Chapter 2 - Grounds for Revocation of Naturalization

In general, a person is subject to revocation of naturalization on the following grounds:

A. Person Procures Naturalization Illegally

A person is subject to revocation of naturalization if he or she procured naturalization illegally. Procuring naturalization illegally simply means that the person was not eligible for naturalization in the first place. Accordingly, any eligibility requirement for naturalization that was not met can form the basis for an action to revoke the naturalization of a person. This includes the requirements of residence, physical presence, lawful admission for permanent residence, good moral character, and attachment to the U.S. Constitution. [1] 

Discovery that a person failed to comply with any of the requirements for naturalization at the time the person became a U.S. citizen renders his or her naturalization illegally procured. This applies even if the person is innocent of any willful deception or misrepresentation. [2] 

B. Concealment of Material Fact or Willful Misrepresentation [3]

1. Concealment of Material Fact or Willful Misrepresentation

A person is subject to revocation of naturalization if there is deliberate deceit on the part of the person in misrepresenting or failing to disclose a material fact or facts on his or her naturalization application and subsequent examination.

In general, a person is subject to revocation of naturalization on this basis if:

  • The naturalized U.S. citizen misrepresented or concealed some fact;

  • The misrepresentation or concealment was willful;

  • The misrepresented or concealed fact or facts were material; and

  • The naturalized U.S. citizen procured citizenship as a result of the misrepresentation or concealment. [4] 

This ground of revocation includes omissions as well as affirmative misrepresentations. The misrepresentations can be oral testimony provided during the naturalization interview or can include information contained on the application submitted by the applicant. The courts determine whether the misrepresented or concealed fact or facts were material. The test for materiality is whether the misrepresentations or concealment had a tendency to affect the decision. It is not necessary that the information, if disclosed, would have precluded naturalization. [5] 

2. Membership or Affiliation with Certain Organizations

A person is subject to revocation of naturalization if the person becomes a member of, or affiliated with, the Communist party, other totalitarian party, or terrorist organization within five years of his or her naturalization. [6] In general, a person who is involved with such organizations cannot establish the naturalization requirements of having an attachment to the Constitution and of being well-disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States. [7] 

The fact that a person becomes involved with such an organization within five years after the date of naturalization is prima facie evidence that he or she concealed or willfully misrepresented material evidence that would have prevented the person’s naturalization.

C. Other than Honorable Discharge before Five Years of Honorable Service after Naturalization

A person is subject to revocation of naturalization if:

  • The person became a U.S. citizen through naturalization on the basis of honorable service in the U.S. armed forces; [8] 

  • The person subsequently separates from the U.S. armed forces under other than honorable conditions; and

  • The other than honorable discharge occurs before the person has served honorably for a period or periods aggregating at least five years. [9] 


[^ 1] See INA 316.

[^ 2] See INA 340(a).

[^ 3] See INA 340(a). See Kungys v. United States, 485 U.S. 759, 767 (1988). See United States v. Nunez-Garcia, 262 F. Supp.2d 1073 (C.D. Cal. 2003) United States v. Reve, 241 F. Supp.2d 470 (D. N.J. 2003). See United States v. Ekpin, 214 F. Supp.2d 707 (S.D. Tex. 2002). See United States v. Tarango-Pena, 173 F. Supp.2d 588 (E.D. Tex. 2001). 

[^ 4] See Kungys v. United States, 485 U.S. 759, 767 (1988).

[^ 5] See Kungys v. United States, 485 U.S. 759, 767 (1988).

[^ 6] See INA 313 and INA 340(c).

[^ 7] See INA 316(a)(3). See Part D, General Naturalization Requirements [12 USCIS-PM D].

[^ 8] See INA 328(a). See INA 329(a). See Part I, Military Members and their Families [12 USCIS-PM I]. 

[^ 9] See INA 328(f) and INA 329(c).

Current as of January 26, 2022