Most often the main issue in foreign preference cases is possessing and/or using a foreign passport. Even if you just possess a foreign passport without ever using it, could potentially disqualify you from having a security clearance. Intent to destroy the foreign passport is insufficient. The passport must be destroyed, invalidated, or surrendered to the appropriate security authority.
Other problems which may arise under this guideline are:
- Maintaining a financial or business interest in a foreign country (this is also a concern in foreign influence cases).
- Foreign military service (even if it is with a strong ally of the United States) is inconsistent with holding a security clearance.
The Concern: When an individual acts in such a way as to indicate a preference for a foreign country over the United States, then he or she may be prone to provide information or make decisions that are harmful to the interests of the United States.
Conditions that could raise a security concern and may be disqualifying include:
(a) exercise of any right, privilege or obligation of foreign citizenship after becoming a U.S. citizen or through the foreign citizenship of a family member. This includes but is not limited to:
(1) possession of a current foreign passport;
(2) military service or a willingness to bear arms for a foreign country;
(3) accepting educational, medical,
retirement, social welfare, or other such benefits from a foreign country;
(4) residence in a foreign country to meet citizenship requirements;
(5) using foreign citizenship to protect financial or business interests in another country;
(6) seeking or holding political office in a foreign country;
(7) voting in a foreign election;
(b) action to acquire or obtain recognition of a foreign citizenship by an American citizen;
(c) performing or attempting to perform duties, or otherwise acting, so as to serve the interests of a foreign person, group, organization, or government in conflict with the national security interest;
(d) any statement or action that shows allegiance to a country other than the United States: for example, declaration of intent to renounce United States citizenship; renunciation of United States citizenship.
Conditions that could mitigate security concerns include:
(a) dual citizenship is based solely on parents’ citizenship or birth in a foreign country;
(b) the individual has expressed a willingness to renounce dual citizenship;
(c) exercise of the rights, privileges, or obligations of foreign citizenship occurred before the individual became a U.S. citizen or when the individual was a minor;
(d) use of a foreign passport is approved by the cognizant security authority;
(e) the passport has been destroyed, surrendered to the cognizant security authority, or otherwise invalidated;
(f) the vote in a foreign election was encouraged by the United States Government.