File No. 136.2/57a.

No. 193. Special Instruction. Consular.


To the American Diplomatic and Consular Officers in Central America, Mexico, Panama, and the West Indies, and the Considar Officers in Canada.

Gentlemen: With reference to the circular instruction of April 19, 1907,1 and amending instruction of May 14, 1908,2 prescribing rules whereunder the presumption of expatriation arising against naturalized American citizens under the provision of the second paragraph of section 2 of the act of March 2, 1907, may be overcome, you are “informed that the Department has come to the conclusion that exceptional treatment should be accorded certain naturalized citizens temporarily residing in countries near to the United States for reasons and in a manner not inconsistent with the retention of American citizenship and protection. Accordingly, in pursuance of the discretionary authority vested in the Department by the law mentioned, the following rule is prescribed, in addition to the existing rule:

(Special rule a): In the case of a naturalized American citizen residing in Canada, Mexico, the West Indies, Central America or Panama, the presumption of expatriation may be overcome upon his presenting to a diplomatic or consular officer satisfactory evidence that he is employed by a legitimate corporation or company or principally engaged in any legitimate concern, which is effectively owned and controlled by a citizen or citizens of the United States and materially promotes the interests of this country, and that he intends to return to the United States to reside.

When there seems to be any doubt as to the application and effect of the above rule in a particular case the matter should be referred to the Department, with a full statement of the pertinent facts and circumstances, for its determination. In this connection it may be observed that, in the case of a person against whom the presumption of expatriation has arisen, if it is shown that he has retained in good faith in this country a residential house or other property, such fact, although not of itself decisive, should be given due weight in determining his status, and particularly the question of his intention of returning to the United States to reside.

I am [etc.]

P. C. Knox.

Index under:

  • Expatriation; Citizenship.

The provisions of this circular apply to the diplomatic and consular offices in

  • Canada,
  • Central America,
  • Mexico,
  • Panama,
  • West Indies.