U.S. Citizenship Renunciation


You should first know that renouncing to your U.S. citizenship is an important and determinative decision. Renunciation is the most unequivocal way by which a person can manifest an intention to relinquish U.S. citizenship. If you are contemplating renunciation of U.S. citizenship, you should understand that the act is irrevocable, and cannot be canceled or set aside absent a successful administrative review or judicial appeal.  This is one of the main reasons why it is almost imperative for you to count with an expert immigration and expat lawyer who can guide you navigate the process, eases the transition, and helps you understand all of your options, consequences, and benefits.

How can you Renounce 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.

For purposes of this particular legal service package, I focus on the process of “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.

However, if you are 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, you may contact me immediately to arrange a service package that will accommodate to your needs and circumstances.

At Sabalier Law, I offer you a FREE Initial Legal Consultation to provide you all of the legal information you need to know before starting your process, and to discuss your particular set of circumstances to give you an accurate plan on how to renounce to your U.S. Citizenship, and the consequences and benefits that this transition will provide for you and your family.

What do you give up when you renounce to U.S. Citizenship?

Once you renounce your U.S. citizenship, you renounce all your rights and privileges as a U.S. citizen. A person that seeks to renounce his or her U.S. citizenship must renounce all the rights and privileges associated with such citizenship.  

Giving up U.S. citizenship means giving up all benefits, such as voting rights, government protection should you need help while abroad and citizenship for children born outside the United States.

What do you gain when you renounce to U.S. Citizenship?

Rather than what you gain, I would say that renouncing to your U.S. citizenship may get you off some legal requirements and responsibilities that may help you gain some peace of mind, and many times, a lot of money.

One of the main reasons why every year more American citizens are renouncing to their U.S. citizenship is to get rid of the tax filing and reporting requirements that apply to all U.S. citizens. The United States is one of only two countries in the world that taxes their citizens based on their citizenship regardless of where they reside. What this means is that U.S. Citizens must file their U.S. taxes even if and when they reside abroad.

The issues with this legal requirement mainly arrive in circumstances in which Americans have settled in a foreign country permanently, and they still have to file two sets of tax returns, one to the country where they live, and another to the US. To avoid paying and filing taxes twice on the same income, they have to claim tax credits, or otherwise claim a measure such as the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. The costs of maintaining compliance in both countries' tax systems can be high, and the burden is sometimes overwhelming and not worth it for these citizens.

In addition to filing their taxes to the IRS, U.S. citizens have to report their foreign financial (i.e. bank, investment and business) accounts to FinCEN each year by filing a Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR). They also have to report their foreign business interests, and sometimes their assets.

Renouncing U.S. citizenship frees you from the filing and reporting requirements that your U.S. citizenship entails because you will be able to change your citizenship status and report it to the IRS and the Department of Treasury.

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