Retention Date: 05/20/2024
The purpose of this emergency message (EM) is to provide guidance to technicians about who is a United States (U.S.) citizen, the jurisdiction of U.S. citizenship determinations, and the evidentiary requirements to establish a loss (e.g., renunciation) of U.S. citizenship.
Individuals are visiting Social Security Administration (SSA) field offices (FO) and Social Security Card Centers (SSCC) attempting to renounce their U.S. citizenship or alleging that they have already renounced their U.S. citizenship. Some individuals may request citizenship updates to SSA records based on self-made documents, but renouncing U.S. citizenship is a formal process governed by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Individuals who successfully renounce their U.S. citizenship will possess a government-issued document from DOS or USCIS to support a change in citizenship status.
C. Jurisdiction for renunciation of U.S. citizenship
SSA does not have the authority to make U.S. citizenship determinations and cannot accept or approve such requests. Therefore, SSA also cannot issue documentation related to renunciation of U.S. citizenship. DOS has authority over renunciation of citizenship made abroad, and USCIS has authority over renunciation of citizenship made domestically.
D. U.S. citizenship policy
GN 00303.100 and GN 00303.120 explain who is a U.S. citizen. U.S. citizenship is acquired by birth or naturalization. If SSA records show that an individual is a U.S. citizen by birth or naturalization, then SSA will recognize the individual’s U.S. citizenship until SSA receives acceptable evidence issued by DOS or USCIS indicating otherwise.
E. Acceptable evidence of loss of U.S. citizenship
Individuals who ask to change their U.S. citizenship status in SSA records must provide an original or certified copy of an approved Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the United States (CLN) issued by either DOS or USCIS. An approved CLN has the signature of an official of the issuing agency and a seal along with the issuing agency’s stamp of approval in the upper right-hand corner. For more information on evidence acceptability and certification, see GN 00301.030 and GN 00301.080.
If an individual presents an approved CLN, then refer the case to the regional office support staff for further guidance.
F. Examples of invalid citizenship renunciation
|Handling Requests for U.S. Citizenship Changes Based on Allegations of U.S. Citizenship Renunciation
|EM - Emergency Messages
|Link To Reference:
|See Reference at the end of this EM
G. Referring individuals to DOS or USCIS for acceptable evidence of U.S. citizenship loss
When individuals request to change their U.S. citizenship status in SSA records, without providing an approved CLN, refer them to DOS or USCIS and provide them with the following information:
“The Social Security Administration (SSA) collects citizenship status information to issue a Social Security Number and to pay benefits. However, SSA does not make citizenship determinations. To update citizenship status in SSA records, SSA requires evidence issued by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
For more information, or to obtain documentation for a loss of U.S. citizenship inside the United States, please visit the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov or send your request by mail to:
1. Allegation of Sovereign Citizen, Non-citizen U.S. National, Non-American National, State National, Annexed Citizenship, etc.
If SSA records indicate that an individual is a U.S. citizen and the individual alleges that they are a “Sovereign Citizen,” “Non-citizen U.S. National,” “Non-American National,” “State National,” “Annexed Citizen,” or any other status, they are a U.S. citizen unless they provide an approved CLN. Therefore, their status as a U.S. citizen cannot be updated without an approved CLN. If the person does not have an approved CLN, follow the guidance in section G below.
2. Allegation of Non-U.S. Citizen Resident
Individuals who allege being a non-U.S. citizen resident, but who acquired U.S. citizenship by birth or naturalization are U.S. citizens unless they provide an approved CLN. Therefore, their status as a U.S. citizen cannot be updated to “Non-U.S. citizen resident” without an approved CLN. If the person does not have an approved CLN, follow the guidance in section G below.
3. Allegation that the U.S. is no longer a country (e.g., dead corporation)
Individuals who allege that they are not a U.S. citizen because they believe that the United States is not a country are U.S. citizens if they are U.S. citizens by birth or naturalization unless they provide an approved CLN. Therefore, their status as a U.S. citizen cannot be updated to “Other,” “Stateless,” “Non-U.S. citizen resident,” citizen of a foreign country, or any other status without an approved CLN. If the person does not have an approved CLN, follow the guidance in section G below.
Or, to obtain documentation for a loss of U.S. citizenship outside the United States, please visit the DOS website at www.travel.state.gov or contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.”
Direct all program-related and technical questions to your Regional Office (RO) support staff via vHelp or Program Service Center (PSC) Operations Analysis (OA) staff. RO support staff or PSC OA staff may refer questions, concerns, or problems to their Central Office contacts.
GN 00303.100 United States (U.S.) Citizenship
GN 00303.120 Who Is a U.S. Citizen
GN 00303.200 Loss of United States (U.S.) Citizenship or Nationality
Field Operations Directorate
5900 Capital Gateway Drive, MS 2030
Camp Springs, MD 20588-0009
EM-23069 - Handling Requests for U.S. Citizenship Changes Based on Allegations of U.S. Citizenship Renunciation - 11/20/2023