Becoming a citizen?

Old Aug 20th 2015, 1:13 pm
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Default Re: Becoming a citizen?

Originally Posted by between two worlds View Post
It may well be out of date, and I heartily wish they would change it!

I also know it means nothing in terms of my UK citizenship.

But surely one has to seriously consider the wording of an oath one swears to publicly, before officials, ending "so help me God" (or whatever formula you can chose if not religious)?
The "so help me god" part was the most convincing argument to me that the "oath" is a joke.
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Old Aug 20th 2015, 1:14 pm
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Default Re: Becoming a citizen?

Originally Posted by between two worlds View Post
Yes, absolutely, if you've chosen to make it your home, and not planning to go back to the UK to live, I can see one might have less difficulty with swearing to renounce Uk allegiance etc….
As I noted earlier, it's really nothing to do with going back to the UK to live... it has to do with your ability to enter the US after an extended time outside the US. A USC has the right of entry to the US... and no one else has that right - including those who have green cards!

As an aside, I've been a USC for 11+ years now, and I don't feel any less a Canadian or a Briton as a result.

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Old Aug 20th 2015, 1:45 pm
  #48  
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Default Re: Becoming a citizen?

I am not sure why people think the oath is out of date.

The "so help me god" can be left out (if you are not a believer) and as to the other parts renouncing allegiance, they seem pretty relevant especially with the general rise of terrorism globally. And given the history of the U.S.A it also seems especially relevant for UK citizens to renounce allegiance to the British Crown who's Parliament passed the Prohibitory Act in February 1776. It seem counter intuitive to have new Citizens who still want to remain loyal to a Monarchy who you had to fight a war with to get independence and the right to grant that Citizenship in the first place.
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Old Aug 20th 2015, 2:21 pm
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Default Re: Becoming a citizen?

Originally Posted by kimilseung View Post
What does Britain mean to you? Is it the state or the sum of the cultures that have grown out of the people and the islands soil?

I have no loyalty to any Queen or monarch nor to a state, as that is only as good as those who control that state. States values can come and go, I will be happy with some and deplore others, they are a bit thrown away. I have a similar problem with the US pledge of allegiance "I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the republic for which it stands" I can not pledge allegiance to any flag or any republic. To ideas and ideals yes, but not to a piece of cloth and a moveable feast like a Republic.
Very interesting. I need to think about my feelings of loyalty to Britain. They are wound up more with the culture, history, landscape, scenery, etc etc than with the Queen or the State….and yet…I do feel a loyalty to Q and state too….

I agree with you about the US pledge of allegiance, especially as it almost seems like worship of the flag.
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Old Aug 20th 2015, 2:23 pm
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Default Re: Becoming a citizen?

Originally Posted by BubbleChog View Post
The "so help me god" part was the most convincing argument to me that the "oath" is a joke.
?? I don't really understand this. Of course for people who don't believe in any sort of God, it is meaningless to say that part, so you are allowed to use a different formula.

But whichever formula, it is surely serious, and not a joke….?
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Old Aug 20th 2015, 2:25 pm
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Default Re: Becoming a citizen?

Originally Posted by ian-mstm View Post
As I noted earlier, it's really nothing to do with going back to the UK to live... it has to do with your ability to enter the US after an extended time outside the US. A USC has the right of entry to the US... and no one else has that right - including those who have green cards!

As an aside, I've been a USC for 11+ years now, and I don't feel any less a Canadian or a Briton as a result.

Ian
Sorry, I should be putting all my responses in one post instead of all separate…

yes, I know the practical point of becoming a citizen is to allow easy re-entry to the US.
For this reason I can see the great advantage of having citizenship.

No argument there. It would make my life much easier.
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Old Aug 20th 2015, 3:03 pm
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Default Re: Becoming a citizen?

Originally Posted by tht View Post
I am not sure why people think the oath is out of date.

The "so help me god" can be left out (if you are not a believer) and as to the other parts renouncing allegiance, they seem pretty relevant especially with the general rise of terrorism globally. And given the history of the U.S.A it also seems especially relevant for UK citizens to renounce allegiance to the British Crown who's Parliament passed the Prohibitory Act in February 1776. It seem counter intuitive to have new Citizens who still want to remain loyal to a Monarchy who you had to fight a war with to get independence and the right to grant that Citizenship in the first place.
It's out of date because so many people who take the oath retain their other citizenship(s). When it was written, it was assumed that new US citizens were losing their prior citizenship(s). It's also recognized that many people do in fact retain some sort of allegiance to their country (or countries) of origin. That's just natural.

The concept of dual citizenship (or, more accurately, multiple citizenships) is now generally accepted by the US - in line with most of the rest of the world. Although the US does not formally recognize it and even frowns upon it, there are no laws restricting it. The 1967 Supreme Court decision in Afroyim vs Rusk was the final nail in the coffin for US restrictions on multiple citizenships. Congress could do something about it but so far it has chosen not to do so - and it's increasingly unlikely to do so with the passage of time since a growing number of the population, including elected representatives, benefit from having multiple citizenships.

Last edited by MarylandNed; Aug 20th 2015 at 3:16 pm.
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Old Aug 20th 2015, 3:40 pm
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Default Re: Becoming a citizen?

Originally Posted by MarylandNed View Post
It's out of date because so many people who take the oath retain their other citizenship(s). When it was written, it was assumed that new US citizens were losing their prior citizenship(s). It's also recognized that many people do in fact retain some sort of allegiance to their country (or countries) of origin. That's just natural.

The concept of dual citizenship (or, more accurately, multiple citizenships) is now generally accepted by the US - in line with most of the rest of the world. Although the US does not formally recognize it and even frowns upon it, there are no laws restricting it. The 1967 Supreme Court decision in Afroyim vs Rusk was the final nail in the coffin for US restrictions on multiple citizenships. Congress could do something about it but so far it has chosen not to do so - and it's increasingly unlikely to do so with the passage of time since a growing number of the population, including elected representatives, benefit from having multiple citizenships.
By "generally accepted by the US" I assume you mean not prohibited by law?

What is in the oath is the optimal outcome for the USA as a county, and they hold all the cards in granting Citizenship, so I don't get why they would change it? Having lived here for a few years, and seeing the general attitude towards immigration , I don't think it would benefit any elected Representative to support such a change, even if a very small number of prospective Citizens would like it...
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Old Aug 20th 2015, 4:04 pm
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Default Re: Becoming a citizen?

Most of the people at the "ceremony" I attended didn't say most of the oath anyhow. A few did, but we were a number of rows back (it was in a courtroom) and the only clear voice was of the judge. Bit like singing in church when everyone sort of mumbles and the vicar does the actual singing.

Total waste of time really. Take my money and mail me the cert. Better yet, send me a PDF and I can print my own.
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Old Aug 20th 2015, 4:12 pm
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Default Re: Becoming a citizen?

Originally Posted by tht View Post
By "generally accepted by the US" I assume you mean not prohibited by law?
Not only is it not prohibited by law, the concept of dual citizenship also appears in official government policy documents. For example:

Dual Nationality

"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. nationals may conflict with U.S. law, and dual nationality may limit U.S. Government efforts to assist nationals abroad. The country where a dual national is located generally has a stronger claim to that person's allegiance."

Hardly the words of a government that expects someone to renounce all foreign allegiances, are they?

Originally Posted by tht View Post
What is in the oath is the optimal outcome for the USA as a county, and they hold all the cards in granting Citizenship, so I don't get why they would change it? Having lived here for a few years, and seeing the general attitude towards immigration , I don't think it would benefit any elected Representative to support such a change, even if a very small number of prospective Citizens would like it...
I only said it was out of date. I didn't say they were going to change it. Although I have seen articles calling for it to be amended to reflect reality.

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Old Aug 20th 2015, 4:29 pm
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Default Re: Becoming a citizen?

Originally Posted by MarylandNed View Post
Not only is it not prohibited by law, the concept of dual citizenship also appears in official government policy documents. For example:

Dual Nationality

"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. nationals may conflict with U.S. law, and dual nationality may limit U.S. Government efforts to assist nationals abroad. The country where a dual national is located generally has a stronger claim to that person's allegiance."

Hardly the words of a government that expects someone to renounce all foreign allegiances, are they?



I only said it was out of date. I didn't say they were going to change it. Although I have seen articles calling for it to be amended to reflect reality.
My read of the oath is that you are renouncing allegiance not the citizenship. And what you have posted above even spells out that you may still have other allegiances, so yes it does contradict itself.

And given that there are probably upwards of 14m people living here who would swear it, and mean, it AS IS, I don't see any change coming, and as some one that wants to retain my other Citizenship's I think this is a topic that is better left as it is lest they make the laws match the oath...

I do think its ironic that its UKC's who have an issue with it, given the UK oath (which they have never had to swear if born a Citizen) is much more open ended, and is made to an un-elected monarch and her heirs... rather than in support of a written constitution that seeks to protect their rights.
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Old Aug 20th 2015, 4:36 pm
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Default Re: Becoming a citizen?

Originally Posted by tht View Post
They do, and they let you do it (don't force you to legally renounce your other Citizenship), count yourself lucky that it's that easy for you and you can keep both. Indians do not fare so well, and neither do some Europeans who have to jump through hoops to keep their Citizenship when becoming a USC.
China makes you give up your Chinese citizenship when you become a US citizen, my wife's cousin, his Chinese wife who is also a USC, and their son, currently are only permitted to reside in her home town on a tourist visa and must leave and rent a hotel room in Hong Kong for a month each year before she can reapply for a visa.

The only issue I can think to add is if a US dual citizen living in the US needed a higher level security clearance for work in which case the US govt may ask you renounce your foreign citizenship as they did for a Canadian friend who now works for the Navy.

Last edited by Dewey; Aug 20th 2015 at 4:50 pm.
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Old Aug 20th 2015, 4:48 pm
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Default Re: Becoming a citizen?

Originally Posted by Dewey View Post
China makes you give up your Chinese citizenship when you become a US citizen, ......
So does India, but I am still not clear how it is that a non-US country keeps track of when their citizens obtain another nationality.
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Old Aug 20th 2015, 4:49 pm
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Default Re: Becoming a citizen?

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Some of the propaganda videos at the swearing in ceremony were a bit odd, as I really feel that I am less free than I was as a British citizen in the UK, but still it was the right decision for me.
At my US nationality ceremony there were 700 other applicants and when the USCIS official made a boring speech runing through the new rights we had acquired, an Afghan man spoke up and added to the end of her list "...and freedom". Made me think at that moment about Norman Rockwell's "four freedoms" poster series. To break the mood USCIS then chose to belt out Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA" through the PA system (cringe), I wish they had chosen "America the beautiful" instead.
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Old Aug 20th 2015, 4:51 pm
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Default Re: Becoming a citizen?

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
So does India, but I am still not clear how it is that a non-US country keeps track of when their citizens obtain another nationality.
I know for Germany at least there is a question on the passport renewal application form. So they may not know right away, but would assuming you renew your passport.

Come to think of it so does the UK

"Remember if you’re a dual national, you must send a colour photocopy of your non-UK passport (every page including blank pages) as part of your application. You may be asked to show your non-UK passport at a later date."

Last edited by tht; Aug 20th 2015 at 5:50 pm. Reason: add UK
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