Naturalization has pitfalls for military

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

Recently on vacation visiting a friend on the Nicoya peninsula, we were perusing a public forum discussing the naturalization of a retired U.S. military member, (becoming a naturalized Costa Rican citizen).

The statement made by the forum participant (and I paraphrase) “does not lose retired pay if the foreign country is not one that is engaged in hostile military actions against the U.S.”  This statement was absolutely correct!  However, only when a retired member is retired from non-regular service.

Addressing this subject, the record must be set straight so as to prevent some unwary regular retiree from losing not only his U.S. citizenship, but also all retired pay and benefits!!

According to the Department of Defense publication 7000.14-R Financial Management Regulation Volume 7B, Chapter 6, any regular member (retired active duty) loses citizenship and loses retired pay and benefits upon becoming  the citizen of ANY other country upon naturalization.

Another paragraph  speaks to loss of citizenship by voluntary renunciation, or voluntary expatriation!

No matter what laws are being ignored at this time concerning citizenship, the laws being discussed remain in force, and all active duty regular retirees remain under recall to active duty and are still under oath!

Everyone retired from active regular duty should  avail themselves of the facts, prior to considering any naturalization action!

J. Farthington Carruthers
Chicago Illinois

EDITOR’S NOTE: The writer is correct, based on the documents he provided. However, expats also should know that Costa Rica requires those seeking citizenship based on time in the country to promise to renounce any other citizenship they might have. Many promise and then do not follow though, but the document still is in the files.

This entry was posted in Costa Rica News. Bookmark the permalink.