The Chief of the Division of Passport Control (Huddle) to the Consul at Beirut (Knabenshue)

The Department has received your despatch No. 2121 of March 17, 1926, in which you refer to the Department’s circular instruction of January 8, 1926, ruling that the presumption arising under the second paragraph of Section 2 of the Act of March 2, 1907, shall not be considered to be resting against a person who was born in one self-governing dominion of the British Empire and is residing in another portion of that Empire until he has resided there for five years. You request to be informed whether, in view of that ruling, persons born in what was formerly a part of the Ottoman Empire and residing in a locality now independent of Turkey, and other than the place of their birth, should be considered as residing in the foreign state from which they came.

The Department considers that the words “in the foreign state from which he came” should be considered to mean “in the foreign country from which he came”; and that it was the intent of Congress that the presumption should arise after a residence of two years in the country in which the person originally had his home. Accordingly, if persons of the class mentioned by you are residing in territory which was their original home, the presumption of non-citizenship arises against them after a residence there of two years, even though the territory itself is now under the jurisdiction of a different sovereign than at the time of the birth of the person concerned.

Conversely, cases arise in which a naturalized citizen takes up his residence in a country which, as defined by present boundaries, is not the original home country of such person, but was formerly a part of the country from another district of which he came. The presumption will not arise against such persons until the expiration [Page 555] of five years. For example, in the case of Mrs. Olga Josephine Lehrs who was born in Moscow, Russia, and naturalized through marriage to a native citizen of the United States, it was decided that the presumption of expatriation would arise against her after a residence of five years in Latvia.

J. K. Huddle