How do you renounce U.S. citizenship?


Quick Answer

To renounce U.S. citizenship, it is necessary to travel abroad to appear in person before a consular officer and sign an oath of renunciation, according to the Bureau of Consular Affairs for the U.S. Department of State. Individuals who wish to renounce their citizenship for tax purposes must also demonstrate tax compliance and pay a service fee.

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Full Answer

U.S. citizenship cannot be renounced within the territorial boundaries of the United States. To complete the process, applicants must travel to a foreign embassy or consulate of the United States and meet with a designated official, notes the U.S. Department of State. The process cannot be done remotely or by mail, and each step must be carried out with the conscious intent to renounce citizenship. The diplomatic or consular official meets with the applicant in private to determine the person understands the consequences of renunciation and that no undue pressure is being applied.

Proof of current citizenship is required, as is the administration of an oath of renunciation, after which the necessary paperwork is filed. At the end of the meeting, the applicant is required to surrender proof of citizenship, such as a passport, and is advised that reentry to the United States requires a visa, explains the U.S. Department of State. Persons who are under the age of consent during this process may ask for citizenship to be restored within six months of reaching age 18.

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