How To Renounce US Citizenship in 3 Steps

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July 11, 2013 by Liberty

US Flag by Peter Griffin

US Flag by Peter Griffin

Don’t mention taxes. Remember that.

There is nothing unpatriotic about giving up your US citizenship for absolutely any reason. If you want to leave for financial reasons (not tax reasons. Remember that.) then you’re using the self-ownership that this country was founded on. If you want to leave for political reasons then you’re actively showing your lack of support of policies in one of the most powerful ways possible.

Giving up your US citizenship is not an easy or straightforward process. The American government has recently increased the rules and regulations significantly. That’s probably partially due to the massive rise in the number of renunciations. (That just proves you’re probably on the right track.) There is not a person in the world that can guarantee that it will go smoothly but I highly recommend hiring a professional to help if you have the budget.

1. Get Another Citizenship

There is virtually no way around it. You need to have a state to go anywhere around the world. There are very few places that you can go without having some country backing you up. (I know it’s sad.) The stateless man has very few options.

The good news is that there are countries around the world for just about any of the values you might have. That means you can pick and choose based on what you value most. In fact, many people split their life between countries to maximize their freedoms. (Look up perpetual traveler on Wikipedia)

The cheapest way to get a citizenship is to become a long term resident of a country and apply after the countries specific naturalization period. Another method is less useful for most people but some countries are also willing to provide citizenship for children of former citizens.

For everyone that’s unwilling to wait, you need a fairly hefty budget to buy a citizenship. If you don’t have a few hundred thousand dollars lying around then you probably won’t be able to find a citizenship that you would want to buy.

2. Appear In Front Of A US Consular or Diplomatic Officer

It’s probably best to continue the process from out of the United States. Technically, this step can be taken on US soil but to go any farther you’ll need to leave anyway. Say goodbye to America and be ready to stay away for 11 months out of the year.

During this meeting the specific details will be discussed. They’re pretty much going to be telling you what you already know. (By the way, don’t mention tax reasons.) You can’t take back your renunciation. You’re going to need to go through all the tourist channels to visit America in the future.

No matter what you do, you will still have some obligations:

-You can still be drafted. (I know… how ethical of them.)

-You still can be prosecuted for crimes in the US.

-You still have to go through the IRS for a number of things.

After this, in most cases, you’re going to have to suffer through another mandatory waiting period. They might refer to it as a reflection period to make sure this decision you’ve probably been thinking about for years has been well thought out.

You also have to be prepared to pay a $450 fee. High income individuals should hire a professional to deal with the IRS issues (there are plenty). Everyone should be well versed in the money they’re going to have to pay.

When you are a high income individual or high net worth individual, the US will still tax you for a period of time after you renounce your citizenship.

3. Sign An Oath of Renunciation and Wait

This is a visit to a foreign embassy to fill out paperwork. Some embassies require you go through a ceremony to proceed. You’re going to receive a number of lectures on the situation again.

After you sign your oath of renunciation, you’ll need to wait. Yes, it’s true, you can’t even quit being a US citizen without properly receiving permission first. If you have any outstanding issues in the US then you’re likely to get slowed down.

If everything goes smoothly then you’ll receive a form in the mail stating that you’re no longer a US citizen.

Remember, the US can still come for you for 10 years after you leave. You’re going to need to stay well versed in their new rules for expats as they come up. If they want to tax you more, if they want to send you to war, or if they come up with some other silly rule, you’re probably going to have to abide by it. Fortunately, as is, in 10 years you’ll be free from those obligations.

This is a process that can take years to complete. Even with a lot of money, you can’t expect to get renounce your US citizenship quickly. If you have the money and want to, be sure to hire a professional to help with the process. Ask them how to renounce your US citizenship fast in your situation.

The reason I mention this is because time is of the essence. The rules for expatriation are increasing more and more by the year. The longer you wait, the harder it is going to get to leave. When you want to leave, there is no telling how many more rules you’ll need to follow. If you have the resources and you’re confident in your decision then you need to get started today.

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12 thoughts on “How To Renounce US Citizenship in 3 Steps

  1. Getting another citizenship is sadly easier said than done. I looked into getting a passport from all the countries in Europe my ancestors came from. Unfortunately, they all came too early (the last one–a great-grandfather was actually BORN ON THE BOAT in the 1880s). Back to square one. *SIGH*

    • Liberty says:

      I know… I say 3 steps like it’s easy.

      It’s definitely not as easy as filling out a few forms. It generally requires a lot of money or completely uprooting life in America for years.

      • Brian in Chile says:

        This article is what I call “Slave Talk”. Ask their permission? Get serious!!! If you want to renounce your US Citizenship all you have to do is leave the stinking country. That says is all. I did it. It works for me.

  2. Siloo Kapadia says:

    As more Americanos leave I expect countries to get tougher in their immigration requirements. I also expect that USA will continue to close the doors on would-be emigrants. So get out now while you still can. USA is a sinking ship.

  3. Koala says:

    You don’t get foreign citizenship just so you can renounce your US citizenship. You do that because you’ve found a country where you really want to live for the rest of your life. It isn’t at all impossible and you don’t have to be rich either. But you really have to have determination. I had my family emigrate to Australia many years ago and we’ve been citizens here for quite a long time. This country has an ever-changing list of occupations where workers are needed, often many are basic things such as hairdressers, cooks, or auto mechanics. If your skill is in demand then you can arrange to immigrate. We are laughably far from being rich. Every year we filed our US taxes, but we never had to pay anything because our incomes are way far below the earned income exclusion. Over the years the complexity of US tax filing and the draconian penalties for the slightest mistakes became too onerous to cope with. We haven’t set foot in the US for decades anyway, our US passports had expired eons ago and never been renewed, we didn’t vote in US elections nor get any benefits from the US whatsoever, and couldn’t afford to travel overseas besides. Finally after endless discussions we decided to renounce our US citizenship last year. Other Americans can say “good riddance” to us, and that’s fine. We first moved here because there are jobs available if you’re willing to work hard. Had we stayed in the US we’d have been stuck unemployed most of the time, having to sponge off other taxpayers for unemployment or welfare hand-outs, something we find too distasteful. In Australia we get all the same first-world comforts and conveniences we had in the US, similar freedoms for the most part, and there are job opportunities so you can earn a living. Except if you’re not wealthy, you won’t be going back to the US for visits, and yes that’s a sacrifice. Anyway if you get another citizenship, do it for the right reasons. Find a country you will love and devote your life to. Put in the effort to gain citizenship there, then you’ve duly earned the right to renounce your US citizenship if you want to.

    • Siloo Kapadia says:

      Amen! We left India for USA after being told by Americano IT big-wigs that USA was paradise. After 20 years of struggling and layoffs, we decided to call it quits. We now live in Singapore and are very, VERY happy here. Good thing we never took USA citizenship but our boys have it and they have said they will give it up after they get their Singaporean nationality.

      While in USA we were bombarded with that garbage that USA was No. 1 in everything, when in fact it is No. 1 only in bad things like crime and number of people in jail. For everything good it is far from No. 1 and well behind the rest of the industrialized world for that matter. No wonder many Indians are leaving and going back to India or elsewhere.

      Anyway bacha, thank you for the great reply.

  4. […] d. Permission Is Required To Renounce US Citizenship […]

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  8. crystal london says:

    @all here.. very interesting link, sorry I haven’t found it before. I read IBS, Maple Sandbox, franco american flophouse…… got my CLN, will now invest anywhere except Obamanation… i still grieve for the blue paper

  9. We have stopped being a free nation. My father spent more time at war then he did at home and if he was alive to day he would be the first to say F this. What I believe we True Americans need to do is DO WHAT OUR FOUR FATHERS DID. WE THE PEOPLE HAVE THE RIGHT TO TAKE BACK OUR COUNTRY. GET THE RAG HEAD OUT OF THE WHITE HOUSE> THERE I SAID IT .
    OUR CONSTITUTION STATES WE ARE FREE TO TAKE BACK WHAT IS OURS AND FREEDOM OF CHOSE IS BEING TAKEN FROM US.
    WE MUST HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE OR PAY A FINE.SCREW THAT. IF YOU GUYS DONʻT HAVE THE BALLS OUR FOUR FATHERS HAD THEN YOU ARE NOT AMERICANS.

    I am not a hater. I AM AMERICAN . WHAT ARE YOU?

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