered under Section 349(a)(5) of the INA, a person under the age of eighteen must convince a U.S. diplomatic or consular officer that he/she fully understands the nature and consequences of the oath of renunciation and is voluntarily seeking to renounce his/her U.S. citizenship. United States common law establishes an arbitrary limit of age fourteen under which a child’s understanding must be established by substantial evidence.

Tax & Military Obligations/No Escape from Prosecution
Also, persons who wish to renounce U.S. citizenship should also be aware that the fact that a person has renounced U.S. citizenship may have no effect whatsoever on his or her U.S. tax or military service obligations (contact the Internal Revenue Service or U.S. Selective Service for more information).  In addition, the act of renouncing U.S. citizenship will not allow persons to avoid possible prosecution for crimes which they may have committed in the United States or to escape the repayment of financial obligations previously incurred in the United States.

Irrevocability of Renunciation
Finally, those contemplating a renunciation of U.S. citizenship should understand that the act is irrevocable, except as provided in section 351 of the INA, and cannot be canceled or set aside absent successful administrative or judicial appeal.  Section 351(b) of the INA provides that an applicant who renounced his or her U.S. citizenship before the age of eighteen can have that citizenship reinstated if he or she makes that desire known to the Department of State within six months after attaining the age of eighteen. See also Title 22, Code of Federal Regulations, section 50.20).

Renunciation is the most unequivocal way in which a person can manifest an intention to relinquish U.S. citizenship.  Please consider the effects of renouncing U.S. citizenship before taking this serious and irrevocable action.  If you wish to renounce your U.S. citizenship, please contact the American Citizen Services Section of the consulate.

  • A U.S. Birth Certificate – For certified copies, please contact the state in which you were born. The National Center for Health Statistics maintains a list of states’ contact information for this purpose;
  • A Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240) – For certified copies, please contact the Vital Records Section at the Department of State;
  • A Certification of Birth (Form FS-545 or DS-1350) – For certified copies, please contact the Vital Records Section at the Department of State;
  • Inclusion in the passport of your U.S. citizen parent(s).
  • an expired, or currently valid, full validity U.S. passport

For more information on citizenship please contact our American Citizen Services Section or book an appointment on-line with a an ACS representative or go to: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

 

U.S. and Bermudian

U.S. laws allow for U.S. citizens to acquire Bermudian status without losing their U.S. citizenship. For information on Bermudian status please contact the Bermuda Department of Immigration. Citizens of both the U.S. and Bermuda are recognized as such by both governments.  For more information on U.S. citizenship please follow this link.

Being born in Bermuda does not automatically make a child a Bermudian.  U.S. citizens who acquire dual nationality during childhood are not required by U.S. law to choose one nationality or another upon reaching the age of 18.  One does not risk losing U.S. citizenship unless one performs certain conclusively expatriating acts. For more information on this please see below.

Please note: All U.S. citizens, even dual nationals, must present themselves as U.S. citizens when entering the United States, preferably by displaying a U.S. passport.

For more information please contact the American Citizen Services Section of the Consulate.

Causes of Citizenship Loss
U.S. citizens are subject to loss of citizenship if they perform certain acts voluntarily and with the intention to relinquish U.S. citizenship.  These acts include:

  1. Obtaining naturalization in a foreign state;
  2. Taking an oath, affirmation or other formal declaration to a foreign state or its political subdivisions;
  3. Entering or serving in the armed forces of a foreign state engaged in hostilities against the U.S. or serving as a commissioned or non-commissioned officer in the armed forces of a foreign state;
  4. Accepting employment with a foreign government if (a) one has the nationality of that foreign state or (b) a declaration of allegiance is required in accepting the position;
  5. Formally renouncing U.S. citizenship before a U.S. consular officer outside the United States;
  6. Formally renouncing U.S. citizenship within the U.S. (but only “in time of war”);
  7. Conviction for an act of treason.

Persons Who Wish to Relinquish U.S. Citizenship
If the answer to the question regarding intent to relinquish citizenship is yes, the person concerned will be asked to complete a questionnaire to ascertain his or her intent toward U.S. citizenship. When the questionnaire is completed and the voluntary relinquishment statement is signed by the expatriate, the consular officer will proceed to prepare a certificate of loss of nationality. The certificate will be forwarded to the Department of State for consideration and, if appropriate, approval.

An individual who has performed any of the acts made potentially expatriating by statute who wishes to lose U.S. citizenship may do so by affirming in writing to a U.S. consular officer that the act was performed with an intent to relinquish U.S. citizenship. Of course, a person always has the option of seeking to formally renounce U.S. citizenship in accordance with Section 349 (a) (5) of the Immigration Nationality Act.

If you wish to renounce U.S. Citizenship, please email HamiltonConsulate@state.gov for additional information.

Disposition of Cases when Administrative Premise Is Inapplicable
The premise that a person intends to retain U.S. citizenship is not applicable when the individual:

  • Formally renounces U.S. citizenship before a consular officer;
  • Takes a policy level position in a foreign state;
  • Is convicted of treason; or
  • Performs an act made potentially expatriating by statute accompanied by conduct which is so inconsistent with retention of U.S. citizenship that it compels a conclusion that the individual intended to relinquish U.S. citizenship. (Such cases are very rare.)

*Cases in categories 2, 3, and 4 will be developed carefully by U.S. consular officers to ascertain the individual’s intent toward U.S. citizenship.

Loss of Nationality and Taxation
In general, any person who lost U.S. citizenship within 10 years immediately preceding the close of the taxable year, whose principle purpose in losing citizenship was to avoid taxation, will be subject to continued taxation.  For the purposes of this statute, persons are presumed to have a principle purpose of avoiding taxation if 1) their average annual net income tax for a five-year period before the date of loss of citizenship is greater than $100,000, or 2) their net worth on the date of the loss of U.S. nationality is $500,000 or more (subject to cost-of-living adjustments). The effective date of the law is retroactive to February 6, 1995.

Further Information
If you have any further question regarding loss of citizenship, renunciation and dual nationality issues, please contact the American Citizen Services Section of the consulate.