The application of the second paragraph of section 2 of the act of March 2, 1907.

To the diplomatic and consular officers of the United States.

Gentlemen: Referring to the department’s circular instruction of April 19, 1907, entitled “Expatriation,” and especially to the second paragraph of section 2 of the act of March 2, 1907, quoted on the fourth page thereof, you are informed that the department has decided that this paragraph is not to be construed as retroactive. In other words, it has been decided that the foreign residence of a naturalized citizen prior to March 2, 1907, is not to be computed in determining whether such person has expatriated himself by a residence of two years in the foreign State from which he came or five years in any other foreign State. It will be seen that this decision will not affect cases arising in the future of persons who shall have resided for two years in the foreign States from which they came, because of the fact that more than two years have elapsed since the law went into effect. This decision will affect, however, the cases of naturalized citizens residing in foreign countries other than their countries of origin, because of the fact that, as five years have not yet elapsed since the law went into effect, the presumption created by the statute has not yet become operative against such persons, and will not become operative as to them until March 2, 1912. The status of such persons, meanwhile, must be determined according to the attendant facts and circumstances, which should in each case be fully reported to the department without delay.

I am, etc.,

Huntington Wilson,
Acting Secretary of State.