As previously discussed by Petros and Innocente, countries including Germany, Austria, and Norway, which generally require applicants for naturalisation to give up foreign citizenship, provide for an exception if the old country makes giving up citizenship especially difficult. Some countries’ definitions of “difficult” include economic difficulties, such as a fee which is more than a certain proportion of the applicant’s monthly wage. In 2014, the United States announced that it was raising the fee for renunciation to $2,350, twenty times the average level of other developed countries, more than twice the level charged by the next-highest country I could find (Jamaica), and greater than the monthly wage for many young people or non-professionals.
South Korea’s Nationality Act also contains such a “difficulty” exception, while Taiwan has a similar exception for “reasons not attributable to the person in question”. However, neither definition includes absurd fees such as Washington’s $2,350 fee — which is more than seventy-eight times Taipei’s fee and one-hundred-and-seventeen times Seoul’s fee for their own citizens seeking to exercise their fundamental human right to change their nationality.
South Korea at least allows successful applicants one year after the event of naturalisation to submit proof of loss of their previous citizenship, meaning that American emigrants there can relinquish rather than renounce U.S. citizenship and avoid the fee. Taiwan, in contrast, requires such proof to be submitted at the time of application; though recently there have been proposals to change this, until those proposals become law, American emigrants seeking to become citizens there still have to pay through the nose to renounce U.S. citizenship rather than relinquish it.