The website of the U.S. Embassy in Dublin (archive.org — archive.is) is stating that they have “no Renunciation [Sic] appointments available at the U.S. Embassy Dublin from 6th April 2016 until 5th December 2016″. Hat tip: @DavidSShaw13 on Twitter.
So I decided to see whether other embassies & consulates had any similar revelations on their websites, and made tables of the results. These tables cover 175 locations — at least one post in every country where the U.S. State Department has (or had) a permanent physical presence, though not all posts in each country are covered. According to the State Department, the U.S. has “more than 270 diplomatic locations around the world”, though some of these are missions to international organisations or otherwise don’t handle renunciations. These are divided into two groups:
1. A table of links to the renunciation information pages of U.S. embassies & consulates, along with any notable comments on those websites about their procedures (51 entries)
2. A second table of embassies/consulates whose webpages don’t contain any detailed information on renouncing U.S. citizenship nor any mention of how to make an appointment (124 entries, or more than 70% — including twelve embassies to European Union member states).
From my examination so far, Dublin is the only post whose website confesses to a renunciation backlog. However, others reveal they are restricting the supply of appointments to an hour a week or one half-day each month. The rest won’t openly admit their backlogs or scheduling restrictions at all (though we know thanks to Patrick Cain that Toronto has a similar 10-month backlog). And some are deliberately making things even more difficult & time-consuming by demanding a two-appointment process with a two-week wait or longer in between, or telling you to fill out unnecessary forms in quintuplicate, or other such absurdities. (And very few are clear about their procedures for non-renunciant relinquishers, or even mention the word “relinquishment” at all.).
The majority of posts instruct you to email or call for renunciation appointments, and state or imply that they don’t accept online bookings; I find it quite likely that these posts are also silently restricting the supply of appointments. Only a few (for example, Brussels and Seoul) explicitly indicate that online booking (under the “notarial or other services” category) is acceptable. It might actually be easier to get an initial appointment at one of the posts whose websites don’t mention renunciation: since they don’t mention any restrictions on appointments, they can’t object if you just go ahead and book under “notarial or other services”. These posts also probably perform so few renunciations that their staff will have to ask you to come back again for a second appointment so that they can read up on the procedures in the interim & check with their superiors, but at least they might feel too embarrassed to make you wait the better part of a year for the second appointment.
Also see the Isaac Brock Society Consulate Report Directory for first-person accounts of what actually happens during renunciation & other relinquishment interviews.
Table 1: Links to renunciation information pages
|Country or territory||City||Archive links||Making an appointment||Serves non-residents of consular district||Comments|
|No (“If you reside in Albania”)||Minimal information buried in a multi-topic page. Directs readers to Bureau of Consular Affairs site for more information.|
|“[E]mail the American Citizen Services (ACS) unit at the Consulate General serving your area to schedule their initial mandatory interview.”|
|Telephone||Extremely short & uninformative page without even a BCA link for more information.|
|Not specified||Only major page devoted to renunciation is about Selective Service, and does not explain appointment procedures. The A-Z Subject Listing (archive.org; archive.is) has an entry for “renunciation of citizenship” with a broken link (even when you remove the “mailto”, it’s still wrong).|
|No||Serves residents of Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, and Saint Vincent & Grenadines only.|
|Online booking (“Notary services”)||“A time to reflect of at least two weeks is afforded to all citizens after the first interview.”|
|Not specified||“We offer renunciation appointments on the afternoon of the second Tuesday of each month.”|
|No online booking||Main “loss of nationality” page is short & uninformative, does not tell you how to get an appointment, demands you email them if you want details, and directs readers to BCA site for more information. Appointments page (archive.org; archive.is) warns that bookings can’t be made online.|
|“Renouncing U.S. citizenship is a two-step process and may require more than one visit to the U.S. Embassy.”|
|Email only, no online booking||Information buried in multi-topic page.|
|Telephone or email||“You may need to fill out forms as follows (5 copies for each form)”. Says you should fill out DS-4083 (the actual CLN) yourself.|
|Telephone or email, no online booking|
|Telephone only, no online booking||“Priority will be given to applicants who reside in Hong Kong or Macau”|
|Not specified||Minimal information. Directs readers to BCA site for more information.|
|Email? (not clear)|
|Not specified||Only explains Section 349(a), does not explain how to get an appointment or what their procedures are.|
|No details on procedures, demands you send an email to get any information.|
|Email (to worldwide State Dept. address)||“All Renunciations are processed in Frankfurt”, despite that there are three other U.S. posts in Germany.|
|No||“American Citizens who wish to renounce their U.S. citizenship or have any questions concerning this should contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate having jurisdiction over their place of residence.”|
|Online (“notarial and other services”)?||Passports & Citizenship page mentions renunciation, lists it under “By Appointment Only” services, says “click on the link to make an appointment”. Links for some services (e.g. “Data change or correction of passport”) go to forms which then link to the online booking system, but the renunciation link just goes to the BCA site, which doesn’t tell you how to make an appointment in Guatemala.|
|Telephone or email?||Online booking system only has options for passport services|
|“Appointments are scheduled on a first come, first served basis. Please request an appointment only if you are able to attend.”|
|Telephone or email||Minimal information buried in a multi-topic page. Directs readers to BCA site for more information.|
|Don’t call us, we’ll call you||Says you must mail or e-mail them the completed forms (including a DS-4083, the actual CLN itself), then they will contact you five days later to schedule a phone interview, then another in-person appointment.|
|Telephone or email?||“Renunciation is a complex process that requires an interview at U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv, filling out multiple forms, and a $2,350 processing fee. Contact us by phone or email (contact information) to confirm our current procedures.”|
|“Renunciation interviews are only conducted at the U.S. Embassy in Kingston, Jamaica. The Consular Agencies are unable to assist with renunciations.” Directs readers to BCA site for more information.|
|Online inquiry form||“If you wish to request an appointment for an initial counseling, please indicate at least three preferred appointment dates. Appointments are available only on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons at 14:00, excluding Japanese and American holidays.” The page on Loss of Nationality does not mention the word “renunciation”, only “renounce”, so the internal search engine, which doesn’t do stemming, won’t find it on a query for “renunciation” (archive.is). The A-Z Listing of Services (archive.org; archive.is) only links to the BCA site, not the local Loss of Nationality page.|
|Online booking (“Notarial & other services”)||“Giving up U.S. citizenship requires two visits … the second visit, approximately 2-3 weeks from the date of your first visit.”|
|Email only, no online booking||“The initial interview is followed by a period of reflection before the renunciation ceremony appointment will be scheduled … If interested in renouncing U.S. citizenship, please send us an email … Please do not make an appointment for a renunciation interview via our website.”|
|“Please be aware that the renunciation process requires two separate visits that are at least 48 hours apart.”|
|Minimal information: “Please note that it takes at least 6 – 8 weeks to receive the approval of a renunciation from Washington. The Embassy will hold your U.S. passport during this period.” Directs readers to BCA site for more information.|
|Minimal information buried in multi-topic page, without even a BCA link for more information.|
|Not specified||Minimal information buried in “Dual Nationality” page. Instructs applicants to contact an embassy or consulate for renunciation, but does not specify how to make an appointment.|
|Email, no online booking||No further information about renunciation on individual consulate pages (Ciudad Juárez, Guadalajara, Hermosillo, Matamoros, Merida, Monterrey, Nogales, Nuevo Laredo, Tijuana).|
|Post-specific renunciation questionnaire implies that first appointment of dual appointment system is optional?|
|Myanmar (Burma)||Yangon (Rangoon)||archive.org
|“Priority … to applicants who reside in Myanmar”||“The initial interview is followed by a period of reflection before the second interview will be scheduled”.|
|No American Citizens Services are provided at the embassy in The Hague. Amusing sidebar: “As tax obligations are sometimes a factor in considering renouncing U.S. citizenship, it may be useful to know the United States and the Netherlands signed an intergovernmental agreement to implement the Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)”.|
|Not specified||“This second interview allows individuals to reflect on the very serious act of losing U.S. citizenship. This step is required by law and cannot be skipped, accelerated, or omitted.” The statute does not require this and the Foreign Affairs Manual is not law or even regulation.|
|Telephone or email||Minimal information buried in “Dual Nationality” page; directs readers to BCA site for more information.|
|“Priority will be given to applicants who reside in Singapore”||“We accept most major international credit cards, U.S. equivalent in Singapore dollars or U.S. travelers’ checks. U.S. dollars, personal checks, debit cards or payment by NETS are NOT acceptable.”|
|Not specified||Minimal information buried in “Dual Nationality” page. Instructs applicants to contact an embassy or consulate for renunciation, but does not specify how to make an appointment.|
|Telephone or email||“Appointments are scheduled approximately two weeks in advance, on a first come, first served basis … travel is significantly restricted to the United States while approval is pending.”|
|Telephone or email||“On your first visit, you must come in person with your U.S. passport any Thursday afternoon 2-3pm … Chinese-language renunciation is only available on the first Thursday of the month whereas English-language renunciations will continue on a weekly basis.” Also has separate page on how to give up a green card.|
|“The renunciation process requires two separate visits that are at least 48 hours apart”. The Chiang Mai consulate seems not to handle renunciation (no mentions of it on their website).|
|Not specified.||Only explains Section 349(a), does not explain how to get an appointment or what their procedures are.|
|United Arab Emirates||Dubai||archive.org
|Minimal information buried in multi-topic “Frequently Asked Questions” page.No mention of renunciation on the website of the embassy in Abu Dhabi.|
Table 2: posts with no renunciation information
The below table lists 124 posts whose webpages don’t contain any detailed information on renouncing U.S. citizenship nor any mention of how to make an appointment to do so.
Just because a post’s website lacks information about renunciation, it does not mean they don’t process renunciations. You can always try booking an appointment online under “notarial or other services” unless they specifically forbid you from doing so. For example, we know that René González renounced in Havana. It just means that that they don’t advertise the availability of the service nor tell you how to get an appointment. To be fair, many of those posts are in countries where there probably isn’t much local demand for the service — but keep in mind that people from neighbouring countries may have to take a renunciation vacation there in order to get an appointment within a reasonable period of time. (Also note: three posts in Table 1 above state or imply that they do not take renunciation appointments from people living outside their consular district.)
Links go to search results for the word “renunciation” showing no relevant results at the given embassy or consulate website. Only archive.is links are provided in the “archive link” column, as archive.org can’t save these search result pages. This table does not include countries where the U.S. does not have an embassy at all and relations are handled by a non-resident ambassador accredited to two or more countries (e.g. Andorra, Bhutan, Guinea-Bissau, etc.).
|Country||City||Archive link||Search engine||Search term and comments|
|Afghanistan||Kabul||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (only results are fees tables and mention of renunciation on passport application form)|
|Armenia||Yerevan||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (sole result is mention of renunciation on passport application form)|
|Bangladesh||Dhaka||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (only results are outdated fees tables)|
|Belarus||Minsk||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation”. Main page says Belarus made them cut down the embassy to six staff members, so they probably cut out a lot of services.|
|Belize||Belmopan||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (only results are fees tables)|
|Benin||Cotonou||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (only results are a fees table & a form download page)|
|Bolivia||La Paz||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (only results is a fees table)|
|Bosnia & Herzegovina||Sarajevo||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (sole result is mention of renunciation on passport application form)|
|Brazil||Brasilia||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (only results are fees tables)|
|Rio de Janeiro||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation”|
|Brunei||Bandar Seri Begawan||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation”|
|Central African Republic||Bangui||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation”|
|Colombia||Bogotá||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (oddly, sole result is visa information page which doesn’t mention renunciation)|
|D.R. Congo||Kinshasa||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (sole result is fees table)|
|Costa Rica||San José||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (only results are fees tables)|
|Cuba||Havana||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (only results are fees tables)|
|Dominican Republic||Santo Domingo||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (sole result is fee hike announcement)|
|Egypt||Cairo||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (sole result is fees table)|
|El Salvador||San Salvador||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (there’s a line item for it on the A-Z Services Page, but it doesn’t have a link)|
|Eritrea||Asmara||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (sole result, ironically, is a security advisory which warns that “Eritrea has complicated citizenship laws and does not recognize renunciation of Eritrean citizenship” and discusses difficulties faced by citizens who haven’t paid the diaspora tax)|
|Fiji||Suva||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation”. Embassy Suva also covers Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, and Tuvalu.|
|Gambia||Banjul||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (sole result is mention of renunciation on passport application form)|
|Hungary||Budapest||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation”: no results. Only a vague allusion to the idea on their U.S. Citizenship And Passports FAQ (archive.org; archive.is), which otherwise only discusses maintaining citizenship): “Upon request, ACS can send you information sheets on ‘Possible Loss of U.S. Citizenship’ and ‘Dual Nationality’ by mail”|
|India||New Delhi||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (only mentions are fees tables and a dual nationality page which discusses renouncing Indian citizenship; some of the alleged search results don’t actually mention renunciation at all)|
|Iraq||Baghdad||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (sole result is mention of renunciation on passport application form)|
|Italy||Rome||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (sole mention of renunciation is a broken link to the BCA site buried at the bottom of the page about filing N-600K (archive.is; archive.org) with no information about making an appointment)|
|Jordan||Amman||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (sole result is a fact sheet incorrectly claiming that “one of the requirements for naturalization in the United States is a renunciation of other nationalities” and discussing involuntary loss of U.S. citizenship)|
|Kazakhstan||Almaty||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (only results are fees tables, a mention of renunciation on passport application form, and discussions of Kazakhstan’s renunciation of nuclear weapons)|
|Kenya||Nairobi||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (sole result is outdated fees table)|
|Lesotho||Maseru||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (sole result is mention of fee hike)|
|Liberia||Monrovia||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (sole result is fees table)|
|Libya||Tripoli||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (sole result is fees table)|
|Lithuania||Vilnius||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (sole result is fees table)|
|Madagascar||Antananarivo||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (sole result is fees table)|
|Malaysia||Kuala Lumpur||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (sole result is fees table)|
|Federated States of Micronesia||Kolonia||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation”|
|Moldova||Chisinau||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (only results are mentions of fee hikes)|
|Mongolia||Ulaanbaatar||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (only results are mentions of fee hikes)|
|New Zealand||Wellington||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation”. The US Citizens Services (archive.is; archive.org) and Apply for a Passport (archive.is; archive.org) pages have a link to the BCA site on renunciation, but do not give any information about appointment procedures.|
|Nicaragua||Managua||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation”. Sole result is a American Citizens Service Assistant job ad (archive.org; archive.is) which mentions renunciation cases as one of the responsibilities.|
|Niger||Niamey||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (sole result is mention of fee hike)|
|Nigeria||Abuja||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (sole result is fees table)|
|Oman||Muscat||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (sole result is mention of fee hike)|
|Palau||Koror||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (sole result is mention of fee hike)|
|Panama||Panama City||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (only results are mentions of fee hikes)|
|Papua New Guinea||Port
|archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (sole result is mention of fee hike). Consular district also includes Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.|
|Paraguay||Asunción||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (sole result is mention of fee hike)|
|Philippines||Manila||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (only results are mentions on passport application forms and a fact sheet incorrectly claiming that “one of the requirements for naturalization in the United States is a renunciation of other nationalities” and discussing involuntary loss of U.S. citizenship)|
|Portugal||Lisbon||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (sole result is mention of fee hike)|
|Russia||Moscow||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (only results are mentions of fee hikes and of renouncing Russian citizenship)|
|South Africa||Pretoria||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (only results are fees tables)|
|Sri Lanka||Colombo||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation”. Consular district also includes Maldives.|
|Sudan||Khartoum||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (only results are mentions of renunciation on passport application forms)|
|Suriname||Paramaribo||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (sole result is fees table)|
|Syria||Damascus||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (sole result is mention of fee hike). Embassy has been closed since February 2012.|
|Vietnam||Hanoi||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (only results are information about renouncing Vietnamese citizenship)|
|Tanzania||Dar Es Salaam||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (only results are fees table and mention in passport application form)|
|Trinidad & Tobago||Port of Spain||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (only results are fees tables)|
|Turkmenistan||Ashgabat||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (only results are fees tables and information on renunciation of Turkmenistani citizenship|
|Uruguay||Montevideo||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation”. Sole result is a one-sentence mention of dual nationality & renunciation on the Additional Services page (archive.org; archive.is), with a link to the BCA site and no information about appointment procedures)|
|Uzbekistan||Tashkent||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation”. Only results are a mention on the passport application form and a discussion of renunciation of Uzbekistani citizenship on the Dual Nationality page (archive.org; archive.is)|
|Yemen||Sana’a||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (only results are fees tables)|
|Zimbabwe||Harare||archive.is||search.usembassy.gov||“renunciation” (only results are a fee tables and a mention of renunciation of Zimbabwean citizenship)|
It’s worth quoting Victoria’s reaction from two years ago:
Now I’m just an old lady and I don’t pretend to be the brightest crayon in the box but if the goal here is to “break even” then they are looking at this all wrong. Read the outline of the procedure again. Does that sound efficient to you? Just the assumption that any US citizen showing up to renounce his US citizenship doesn’t really understand what he/she is doing and has to have it explained ad nauseum (intensive interviews?) and then be sent off to a corner like a little kid to reflect on it before being allowed to come back and do the deed, is just ridiculous. Right there I’d say just treating people like adults and assuming that they do know their own mind would save a lot of time, money and hassle all around.
And the narrative that will come out of this fee raise is not likely to focus on “cost recovery” at US consulates around the world but on what is going to be perceived as a punitive act on the part of the US government. It looks like they are so embarrassed by the renunciation numbers and the lines to renounce at the US consulates that they are looking for ways to reduce or slow down the demand. Think about that. Has the state of US citizenship in the world really come to the point where the US government thinks that Americans have to be actively discouraged from renouncing?
That is what people are likely to take away from this news. That the United States is trying to keep it’s citizens captive by finding quasi-legal methods to interfere with their right to expatriate under international law.
The State Department later claimed that all of the rigamarole they let each consulate add to the process, not to mention the obscene fee, “does not impinge, but rather protects, the right of expatriation”. What this really seems to mean is that State seized on a few examples of people who didn’t know what they were doing or who were trying to throw sand in the gears, and used that as an excuse to treat the rest of us like delinquent children and force us to subsidise the time spent on those other cases.
Don’t you love paying taxes & fines for this kind of “protection” from the United States?
At least in the beginning, what we found out was that one could renounce/relinquish at ANY consulate. There is no rule that says one is restricted to the locale where one resides. Though practices at particular consulates seem to be uneven across the board.
@Norman Diamond: the 4 months seems to be the time until getting the CLN (“until receiving final approval”, as the article puts it), but it’s not clear when they started counting that four months: from the time of the first appointment, or from the time of trying to book a first appointment.
For what it’s worth, back in 2012 a South Korean lawyer who handles US renunciations also said the timeline was “2 to 4 months” (in response to a question by a reader who’d just had their first renunciation appointment):
Amazing job doing all the research and putting the above table together.
U.S. Embassy Dublin has moved their renunciation page to a new location. The message about “no appointments until December” has been removed.
Not clear whether they are actually offering more appointments, or just hiding the bad news after it drew attention. In any case, at least we’ve got archive snapshots of all those pages.
No DS-4079. Was this the case before?
@iota: same as before, no mention of DS-4079
Very few consulates even hint at the possibility of relinquishment. My guess is that’s simple bureaucratic laziness: relinquishment cases take more time to process, and $2350 couldn’t possibly be enough incentive for them to get off their collective behinds and do real work. (I’d wish a thousand Harmon Wilfreds on them in revenge, except that would probably make the appointment backlog even worse for everyone else.)
@Eric – thanks.
I must have missed Dublin when I was planning my renunciation. I wasn’t able to relinquish, and didn’t want to fill in the intrusive we-own-your-thoughts DS-4079 as it’s not required for renunciations and includes a question which could injure others. So I searched for consulates within easy-ish reach of London that didn’t require DS-4079 for renunciations, but I somehow must have missed Dublin. (Ended up in Amsterdam, which was fine – just a somewhat longer journey.)
After I read your post yesterday, and looked at Dublin’s website and found no DS-4079 required, I wondered if there might be a general change of practice afoot, with Dublin being an early adopted. But apparently not. It was just my mistake. Thanks for clearing it up for me.
Over on the big renunciation thread, Dave says he e-mailed the U.S. consulate in Toronto five months ago (i.e. around March 2016) and just got a reply from them in August 2016 giving him an appointment in January 2017. Ten months from initial contact to appointment. WTF.
Layoffs at the State Department. Dunno whether it will affect appointment availability.
Deadline passes for dual citizens in government posts to renounce foreign citizenship
The Philippines only gave dual citizen government employees a six-month window in which to renounce their other citizenship. That’s not even enough time to get an appointment at many US consulates.