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?
I relinquished 3 years ago, I had to literally insist on relinquishment and guide them through the process. I was prepared, by reading Brock and reading every online reference to the subject matter from the State Department’s official documents. By being fully prepared I was able to avoid any issues and sail smoothly through.
This is invaluable @Eric. Thank you so much for all your work. Always appreciated. Useful to point to when our NON-US home country of residence advises that the only remedy for the US abusing us extraterritorially via FATCA+US extraterritorial taxation (and all our fellow local taxpayers footing the implementation/enforcement bill to buy the US free lunch forever and ever) is to “JUST Renounce”.
I also hope the accretion of evidence will help with the complaint to the UN http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/2014/07/28/human-rights-complaint-on-behalf-of-all-u-s-persons-abroad-has-now-been-submitted/ .
Wonder if Patrick Cain http://www.patrickcain.ca/ would be interested in the data in order to do a follow up to his stories like these;
‘Want to shed U.S. citizenship? Get in line?’
Doesn’t surprise me that you have to wait until 2017 nearly to make your faithful journey over to Phoenix Park to divorce the USA.
This bunch of D.C. Pukes makes people do what they should never have to do and that is renounce their citizenship. These Pukes are supposed to work for us and if they don’t we are supposed to replace them. I will bet that the expats have all been delinquent in the voting the Pukes out movement. Let it br your last act as a citizen–voting all incumbents out of office.”
The is one other thing an expat could do before taking such a final stand as renouncing and that is to insist with a writing campaign that these people who are our employees that they pass the FairTax and right away, so you don’t have to renounce.
The wait times will only increase. What is the hardest thing to understand and also the hardest thing for all of my English, German, Dutch, German, french, Italian, Chinese and other friends, is that this situation, of ever growing renunciations, has been going on for several years already and not once, to my knowledge, as a major U.S. news network done their job and actually interviewed three or four or more renunciants, to hear from them firsthand why they did this. No, not in the United States, where there is no objective news reporting. Imagine a country where the lines to give back the nationality only grow and where diplomatic posts have to announce publicly that they have major backlogs, with waits to renounce exceeding 8 and 10 months in many cases (Dublin, Toronto), yet the U.S. news media don’t investigate. They only repeat the same false stories, like the one I actually saw on CNN two years ago, when they mentioned that people were renouncing in ever increasing numbers. The comment of ‘The World’s News Leader”: “Well, I guess these people simply refuse to pay their taxes and contribute their fair share. They can live elsewhere, but the IRS will get them eventually.” What stupidity! Forgetting the economic and image harm that this is causing to the U.S., so many people internationally now realize that the U.S. is not the liberal and free place that the propaganda machine sends out. It is a disgrace, probably one of the greatest and most evil situations that a person has to be put into, to be forced to renounce a tie to a country, just to survive outside of it. More and more will join the group of liberated and now free former U.S. chattel slaves.
This is duplicitous, degrading, disgusting and all the other D words I can find. Especially those consulates that are restricting their appointments to a few hours a month? And they had the nerve to raise the fee?
And the Homelanders who always say just renounce are not reading this. Also even Canadians who say none of us should have dual citizenship. It’s always Hotel California time to me.
I imagine that if they actually designated sufficient time to address the backlog, that is the only business the Consulates would be doing nowadays. They wouldn’t have time for anything else. They could easily streamline this (like doing it online, for example), not to mention charge a reasonable fee but they won’t. Just one more reason people are standing in line to get out.
Each ex-citizen who emerges from this pathetic meat grinder is another enemy of the US government. Not only is it a disgrace, it makes no absolutely no sense. But then, there is not much currently going on in the US that makes any sense.
Great work! With regard to Canada, Toronto has no appointments available prior to December 2016.
These backlogs should add some fuel to the fire to a potential U.S. court challenge of the high renunciation fee – further showing that the Department of State is “restricting” and “impairing” one’s right to renounce under the Expatriation Act of 1868.
Thanks from me as well, again and again, Eric. It all starts, unless it has changed from when I went through the public school systems in New York and Washington, that there is no (or piss-poor) education on the exceptional US citizenship-based taxation law into the very poor communication that should be easily provided by DOS consulate and embassy websites to educate anyone who is thinking of renouncing just what the process, the costs, the wait times will be for them. I know in my gut that some will never find the information they need to make their own decisions about starting their own journey into expatriation hell.
Why would the US DOS or anyone in the homeland think anyone would ever wish to leave their homeland, for whatever reason?
…and heard (Moodys Gartner) that number of appointments at some consulates / embassies in Canada are exploding, with wait times upwards of from 12 to 20 months in some places.
Absolutely terrific post and charts, Eric! I’ve linked to it on the How to Renounce and Consulate Report Directory pages.
Such a despicable situation, given that people need to have these appointments asap to get back to living normal lives.
once again, Yeoman’s work from @Eric
The boiling frog cliche is appropriate here, and this shows the frog is getting hotter and hotter.
Thanks, Eric. Outstanding as usual. The US knows no shame.
Once again Eric and his spreadsheets have covered another outrageous aspect of the seedy FATCA affair. Good work!
Pure lunacy. Why in the hell is this being done one by one? Get a room of 200 people at a time, they can take an oath and be done with it. crazy
Well well well, the US government 404’ed this page:
maybe because I linked to it in another IBS thread.
The last available snapshot captured a 403 instead (access denied):
But an earlier snapshot still lives:
“7 FAM 1221 INTRODUCTION
d. A potential loss-of-nationality case or previously approved loss case may also come to the attention of a consular officer abroad or passport specialist at a domestic passport agency or center in the course of adjudicating a passport application. 7 FAM 1223 provides guidance about how to proceed in such cases.”
So, in combination with my earlier analysis that you can relinquish for free by applying for a US passport and declaring that you voluntarily performed a relinquishing act with intent to relinquish US nationality, you can do it at a passport agency in the US, maybe at a US post office. You don’t have to wait for an appointment, but you might have to be interviewed … maybe at a US post office, does anyone know?
Following are the other steps I quoted before.
7 FAM 1221 b lists four questions that the consular officer should ask, and the passport applicant will answer yes to all of them.
7 FAM 1222 c directs the consular officer to proceed according to 7 FAM 1224.
7 FAM 1224 describes steps that we’re familiar with. There is no mention of a fee. 7 FAM 1224.5 indicates that an interview might be necessary but does not state a blanket requirement.
7 FAM 1226 requires the consular officer to prepare an opinion memo.
7 FAM 1227 requires the consular officer to prepare a CLN.
7 FAM 1227 c has a textbox saying:
“As explained in 7 FAM 1240, copies of approved CLNs are distributed to:
Department of State Citizenship Files (CA/PPT)
The expatriate (via the U.S. embassy or consulate)
Notice who the second recipient is. Also notice who the fourth recipient is.
7 FAM 1227 e(7) says:
“If the CLN is disapproved, but the passport was canceled and returned to the applicant for use of the foreign visa, the applicant may apply for a new passport for which the requisite fees may be charged. 7 FAM 1300 Appendix G provides guidance about circumstances when passports may be issued without charging fees.”
Apply for a passport and declare that you already intentionally relinquished. If you get your CLN, there’s no fee. If your CLN is cancelled and then for some reason you still want a new passport, there might or might not be a fee for the new passport.
I noticed another George popped in, welcome! This is the original George. 🙂
This is disgusting and as someone said adds fuel to the UN complaint but should also be fodder for Joe Arvey.
The FACT that renunciation has essentially become impossible because of cost, time, complexity and wait means that the FATCA IGA is an absolute farce.
This adds support to the idea that IF you can commit a relinquish act, do it IMMEDIATLY, document same to the best of your ability and worry about a CLN later.
And the other thing that made my blood boil was my PM WAS involved in shady offshore deals BUT same PM agreed to FATCA IGA making my childrens accounts blocks from our house OFFSHORE!!
Pukekonz No need for a room. They should make it as easy as Canada made it for Tec Cruz (and anyone else renouncing Canadian citizenship). One simple form. $100 Canadian (about $70 U.S.). One stamp. Drop it in a mailbox. Done.
In addition to the delays and the expense of the renunciation, some people cannot afford to travel to a Consulate. Others can’t travel to a
Consulate for medical reasons. Some can’t travel to a Consulate because it is simply too far away.
U.S. State Department is intentionally making it as difficult as they possibly can. It’s part of their game. They keep losing their own game so they keep changing the rules. Then they accuse us of cheating.
Carol, could you download Normans link and archive it with Brock?
I’m willing to bet they would not give someone a CLN that way now. They’d probably just reject the passport application for “insufficient documentation” or something like that.
I also bet the next version of the FAM removes this whole backdoor entirely, or somehow modifies it to charge $2350 for the actual CLN.
“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.”
The “sand in the gears” link points to the Wikipedia article on Juan Mari Brás:
‘In Lozada Colón v. U.S. Department of State (1998), the plaintiff was a United States citizen, born in Puerto Rico and resident of Puerto Rico, who executed an oath of renunciation before a consular officer at the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. On April 23, 1998, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia held that the case was about “the much debated political question as to the status of Puerto Rico and its nationals in relation to the United States.” It added that “While Plaintiff may well have strong political views with regard to Puerto Rican independence and the need for a citizenship separate and apart from the United States, this is not an issue for this Court to decide”, and concluded that “the Plaintiff must seek another, more appropriate forum to express his political views.”‘
“Puerto Rico and its nationals” eh? Hey court, Puerto Rico has citizens. The US has US non-citizen nationals in American Samoa and some other places, and the US had US non-citizen nationals in Puerto Rico before the US made them US citizens, but Puerto Rico has citizens.
‘The United States Department of State position asserted that renunciation of U.S. citizenship must entail renunciation of Puerto Rican citizenship as well.’
This time it isn’t clear if the confusion is in the court or in the Wikipedia author. US citizenship cannot be renounced. US nationality can be renounced. I’m not sure if US non-citizen nationals have to acquire US citizenship before they can renounce US nationality, but still the renunciation step renounces US nationality. Somewhere I read that renunciation of US nationality also causes loss of US citizenship but I wonder if that’s really authoritative. Anyway, renunciation of US nationality should not cause loss of Puerto Rican citizenship because Puerto Rican citizenship existed before the US took over Puerto Rico and continues to exist despite all the manipulations the US has done with regard to the US status of those people over the years.
‘The Court described the plaintiff as a person, “claiming to renounce all rights and privileges of United States citizenship, [while] Plaintiff wants to continue to exercise one of the fundamental rights of citizenship, namely to travel freely throughout the world and when he wants to, return and reside in the United States.” The court based this decision on the Immigration and Nationality Act section 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(38), which defines the term “United States”, and evince that Puerto Rico is a part of the United States for such purposes.’
Hey court, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(38) defines the term “United States” when used in a geographical sense, not constitutional sense. The 14th Amendment doesn’t make Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands of the United States, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands parts of the United States. A person born in those areas gets US naturalization at birth by some other act of Congress, not by by 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(38) and not by14th Amendment. That naturalization makes them 14th Amendment citizens; without it they would still be US non-citizen nationals the same as American Samoans, and Congress could do the same to future newborns if Congress wished. So, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(38) doesn’t make these people US citizens, it only makes these people US nationals.
The district court had good precedent for confusing US citizenship with US nationality. US Supreme Court did the same in Afroyim v. Rusk. But the law doesn’t do that, unless in Afroyim v. Rusk US Supreme Court rendered unconstitutional any law that distinguishes US nationality from US citzenship.
‘Based on the federal court ruling in Colón v. U.S. Department of State (1998), years after the U.S. State Department accepted his renunciation, Juan Mari Brás was notified on June 4, 1998, by the U.S. Department of State, that they were rescinding their acceptance, and refused to accept Mari Brás’s renunciation, determining he could not renounce his United States citizenship as he did not request another national citizenship, and he was born and remains living and working in Puerto Rico.’
Wow, so a Brocker isn’t the only one who had their CLN revoked.
Or worse, they’d go ahead and issue the passport, claiming that the act of applying for a passport demonstrates intent to retain US citizenship. Now you’re a documented citizen again.
(For clarity, my previous post was an afterthought to my post before that, not a response to Norman’s post in between.)
“Or worse, they’d go ahead and issue the passport, claiming that the act of applying for a passport demonstrates intent to retain US citizenship.”
I don’t think the FAM allows the consular officer or passport specialist to ignore the applicant’s declaration when following FAM procedures to determine if the applicant is still a US national or not.
Of course if the passport applicant declares that they intended to keep US nationality at the time of performing the potentially expatriating act then the application does help demonstrate that intent. For example, me in previous decades, when I didn’t know what was coming.
It looks like they took this entire FAM series down. I suppose they are going to rewrite it, eliminating any “loopholes”
When the time comes (and it is getting closer every day), I will indeed be committing a relinquishing act, I will document same, and I will then get my CLN later, as you suggest. Who knows, I may even get a CLN sooner (when I request an appointment at the consulate I will certainly mention that I am ALREADY no longer a US citizen). I do very much like the idea of taking the control over this process out of their hands.
I will also travel to the US on my brand-spanking-new non-US passport, if the need arises, even before I get a CLN. It would, after all, be ILLEGAL for me to travel on my no-longer-valid US passport, wouldn’t it?