I was very happy to report on a born-dual friend’s successful consulate meeting this week, in which he applied for a CLN based on his relinquishment at the time of taking government employment.
However, Brockers have reported some consulate personnel erroneously telling them that a person born dual or who acquired their non-US citizenship as a minor is unable to expatriate except by renouncing. In fact, there is no automatic disqualification of such persons from having the capacity to perform certain other relinquishing acts.
Such consulate personnel are probably conflating s. 349(a)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act with all other non-renunciation methods of relinquishing one’s citizenship. Section 349(a) (1) is naturalising in a foreign country after having obtained the age of 18 with the intent to relinquish. Obviously a person cannot naturalise in a country they’re already a citizen of.
It appears that s. 349(a) (2), taking an oath, may also not apply to persons who already possess citizenship in the country they’re taking the oath to, as DoS has a 4-prong test for determining if an oath of allegiance is “meaningful” for this purpose. Prong 4 is “the making and receipt of the oath or affirmation alters the affiant’s legal status with respect to the foreign state” (7 FAM 1252(h))”.
But that still leaves not one, but three, possible ways for a person who acquired non-US citizenship at birth or as a minor can terminate their US citizenship:
— Commissioned or non-commissioned military officer in the armed forces of a foreign state, s.349(a)(3);
— Government employment in a foreign state or a political subdivision thereof, 349(a)(4) [eg. federal, provincial, municipal];
— Renunciation, s. 349(a)(5).
Subs (6) and (7) deal with war and treason, so presumably not relevant to this particular discussion.
CLNs based on government employment have been issued to persons who acquired their foreign citizenship at birth or as a minor. I’m aware of several of these and I know of none that have been rejected because the person was born dual or acquired their foreign citizenship as a minor — nor can I find anything in the law or DoS procedure manuals to indicate that this could be a ground for rejection. I was also in contact with a citizenship specialist at DoS/Consular Affairs/Legal Affairs in Washington regarding persons-born-dual, who told me that it was her understanding that this was not a bar to relinquishing under subs (3) and (4).
Reports on the consulates are mixed, though. At Calgary in 2012, Prairie Girl had to insist that her s. 4 based application be sent to Washington, where it was approved over a Calgary consul’s negative recommendation in her CLN file. Authentic had no problem at Halifax in 2013. In recent months, people have run into problems with this misconception at Toronto, though another person had a smooth meeting at Ottawa, where the personnel were both aware of s. 4 and that it can apply to a person born dual.
It starts to feel like luck of the draw, so bone up on it before you go. Bring 349(a) and the relevant sections of the DoS manual/s with you. They have this information, of course, but you can have relevant passages pre-marked for convenience, if needed. Educating oneself is always important for any type of expatriation, and knowledge of the specifics of the law and procedure can be critical in any case where the consulate official handling your case is not familiar with CLN applications based on the sub-section you relinquished under.
Basically, be prepared, and politely but firmly stand your ground if a consulate official tells you that you are precluded from having relinquished under s. 3 or 4 because you were born dual or acquired your second citizenship as a minor.
8 USC 1481, Text of Immigration and Nationality Act, s. 349(a)
USCIS charts: if born to US parent/s outside the US, ascertain if you are or are not a US citizen.
Chart 1: Children born outside US in wedlock
Chart 2: Children born outside US outside of wedlock
Department of State Manuals:
7 FAM 1210 Introduction
7 FAM 1220 Developing a Loss of Nationality Case
7 FAM 1270 Military Service and Loss of Nationality
7 FAM 1280 Loss of Nationality and Taking Up a Position in a Foreign Government
Experiences of Brockers:
Reports by persons who relinquished upon taking government employment. The reports are in reverse chronological order based on date of consulate meeting.
You can also access these reports, along with all other relinquishment/renunciation reports reported to Brock, throughout the Consulate Report Directory. The Directory is arranged in chapters by consulate, and reports appear chronologically within each chapter.
Related Brock page: Born Outside the US and/or Born Dual.
Cross-posted at Maple Sandbox.
@calgary411, He can’t easily get a CLN because he was a minor at the time he became a Canadian citizen. He would have to renounce to get a CLN which is a headache we are not prepared to face yet considering all that is involved.
Even if he had a CLN all that might do is make certain that he can’t qualify for a Nexus card. Nexus card holders are supposed to be people who can breeze through US checkpoints. He needs to be able to maintain his Nexus card because he travels to the US on business. If a person renounces US citizenship to get his CLN, they may see that person as a threat to the US and not want him to be able to get into the country more easily which is what the Nexus program allows him to do. This is a real catch-22.
We’ll just pretend everything is going to be fine as it has been for the last 10 years he’s been traveling using his Nexus card.
Crimeny! Hope the Nexus card is at least good for several years before next renewal. Good luck to your family; good luck to us all.
@molly and @Kathy
When I went for my relinquishment in Halifax last April I thought I should give them too much rather than not enough. I keep everything; can’t throw nothing away.
So I gave them my letter of offer of employment for my gov’t job from 1972, the Oath to the Queen and Canada signed and dated from my 1st day at work, Recognition certificate for 35 years service signed by Stephen Harper, a Direct Deposit payment statement from employer, and even a Pension statement after my retirement from that job.
Hope this helps.
@calgary411, his Nexus card is good for 5 more years since he just got it renewed. I’m sure he won’t have any trouble renewing it in the future as long as he doesn’t renounce!
Wow, as I read my posts from yesterday I realize I should not be writing anything without a couple of good nights of sleep. Sorry, but it’s been an incredibly stressful week with only a couple of hours sleep each night. Managed six last night – best in over a week now.
You’re absolutely right with the dates. I was discussing a point with a neighbour at the same time and obviously got the two mixed up! Hopefully will manage better today.
Yes, please forward @WhatIAm’s email address to me. It sounds like we’re attacking this from the same point.
What you say is more than a little disturbing. I wonder if I should try the consulate in Ottawa as they seem to have a better track record on this.
Thanks @Authentic1213 for sharing this. I read about your relinquishment on the page describing people’s experiences renouncing and relinquishing. You were certainly very well prepared! I have an official “record of employment” with my employment dates, but no job description. I’m hoping to get a letter outlining my job titles and responsibilities on letterhead from a former colleague who’s still with the crown corporation in a senior position. I didn’t have to sign any kind of oath, but I also know that is not a requirement for relinquishment, despite what some consular offices are telling people.
Pacifica, your work in this area has been so helpful.
Like Kathy (in light of MyKitty’s disconcerting experience at Toronto), I also am wondering about Ottawa being a better place to go to try relinquishing arguments.
FWIW I don’t think you need a letter from your present or former employer listing your job duties nor a copy of a job description. My wife applied for relinquishment both on the basis of naturalizing as a Canadian AND on becoming a federal public servant. We prepared annexes to the form 4079, in which she briefly described her job duties, and (separate annex) copied out the oath of allegiance sworn by public servants, as provided by Library and Archives Canada (if I recall correctly). It wasn’t possible to get the actual personnel records of these things; her former department didn’t have an archived file on her, and Archives doubted they did.
State Department had no trouble accepting any of the above, as part of her signed oath on 4079 (which essentially certifies that everything said in or attached to that document is the truth). What we don’t know, is whether that would have sufficed if she had been born dual and hence didn’t have an oath at a citizenship ceremony (which we did get via an Access to Information Request for the contents of her citizenship file from Citizenship and Immigration Canada; the link to the request appears elsewhere on this website also at Sandbox, I believe — also here it is
So I’m not convinced that you need a statement of your duties on official letterhead, though of course if you can in fact get that, so much the better.
Good luck, and be patient — I suspect everyone applying for a CLN these days may have a longer wait than a year or two ago, since State is probably getting deluged with applications these days.
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Here is an interesting little ditty. It looks like according States own manuals we should be able to get a CLN in 30 days;
“b. CA/OCS/ACS should usually complete action on an original finding of loss-of-nationality case within 30 days of receipt. If a delay is anticipated, the post will be notified.”
This is from 7 FAM 1220.
And as I think about it, this is another arrow for the attorney.
Has your wife received her CLN yet? Apparently it states which INA section the relinquishment is based on.
Your post applies to me directly. I worked for The City, but so far they are refusing to give me a confirmation letter because their own records don’t go back to 1975. I told them I have CPP records from Ottawa (took 4 months to get it), but the HR person’s opinion was that they couldn’t certify my employment based on that. She is, however, meeting with their lawyer for another opinion.
Do I understand that your wife wrote her own letter, and that she got nothing at all from her former employer because they refused her as well, due to the lack of their own record?
Thanks for this, @schubert1975. Learning about everyone’s experience is so helpful….I appreciate you taking the time to post your wife’s experience. I plan on making my appointment to relinquish this week. I’ll keep everyone posted on how long the wait is.
Going to consulate in Toronto in June to document past relinquishment based on government employment. I’m dual since birth. I have my letter of employment and my statement of intent to relinquish based on that expatriating act. Included in my statement is the exact section of code 349(a)(4). Any suggestions if I my interview there is met with that same “you can’t relinquish if you were dual since birth?” Has anyone been in touch with the DoS in Washington about this?
I have decided to go ahead and seek a backdated CLN from the date I became British (1992) with intent (oath and pledge of allegiance to HM etc) alternatively when I became a Justice of the Peace (1993- 2 oaths witnessed by a judge) I have lived in Amsterdam for the past 3 years and thought I might apply to the Consulate there as it is more user-friendly than the US Embassy in London. I was told that I couldn’t get an appointment for an interview until September or October. So I got in touch with the London Embassy because they say that appointments are made about a month in advance.
The extraordinary thing is not the difference in time it takes to get an interview but the things that are requested before the interview will be scheduled. Amdam wants a 4079 and a 4081 and a fairly short and reasonable list of information (name, DOB, last address in US, how much time did you live in the States, what other nationality and how obtained. )They don’t ask for any documents (at least at this stage) .In addition to the 2 forms requested by Amsterdam, London wanted a Renunciation Questionnaire, an informal renunciation acknowledge, a 4080, a 8854 AND a copy of my birth certificate, the biometric pages of all passports, certificate of naturalisation, and marriage certificate, and divorce decree if applicable.Just about everything but fingerprints and favourite colour.
It’s a no brainer. It’s worth waiting for an appointment in Amdam. I made it quite clear in both my enquiries that I have performed several potentially expatriating acts and would like to have my intentional relinquishment recognised and made official. I don’t like going to the London Embassy anyway.
London wants an 8854 among all the other over-the-top requirements compared with Amsterdam? That really jumped out at me. What right do they have to ask for IRS Form 8854? Things are really getting out of control, each Consulate allowed to make up its own rules. No wonder it takes longer to get an appointment in Amsterdam.
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It’s been my understanding that London put the 8854 in their 31 page renunciation packet for “informational purposes,” as are several of the DoS forms in there, such as the oath of renunciation form (4080) and the CLN form (4083), which the embassy has been filling out. In any event, the 8854 can’t be completed in advance of renunciation, as one wouldn’t know their net worth on renunciation day until after that day occurs.
They’ve posted the documents they want sent in in advance, but the only forms it mentions there are the 4079, the London Renunciation Questionnaire and the London Informal Renunciation Acknowledgement. They started with their Informal Renunciation Acknowledgement when they switched from a two-visit to a one-visit renunciation procedure in 2012, apparently as a replacement for the first visit. It basically asks if you understand the consequences of renouncing (it’s pretty similar to the 4081 actually) and the final question asks if you want to speak to a consulate official prior to your renunciation meeting. The Renunciation Questionnaire is pretty similar to the ones the consulates in Canada are using.
London wants scans of the supporting documentation in advance, which seems to be pretty rare, but they’re mainly the same documents you have to bring to your expatriation meeting at any consulate/embassy. The one I don’t get the purpose of is all marriage certificates/divorce decrees. I know consulates require a marriage certificate if there was a change of name upon marriage – but apart from that scenario, it seems completely irrelevant, as does divorce decree.
This is not the first time I have had inaccurate or incomplete advice from London. I consulted them when I applied for naturalisation and was not referred to section 349 at all and only told that enlisting in the military would result in automatic loss of US nationality. The letter I received listing requirements did not indicate what was for information only. It was obvious in the case of documents which were not forms. But then I have also had the bad luck of having a court house completely lose a vital record which has created all sorts of problems.
I am well prepared though and do have all sorts of documentation. I am legally trained and know how to marshall evidence and present a. case effectively.
I think that Amsterdam is just a friendlier and more laid back city than London. 40 years ago I couldn’t imagine living any place else but I was younger and things were different.
When I registered as a resident in Amdam I neglected to bring a document which was in storage in Scotland. The person I was dealing with just shrugged, said to bring it when I could and registered me without it. That’s a perfect example of sympathetic bureaucracy which would be hard to find in London or the States. It’s just a very civilised place
Thanks for the link to the Londom Renunciation packet. This is the first time I have ever clapped eyes on it. I was certainly not sent it
I am an accidental who has become a New Zealand citizen and thereby sworn allegiance to the queen and have an official document to prove it. I also work for the NZ government as a teacher. Both of these prior to 2004. What should I do? Try relinquishment ? Is this enough to get the IRS off my back. Just found out about FATCa and am freaking out!! Thanks for helpful comments.
If you were over 18 when you became an Aussie and if you had the intent to relinquish, then you are no longer a US citizen.
All you need do is inform a consulate that you intentionally gave up your USness. They have NO grounds to refuse you a CLN.
There are many good opinions that you do not need to contact (file anything with) the IRS.
Links are to the right under ‘important information’ and ‘list of links by subject’. You are in good shape. Sleep well. Consider a donation to ADCS.
Sorry , Kiwi. How dumb am I?
I entered AU in 2007, beginning a new partnership, intending to give up my US citizenship fully once I was an AU citizen. When the relationship broke down due to abuse, it took until the very end of 2009 to secure permanent residency. During that time, I had stopped filing tax returns on advice of my ex. After the breakup, I heard from another expat that I had to file- so I started filing again. In 2012, I (& my two kids) took our oaths to become Australians. At that point, I decided to try to find out what I was supposed to do to actually relinquish my US citizenship. I found all of the forms– & on the one that seemed the most relevent, it said I needed to have five years of tax filings. I took that to mean I had to wait five years (thinking this was the US making you wait to be sure?). SO, just recently, I find that isn’t right either!!! Now I have sat & wasted so much time & in that interim was filing (as I thought it was smart) & voting in the pres. elections (because I always have). I also vote here in AU.
I now want to make the appt. at the embassy but I’m concerned how it looks…I really feel like such an idiot. At the time, it seemed logical– but in defense, I went through a world-move, abuse, a terrible break-up, a time of stressful immigration limbo, my daughter was hit by a car, I lost my job (work place shut), & five days later a car accident totalled my car (& me). The accident was only a few months before we became AU citizens. So yeah, a lot happening + a lot more I’m omitting.
My query is: how would you approach the first appointment? I truly always intended to relinquish my US citizenship— but I’m now being warned that because I didn’t do this in due course, I must renounce! Oh- & I just found they charge $3000+ AU dollars! I only earned $16k last year! No wonder they want you to renounce…
Any help would be very much appreciated.
Welcome to IBS you are among friends many of whom have been through similar situations as you.
If you have voted in US elections and have been filing US taxes since you received your Australian citizenship then I am afraid you will not be able to relinquish and can only renounce. You do not have to worry about how it will ‘look’, it is your right to renounce …(if you are able to afford to do so)
You will then have to certify that you have flied the last 5 yrs of tax returns and 6 yrs of Fbars on the 8854 document due in June in the year after renouncing, otherwise you will be classified as a ‘covered expatriate’ If you do not have funds or inheritance in the US and are not concerned about returning there this is a mute point. Read carefully the info on this site. Others will chip in advice that I have overlooked.
Jane. It all depends on what you want at this point. You have only been in OZ for 8 years. Is there the slightest chance you might want to return to live in the US?
If not, you could just forget about the US entirely.- do nothing. I don’t know how this would affect banking in AU. I.E. What do they ask when you open an account?
Or as Heidi points out, you could renounce and then do nothing more, or finally, after renouncing , you could backfile 5 yrs of tax returns in order to be fully compliant. You probably don’t absolutely have to backfile FBARS . All of the info you need is on this site . Look first at ‘how to renounce/relinquish, (top right)