Top Secret Clearance with possible dual citizenship with Russia


I arrived to the USA in the early 90-s from Russia, as a refugee with my family. My Russian citizenship was never revoked; nor I had to officially renounce it. My Russian passport expired back in the 90s. At about the same time I became a naturalized US citizen. From what I understand, I am still a dual citizen, although unintentional.

Now I am applying to a position that will require TS clearance with Poly and wondering whether this factor will disqualify me from the clearance.

Thank you very much in advance!

You have to take specific steps to renounce your Russian citizenship. You are a dual citizen and this is an issue in background investigations/security clearances.

A quick Google search will help you determine what you need to do to renounce your Russia citizenship.

I thought that naturalized citizens renounced their foreign allegiance? It was only if you were born with duel citizenship that this was an issue?

I had a friend in the military that had the same situation. He was from Russia and he became an intelligence analyst. He had to renounce his Russian citizenship. If you ever have to make an SOR I would state very clearly you do not have any intention of communicating with x person that still lives overseas. Good luck!

Thanks! I researched it already: the process of renouncing Russian citizenship is very long and complicated. Might take longer than a year.

I thought so too… Thank you for the quick response.

Have you thought about either working for the FBI or for the military? We always need people willing to serve that speak Russian.

Too old for the military. :slight_smile:

1 Like

So we have koshka, where is sobachka? @

Ed, automatically losing your previous citizenship when you are naturalized is a common misunderstanding. There are different books and sources out there. I carry the one published by OPM several years ago… it is free/public domain information.

I seem to recall that somebody I used to work with who was born in Russia (USSR) tried to renounce their Russian citizenship but it was too much of a long and drawn out process involving multiple visits to their consulate and lots of fees that they did not do it, and they still got a secret clearance.

Then there was the guy who was a Jewish emigre from the Soviet Union, he said they took his passport and gave him a piece of paper when he left… bet he never had to renounce!

The process is not easy - I saw that with just a few minutes of research.

Sobachka will join later. :slight_smile:

From what you describe:
Situation #1 - this person left after 1991 or 1992. Like I did.
Situation #2 - left before 1991. Those were required to recounce their citizenship before leaving the country.

Let me ask you this: will they freeze my case till I prove that I renounced my citizenship, or will they close my case and I’d have to reapply in the future?

Thank you very much!

I wouldn’t say your case will be frozen, but I think that renouncing citizenship (or at least making moves in that direction) will be part of the process.

From what I understand, some people get into a bind at this point because they have recently traveled using the foreign passport. Sounds like that is not a factor here.

I gave my passport to my FSO and she gave me a notorized affidavit and investigator looked at it and wrote down some information from it and gave me back. My country also has a long process when renouncing citizenship.

I am sorry for entering this topic with my question, but it seems somewhat related. I am a holder of a Western European passport and am a green card holder in the USA, enlisted in the military and going through the clearance process. As I am going to be eligible to file for US citizenship soon legally, I will automatically lose my current citizenship by this country’s laws (the moment I am American) If I was filing for American Citizenship and would proactively renounce the former citizenship, is this something worth letting me investigator now as it might diminish the “foreign preference” concerns that surely are part of any non American going through this process ?

I didn’t say that it was automatic. I said that I thought that naturalized citizens renounced their foreign citizenship. I meant as part of the process. It makes no sense to me that we would allow someone to become a U.S. citizen and retain dual citizenship.

I do realize that the fact that it makes no sense doesn’t mean that the government doesn’t work that way.

FBI, CIA or the State Department?