Obtaining Nicaraguan Citizenship

One of the steps to acquire Nicaraguan (or Costa Rican) citizenship is to include a legal document saying that you are renouncing your current citizenship. The story is that this is just a piece of paper that goes into your immigration file in Nicaragua or Costa Rica. That is, it is not reported to the country whose citizenship you are renouncing.

As there are some specific requirements to renounce US citizenship, it would appear this procedure really doesn't fit those requirements. So, I asked. The official answer can be found here. I have elected to include it below because it is about as clear as mud. The operative word in the official position is intent. It seems well written to increase lawyer revenue.

The concept of dual nationality means that a person is a citizen of two countries at the same time. Each country has its own citizenship laws based on its own policy. Persons may have dual nationality by automatic operation of different laws rather than by choice. For example, a child born in a foreign country to U.S. citizen parents may be both a U.S. citizen and a citizen of the country of birth.

A U.S. citizen may acquire foreign citizenship by marriage, or a person naturalized as a U.S. citizen may not lose the citizenship of the country of birth. U.S. law does not mention dual nationality or require a person to choose one citizenship or another. Also, a person who is automatically granted another citizenship does not risk losing U.S. citizenship. However, a person who acquires a foreign citizenship by applying for it may lose U.S. citizenship. In order to lose U.S. citizenship, the law requires that the person must apply for the foreign citizenship voluntarily, by free choice, and with the intention to give up U.S. citizenship.

Intent can be shown by the person's statements or conduct. The U.S. Government recognizes that dual nationality exists but does not encourage it as a matter of policy because of the problems it may cause. Claims of other countries on dual national U.S. citizens may conflict with U.S. law, and dual nationality may limit U.S. Government efforts to assist citizens abroad. The country where a dual national is located generally has a stronger claim to that person's allegiance.

However, dual nationals owe allegiance to both the United States and the foreign country. They are required to obey the laws of both countriesThe concept of dual nationality means that a person is a citizen of two countries at the same time. Each country has its own citizenship laws based on its own policy. Persons may have dual nationality by automatic operation of different laws rather than by choice. For example, a child born in a foreign country to U.S. citizen parents may be both a U.S. citizen and a citizen of the country of birth.

A U.S. citizen may acquire foreign citizenship by marriage, or a person naturalized as a U.S. citizen may not lose the citizenship of the country of birth. U.S. law does not mention dual nationality or require a person to choose one citizenship or another. Also, a person who is automatically granted another citizenship does not risk losing U.S. citizenship. However, a person who acquires a foreign citizenship by applying for it may lose U.S. citizenship. In order to lose U.S. citizenship, the law requires that the person must apply for the foreign citizenship voluntarily, by free choice, and with the intention to give up U.S. citizenship.

Intent can be shown by the person's statements or conduct. The U.S. Government recognizes that dual nationality exists but does not encourage it as a matter of policy because of the problems it may cause. Claims of other countries on dual national U.S. citizens may conflict with U.S. law, and dual nationality may limit U.S. Government efforts to assist citizens abroad. The country where a dual national is located generally has a stronger claim to that person's allegiance.

However, dual nationals owe allegiance to both the United States and the foreign country. They are required to obey the laws of both countries. Either country has the right to enforce its laws, particularly if the person later travels there. Most U.S. citizens, including dual nationals, must use a U.S. passport to enter and leave the United States. Dual nationals may also be required by the foreign country to use its passport to enter and leave that country. Use of the foreign passport does not endanger U.S. citizenship. Most countries permit a person to renounce or otherwise lose citizenship.

Information on losing foreign citizenship can be obtained from the foreign country's embassy and consulates in the United States. Americans can renounce U.S. citizenship in the proper form at U.S. embassies and consulates abroad.. Either country has the right to enforce its laws, particularly if the person later travels there. Most U.S. citizens, including dual nationals, must use a U.S. passport to enter and leave the United States. Dual nationals may also be required by the foreign country to use its passport to enter and leave that country. Use of the foreign passport does not endanger U.S. citizenship. Most countries permit a person to renounce or otherwise lose citizenship.

Information on losing foreign citizenship can be obtained from the foreign country's embassy and consulates in the United States. Americans can renounce U.S. citizenship in the proper form at U.S. embassies and consulates abroad.

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One useful comment ...

Most of the answers below are not related to the question. mjt's reply was. Let's toss in an example.

I have a friend who is a US Citizen but has lived in Costa Rica for many years. She recently acquired Costa Rican Citizenship. As in Nicaragua, part of acquiring your new citizenship is renouncing your previous citizenship. But, this does not mean telling the other country about it—it must means one more piece of paper in your immigration file where you are acquiring citizenship.

As I knew about the requirements for renouncing US Citizenship (I have a friend who almost did it some years ago), my question was what the US government thought about this process that clearly did not meet their requirements for renouncing US citizenship.

If one knows what is required to give up US citizenship, it would seem pretty hard to prove that meeting the requirements of a new citizenship without doing the US-required hoop-jumping could be construed as acting "with the intention to give up U.S. citizenship". My comment about being set up for lawyers is that if someone (your country of new citizenship, for example) wanted you to no longer have dual citizenship, they could take you to court to try to prove intent.

Would that happen here? Seems pretty unlikely as there are many Nicaraguans who acquired US citizenship in the 1980s and maintain both today.

That said, there are reasons one might want to acquire another citizenship and if that needs to be discussed, it is really the subject for another thread.

So you're going for citizenship?

Is it residency that you have now? How does this benefit you over that?

NOT me

Not sure what i said to convey that idea. I am very happy being a US citizen. I live here, in spite of that and not because of the low cost, but that does not hurt.

But permit me to take this opportunity to give a piece of advice to those thinking about coming her (or someplace else for that matter). If you are truly unhappy with where you live..country/sate/province/locality...you will likely soon be unhappy here. Notice the word "truly" it i important and by my definition excludes .." the winters are too long and cold"ZZT

no, no

I posted below the topic because I was asking fyl but I agree with you 100%.

If this is the question --

If this is the question -- then such a statement would never bring about a renunciation of U.S. citizenship, nor would the document somehow later finding its way to a U.S. Court or Embassy ever result in that. A renunciation must be: done while outside of U.S. soil, done in person, done before a U.S. Consul or Diplomatic Officer, acknowledge that it is permanent (irreversible), acknowledge that the renunciation entails the loss of every right and priveledge of citienzship, etc. Were someone to get a Consul to do this (it is not as easy as it might sound - and there are countless examples of Consuls refusing to hear requests), he/she would in turn point out prior to oath and signature that even if the renunciation is accepted and approved, that any and all U.S. tax debts, military service requirements, financial obligations, criminal prosecutions, etc., are still in place. Also, the renunciation does not preclude any country from deporting the person back to the U.S. should a legal or criminal matter arise.

Understandable

if you were planning on starting a dynasty, like the German coffee growers who came to Guatemala and Nicaragua (and probably everywhere else in LA). Citizenship (and inter-marriage) would be necessary to function and compete within the country's social framework. It would take a few generations to truly "belong" and be acknowledged as Nicaraguan.

Most of us have shorter term goals such as living out our retirement years in a warm and interesting place; finding a Nicaraguan mate with expectations we can reasonably meet; accomplishing some social good by transferring skills and experience to someone who needs the help. Sometimes all of the above :) ..

We will never belong, as hard as we might try. That's just the way it is. I don't think having Nica citizenship would make any difference in the short term.

well said KWP...

Most of us have shorter term goals such as living out our retirement years in a warm and interesting place; finding a Nicaraguan mate with expectations we can reasonably meet; accomplishing some social good by transferring skills and experience to someone who needs the help. Sometimes all of the above :) .. We will never belong, as hard as we might try. That's just the way it is.

Doors of hope fly open when doors of promise shut. -Thomas D'Arcy McGee

The US Gov. vs. Margaret Randall

Admittedly she'd been working as a publicist for Cuba and the Sandinista government in the 1980s, renounced her citizenship in Mexico.

http://www.jstor.org/pss/3177991 -- the first page seems to be a good summary.

Rebecca Brown

It shows the danger

in renouncing. The other part...the MacCaran act BS aside, and wether you agree with the charges or not, if she were a citizen would not be an issue, which I think is the point here. Good research!ZZT

She won her appeal in 1989.

She won her appeal in 1989. The only thing it shows is that "I really didn't mean it" and "Hey, I had a Mexican lawyer" were treated as valid excuses for invalidating the renunciation.

1989 was likely

a bit easier. But in any case, people in these case, have a lot of free legal firepower behind them. Just for info, the IRS does not accept the excuse "I did not mean it" for not paying taxes...damm! Maybe I will try the Mexican lawyer approach.

Seriously, people complain about how hard it is to do this and why counseler official do not want to do it. Here is the reason. Or one of them. ZZT

Citizenship Renunciation Oath

I knew of someone who renounced USA citizenship years ago in Costa Rica.

You stand and raise your right hand and you recite the, "Citizenship Renunciation Oath" in front of a Federal judge or Magistrate.

When finished you are no longer a US citizen. They take your US Passport.

This guy got caught up in all the left wing BS of the mid-eighties and was one of the few dumb enough to do it.

He regretted doing it just a few years later as he was unable to return to the USA with a Costa Rican Passport without a Visa. His Visa was rejected and he was unable to get his US Citizenship reinstated. He is now an Israeli Citizen and can travel easy with that Passport.

The story?

Pure hearsay on my part, but I've heard more than once than the U.S. does not allow someone who is a U.S. citizen, and only a U.S. citizen, to acquire citizenship from a second state and remain a U.S. citizen. (He shrugged. But...)

Probably more relevant, if anyone you know is changing citizenship, or thinking about it, could the story be shared? The reasons would be interesting to hear.


No Sniveling!

Clear to me

you want to get NICA citizenship...you give up a lot of USA rights (OK..fyl may not value them, but who believes him on these matters anyway). Why on earth would you want that anyway? What do you gain? Most important, why is this being brought up..anybody really ask, or give a shit. Nope. Just some more mumbo jumbo from the mumbo jumbo man himself.ZZT

thats what i wanted..

to here..the old AZT..is back..i know u and i ,have gotten into it on a couple of things..but welcome back..great post