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The Kaplan Law Firm represents former American citizens who seek to restore their citizenship. Such individuals have normally been issued a Certificate of Loss of Nationality (“CLN”) by the U.S. Department of State.

CLNs may be issued for a number of reasons, including renunciation of citizenship or the commission of certain other acts (for example, naturalizing as a citizen of another country) which the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) of 1952 designate as potentially expatriating. Importantly, decisions by the United States Supreme Court have significantly narrowed the grounds on which a U.S. citizen can lose his or her citizenship.  One of the most important of these decisions is Vance v. Terrazas, 444 U.S. 252 (1980). Generally, a U.S. citizen can only lose his or her citizenship by committing a potentially expatriating act voluntarily and with the intention of giving up citizenship.

The issuance of a CLN can be challenged in an administrative proceeding with the Department of State or by filing a case in a United States District Court. Although the State Department’s administrative procedure is relatively informal, individuals intending to ask the State Department to restore their citizenship would benefit by consulting with an attorney knowledgeable in this specialized area of law before doing so.  Persons unfamiliar with the law who reach out to the Department on their own often provide facts which may actually undermine their case.  Many of the State Department’s regulations regarding restoration of U.S. citizenship are contained in the Department’s Foreign Affairs Manual at 7 FAM 1200.

The Kaplan Law Firm’s Principal Attorney, Matthew B. Kaplan, is a former State Department Foreign Service Officer. The Firm has had success in having CLNs vacated and U.S. citizenship restored. Additional information on the Firm’s work in restoring U.S. citizenship cases is available here. Mr. Kaplan can be contacted at mbkaplan@thekaplanlawfirm.com.