Renouncing U.S. Citizenship
U.S. citizens by birth or naturalization can lose citizenship or nationality by taking part in the following activities “with the intent to renounce citizenship”:
- Becoming naturalized in a foreign state or taking oath in a foreign state after turning 18 years old
- Joining the armed forces in a foreign state that the U.S. considers hostile, or that the U.S. is engaged in hostilities with
- Serving in a foreign state’s army
- Accepting employment in a non-U.S. government
- “making a formal renunciation or nationality before a diplomatic or consular officer of the U.S. in a foreign state” and signing an oat of renunciation
- Denouncing citizenship in the U.S. while the U.S. is in a state of war
- Bearing arms against the U.S., attempting to overthrow or commit treason against the U.S.
Note: The term “nationality” and “citizenship” are interchangeable except for U.S. nationals from American Samoa, who do not have U.S. citizenship.
If you are a citizen intending to renounce citizenship, OR a citizen facing loss of citizenship / nationality unintentionally, OR you received a certificate of loss of nationality and wish to argue that any of your actions that the government is using as a basis for renounced citizenship were not with intent to renounce citizenship, then consult with an experienced immigration attorney as soon as possible.
Renouncing U.S. Citizenship: The Process
Renouncing citizenship means giving up your right to vote in U.S. elections, government protection and assistance overseas, citizenship for children born abroad, access to federal jobs, and unrestricted travel into and out of the U.S. Once you renounce U.S. citizenship, you cannot reapply to become a citizen again.
More and more people are renouncing their U.S. citizenship, so the U.S. Department of State has raised the renunciation fee to $2,350, which is more than 20 times the average cost of the same procedure in other high-income countries. Some high-income citizens own an additional “exit tax” or expatriation tax for any capital gains made as a citizen.
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