Here's the story.

My wife was born in Peru, according to Peruvian law that granted her citizenship according to Jus Soli, additionally we still have her original passport from Peru. She was adopted by American parents as an infant and became a naturalized citizen when she was 3. We have all the documentation proving this, Birth certificate, Naturalization papers, passports, etc. This all occurred in the early to mid 90's.

My question, does she retain her citizenship to Peru? If her citizenship was renounced wouldn't we have official documentation showing it, issued from either the US or Peruvian governments?

  • 1
    This is a question about immigration processes, not about politics. I will migrate it to expatriates.SE.
    – Philipp
    Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 18:39
  • 2
    The US does not have a requirement for a naturalizing citizen to renounce her previous nationality (despite the content of the citizenship oath). I don't know about Peruvian citizenship law, but it's possible for a country to have a rule that when you get naturalized somewhere else, you automatically lose that country's nationality. The US has nothing to do with it; whether she is a Peruvian citizen or not is controlled solely by Peruvian law.
    – phoog
    Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 19:07
  • Based on what I've been able to find, Peruvian law is permissive of dual citizenship. Would her age affect the citizenship? She was naturalized when she was 3.
    – JPeck89
    Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 19:10
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    Some countries do not recognize naturalization of minors. But if naturalization in the US doesn't cause Peruvians to lose Peruvian nationality then that will probably be true regardless of her age. I really know nothing specific about Peruvian law, though.
    – phoog
    Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 19:16

2 Answers 2


The answer to your general question in the topic line is: It depends on the country of citizenship. Some don't care and allow dual (multiple) citizenship, some have automatic loss of their citizenship upon acquisition of any other citizenship by any means, and some others have a more complicated response depending on whether the other citizenship was acquired via marriage or decendency, or purposely sought.

As to your specific situation, she likely has now both American and Peruvian citizenship.

Wikipedia article on Peruvian Nationality Law

In practice, multiple citizenship is acknowledged and accepted by Peru and its consular and diplomatic staff.


Yes, your wife retains her Peruvian nationality. Peru in practice allows multiple citizenships and so does the US. There is very little risk you could lose your nationality, in some extreme cases.

Congratulations! In the case you have a baby, they will also be able to inherit your citizenships (US & Peru), and potentially acquire more (by birth).

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