Renouncing US Citizenship

December 27, 2011 § 6 Comments

Section 349(a)(5) of the INA provides for the loss of nationality by voluntarily acting the intent to relinquish his or her US Nationality.

If you want to renounce your American citizenship, you have to do it voluntarily and with intent to relinquish US citizenship.

  1. You are required to appear in person before a US consular or diplomatic officer
  2. You have to be in a foreign country , generally at a US Embassy or Consulate and
  3. You are required to sign an oath of renunciation

Renunciations that do not meet the requirements stated above have no legal effect. US citizens cannot renounce their citizenship by mail, through an agent, or while being in the US. Certain attempts to renounce US citizenship are found to be ineffective on a variety of grounds, as stated below :


If you decide to renounce your US citizenship, you cannot decide to retain some of the privileges of citizenship.


If you have decided to renounce US citizenship, you should be aware that, unless you already possess a foreign nationality, you might be left stateless and so, will not get the protection of any government. You will also have difficulty traveling as you will not have a passport from any country. Even if you are not stateless, you will still need a visa to travel to the US. Another important fact is that Renunciation of US citizenship may not prevent a foreign country from deporting you back to the US in some non-citizen status.


Having decided on renunciation, you should also know that you may have no effect whatsoever on your US tax or military service obligations. Apart from this renouncing will not allow you to avoid possible prosecution for crimes which you would have committed in the US, or escape the repayment of financial obligations previously incurred in the US or incurred as US citizens abroad.


You cannot renounce US citizenship on behalf of your minor children. Before an oath of renunciation will be administered, one under the age of eighteen must convince a US diplomatic or consular officer that he/she fully understands the nature and consequences of the oath of renunciation and also that he/she is voluntarily renouncing his/her US citizenship.


You have to know that the act is irrevocable, except as provided in section 351 of the INA .It cannot be canceled. If a person renounced his/her US citizenship before the age of eighteen, he/she can have that citizenship reinstated if he/she informs the Department of State within six months after reaching the age of eighteen.

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§ 6 Responses to Renouncing US Citizenship

  • nancym22 says:

    For Expatriation in the first phase legal and political aspects needs to be taken care of US citizenship. Secondly you are required to file Form 8854 for Expatriation with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and bring your income tax return filing up to date as of the date you surrender your citizenship or green card.

  • How is it possible for a person who has renounced the US citizenship status to be deported back to the country by another country? I guess, a little more information on that would be very helpful indeed!

  • Hazel Ickes says:

    Many of them renounce their citizenship to escape from taxes they pay and also as it costs nothing to renounce. But now the cost of processing a formal renunciation of U.S. citizenship skyrocketed from $0 to $450 which will create some reluctance in renouncing US Citizenship.

  • expat says:

    To “escape” from paying taxes? I don’t live in the US, I don’t work in the US, I don’t ever plan to go back. Why *should* I pay US taxes?

    I don’t want to give up my citizenship but I’m treated worse than second class for simply not living in the US.

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