July 11, 2013 by Liberty
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.