Last updated on: 1/30/2017 | Author:

Mar. 2, 1907 – Expatriation Act Revokes Citizenship of American Women Who Marry Foreigners

“The Expatriation Act, or “An Act in Reference to the Expatriation of Citizens and Their Protection Abroad, 1907,” approved by Congress on Mar. 2, 1907, declared that 1. any US citizen who becomes a citizen of another country or has pledged allegiance to another country has expatriated him/herself; 2. any naturalized US citizen who returns to his/her home country and lives there for two years, or lives in any other foreign country for five years has expatriated him/herself; 3. “any American woman who marries a foreigner shall take the nationality of her husband,” and will not be a US citizen but may resume her US citizenship if the marriage is terminated; 4. any foreign woman who marries an American man may retain her US citizenship after the marriage is terminated if she continues to live in the United States; 5. any child born in the United States to immigrant parents will be a US citizen if the parents become US citizens while the child is a minor and while the child lives in the United States permanently; and 6. any child born outside of the United States to US citizens is required to pledge allegiance to the United States when he/she turns 18-years-old.

In 1922 Congress repealed most of the part of the Expatriation Act that expatriated women. Women who married immigrants not eligible for citizenship, mainly Chinese and Japanese men, forfeited their citizenship until the Magnuson Immigration Act of 1943 repealed the exclusion laws.