Is it Easy/Hard to Renounce?
Depending on your circumstances, it can be easy to renounce (except for the cost of USD 2350), but it can also be difficult or impossible (one example would be if you don’t have another citizenship, you can renounce, but going stateless, while it works fine for some, is generally not a comfortable or practical option).
See also: Renunciation Question thread and its sub-threads (which are listed there).
How long did the renunciation process take? I mean from first contact with the embassy to the receipt of the CLN.
It depends where you renounce. In my case, I lost citizenship about six weeks after contacting the Consulate, and got the CLN about 4 months after swearing the oath.
In some places it can take a lot longer.
While waiting for the CLN, you can show a bank your receipt, and explain that you’ve renounced; then give them a copy for their files when it arrives.
Here’s the link to the Consulate Report Directory:
I got an appointment date within 3 weeks of my email request. I was told my CLN would take about a month, it took 4 months but that was because the Embassy omitted to include my Naturalization certificate.
Europe seems to be faster than Canada.
I downloaded the forms from the London Embassy website, completed them, and emailed them asking for an appointment. Twelve hours later I had an email giving me a date and time one calendar month later.
When I visited, I mentioned that I had a trip booked to the USA in October, so the staff offered to expedite the CLN request. I received my CLN 10 days after my interview.
The Consulate Report Directory is a good resource for this, as Phyllis suggested. The index of the Consulate Report Directory is really long, but the section on wait times is toward the end, starting at page 258. Time Chart of Meetings and CLN Delivery Time.
Times really vary, depending on the consulate used and the zone that consulate is in (CLN applications go through 1 of 5 offices in Washington, as DoS has divided the world into 5 zones). So, CLN processing goes faster in some zones than others, as Heidi pointed out. Also at any one consulate (or any zone office in Washington), wait times and some procedural matters change over time.
Regarding wait time for an appointment, that varies a lot by consulate. Eg, at one point, for about a year, Toronto wait times were around 10 months.. They cut it dramatically to a few months, and it crept back up to now an outrageous 12-14 months. Some people choose to travel if their local wait time is really long.
Current wait time for an appointment in Canada is
Ottawa – 6 to 7 months
Calgary – 3 to 4 months
Halifax – 6 to 7 months
Montreal – 4 to 5 months
Quebec City – 4 to 5 months
Toronto – 11 to 12 months
Vancouver – 3 to 4 months .
Once a US-born expat has sworn the oath, they’ve lost US citizenship; residence-country law no longer requires banks to treat their accounts as reportable.
Therefore, I conclude, the judge is right: the law requiring banks to identify and report accounts of US citizens draws a distinction but the effect is not discriminatory; the distinction is drawn on the basis of citizenship, not on the basis of the immutable characteristic of birthplace/national origin. The law is treating the immutable characteristic as a proxy for a mutable characteristic (citizenship/tax-residence).
The law treats US citizens as reportable on the basis of treaty articles on mutual assistance; which need to be renegotiated to respect the rights of the individuals comprising the tax base. (Though realistically, probably that will never happen.)
I’ve started a new thread, Post-Renunciation Matters, and copied the above comment and moved its replies to there.