How to Renounce/Relinquish
Consulate Report Directory (Brockers Describe their Consulate Meetings) and CLN Delivery Time Chart
Department of State Forms, Procedure Manuals, and Contact Info
Expatriation Date, Form 8854 & Certificate of Loss of Nationality
Important if Relinquishing Act Prior to June 4, 2004
Very important for pre-2004 relinqishers to read, the posts/threads at this link also contain some useful information for those who relinquished after June 4, 2004, or are planning to do so.
Interactions between Department of State and IRS regarding Renunciation/Relinquishment
You can renounce (or apply for a relinquishment-based CLN) if you have not filed taxes. Here’s some general information, with source links, relating to that and the relation between DoS and IRS in the context of renunciation/relinquishment.
IRS Ruling on Relinquishment and Retroactivity, 92-109
Relinquishment and Renunciation Data
The actual “relinquishment and renunciation data” was integrated into the Appendix of the Consulate Report Directory in 2013 (tracking chart of people’s wait times from booking to consulate appointment to receipt of CLN) and is continually updated there. The thread itself , however, has remained open and popular.
Relinquishment by Persons-Born-Dual or Who Naturalised in a Foreign Country as a Minor
Although a person who is already a citizen obviously can’t relinquish by naturalisation, any adult can relinquish by taking employment with a foreign government (or its subdivisions) or by joining the military.
Relinquishment by Naturalisation (INA, s. 349(a)(1)) by Person Born in US to Canadian parents: Cheryl’s Story. Relinquishing act (naturalisation) was her registering her birth abroad with the Canadian government in 1977 when she was an adult.
Cheryl’s detailed story contains information of particular interest to Canadians and general information which may also be useful to those of other countries and those with slightly different fact sets as well.
Reports by Persons who Relinquished US Citizenship Upon Taking Government Employment, Immigration and Nationality Act, s. 349(a)(4)(A)
The relinquishing act itself causes the citizenship loss. A CLN provides proof of it, but it’s not the only way to prove it.
Estate Matters for Former US Citizens
How the 877A Exit Tax May Apply to your Canadian Assets
This is a series of nine posts on different aspects of the exit tax. Much of it is relevant to persons in all countries.
Almost No US Citizenship Renunciation Appointments Left During 2016 in Dublin
The title highlights Dublin, but this post contains a chart of links to consulate websites’ and their info re renunciation appointments around the world, as well as ongoing discussion of the topic.
It looked like a new crew at the middle of nowhere border station where I normally cross, but this was the first time I crossed since some 20 months ago just before the land border was closed to non-essential travel.
It’s quite possible there’s a new memo out – or that the manual’s been changed.
That’s why I recommend carrying a copy of the Federal Register page referencing former sections of the INA if you are relying on those sections.
CBP like other large organizations periodically issues memos directing employees to be on the watch for particular circumstances. We only know about them when the questions change.
If I am correct in believing that they have to allow entry to a US citizen, why do they spent time trying to persuade people that they really are US citizens?
What is the penalty for using a foreign passport to which you are entitled?
The penalty for using a foreign passport is that by so doing, you have broken the US law that requires you use a US passport. However, since no penalty has been defined for breaking this law, the penalty is not a penalty.
However the penalty could be missing your flight you need to pre-clear US customs and someone decides to be a dick about it and send you in for a long lecture.
The penalty is that the people in line behind you are all delayed while the CBP officer delivers his lecture.
The problem is that most people have never heard of this requirement. The actual crime happened a long time ago, i.e, leaving the US without a US passport. Which, of course, makes no sense if you happen to be a dual who doesn’t live in the US, or someone who has lost US citizenship.
In my case, I moved to Canada long before a passport was required to cross the border, but that doesn’t matter. I still broke the law by leaving the US without a US passport.
Can anyone tell me if it is free to renounce after one’s 18th birthday for 6 months, so between the ages of 18 years and 18 years and 6 months? Thanks, Louise
AFAIK, Department of State charges $2350 regardless of age. There’s no mention of an exemption for under 18-1/2 in the DoS Procedure Manual for Renunciation.
(@All, if you are aware of a Dept of State exemption for people under 18-1/2 regarding the CLN fee, please let us know with a link.)
There is, however, an IRS exemption from owing exit tax for people between 18 and 18-1/2.
https://www.irs.gov/instructions/i8854#en_US_2021_publink100046231 (Near beginning of document under “Who Must File”):
Exit tax kicks in if: (1) a person’s average tax owed (not income) for the 5 years prior to expatriation is $172,000 or more, (2) or their net worth was USD 2,000,000 or more, (3) or they fail to file the exit tax forms. (In reality, when it comes to people who have never been in the US tax system, although like anyone else they’re supposed to file exit forms with IRS, some do and quite a few others don’t. My sense over these past 11 years, FWIW, is that most don’t,)
Posted by: The Beat Goes on on
(I had to re-post it as the sidebar link wasn’t connecting properly)
I finally decided to apply for a CLN.
My relinquishing acts took place in the late 60’s.
I have printed out the form Request for Loss of Nationality.
I see no mention on the form for Marriage Certificates needing to be supplied within a 5 year timeline as I believe was formerly the case.
It that still applies, please let me know.
The form asks for information about voluntarily performing the acts and the intent at the time they were performed.
According to the information I have, at the time of the acts INA (b) states i would have been presumed to have done so voluntarily.
There is no mention of intent.
I would like to put NA and quote the applicable section of the INA but feel that may be considered inappropriate.
How do I go about booking an appointment with the Consulate?
I found nothing online other than Visa appointments (1000 day wait time).
I saw nothing on their website for Renunciation or Relinquishment,
If there is a link or information here, I missed it.
I appreciate your input & taking the time to help.
Thank you for responding.
@ The Beat Goes on on,
Marriage certificate generally is not required, except if your named changed upon marriage. In Canada, as of a few months ago, the docs they were requiring were:
But only rely on the current list you get from your consulate/embassy.
You’re referring to Q 19 on the DS-4079, I presume.
“What was your intent with respect to your U.S. nationality when you performed the act or acts indicated in questions 8(b)(iii)- 11 and/or 16?, Explain your answer.”
They want to know what you wanted to do at the time you performed your potentially relinquishing act, that is that you intended to terminate your US citizenship by so doing at the time you performed it, and you can explain why. In my case, I didn’t like the idea of having two citizenships.
(3) Contact the embassy/consulate
That page will tell you, “If you are interested in information about how to renounce or relinquish your U.S. citizenship in Canada, please send an email to CanadaCLNInquiries@state.gov. You will receive a complete set of instructions and forms by email.”
Or are you in another country? If so, let me know and I’ll see what I can find.
Thank you Pacifica.
I’m moving this comment and the following one, both by Accidental Nominal, to here from the “Just Saying No: Not Renouncing or Relinquishing” because discussion of this matter was causing that thread to veer off-topic. The discussion started with this comment.
As with the above comment, this was originally posted on the “Just Saying No: Not Renouncing or Relinquishing” but I’ve moved it here as discussion of this matter was causing that thread to veer off-topic.
@ accidental nominal,
Decide which route you want to go, renunciation or relinquishment. If a person believes they relinquished, they have to be firm in their own mind that they did in order to clearly express this in the application and in speaking with the consulate officer.
The most foolproof way to lose US citizenship is to renounce. A consulate officer takes part in the renunciation, so there is no doubt a relinquishing act occurred (And the consulate officer will not let a renunciation proceed if s/he thinks the person is not mentally capable, not acting voluntarily, or does not have the intent. This almost never happens, btw (you’d have to come across pretty confused for them to think this).)
To receive a relinquishment-based CLN, you have to establish:
1. You performed a potentially relinquishing act;
2. You were a US citizen at the time you performed the potentially relinquishing act;
3. You knew that performing this act could cause you to lose your US citizenship;
4. You wanted to lose your US citizenship by performing the act;
5. You lived accordingly ever since performing the act (no exercise of US citizenship, no actions indicative of possession of US citizenship).
The consulate meeting is usually pretty short (about 10 minutes face time with the consul) but they’re apt to ask “How did you know, before performing the act, that the act could cause you to lose your citizenship?”
If a person applies based on a relinquishing act but the consulate officer feels the person does not meet the criteria of a relinquishment, they generally will give the person the option to renounce on the spot. [Alternatively, the person can request their relinquishment-based file be sent to DC. It will go with a negative recommendation letter from the consulate officer. DC has overridden such “neg recs,” but so far (based on reports we’ve received at Brock) only where it’s been on a point of law. So far, at least at Brock, we haven’t got any reports of a “neg rec” being overturned if based on a fuzzier concept, such as intent.
Based on a potentially relinquishing act before age 18
I think you’d be in for a more complicated or lengthier procedure. I think it would be difficult to establish at, say, age 30, that you were mature enough at 17 to effect a relinquishment – whereas if you applied for a CLN at the time of the act (age 17), the consulate officer would be able to ascertain that you are a competent minor because they’d be interviewing you at age 17.
Many thanks for your appreciated reply/opinion.
My primary goal is to get a CLN as quickly as possible (I tried other locations as suggested by you and others: one of them confirmed an appointment in a year :- and will maybe try other with appropriate travel connections).
In an ideal world, I would want a backdated CLN on my becoming 18 (act at minority, confirmed by subsequent confirming behaviour (as per the Boissionas case; my father would be willing to witness my intent at the time; or at least when I worked for the government/judiciary of my naturalized country, before 2004). As a pure nominal/accidental american (with only US birth and departure after some months there and all possible life/ties/connceting factors ever since in my naturalised country and never any US passport/US-behaviour at all).
Yet, I foresee, that a backdated CLN could take substantially longer to get.
(Also I think that it wouldn’t be possible to show up at the embassy and present a two prong approach: 1) issue me a CLN based on renounciation for the time being 2) until you issue me a revised backdated CLN based on relinquishing act (taking longer: I foresee that there is in this respect only a either/or ))
That’s why I think I am better off, to just renounce in view of this.
I hope and do think this course of action will not preclude me from arguing the retroactive loss of nominal citizenship in case this would at all be necessary at some point in time in the future (= uncle sam really in all earnest trying to ask for money from someone that has never got a dime (benefit) from him …). After all this questions has never been decide and for such a defense (can not be made contingent on presenting a backdated CLN)
What do you and other think (in particular regarding the assumed non-loss of the retroactive loss defense / saving it for later)?
Best regards (over the Atlantic)
(maybe overthinking again)
Over thinking. Renounce and forget about it.
Thank you, Portland.
I am glad to inform you guys that I have managed in the meantime (provisionally) to fix a renounciation appointment in July 2023 in Germany (date from appointment request to appointment ca. 3 months).
Let’s see whether another destination will be even quicker (France (Paris) offered me April 2024; Marseille does take only residents of the Region (Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur)).
At worst I will spend a longer weekend in Frankfurt and surroundings around July 14, the french national day 😉
There are some renunciation slots left in July and August 2023 apparently. Renounciation meetings take place apparently twice a month (every second week) on Fridays at 10 am apparently (at least inferred from what was offered to me … which, if this should prove true, would be a fairly low number of renunciation meetings offered of course … and provide evidence that – to put it mildly – rolling out the red carpet for renunciation is not on top of the agenda of uncle sam)
No final determination/information as to the effectiveness of the fee reduction has been made/communicated to them so far.
Best regards and have a great evening
I just got an appointment for next week from another destination (as a subsitute for a preschedulde appointment canceled by some other renunciant candidate).
Unfortunately, I had to turn it down (because cause I really cannot make it during that week not cancellable obligations in another country), which I let them know immediately and let them know my availabilites for this week and the weeks after the next weeks in view of the next scheduling attempt.
May another candidate luckily step in.
(In view of this I will of course always turn down appointment proposals on the same day if I cannot make it or scheduled appointments as soon as reasonably possible (e.g. on getting od attending an earlier appointment elsewhere).
Learning for Brockers (in the same situation): offering the consular services team that you are ready to step in as a substitute candidate on short notice in case of any cancellations of prescheduled meetings proves certainly useful in getting this behind you rather quickly (when I write this I hope the next opportunity to step in will be just around the corner of course 🙂
Best regards and have a great evening
Is there a comprehensive step by step guide to renouncing available somewhere?
Also, has there been any movement on when the fee will drop to $450? Has anyone seen anything about this?
Renunciation is very simple, there’s not much need for instructions unless you have some particularly strange circumstances. The process varies by country, but basically it goes like this:
1. Request an appointment at a US embassy or consulate.
2. Wait, possibly for a very long time (over one year in many cases).
3. Complete any forms sent to you by the consulate. This won’t be difficult. (Likely a DS-4080 and DS-4081 form and possibly also a questionnaire specific to the country; you should not need to complete a DS-4079 if you are renouncing, as opposed to documenting past relinquishment.)
4. On the day of your appointment, show up on time, follow the instructions to bring whatever documents are required, pay the fee, swear the oath.
That’s it – you’re done. Tax compliance is a separate issue entirely. It’s not required for renunciation. You may or may not decide to file US tax returns and go through the expatriation process by filing Form 8854. Depends entirely on your situation.
Haven’t heard anything more about a potential fee reduction. If you’re not in a hurry to renounce, it might be worth waiting. Or not – complete mystery at this point.
Thanks @Ron Henderson
I’m Australian based and starting to get a feel to make my way through this all. Unfortunately I’m regional so it looks like I’ll be needing to book a flight to a consulate when the time comes.
That also means that if they haven’t dropped the fee yet, I’ll be paying close to $5,000 AUD to renounce, which I certainly don’t have.
It’s all extremely overwhelming but I want to get on top of this now.
Thanks again and I’m sure I’ll be back on here soon…
Any particular reason why you feel an immediate need to renounce? By all accounts the FATCA enforcement in Australia is quite lax, if you’re just an ordinary dual citizen with no US assets, you can easily ignore all this.
If you can’t afford to renounce, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’re too poor to be of much interest to the IRS!
Above all, don’t listen to any accountant or lawyer who tells you you must file tax information. You absolutely don’t have to. In fact, you probably don’t have to renounce either. By coming here you might save $5000.
The fact that your father was born in the US confers upon you the possibility of becoming a US citizen if you were to want to. It would take a proactive step on your part e.g. applying for a passport. If you do nothing, it would be impossible for the US authorities to know you exist.
A reasonable course of action is to forget the whole sorry mess.
I’d like to clarify that a person born abroad to a US citizen parent can automatically be a US citizen from birth. Eg,
Apart from that, I agree with pretty much everything in the above comments, such as that if a person born abroad to a US parent, with no other US connection, never exercised citizenship, the US wouldn’t know they exist. And, as far as banking goes, bank client intake forms ask for “citizenship” or “place of birth,” but they don’t go into parentage or anything like that. So, if born abroad, in many, if not most, cases, it’s better and simpler to not do anything about the citizenship (I don’t like to make blanket statements, so, as always, it depends on one’s individual fact set).
If you have no connection to the US, but do choose to renounce, as mentioned in comments above, it’s probably simpler and better not to file tax. Department of State does not require one to be in tax compliant at the time of renunciation and whether one files or not does not affect the loss of US citizenship or the validity of the CLN. More info with background links on that here
Re the renunciation fee, unfortunately it was still $2350 when a friend renounced last month.
The reason I’m looking into it now is my bank has been in touch with me very specifically about additional citizenships. It was a very specific request and I feel I’d rather get on top of it now rather than wait. Although I will wait til the fee comes down.
You can lie to your bank. That’s what I and plenty of others have done. They send those queries to all their customers, it’s not like someone suspects you of anything.
Alternatively, you can tell your bank the truth then forget about it. The bank won’t report much of anything under FATCA, the IRS won’t look at the data and won’t try to find you and can’t do anything anyway.