In early February, Late Loyalist told his 2011 OVDI story, a harrowing tale: his 5% voluntary disclosure fine was $1589.00, with zero taxes owing to the United States, but his lawyer fees exceeded 20k. He now reports that he has renounced his United States citizenship.
Wednesday March 7th at 3:45 pm Calgary time I renounced my US citizenship. What a relief! I can’t tell you how good that first step feels.
I was ushered into the Consulate at 2:45, paid my $450 fee and waited. There was a 76 year older man ahead of me who couldn’t decide what to do. I waited 45 minutes for him to decide. Each time he hesitated the Consul tried even harder to convince him it didn’t ‘cost anything’ to keep his US citizenship. In the end the old guy signed and left relieved. You could see the visible relief on his face.
While I waited I had the chance to review the oath of renunciation and the statement of understanding before going through the process.
I got a similar five minute lecture, same as the old guy. Keeping US citizenship doesn’t cost anything.
I had written my ‘renunciation’ letter in the context that it sounded like I wanted to relinquish if I could. The answer was No. The reason was that when I took the oath and became a Canadian, ‘did I do this with the ‘intent’ to relinquish my US citizenship’? Since I couldn’t show or prove intent the Consul didn’t think this applied to me. I said, “I’ll renounce, where do I sign”? I wasn’t rude about it but I did push to get through the process. I raised my right hand and the Consul read the ‘oath of renunciation’ to me. I said ‘I do’, signed the two documents and was out in 10 minutes. No second meeting required. I was told that it could be 6 months to a year before I get the CLN. Until then I’m supposed to live like I’m an American.
It was all done in 10 minutes! As I walked back to my work place I felt that all the crap that had been heaped on me since August of 2011 had lifted. As I said to the Consul, “now, I’m just like 35 million other people, and that can’t be bad”.
The staff was polite and efficient and the whole process went real well. I hope that any of you who choose to take the step of renouncing your US citizenship have the same experience I did.