top secret clearance and dual citizenship

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sceaminmonkey
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top secret clearance and dual citizenship

Postby sceaminmonkey » 15 Aug 2011, 21:36

so I am about to apply for an internship with the department of state through a friend. he informed me that for certain positions you may need top level security clearance or whatever it is. is there a way for me to have this without completely renouncing my citizenship? I don't want to have to spend a year there after just to regain it.

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Re: top secret clearance and dual citizenship

Postby mler » 16 Aug 2011, 01:06

I'm assuming that you are applying for a job with the US government. If so, you may want to put off your application for dual citizenship. You may be ineligible for a top level security clearance if you hold a second citizenship, AND they WILL find out if you do.

It was for this reason that my son obtained Italian citizenship with me and my daughter did not.

I should point out, however, that an internship position is highly unlikely to take you into the rarifed clearance levels. Worry about it only if you are considering a career that ultimately will require one.

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Re: top secret clearance and dual citizenship

Postby mler » 16 Aug 2011, 03:11

I should add that this is something to consider very seriously. If you obtain and then renounce your Italian citizenship, you will not be able to reacquire it with a simple one-year stay. That option is only available for Italian-born citizens who lost their citizenship through naturalization. Now may be a good time to think about your long-term career plans. Best NOT to be a dual citizen if you're thinking of government employment in a highly sensitive position.

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Re: top secret clearance and dual citizenship

Postby sceaminmonkey » 16 Aug 2011, 03:16

Some of the intenhips do actually require it :( . How do they find out anyway? Irrelavant as it is I am curious since they ultimately will find out.

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Re: top secret clearance and dual citizenship

Postby sceaminmonkey » 16 Aug 2011, 03:17

Oh and tnk you for the information

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Re: top secret clearance and dual citizenship

Postby mler » 16 Aug 2011, 04:47

The US government doesn't give you a top secret clearance just because it is required for a specific job. It does an extensive background check to be sure that you are someone who can be trusted with secure government information. It should not be too surprising that the US government may consider someone with dual citizenship to have dual loyalty and thus be a poor candidate for jobs that involve sensitive information. It would not be wise to withhold relevant information or provide misleading information on your application.

If you are applying for an intern position that requires a lower-level clearance, you should not have a problem; you would, however, likely have difficulty obtaining a higher-level clearance. Think about this carefully, Screaminmonkey. If there is any chance that your career will lead to high-level security jobs, keep your citizenship application on hold.

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Re: top secret clearance and dual citizenship

Postby kontessa » 16 Aug 2011, 09:51

Mler, do you know how one would reaquire Italian citizenship then - if one must renounce their citizenship after having it recognized jure sanguinis? Is it even possible?

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Re: top secret clearance and dual citizenship

Postby mler » 16 Aug 2011, 14:21

That's an interesting question. Before 1992, the simple act of naturalizing in another country caused the loss of citizenship. This was the result even if the person naturalizing did not specifically "renounce" in the process. (I tend to doubt that anyone took the step of formally renouncing at the consulate.) The simple one-year reacquisition rules apply to those who lost citizenship in this manner.

My thoughts are that an affirmative renunciation, one that is made at the Italian consulate, would not be treated in the same manner. In this case, the Italian is specifically telling Italy that he no longer wishes to be Italian. That's serious stuff. Can this citizenship then be reacquired? Who knows, but I tend to think that if it is at all possible, it would require a full ten years of residency. That may be sufficient time to prove your commitment.

I wonder, though. Do you think it's possible to renounce US citizenship and then reacquire it? I'd bet they'd make it very difficult if they would even permit it at all.

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Re: top secret clearance and dual citizenship

Postby johnnyonthespot » 16 Aug 2011, 14:39

mler wrote:I wonder, though. Do you think it's possible to renounce US citizenship and then reacquire it? I'd bet they'd make it very difficult if they would even permit it at all.


Interesting question! Possible answer:

G. 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 (8 U.S.C. 1483), 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, described above, before taking this serious and irrevocable action.

http://travel.state.gov/law/citizenship/citizenship_776.html
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Re: top secret clearance and dual citizenship

Postby johnnyonthespot » 16 Aug 2011, 14:53

On the Italian side, page 12 of this document http://www.consboston.esteri.it/NR/rdonlyres/B8017A69-F353-49F8-88A4-D10BDAC5A4E8/30357/Citizenship.pdf ("PRACTICAL MANUAL ON DUAL CITIZENSHIP" from the Boston consulate's site, http://www.consboston.esteri.it/Consolato_Boston/Menu/I_Servizi/Per_i_cittadini/Cittadinanza/) states:

REACQUISITION

If the questionnaire indicates that you NO LONGER HAVE your Italian citizenship.

If you renounced it, there are other ways to reacquire your Italian citizenship:

• Serving the Italian armed forces, after having declared that you want to reacquire Italian citizenship

• Becoming a salaried employee of Republic of Italy, even abroad, as well as declaring that you want to reacquire Italian citizenship

• Providing the Italian Consular office where you reside with a declaration stating your intention to reacquire Italian citizenship, as well as establishing your residency in Italy within one year from the declaration

• Automatically, after one year of residence in Italy, except in the case of renunciation within the same period.


This would seem to indicate that reacquistion is possible even after deliberate renunciation...
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Re: top secret clearance and dual citizenship

Postby mler » 16 Aug 2011, 15:52

I think, although it's not specifically stated, that they are referring to citizenship automatically lost to naturalization. The NY Consulate is more specific:

Reacquisition of Italian Citizenship
According to Italian law individuals born in Italy who automatically lost Italian citizenship by acquiring U.S. citizenship before August 16th 1992 are eligible, under certain conditions, for reacquisition of Italian citizenship.
The passage continues with the one-year reacquisition procedures.

Although it's possible, I can't imagine that a deliberate, affirmative renunciation would be treated in the same manner.

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Re: top secret clearance and dual citizenship

Postby Italia1963 » 17 Aug 2011, 00:11

In some Federal Departments, prior to obtaining security clearance, you may be asked to undergo a polygraph exam and they will ask you questions in regard to your citizenship. So its best to be up front about your intentions to certify your dual American-Italian citizenship.

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Re: top secret clearance and dual citizenship

Postby sceaminmonkey » 17 Aug 2011, 22:55

I have no intention of lying. sucks though. and some of the internships for moving abroad do indeed require a top level security clearance. out of curiousity does the italian consulate report my citizenship to the american government some how?

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Re: top secret clearance and dual citizenship

Postby mler » 17 Aug 2011, 23:55

No, the consulate does not report anything to the US government, but the US government doesn't need this. If you are in line for a Top Secret clearance, they will find out.

You may want to consider that if you have a US government position, your permission to reside in Europe will be taken care of by the US government. You will not need an Italian passport to do so. So, again, you may want to hold off on the dual citizenship, unless/until you are sure you do not want a sensitive government position.

BTW, the polygraph exam, as Italia notes, is not an uncommon requirement in some divisions. In fact, some retest on a regular basis.

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Re: top secret clearance and dual citizenship

Postby johnnyonthespot » 18 Aug 2011, 00:02

sceaminmonkey wrote:out of curiousity does the italian consulate report my citizenship to the american government some how?


I would doubt it. Nevertheless, this (your citizenship status) is not something to be deceitful or misleading about. If caught, the price to pay could be very high.

On a related note, keep in mind that US/Italian dual nationals are specifically prohibited from employment on US military installations within Italy in accordance with the Status of Forces Agreement ("SOFA") between the two countries.
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