Eric has been doing a great job of finding information about the real number of Americans giving up their citizenship, so much so that in my last Overseas Exile post on this topic, I was amused to discover that he had (as usual) already found the information I was researching and posted it here with much more analysis than I had the time to do. So my apologies if this has already been posted here.
Interestingly, though, expatami posted a link to this FATCA discussion (pdf) posted by an investment firm in Switzerland. Near the top of page five is the following:
Of the almost 40,000 US citizens who are estimated to live in Switzerland, [Minus the over 900 of whom have renounced their US citizenship in 2012 alone according to Ambassador Beyer]
Can anyone help to verify those numbers? If true, that implies that over 2% of Americans living in Switzerland are giving up their US citizenship. If you consider that it takes 12 years of residency to get Swiss citizenship and renunciants are unlikely to renounce without another citizenship, than we have some shockingly high numbers here.
With those numbers correct (I’m suspicious) and were the renunciation rate constant around the world (a bad and, I assume, incorrect assumption), we would have had over 141,000 Americans abroad renouncing last year (assuming a 6.3 million world population of Americans abroad). I don’t think we’re anywhere close to that number, but if the above quoted numbers are correct, the Swiss would have to be renouncing at a rate of 150 times greater than the rest of Americans abroad were the 932 number to be correct.
There is a now well-known newspaper report stating that over 400 Americans renounced in Switzerland in the first 9 months of 2012.
The US government gave 200 million dollars to India in 2012 for a reality show in order to advertise U.S. cotton:
Em, thank you for adding your comment to the request at
I’m not holding my breath waiting for a response, but I don’t know any valid reason why the numbers of CLNs issued should be secret. If they ARE considered secret, that will really tell us something about the state of the US government!
To others who are still US citizens: Please ask your US representatives to find out how many Certificates of Loss of Nationality the State Department is issuing each month and of those, how many are renunciations and how many are relinquishments. Or, if you have relatives living in the US, ask them to ask their Congresspeople and Senators those questions. If the State Department won’t give out the figures, ask them why they won’t. Encourage any US journalists you know to ask the State Department the same questions.
Secrecy means that the administration has something to hide, probably for a good reason, such as preventing civil war, mass emigration or even discouraging some wealthy individuals from moving abroad. I’ll vote for the later.
The news today discussed another former American who became stateless, Harmon Wilfred. Some in New Zealand want to deport him:
@SwissPinoy: Henry Martyn Noel, who renounced right before Davis:
Around the same time there was also Arthur Taylor, a black soldier who renounced in Paris in 1948 to protest racism in the US Army, but he came back to the US in 1952:
Came across your post just by accident. FWIW, my wife and I both live in Switzerland and have both renounced our citizenship. The consul wouldn’t directly answer our question about how many renunciations there are; he just said “a lot more than there used to be”. I can well believe the 900.
FATCA has made it very difficult to live in Switzerland as an American. No bank will take your business unless you sign the FATCA form – and that form contains absolutely outrageous provisions dictated by the USA: Your financial information can be shared with anyone, anywhere, and you have zero recourse if the information is misused. More, it explicitly requires us to surrender our rights under Swiss law – the country in which we live and work – and to accept not only US law but also the laws of other countries not named. Insane!
As a last note: Our names have never appeared on the “name and shame” list. As I understand it, that list is only for people who meet the criteria of expatriating for tax reasons, which is a very small portion of all renunciations and relinquishments.
Thanks for your post and congratulations on your decision to make a break for freedom. Swiss RTS radio also reported on 27 April 2013 that around 900 American citizens and permanent residents had renounced in Switzerland in 2012, based on ACA information from public statements by the US ambassador. Attached is the link to the broadcast called “”Avant, j’étais citoyen américain”:
On a related topic, I recently learned that my neighbor in Switzerland, who is 50+ and whom I had always thought was Swiss in spite of his Italian name, is Italian only and has lived here since he was a toddler on a permanent residence “C” permit. He said he has always been happy enough to be just an Italian and never saw a reason to change nationality. I was also like this until the banking situation became unnavigable here for ordinary Americans. In a certain way, it is my neighbor who should be taking out Swiss citizenship and not me, but my hand has been forced and I refuse to live as a second-class person.
@Medea Fleecestealer : How long did you have to wait for your appointment?
How long did it take? mayn questions or just the minimu?
Thanks from an interested person!
@james leroy, I booked the appointment at the end of January for the first week in March. I picked up my CLN a month later from the embassy as I was going away for a couple of weeks so checked whether it had been approved and received back and luckily it had.
Thanks. How long did the interview last? Was the atmosphere good or aggressive?
It was only 10 minutes or so for both parts, the rest was just hanging around waiting. First slot was to go over the forms and make sure they were correct and then to make the payment, waited for over half an hour and then another 5/10 minutes with the Consul official to do the actual renunciation bit.
You can read my report of it here:
It’s on page 130.
There was no aggression. I think they’ve had so many at Bern now that it’s just treated as another service so no atmosphere of any kind. Just people going about their daily jobs and being professional about it.
Any one knows if persons having renounced their US citizenship had problems when (re-)entering the USA as tourist and foreign citizen?
A few have and it’s always something you have to be prepared for. But most cross with no problems.