Renunciation – spin-off conversations To keep the main Renunciation Questions thread focused on people’s Questions as much as possible, I’ve started this thread for conversations on that thread that spin off into related matters. Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailLike this:Like Loading...
It is important to carefully read through the documents
that the Embassy prepares for you to sign as I found a couple of mistakes on mine. The Embassy quickly prepared another for me.
Why is proofreading important? What consequences might have ensued, if the errors had not been corrected?
There must have been trivial errors in many renunciation forms, over the years, but are there any reports of it causing problems?
It seems like yet another thing which renunciants don’t actually need to worry about — but some inevitably will, if told by others that it’s “important” to make sure other people don’t make any mistakes.
I filled in the forms beforehand, and made the mistake of signing one of the forms after completing it. That’s an example of a mistake that actually does matter, and it certainly didn’t go unnoticed. A new blank form was handed to me to fill in, so that I could sign it in the presence of the official — so that he would be able to sign.
Were there mistakes elsewhere on the forms? Maybe, maybe not. It doesn’t matter, as long as it’s simply a mistake.
They had my name incorrectly spelled. I was concerned that it would be transmitted to the cln when it arrived. That might have caused a problem with banks!
They had the date I acquired US citizenship (through nationalization )wrong. It would have been hard for the State dept to locate and identify me as bona fide US citizen with an incorrect date, especially as they also omitted to include my naturalization cert! This omission delayed my CLN by 3 months. I was told 4 weeks, it took 4 months and an apology.
They said to check through carefully and sign. Why wouldn’t you check carefully that a legal document you were signing was prepared correctly?!
“They had my name incorrectly spelled. I was concerned that it would be transmitted to the cln when it arrived. That might have caused a problem with banks!”
See what I mean about unnecessary anxieties? They make mistakes with the names all the time, as can be seen from the list of renunciants that gets published in the Federal Register. Why would a bank care? They’re just going to stick the copy in a folder.
“they also omitted to include my naturalization cert! This omission delayed my CLN by 3 months. I was told 4 weeks, it took 4 months and an apology.”
Took 4 months for my CLN to arrive too. They apologised nicely to me, too, when I rang up to enquire; followed by us exchanging a bit of chit-chat about the lovely spring weather.
“Why wouldn’t you check carefully that a legal document you were signing was prepared correctly?!”
It’s a legal document, but it’s not committing the renunciant to anything. It’s just documentation of a change if status that has already occurred by the time it gets documentation. It’s the US Government that’s bound by the CLN – not the former citizen.
Too many unnecessary anxieties! Renouncing US citizenship is easy and simple – provided the renunciant really does want to renounce. Lingering ambivalence perhaps is one possible reason for the over-worry. And may be a good reason to rethink a decision to renounce, or at least postpone taking the step.
“It’s the US Government that’s bound by the CLN – not the former citizen.”
Or, I should have said, it doesn’t bind the former citizen to anything other than agreeing that citizenship, and the privileges of citizenship, have indeed been lost. What they came in for, and paid £2350 for.
Of course renunciation is easy but its also easy to check a document you are going to sign, it takes only minutes. Why would anyone stress over having to do that?
I value my CLN and prefer to have my correct name on it. The renunciation list is not a legal document!
This is a ridiculous argument, why ask you to check it if its not important ? Are you Plaxy reborn?
A wait of 4 months was much more difficult for me than 4 weeks. My bank in Switzerland had closed my account, I had to have my brother in law pay my utility bills from his account . I could not even pay to renew my medical license!
“Of course renunciation is easy but its also easy to check a document you are going to sign, it takes only minutes. Why would anyone stress over having to do that?”
The stress comes from unnecessary anxiety that if there’s a mistake that the person doesn’t catch, there might be dire consequences.
All the renunciant needs to do is get there on the day, pay the money, and follow instructions. By all means check the forms as instructed, but if a mistake is found, then or later, it’s only necessary to get it corrected. It’s not necessary to issue warnings or cautions, as it’s not a big deal.
“A wait of 4 months was much more difficult for me than 4 weeks. My bank in Switzerland had closed my account, I had to have my brother in law pay my utility bills from his account . I could not even pay to renew my medical license!”
My sympathies. But if it took longer because the officials forgot to send your naturalisation certificate, the delay clearly wasn’t due to any mistake which could have been picked up when you were carefully checking the forms.
Nobody said anything about ‘dire consequences ‘ just a note to check forms carefully as mistakes can be made on the forms. It stands to reason that people would want their correct name and dob on their cln.
I did actually ask them twice if they needed my Naturalization cert. They said it wasn’t necessary , it was. We are here to give sound advice so others do not have problems that we may have encountered.
I agree all things may be eventually corrected but it does cost money and time to issue another CLN.
Have it your way. But I’m coming round to the view that people who want to renounce US citizenship don’t actually need advisors, either paid or from well-intentioned volunteers. All they need to do is be sure of their decision and their ability to pay, talk it over if need be with friends /family, and then contact the nearest US consulate and follow instructions. The actual process is very simple.
Accordingly, I will say no more. 🙂
Then why do they seek out help here?
Agreed, they don’t need paid advisors unless they are wealthy, (known wealth and tax compliant)and want to lower their expatriation tax.
I will say no more but I am sure purpleflower will 🙂
“Then why do they seek out help here?”
Most, of course, don’t, and never did.
The other side to that question is, why is advice offered here?
The offering of the advice implies that advice is needed. Tax advisers, paid renunciation lawyers, and politicians are expert in making use of the uneasiness thus created. The offering of voluntary advice is not of course intended to create uneasiness, but may nevertheless end up adding to the impression that renouncing US citizenship is difficult and risky rather than a simple (though expensive) bureaucratic procedure.
‘The fallacy that it’s difficult to renounce’
That’s what we seek to quell here and to say it has the opposite effect is to insult all those who take their time here to answer questions simply and to the best of their ability.
I will not waste any more of my time with someone who argues for argument sake.
I absolutely agree with you that small errors (even a drop of ink in the wrong location) can cause absolute havoc in people’s lives these days.
I have a daughter whose birth I registered right after her birth in the Bahamas. I gave her 4 names. Her original birth certificate and other legal documents flowing from that over the next 25 or 30 years all had her 4 names. She lost the birth cert. She applied to the Bahamas for a replacement. She received it with only 3 names. Somehow, when converting the Bahamian Birth Records from Paper to Computer file, one of her names was dropped. Havoc ensued. I eventually went to the Bahamas personally and after getting nowhere with the relevant authorities there ended up having to swear an Affidavit that my daughter with the original 4 names was the same person as my daughter on their file with the 3 names. That Affidavit is now registered with the Bahamian Birth Records and an original copy is in my daughter’s possession to present every time she needs her birth certificate henceforth.
A second incident. My sister has 4 names. Her birth was Registered in Jamaica when she was born. Jamaica computerized their Birth Records over the intervening decades. For some reason that presently evades me, she needed and asked for a new Birth Certificate …. it now has her first two names joined up as in Betty-Ann (not her real name). This is totally different from every other legal document she has ever had, bank records and so on. After much protest it turns out that the original birth certificate is marred with either a fly speck or a drip of ink which now looks like a hyphen and which was thus entered into the computer record. Nothing can be done to correct this (other than finding school records and teachers who knew her 50 plus years ago who can certify that she had 2 separate christian names and not a hyphenated one) other than again filing some form of Affidavit in the Register of Births. Total havoc.
Next question is some bureaucratic jerk asking “why do you have two different names, document A does not have the same name as document B?”.
These little things are becoming gross trouble making matters wasting days of time and much money trying to deal with them.
So regardless whether YOU think that a minor error on a document that does not COMMIT YOU to doing some act is not worth the effort of careful proof reading and double checking …. please help yourself and check before you sign – it might save you a lot of time, money and hassle in years to come.
Depending what document is being signed.
A former citizen signing renunciation forms isn’t doing anything that could lead to evil consequences.
The former citizen wants the documentation of renunciation to show to banks; the banks will keep it on file as evidence of the bank’s good-faith efforts to comply with local law.
The US also wants the documentation of renunciation to keep it on file; in case the former citizen tries to claim they’re a US citizen in order to do something nefarious such as living in America pretending to be a citizen; with the signed CLN on hand, the US can lock the wrongdoer up and throw away the key.
Not risky for the former citizen, assuming they’re actually just aiming to open a bank account.
Nervous. Small discrepancies such as those you mentioned are enough to prevent US citizens from voting in many states where voter suppression is widely practised. Instead of let’s help people vote it’s let’s see how many people we can stop from voting
Voting is exercising citizenship rights, and registration is the gateway, which is contested.
Renouncing is losing citizenship rights, and the CLN is not a gateway but merely official documentation of a change of status that has already been performed.
Renunciation is an official documented gateway to freedom from extraterritorial financial slavery.
Only Plaxy could continue to make circuitous, ridiculous , unhelpful arguments against ensuring you have your correct name on your CLN.
The change of status that gets documented by the CLN is brought about by performing the relinquishing act — which, for a renunciant, is the swearing of the oath.
Accidental errors in the documentation have no bearing on the validity of the relinquishing act. There’s nothing a would-be renunciant needs to be warned about.
The decision to renounce needs careful consideration. The procedure is nothing to worry about, though in some areas there may be a wait for an appointment.
No one said there would be any bearing on the validity, but just time and expense to correct it. Why do you put words in other peoples mouths?
You are asked to check it carefully by the Embassy as those will be the facts that are recorded. I guess you think that’s irrelevant ?
Why do you put words in other people’s mouths?
Isn’t there a rule on Brock not to post under two pseudonyms?
Isnt there a rule on B
“No one said there would be any bearing on the validity, but just time and expense to correct it. ”
Time, maybe. There’s no risk of being required to pay another $2350.
No but you have to pay a fee for a replacement cln if you need it corrected because you failed to proof read the forms thoroughly .
Lets end this now as its going round in circles.
Can you give a reference to where that’s stated?