Relinquishment and Renunciation Data (as reported on Isaac Brock)

US RELINQUISHMENT RENUNCIATION.m2

Above is a link to data we are compiling on Relinquishments and Renunciations — a work in progress. This corresponds with the Consulate Report Directory (in sticky post below), tracking individual experiences for each Consulate, along with a timeline chart.

Note: We are using numbers instead of blog names for this public posting so there will be no compromise of private information. Your facts will help give a snapshot of relinquishment and renunciation activity and where that occurs.

Please submit information in the comments here (or someone can contact you privately). Thanks for all your help on this.

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282 thoughts on “Relinquishment and Renunciation Data (as reported on Isaac Brock)

  1. Pingback: Crowdsourced expatriation data on Isaac Brock Society | Hodgen Law Group, PC

  2. Not sure if I’m on this or not. Toronto renunciation, first appointment in December, final one in March. They could have processed the whole thing before Christmas, but I was busy. Consular staff was very professional. Gave the option of paying the $450 on the spot or for the CLN, since the fee policy change happened between the two appointments. Consulate insisted on DS4081 being completed, then stamped this very formally with the consular seal, signed by both parties and so forth. (Why? I didn’t ask.)

    Another renunciant the same day, middle-aged woman, Northeastern accent, very upset about IRS-related issues.

  3. @man on Halifax pier,

    Yes, you are included. Your additional information is helpful for the story we hope to compile.

    Thanks so much!!

  4. My first and second renunciation appointments were about two weeks apart at the Embassy in Bratislava during July of 2010. I scheduled my first appointment online under notary and other services. After the first appointment, I received an e-mail informing me of my second appointment.

    The process was pretty straight forward. The first interview was very formal. I was asked a lot of questions about the reasons why I wanted to renounce. The second interview was actually pretty friendly and focused on trying to talk me out of renouncing.

    I received my CLN in September of 2010. I paid the 450 USD when I received it. I also requested three notarized copies which cost 50 USD each.

    It was a bittersweet experience. But I am glad I went through with it.

  5. Perfect. Thanks very much, Rick, for allowing us to add your information to our database. It won’t be reflected immediately but very soon!

    Bittersweet, yes it is; but the administration of all that US citizenship entails for us who have made our lives elsewhere most of us wish not to contend with for the rest of our lives! Congratulations!

  6. calgary411: I got the appointment within two weeks, and I could have had it for last Friday, but we were up at Whistler skiing (we must keep our priorities straight, right? I mean, it’s snowing like crazy up there!) I don’t think they are that busy right now; my guess is when the second coming of FATCA rules is released the traffic might pick up.

    I’m not expecting a second appointment — but anything can happen I guess. There’s really no need to go back since all the paperwork will be done.

    I’ll post the results after the Friday session — it will be second hand of course but I’m sure the details will be very fresh on my wife’s mind.

  7. @Arrow. THANKS.

    Pre-celebration skiing!!

    Best of luck on Friday and we’ll update with your news then.

  8. Comments on first presentation of the data.

    (1) Point of interest – all possible locations for Canada are already represented, except for Quebec City.

    (2) The renounce/relinquish distinction is interesting only as indication what applicant thinks possible or would like to do.

    Ultimate determination will be made in Washington DC by Dept. of State. Consulate requirement for completion of both DS-4079 and DS-4081 appears to be standard practice.

    (3) Appointments will normally be either 1 or 2. That means #1 Vancouver is already 2 because a second will be required?

    (4) Suggestions

    – Establish two columns for Date info: Date1 and Date2 (2012.12&2013.05 gets to be a lot of characters).

    – Consistently use two digits for month.

    – Separate column for number of appointments not necessary.

    – Record paired renunciations on adjacent separate lines and mark with asterisk or something if that fact seems significant.

  9. I echo geeez on having ability to edit our own comments. Please fix the italic mess in this thread and the lack of space between “Canada” and “are” in above posting.

  10. @usxcanada

    Sorry, I can’t get the italics off and I don’t know how to (or even if it can be done) making your own edits. Over to Petros.

    Thanks for your comments and suggestions for the Draft document!

    P.S. It looks like all these comments are italicized.

  11. Shubert has started a thread in the forum on when people are getting their CLN.
    In my wife’s case, she applied for relinquishment in October in Toronto and was told the CLN would come in 5 mos, but it has not arrived yet.
    **I am having a problem posting my comment here. I get the following message: “You must be logged in to comment with that email address.” I am logged into the Forum and Word Press. Is there another place to login. Please investigate this problem. I am posting this using a different email address.**

  12. Hi, just wondering if these are included?

    iamquincy Toronto Dec 2011
    Canadian Hoosier Toronto *Nov 2011
    justbrowing Toronto Nov 2011
    Baird68 Toronto *Nov 2011 (relinquish)

  13. Hi Noble,
    No, we were wondering about Canadian Hoosier, would like to include him, of course. What are the asterisks? Thanks.

  14. Is the Calgary #1 – 2011.11 for Peg (me!) or someone else? Mine was renunciation.

    I was told up to 12 months to get the CLN.

  15. Indeed, you are #1, Peg11. All of the Calgary ones we have listed (so far) are under the Renounce column. Thanks for checking in on it.

  16. @peg11

    We are keeping the user names on a separate document, all the same except for the names — to protect the privacy of all. Some would be OK with that and some not, so better to be safe than sorry, and we may get more data, making sure privacy is respected. We talked about it and that was the consensus. Thanks for checking.

  17. Sorry, I said DS4071 and meant DS4079.

    FWIW this form isn’t designed as a smart PDF, but if you download it and open it in Adobe Professional can be treated like one.

  18. I cannot give commenters the ability to edit their own comments. Take that question up with WordPress. As for the other technical glitches where people are getting the message: “You must be logged in to comment with that email address.”–I have no idea. That is probably a WordPress problem too. I have not change the settings for the blog.

  19. @Pacifica

    The asterisks mean an approx date-I went back on the old forum to see if I could find exact dates but couldn’t. Canadian Hoosier definitely renounced after the Oct group meeting but before Nov 8.

  20. I don’t have Adobe Professional on my computer / just basic pdf. It looks like there is a fee for that?? Can you send a link where I can learn more? Thanks for your help, a broken man on a Halifax pier!

  21. @NobleDreamer, Thanks. Approx is close enough in that timeframe. Hopefully Canadian Hoosier will be back in touch. We are really looking forward to posting CLN dates!

  22. With the free version, you can fill out the fields and print but not save (why? who knows?)

  23. @Everyone — it appears, at least, that the italics gremlin has left — because Petros remedied my technical mistake. Thanks for your patience.

  24. I’ve submitted scans of all forms and personal documents via e-mail to Halifax and will go there for my first meeting on March 26. I was told that CLN will take about a year due to current high level of renunciation.

  25. Hi All,
    Last week I e-mailed the US Embassy in Bern for information concerning renouncing US citizenship. A day later I recieved an e-mail with 5 attachments:

    a) Renunciation letter
    b) Renunciation Questionnaire
    c) Renunciation Info Sheets
    d) DS-408
    e) DS-4081

    I’ve shared them at:

    https://docs.google.com/#folders/0B57nRWnlKoc8VjdiQzlyVTJUN2kzdVB4NmdYNnZ5Zw

    I found this statement in the Renunciation Info Sheets:
    “………Because renunciation is a serious matter to be undertaken soberly and advisedly, persons contemplating renunciation are advised by U.S. consular officers to consider the matter carefully and, if they chose to proceed, to come back to the U.S. embassy or consulate after a period of reflection.”

    As far as I still understand the English language “are advised” means you don’t have to go a second time. I guess you just have to insist upon only go once.

  26. I showed up for my first appointment with all forms filled in. But they still made me come back a second time. It made me angry until I realized it was just part of the process.

  27. Each Consulate office seems to modify to suit their needs. Since I had to travel over 1,000 kms it was done in one appointment. Bad enough that I had to travel but to ask me to come for 2 appointments would be crazy.

  28. I only had one appontment at the Copenhagen embassy. I don’t know if that is standard practice for them or if it is because In my initial email to them I stated that I was aware of all the consequences, ramifications, fees and IRS forms and that I had already weighed my decision carefully. And they sent me all the forms to look over in an email. So there was absolutely no reason for me to go twice.

  29. @Bruce, @rødgrød, @peg11, @Rick Blaine, @RoseA

    Thanks for the additional helpful information.

    All of the info submitted will be in a back-up file and the public document will be less detailed.

  30. We asked the US Embassy in Stockholm when the next available appointment was and how long it took to get the CLN from Washington. This is the answer we got back. It totally ignored our questions.
    ———————————–
    Dear Sir/Madam:
    Renunciation of U.S. citizenship is a very serious and irrevocable exercise and should therefore only be undertaken after serious consideration of its consequences. Please read more about the procedure and consequences on http://travel.state.gov/law/citizenship/citizenship_776.html.

    If you are still interested in renouncing your U.S. citizenship after reading this information, let us know and you will be scheduled for a visit at the embassy for a consultation. Please see our website for our opening hours: http://stockholm.usembassy.gov/consulate/am_cit_index.html.

    Thereafter, if you remain interested, you will be scheduled for another appointment where you formally renounce your U.S. citizenship. The fee to renounce U.S. citizenship is $450.
    We hope this information will be of assistance.
    ————————————-
    A friend of ours renounced last December. In Stockholm, there is one large room where everybody sits in rows of chairs with Windows A and B on one side of the room and another window for visas on the other side of the room. There is no privacy.
    She was called up to Window B and asked to recite the oath of renunciation there in front of all the visa applicants. She did it, but she did notice all the visa applicants staring at her like she was from outer space. She could only smile knowingly. She still has not received her CLN.

  31. @Lisa

    Thanks for info from Stockholm. Can we put you down as in progress and have you update us as it proceeds?

    Can we add your friend’s renunciation last December? If so, did that person have one or two appointments to do so?

    Good luck!!

  32. I will check with my friend. I do not know how many appointments she had, but I do know they were kind and moved hers up when they had a cancellation so she could be done in 2011. Put her on the list. It is for real.

    We are still sitting on the fence for personal reasons. Will advise as our situation becomes clearer.

  33. @Lisa – in Calgary the renunciation was done in a somewhat open area. The Consul was behind glass and I was in an open room – essentially a cubicle with walls to the ceiling. I do not know if others could have heard the Consul but they definitely would have heard me. The renunciations are processed at a different time than visas so there was only one other person there who had the appointment after mine.

  34. Thanks for all the suggestions and comments.

    There is an UPDATED pdf shown now.

    @usxcanada
    (1) Point of interest – all possible locations for Canada are already represented, except for Quebec City.
    QUEBEC CITY ADDED.

    (2) The renounce/relinquish distinction is interesting only as indication what applicant thinks possible or would like to do.

    Ultimate determination will be made in Washington DC by Dept. of State. Consulate requirement for completion of both DS-4079 and DS-4081 appears to be standard practice.
    WE THINK THIS IMPORTANT – HAVE PUT A NOTE IN FOOTER.

    (3) Appointments will normally be either 1 or 2. That means #1 Vancouver is already 2 because a second will be required?
    #1 REFERS TO THE PERSON (OR WHERE 2 PERSONS, #1, #2) – AT THIS POINT WE WANT TO KEEP THOSE PAIRS ON THE SAME LINE (USUALLY A Mr. and Mrs.)

    (4) Suggestions

    – Establish two columns for Date info: Date1 and Date2 (2012.12&2013.05 gets to be a lot of characters).
    WE’LL KEEP ONE COLUMN FOR CONSERVATION OF SPACE AND PUT *AND COMMENT IN “NOTES” COLUMN.

    – Consistently use two digits for month.
    WE WILL DO THAT.

    – Separate column for number of appointments not necessary.

    – Record paired renunciations on adjacent separate lines and mark with asterisk or something if that fact seems significant.
    #1 REFERS TO THE PERSON (OR WHERE 2 PERSONS, #1, #2). WE’LL ASTERISK AND PLACE A COMMENT IN “NOTES” COLUMN.

    @a broken man on a Halifax pier
    Adobe Professional is cost prohibitive for me, so for now we’ll stick with the less professional pdf.

  35. The regulations require the oath to be made orally, and for the renunciant to at least be encouraged to raise his right hand. (There is also a superstitious insistence insistence on the flag being present – the renunciant *must* renounce the United States in the presence of its flag.) In Toronto it was an exercise in pushing forms back and forth under the glass, which was fine with me. There was at least one other renunciant, but also people there for passport renewals and so forth, and I can see how it would lead to a weird atmosphere.

  36. calgary411 and pacifica777 – Thanks so much for getting this organized. I’ve already found some good tips in the comments. The “list” will be a good place for us to see how things are going for others and to help us understand our own journey a little better. I hope to be one of the “statistics” before too long.

  37. What about wait times between requesting an appointment and actually having an appointment?

    For Calgary, I called in October 2011 and received an appt 5 weeks later.

  38. re wait times — I remember someone at the other forum saying they had asked Vancouver for an appt but by the time they heard back they had already contacted Calgary and went there and renounced!

  39. Interesting post on Phil Hodgen today.

    Don did a survey, phoning 5 European embassies, to find out wait times for booking renunciation appointments, and provides observations about his phone calls as well as the wait time info.

    http://hodgen.com/phils-blog/

  40. In Toronto, about two weeks. Today (March 15) there are two available slots still for Monday, April 2. Toronto no longer makes a distinction between renunciations and other consular matters – just make the appointment and show up. They used to (until last fall) have separate days for renunciants and everybody else. I wonder if the change is related to moving away from making people take the oath orally, which helps them run the third floor without conflict and weirdness.

  41. @all
    Does anyone know if you are “relinquishing” based on an expatriating act, performed in the past – do you still have to swear the “renouncing” oath at the consulate? That would seem redundant, if you previously “renounced” when you became a citizen of another country.

  42. @A Broken man on a Halifax pier @ all

    Interesting. I think it depends upon which vice consul you get in Toronto. Having read from perhaps you and others (on the old Expat Forum), I expected just to sign the oath and go. Instead, he asked me to raise my right hand and repeat the oath. I looked around to see if there was a flag but I didn’t see one; if I were more of a smart-a** I would have insisted! :-P There is semi-privacy in that the open waiting room is off to the side; the only people in that section are USCs waiting for USC services. The visa applications take place on the first floor, so no “foreigners” actually hear this. But other USCs can clearly hear; I heard one fellow starting the relinquish process and did ask him if he contributed to the forum; he said he did not.

    There is virtually no wait time in Toronto. When I had my first appointment on Nov 30, I immediately booked for the next week, though I cancelled that appointment in order to be sure. The Toronto calendar is easily viewed on line-they post it per month and so far, it depends at what point in the month one wants. But as Broken man says, two weeks is probably max.

  43. Calgary411 –

    Thanks for considering those suggestions and so quickly putting out version 2. Here is anticipating that major interest will focus on:

    •  Time required to wait for first appointment
    •  Time gap between first and second appointment
    •  Time gap between second appointment and receipt of CLN

    The item at Hodgen cited by pacifica777 suggests that this compilation may become a power tool to hold the US more accountable for its processing of renunciants and relinquishers.

    So, further suggestions –
    (1) Three adjacent date columns would allow easy scanning for time spreads and would also eliminate need for any notes related to Appt#1 / Appt#2 / CLN
    (2) Month is a large quantity of time to track time gaps, but certainly better than the quarterly data US provides for renunciations – any chance for weeks or days?
    (3) Simple presence or absence of the data would indicate 1 or 2 appointments and would also eliminate the need for a separate column to tally that information – excuse the repeat, but that redundancy is not needed
    (4) Still recommending to split those couples into separate lines and link with a note – eg “#1 and #2 are couple” as notes on both lines

    All in the interests of (a) getting at the data of interest (b) having a robust structure that would scale up if you have hundreds of cases to record (c) keeping the bones as bare as possible to reduce data inconsistency (d) being able to migrate more easily off of pdf if that proves necessary. (For this application, technically speaking, pdf is clunky proprietary software that is straitjacked to a presentation function. You have aready encountered limitations in the “free” version!)

  44. @nobledreamer: You’re *entitled* to the flag. Cite 7 FAM 1262.3(b) if a flag is not provided.

    The Toronto one is tucked away in a corner of the room – to your right as you renounce, which may or may not be symbolic.

  45. @usxcanada, @All

    I’ve just inserted new version of the pdf, incorporating the following changes:

    usx canada’s further suggestions –
    (1) Three adjacent date columns would allow easy scanning for time spreads and would also eliminate need for any notes related to Appt#1 / Appt#2 / CLN
    HAVE COLUMNS LABELLED — REQUEST, 1ST APPT, 2ND APPT, CLN DATE

    (2) Month is a large quantity of time to track time gaps, but certainly better than the quarterly data US provides for renunciations – any chance for weeks or days?
    IT WAS DECIDED TO STAY WITH MONTHS TO REDUCE CLUTTER / EASIER TO DIGEST QUICKLY / SPECIFIC DATE MIGHT BE AN IDENTIFIER FOR THOSE WHO WISH TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS – We could make comment in NOTES.

    (3) Simple presence or absence of the data would indicate 1 or 2 appointments and would also eliminate the need for a separate column to tally that information – excuse the repeat, but that redundancy is not needed
    DONE

    (4) Still recommending to split those couples into separate lines and link with a note – eg “#1 and #2 are couple” as notes on both lines
    DONE

    (For this application, technically speaking, pdf is clunky proprietary software that is straitjacked to a presentation function. You have aready encountered limitations in the “free” version!)
    IF THERE IS SOMEONE ELSE THAT HAS ADOBE PROFESSIONAL AND COULD POST, THAT WOULD WORK, EXCEPT WE WANTED TO KEEP PERSONS HANDLING THIS TO A MINIMUM TO MINIMIZE THE CHANCE FOR ERRORS. IF THERE IS A FREE APPLICATION, FINE – OTHERWISE MY $$ ARE GOING ELSEWHERE / I WOULD NOT USE IT FOR ANYTHING ELSE – I’M RETIRED.

    Comments on whether this pdf will work or not?
    Thanks again, everyone!

  46. I relinquished in Dec 2011 in Toronto. Became a Canadian in 94. I was in and out in an hour. I had done the paperwork from the online forms before I went in. The staff was very pleasant and helpful. Told that the CLN would be at least six months. This was not really a hard decision because I thought I had ceased to be an American 17 years ago. I have recently retired and would have spent a lot of time and money visiting the U.S. particularly in the winter. Given the hostility toward expat’s, my visits and spending there will be minimal.

  47. Thanks, expat94. I’m glad it went so well for you!

    We’ll enter your information and look forward to you telling us you’ve received that important CLN.

  48. @Calgary411

    Another interesting thing to add might be whether someone has found their name on the Federal Register “name and shame” and during what time period/release.

  49. @Tim

    That would be great to track, given their “low” numbers / thanks — we could put that info as a comment in the NOTES column for now.

  50. calgary411 – The data is really looking good. And revised so fast. The presentation and formatting always showed quality. The base you have established should accommodate a fair bit of data addition. You are absolutely correct to aim to minimize fingers in the pie. Unless the task is overwhelming and demands multiple involvement, even two fingers will increase inconsistency. If the software you have is causing difficulties, look at using tables in Word and then saving the file as pdf from MSWord when you want to post publicly. But if you don’t already have that ubiquitous proprietary package, it’s not cheap either.

    Roughly speaking, there are three scales: small, medium, large. Small, you can use almost any software. Medium, high hundreds and low thousands of entries, life grows harder with “wrong” software. Higher thousands and upwards, everything could fast mush into useless stew without good principles and solid processing capacity.

    Present setup should be good till Brock well exceeds the official quarterly record for renunciations! By the way, that renunciation data is ugly. I took one brief run at amassing and reorganizing. It appears that http://renunciationguide.com has already done that work in the back room. I’d even argue that some U.S. authorities have deliberately subverted the “name and shame” mandate – protecting the rich by irregularly dispersing dirty data in an inhospitable format.

  51. @usx,

    I’ve got an excel file with two sheets, essentially the same except one without the names and one with plus a little more in the notes. I save the ‘no name’ excel sheet as a pdf file. It seems to be working OK at this stage of the game.

    Pacifica777 is also compiling additional detail from the comments people are making. It’s good to have two sets of eyes for this as it’s so easy to read over a mistake.

    Thanks again for helping with this.

  52. @calgary411

    I am not sure why, but I am unable to open the “US Relinquishment Renunciation File. I am not the “sharpest knife in the drawer” when it comes to computers, so problem is likely with me and my computer

  53. I went to the consulate in Vancouver today to begin the relinquishing process. I was informed I would need a second appt and some additional information. The staff were polite and professional. I was informed it could take a year for the CLN. I’ll wait.
    The woman ahead of me was applying for American citizenship for her Canadian born child. He stood beside her smiling happily, oh if only he knew what he was in for.

  54. @ over the hedge

    As Vancouver would also be my consulate, I am curious how long did you have to wait for the appointment. You said you wished to begin the “relinquishing process” and that they needed more info. What information were they requesting? Did you perform an expatriating act in the distant past and thus you hope to be able relinquish rather than renounce?

  55. I contacted the Vancouver consulate today to make an appointment for relinquishment and got one for next Friday (8 days from now). I tried to arrange to have only one appointment in my email but the response was that I must have two. They only want me to bring evidence of U.S.citizenship (passport) and evidence of other citizenship to the first appt. So it looks like they plan to give me the forms to fill out when I go for the first appointment to take back for the second appt. I assume it won’t take too long to get the second appt. since the first one was this quick.

  56. The consulate in Vancouver has a swift appt. turn around I scheduled just last week. The first appt. is to establish if you have an legit claim to relinquish. They ask the usual questions and ask to see your documentation of relinquishing act. In my case I was a federal employee with a signed oath to Canada and Queen. But the copy of my oath is not certified so I have to make a request probably at some cost to the Canada archives for a certified copy. Also my birth certificate has to be re-issued. The consulate sent me away with the relinquishment package and some other material to fill in that must be mailed back then another appointment will be scheduled.

  57. @tiger,

    I don’t know why you wouldn’t be able to open. Had you been able to open previously? It’s a link that you should just have to click on. It works here. Is anyone else having problem opening the link?

  58. Oops! I just noticed that I wrote I made an appointment to “relinquish” but I meant “renounce”. It was late late night when I posted!

  59. @Calgary411
    Unless the link shows up as: (www….) like that, I have always had trouble opening the links as at the top of this page. As I said, I am not the most ‘computer literate’ person and I suspect it is something in the settings on my computer. Disappointing for me.

  60. OK — the dirty deed is done — sort of.

    Got to the Vancouver consulate at 9 am for a 9:30 appointment, and had to navigate a huge line (outside) of people lining up for visa applications. Security folks were pretty helpful, and after standing outside (my wife was freezing) for about 40 minutes, we got in through security and up to the 20th floor. Security folks were all pleasant and efficient.

    After about 5 minutes, we (yes, they let me in too) fronted up to a consular clerk (?) who was wearing a sweater that said CANADA across the back in big letters, and he proceeded to look at all the documents for a relinquishment.

    1. He wasn’t interested in the statutory declaration, never looked at it.
    2. He looked at the two forms and said they were very old forms (I downloaded them from the DOS website) and proceeded to transfer the info onto his own form. And he was super helpful — because under the question about relinquishing with intent, I had put in language that she understood that to take out Canadian citizenship was an automatic revocation. He said that’s irrelevant; so he changed it to state categorically that it was her intent to relinquish (“otherwise they might not approve it,” he said).

    Then he looked at passports and citizenship documents and asked if my wife had her Canadian citizenship card. She didn’t bring it. He said THAT is considered the “official” document, and the piece of paper isn’t. He intimated that this is a Canadian statement, not US. And it puzzled him too, She dug up the card (at home) and will bring it the next time. So be advised — bring both of those citizenship pieces if you have them.

    Once he was finished with his paperwork — and copied all the docs (wanted landed immigrant paper too), he then handed it all over to the Consul, who then spent about 20 minutes questioning my wife about her intent — making sure this was completely voluntary, and he made sure she understood the consequences of her actions. I was asked to step away during this process — he said quite freely that part of his job is to make sure she isn’t being coerced.

    Both of these guys asked when was the last tax return filed, but didn’t go any further down that road. And she was asked several times if she has(d) a US passport (she never did). At the end of the consular interview, he said the application is now filed, and in two months we’ll get a call for a second interview — again, he said, to make sure that this action is being taken voluntarily and with full consideration of the “irrevocable” nature of the act. He indicated that after the second interview, it would take about a year to get the CLN.

    Bottom line — as long as she has taken no action at all that would indicate a desire to retain US citizenship, the application should be approved. That won’t be a problem.

    That was it — took about 90 minutes once we were through the door, and the experience was pretty benign. Those guys all know what’s going on here, and he as much as said they’ve had a flood of these applications — that’s why it takes two months for the 2nd interview and a year to get the CLN.

    Coming home, I didn’t know whether to congratulate my wife or offer condolences. As much as the US is bringing all this S**t upon itself, it’s not easy to go in and specifically repudiate your birthplace. There’s both a sense of relief, and a sense of loss. Now we wait.

    Given it will take a year to get the CLN, I’m a little concerned about trying to cross the border in the interim. But, to be honest, I don’t think the CLN is going to be of any help in the long run if the IRS thinks it has a claim on her money. Itv still might be too dangerous.

  61. Well done Arrow. I’m sure your wife is feeling some relief, but she must be frustrated that she has to go back.

    Interesting that they said the citizenship card is required. I think others have been told it must be the original paper copy with the date of citizenship. The card only has the date of issue.

    Also. as of February 1, 2012, CIC is no longer issuing the photo wallet sized cards. The Certificate of Canadian Citizenship is again a letter sized paper copy with what seem to be some security features in it. My new certificate was issued in early March, but has my 1973 citizenship date.

  62. @ Arrow

    Congratulations to you and your wife. I am amazed but pleased that they allowed you to attend the meeting with your wife.

    Re the need for the “citizenship card” – I never had just the card. I have always used the certificate as it was the only thing I had. Also, I do not have my “landing” papers. I did recently receive the copy of my citizenship file from the Access to Information and Privacy Dept. On it, it states that they looked at the “landing documents to verify” but must have given them back to me. I have had at least four moves since then so who knows where they could be.

    It must have been disappointing that they did not even look at your wife’s Statutory Declaration. I thought it was brilliant and told the whole story. Also, disappointing that the Vancouver office requires two appointments and then an additional years wait for a CLN.

    As far as crossing the border goes, I think we are “safe” for a little while yet. Just two weeks ago, a friend here in Vancouver, citizen of Canada 1980, crossed using her Cdn. passport (she doesn’t have a U.S. passport) and she was not even asked anything. She crossed at YVR.

  63. Tiger:
    I never got the card either — not sure why my wife did. The card doesn’t have a date on it, while the certificate does. Since a big part of the relinquishment case revolves around doing it in 1974, I’m not sure how the card would help much.

    You can get certified copies of your landed immigrant papers through Service Canada — we had to do that to qualify for OAS! And the consulate guy definitely looked at them to verify the dates.

  64. @Arrow

    Thanks for the info re Service Canada. I will apply for a certified copy of my landing documents. That requirement seems rather silly to me. We would not have been allowed to naturalize in Canada had we not “landed” prior to that. A bit rendundant, I would say but whatever they want, I will do, if it means I can shut that door one final last time.

  65. @calgary411

    Thanks, calgary. I do have adobe-reader installed. I just now figured out how to open the link (right click/open in new tab). Maybe this old brain has some life in it yet. Thanks for trying to figure it out.

  66. Experience in Germany (Frankfurt):

    Only 1 appointment ca. 4 weeks after initial contact, with information exchanged by letter and e-mail beforehand, so I and the consulate had everything needed.

    (Possibly an appointment space had opened up, because they initially said it would be 8-12 weeks.)

    I took my US passport, my “Einbürgerungszusicherung” from Germany (saying that the Germans would give me citizenship when I got the “Certificate of Loss of Nationality”) and the Statement of Understanding, plus the form for the fee.

    The vice consul was quite courteous, but made sure I was serious about it and understood it was irrevocable.

    They took my US passport and gave me a sort of receipt (in German) for it.

    3 weeks later, the consulate sent the Certificate of Loss of Nationality and the invalidated passport by certified mail (Einschreiben).

    It took about a week to get a notarized translation of the Certificate of Loss of Nationality, which I needed to become a German, and another 2 weeks until I had a passport again.

    A colleague who has to travel a lot for his job somehow managed to get the US consulate and the German side to coordinate so he was only without travel ID for about 1 1/2 weeks.

  67. Hi, Sally and welcome.

    Thanks for giving us your story.

    Did this just happen for you and can you confirm that it is a renunciation?

    Could you share the actual month and year for your first contact, then for your appointment, and finally for when you got your Certificate of Loss of Nationality? That would be so helpful to put in the database we’re compiling, a snapshot of what is happening and where.

    It sounds like your experience was reasonable and things went faster for you since you had to have your CLN before you were able to receive your German citizenship.

    Congratulations, Sally!

  68. Congratulations, Sally. It is interesting to hear another European story.

    @Calgary & Petros: This entire thread is fascinating. Would it be possible to pin it to the top so that it does not get lost under all the other posts?

  69. @Rodgrod, Along these lines, as well as collating time-line data, we also wanted to make the stories of peoples’ experiences at the consulates more accessible, as they appear throughout various threads.

    I have been compiling people’s stories on consulate visits throughout the website and organising them by consulate for easy reference. I expect to post this, also as a pdf, later today.

  70. First contact with the consulate was in Feb. 2011. Appointment in March 2011 and I got the CLN in mid-April 2011.

    Still have to do the final tax form dance with the IRS though. Need my German tax paperwork before I can start that.

  71. Thanks very much for the additional info, Sally. It will be added to the database for Renunciation and Relinquishment — part of the picture we’ll forming. You’re almost done so congratulations on all the hard work it took!

  72. Hi All,
    For those of you you can’t or don’t want to use google to read the documents I’ve posted their you can try the link at the bottom of this reply. The documents I’ve posted there are:

    a) Renunciation letter
    b) Renunciation Questionnaire
    c) Renunciation Info Sheets
    d) DS-408
    e) DS-4081

    I’ve shared them at:

    https://www.wuala.com/rose_a/z_public/?key=cBsMdwmDtFxg

  73. I relinquished my US citizenship in Toronto in November 2011. I was told it would take 3-4 months for my CLN to arrive but I am still waiting for it. It took a couple of weeks between the time I contacted them and my one and only appointment.
    I would suggest downloading all the necessary forms because I still have not received the blank copies of them that they mailed to me twice.
    In my pre-appointment phone discussions, there was some concern that I only had a wallet-sized Certificate of Canadian Citizenship card rather than a letter-sized one. I checked with a representative of Service Canada, who said there were two types of Certificates: the old laminated wallet-sized card and the new letter-sized paper one. I thought about getting a new letter-sized certificate, just to make things easier, until I read the application for it and discovered that it is illegal to have more than one copy of a Certificate of Canadian Citizenship in your possession at any one time. I pointed this out at another pre-appointment phone discussion and subsequently only had to photocopy the front and back sides of my wallet-sized card.
    I have found both the Toronto consulate staff and the IRS staff to be quite friendly and helpful throughout this whole process. Being a “minnow” with uncomplicated investments and zero tax liability, I filed my tax returns myself (7 years of them as instructed by the IRS). Having no income tax liability, I was not charged with any late filing fees. I have also filed six years of FBARs along with an explanatory letter. Although I became a Canadian citizen in 1987, and even though I advised the IRS in the summer of 1990 that I had become a Canadian, and even though the bill requiring expatriating citizens to formally tell the US consulate of their intention to relinquish their citizenship was not signed into law by George W. Bush until the fall of 1990, the IRS legal department has specifically advised me that they will forever consider me to be a US citizen until they receive my 8854.

  74. @Cornwall,

    Thanks for submitting your information for your experience in Toronto to include in our database — and congratulations.

    Can you please confirm that this was relinquishment rather than renuniciation? i.e., it appears that you would have been considered to be US, having filed both IRS tax returns and FBARs. If it was relinquishment, what did you use as your “expatriating act”? We want to make sure that your information is included in the proper column as one of the purposes of the information gathering is to differentiate relinquishments and renunciations.

    Are you planning on submitting a Form 8854 to complete the process to the regulations of the IRS?

    Thanks so much for your help in letting us include your information!

  75. To clarify:
    I relinquished my citizenship. My expatriating act was to take the Canadian oath of citizenship. I have also not voted in the US, not renewed my US passport, nor filed any tax returns (until recently for the 8854) since acquiring Canadian citizenship. I explained on my DS-4079 that I had only just recently filed US tax returns on the advice of the IRS because, while it was my intent to lose my US citizenship, it was not my intent to disobey any of their rules.
    I will be filing a 8854.

  76. Thanks, Cornwall

    Thanks for further clarifying. And, please, let us know what happens next in getting your Certificate of Loss of Nationality.

    It’s great you “relinquished” — and it will be important information for all of us on how this process progresses for you. My congratulations and best of luck in the outcome.

  77. As mentioned in another thread, I renounced yesterday (March 26, 2012). My first request for an appointment was on Jan. 26, 2012 and I received a telephone call on approximately Mar. 1, letting me know of my Mar. 26 appointment. I was told that I will get my CLN in somewhat less than a year.

  78. Here’s the info on my first step of relinquishment at the Vancouver Consulate today:
    -arrived 25 minutes early and lined up outside in the Citizen Services Line. The other line was for visas.
    -Everyone is very courteous but the security is a bit tighter than airports but no visible weapons. Pack of gum was a mistake. I had to take it outside, open it and then bring it back in. I did leave my vehicle fob and cell phone hidden in my vehicle. I saw a few people in panic trying to dispense of their possessions.
    -The document transfer inside consisted of (1) getting an order number and handing over my ID, (2) sitting down, (3) handing over my prepared forms, (4) sitting back down, (5) final discussion with the interviewer.
    -I brought a book, as suggested by another correspondent, but I was too wired to read.
    -4081: At the final discussion, he only took one copy, did not care that I had crossed out “renounce” all over the page, He was completely aware of the difference between renounce and relinquish and indicated that relinquishment would give me a back dated CLN in 2-12 months. Most likely 12 months. I signed the 4081 but no seal was affixed. He warned me that I would never be able to travel on a US passport or vote.
    -4079: He took both copies, asked me the same questions that were on the form. I was told to come back in two months to sign the forms. The waiting period is required by law. They will be checking to see if I have done any patriotic acts: voting, filing, passports, etc.
    -No fees at this point and they weren’t interested in my immigration card with the date I entered Canada.
    -I was out exactly one hour after my appointment time. Emotionally fried of course.

  79. @Dawid
    Is it safe to assume that your ‘relinquishment’ is based on becoming a citizen of Canada in the distant past? When did you become a citizen of Canada? Did they ask you to attach a list of your reasons for relinquishing – I believe Johnnb and his wife were asked if they wanted to attach a ‘story’ to the forms when they went to the Halifax consulate earlier in the year. And finally was there any mention of contacting the IRS regarding tax forms?

  80. @tiger

    I became a citizen in ’85. They did not ask for an attachment, I answered the questions on the form and the space there was adequate (I filled out the form on-line and then printed it). There was no mention of contacting the IRS, though I’m sure that will come.

  81. @Dawid. Congratulations on today’s step. Did you come away with any kind of receipt or copy of what you signed?

  82. Congratulations, Dawid. You are a huge step in front of me. I haven’t made an appointment as yet with the Vancouver consulate. My expatriating act occurred in 1972. I guess my big fear about going to the consulate is possibly exposing my 3 Canadian-born, adult sons to the long arm of the IRS, who might want to claim them as ‘accidental americans’. I know that when/if I go to the consulate, I would probably get hassled by the IRS. I would probably choose to ignore them. I just don’t think I want my sons and their families hassled.

  83. @usxcanada

    I had a look at ‘supplemental information’ requred by Vancouver consulate. The only reference I saw to children was this question – “Have you sponsored any children for U.S.citizenship claims through you? If so, when? Provide names, date and locations”. I have no trouble answering the question with a ‘no’. I never registered any of my children with a US consulate. I could be interpreting the question incorrectly, but I certainly never sponsored any children for US citizenship. Is there some ‘supplemental information’ required by Vancouver consulate that is not required by other consulates. Certainly reading on this site the stories of others who have gone to register their long past expatriating act and to seek official recognition of their ‘relinquishing’ act, have not mentioned being asked for details of their children.

  84. @Dawid
    Glad your visit to the consulate went well. I relinquished in Dec and also signed 4079 at the time. I was never asked to come back after 2 months to sign it.
    @everyone Anyone else have to come back 2 months later to sign 4079?
    @tiger I have 3 adult Canadian kids, too, that were never registered. I couldn’t have anyway since I left the US as a kid, but the consulate never asked me anything about them. i just answered “no” on the form about registering children

  85. @Quincy, returning 2 months later to sign 4079 for relinquishment seems to be a policy specific to Vancouver. They seem to be doing that with everyone at Van, but we have no reports of such policy elsewhere with relinquishment. In fact, many consulates have seem to have switched to a 1-visit-only policy for renunciation as well as relinquishment.

  86. @calgary411: no receipt, no copy
    @tiger: my kids were born after I committed the expatriating act so I’m guessing they wouldn’t qualify even if they wanted to. I never registered them, and no one asked about them.

  87. Hi everyone. I’m the one with the old kryptomite (i.e. green) card who only recently found out that it was giving me US person status without my knowing it. I returned to Canada (home of my birth) in 1994 and haven’t set foot across the border since 1997. Anyway, I am considering doing a I-407 (Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Residence) and I’m wondering if anyone else has done this and will my abandonment be made retroactive to the date I thought I actually had abandoned? I would really like to officially and completely sever my unwanted ties to the US but on the other hand if it requires a FUBAR from me I’m back into a Catch 22 because I refuse to do that.

  88. @Em

    I don’t think we’ve had anyone report on checking out of US permanent residency (green card) on Form I-407. If you do this, it will provide further information for the rest of us. The process, unfortunately, looks similar. Might be good to “lose” at any rate.

    http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=3f443a4107083210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=3f443a4107083210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD

    “Abandoning Permanent Resident Status

    You may be found to have abandoned your permanent resident status if you:

    1) Move to another country intending to live there permanently
    Remain outside of the United States for more than 1 year without obtaining a reentry permit or returning resident visa. However, in determining whether your status has been abandoned, any length of absence from the United States may be considered, even if less than 1 year

    2) Remain outside of the United States for more than 2 years after issuance of a reentry permit without obtaining a returning resident visa. However, in determining whether your status has been abandoned any length of absence from the United States may be considered, even if less than 1 year

    3) Fail to file income tax returns while living outside of the United States for any period

    4) Declare yourself a “nonimmigrant” on your tax returns”

    http://www.irs.gov/businesses/article/0,,id=203094,00.html

    http://www.taxesforexpats.com/expat-tax-advice/green-card.html

    (out of date regarding terms for filing Form 8854)
    How do I give notice to the Department Of Homeland Security that I terminated my residency status?
    You will be considered to have given notice of a termination of residency to the Secretary of Homeland Security as of the date that you complete Form I-407 (Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status) before a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States or at a Port of Entry of the United States before a U.S. immigration official.

    What if I have had my green card for less than 8 years out of the last 15 taxable years at the time I revoke or abandon my green card?
    You do not need to file a Form 8854 for any reason.

    If I am a long-term resident, must I file Form 8854 for the next 10 years after I surrender my green card?
    You must file a Form 8854 for each of the 10 tax years after the date of your abandonment of your long-term resident status only if:
    (a) your average annual net income tax liability for the 5 years ending before the date of your termination of residency is more than a set amount ($124,000 for 2004, $127,000 for 2005, $131,000 for 2006),
    (b) your net worth is $2 million or more on the date of your termination of residency, or
    (c) you fail to certify on Form 8854 that you have complied with all of your U.S. federal tax obligations for the 5 years preceding the date of your termination of residency.
    Failure to file a required Form 8854 in any of the 10 tax years after the date of your termination of residency may result in a $10,000 penalty for each year that the form is required but not filed.

  89. @Em

    One thing I’ll note EM as a non US citizen resident in Canada you are covered by the terms of the US Canada Tax Treaty. Technically from the US perspective to claim treaty status you are supposed to fill out form 8854 anyways(there is a separate option 3). In your case it might actually be worthwhile to contact the Canada Revenue Agency and get a ruling that your are a Canadian tax resident under the treaty.

  90. @ calgary411 & Tim
    Thank you both for the great information. It seems I’m just a hodge-podge of dids and did nots. I constantly slap myself silly upside the head for my ignorance and stupidity in all of this mess.

    I never claimed “nonimmigrant” on our joint tax returns. We just sent them a note to say I was formerly a resident alien (which I thought I was — formerly that is — didn’t know about I-407). Up to now we are tax compliant. My husband is FUBAR compliant but I am not FUBAR compliant and that of course is where those crippling penalties come into play, even though I know, for now, I am protected by the Canadian gov’t. On brief telephone advice from a Vancouver lawyer when the FBARs got nastier I made individual bank accounts for myself and did not FUBAR them because I genuinely thought I was a Canadian citizen — period — no US connection except an American husband. (I never mentioned to the lawyer the green card because it never occurred to me that it was anything but null and void.)

    Now another monkey wrench — an 8854 from me! No way! I’m not even close to $2M and I am not about to fill that form in just to satisfy their curiosity. If I haven’t done FUBARs, I’m not likely going to do an 8854 either.

    I like the idea of contacting CRA. I’d rather talk to them than the IRS which always ends up in frustration for me. With the IRS I go round and round in telehell just trying to find a non-800 number (most 800s are undialable from Canada) with a human at the end. One time I ended up at the form warehouse talking to a worker there. He was the nicest person (I was looking for someone to complain about the FUBARS to) and he’s the only one who at least commiserated with me (he actually grasped how invasive a FUBAR is) but in the end all he could say was, “Mam I surely do wish I could help but all I can do is find the form and send it to you.”

  91. @Em,

    I believe the US IRS has not lived up to what should be their responsibility in providing education. Most of us cannot figure it out by ourselves. That’s why we have to hire expensive legal and accounting professionals — to help protect us from the excessive penalties for doing things incorrectly.

    That this all is not a bigger story everywhere is mind-boggling to me — it is sucking so much out of our lives.

    Do not for one minute blame yourself for being stupid, ignorant or any such nonsense! We’re all in this together, learning from one another.

  92. @ calgary411
    That’s kind of you but I still feel stupid, only I seem to be in good company and that actually mitigates things a bit. I am also very form adverse and at the risk of being banned here for posting a seriously long comment I’m going to share with you a letter I once sent regarding FBAR. (Names and numbers omitted to protect the innocent.)

    (DATE)
    TO: Naomi Jones
    Chief, Edit & Error Resolution Branch
    Currency Reporting & Compliance Division
    Department of the Treasury
    Internal Revenue Service
    Detroit Computing Center
    P.O. Box 33107
    Detroit, Michigan
    U.S.A. 48232-0l07
    Re: Document Control Number (DCN) (14 DIGIT NUMBER)
    Dear Madam:
    My MOST sincere and humble apologies for neglecting to inform the MOST exalted and almighty Department of the Treasury of the MOST omnipotent and esteemed nation in the universe (namely, the United States of America) of this MOST important piece of information regarding my husband (namely, his date of birth).
    How could I have committed such an offence against such a diligent and zealous bureaucracy (namely, The Currency Reporting and Compliance Division)? If even the smallest pillar under the honourable and beloved Internal Revenue Service has been damaged by even the slightest amount by my oversight I will never forgive myself. My only excuse is that I am a mere dot of a person living in an insignificant nation (namely, Canada) which is located to the north of the great nation of the United States of America and I failed to fully appreciate the grave significance of the information I failed so miserably to supply (namely, my husband’s date of birth).
    Perhaps, as a Canadian, I should have left the filling out of Form TD F 90-22.l to my American husband but regretfully he does not have the time or the patience to perform this time-consuming yet oh-so-delightful task. I can reassure you, however, that he reviews Form TD F 90-22.l quite solemnly and thoroughly before he signs it and we send it on its way every year to the Department of the Treasury. So my husband bears at least part of the blame for this serious debacle.
    My further apologies that you, the very Chief of the Edit and Error Resolution Branch (or was it perhaps one of your staff, acting on your behalf) was so horribly but unintentionally inconvenienced as a result of my abysmal performance regarding the filling out of Form TD F 90-22.l, to the extent that you (or whoever it was who was forced to deal with this matter) was required to send us four pages of documents and a return envelope in order that I may be able to correct my error in failing to fill in the space (the now, never again to be neglected, Space 8 on page 1) requiring my husband’s date of birth. I will, of course, comply with your request to return all the material you sent to us regarding this matter. All four pages are enclosed with this letter and I will neatly stuff them into the generously provided return envelope to which I have already affixed sufficient postage (namely, 65 cents in our lowly Canadian currency). As you can see, I am trying very hard not to burden you again by messing up this step in the process of acquiring forgiveness for my original sin.
    So here it is, the vital information you require — and again I apologise for my omission. My husband, (NAME) was born on the (NUMBER) day in the month of (NAME) of the year (NUMBER). As per your instructions, I have also written this information on the facsimile generated from computer stored magnetic data of our Form TD F 90.22.1 (aka Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts) which we sent to the Department of the Treasury this year.
    I hope that my husband and I are now, as a result of providing this information, once again falling at least somewhere near the proximity of the good graces of you and your staff at the Edit and Error Resolution Branch of the Currency Reporting and Compliance Division of the Department of the Treasury. My haste in trying to rectify this situation should, I hope, also bode well for us as I am replying to your letter on the very day upon which we received it.
    Sincerely yours,
    (NAME)

  93. @EM

    On second though I actually gave you they wrong part of CRA to contact. You actually need to contact the following department:

    http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/nnrsdnts/cmp/wh-eng.html

    They have a phone number too but it isn’t a 1-800 number so you are going to get hit with long distance charges if you don’t live in Ottawa. I will also mention the department of CRA I linked to above is the place all US Canada tax issue should be directed too inside of CRA.

  94. The following text is from CRA’s website:

    A Canadian resident taxpayer is also considered to be a resident of a treaty country under that country’s domestic law, and each country asserts that the taxpayer is a resident of its jurisdiction for purposes of the tax convention. If unresolved, the taxpayer could be subject to tax on the same income in both countries. A request to the Canadian or foreign Competent Authority will be necessary to initiate negotiation between the competent authorities regarding the proper application of the tie breaker rules contained in the residency article of the convention. The taxpayer should approach the competent authority of the country in which the taxpayer asserts residency(CRA if you are a Canadian resident).

  95. @ Tim
    Thanks! Gosh you even provided the URL! I really do feel “safer” too dealing with CRA rather than IRS.

  96. @Em:

    “With the IRS I go round and round in telehell just trying to find a non-800 number (most 800s are undialable from Canada) with a human at the end.”

    Nina Olsen points out somewhere in her report on overseas tax issues that the IRS could have 1-800 service enabled for Canada (specifically) at no extra cost to them.

  97. @Em, Thanks for sharing your letter. All that for one little item they really already had if they could have taken the time to look at a previous year’s form. However, they can never send us anything saying they received our 1040’s, etc., etc., as we get from CRA.

    …and why is it we don’t have an IRS presence of any kind in Canada or even a 1-800 number, toll-free? I think it is because IRS people would actually have to be specially trained to deal with our questions and issues. The only advice I’ve ever received from sending email to their HELP line or calling on their dime is to consult with a US tax attorney or US tax accountant.

  98. @Calgary411

    I fully believe we can now add “tax collection, enforcement, penalization, litigation and consultation industrial complex” to the list of other self-serving, self-justifying combines that Americans are so good at creating out of thin air. Making it easier for poor saps like us to figure out what’s going on could throw thousands of highly-paid professionals out of work. Couldn’t have that now, could we?

  99. @ Deckard1138
    The TEPLiCon Industrial Complex … yes I like that … no I don’t like that … well you know what I mean. It’s like IRSpeak which is anything but clear and concise.

  100. @ calgary 411
    “All that for one little item they really already had if they could have taken the time to look at a previous year’s form.”
    EXACTLY! On the other hand maybe it’s a good thing they don’t look at previous forms.

  101. I called a few consulates to ask how long it will take to get an appointment for renunciation, if they will accept it on first visit, and how long will take to get CLN subsequently. So many differences !!!
    two questions:
    1.anyone know why (or is it possible) that in some consulates they say CLN will take a few months and in others they say a few weeks??
    2. anyone see any issues renouncing and then going to USA for summer holiday for 2 months (obviously with foreign passport).
    thaks

  102. @alex,

    Your type of questions are exactly why we are tracking renunciation / relinquishment experiences at various consulates.

    Where do you plan to renounce your US citizenship? In Canada — or elsewhere in the world? You may not be able to make your appointment anywhere you wish; then again you may be lucky and be able to.

    Since we’ve been tracking, we don’t have anyone reporting having gotten their CLN in Canada — most consulates in Canada “say” about a year, give or take to get your CLN; but it has been over that “guestimate” for some.

    However, if you will look at the statistics above under ” Rest of the World,” those renunciants report getting their CLN’s much quicker. We don’t know why but think in some instances it is because those who are renouncing need the CLN to get citizenship for the country they are residing in.

    There seems to be no rhyme or reason or one standard of procedure for ALL consulates.

    Also, some consulates give a “receipt” or “copy of what you have signed when you renounce (without an official seal)” but at other consulates you go away empty-handed, really having nothing to prove that you have renounced and are waiting for your CLN. When asked what to do about crossing the border, some consulates have advised to just tell them at the border that you are in the process. Who knows — without proof, It may be up to the discretion of the border guard you deal with to let you into the US.

    Once, you have crossed the border, I would think that being on vacation in the States for a period of two months, you would be OK…

    From the Renunciation Guide: http://renunciationguide.com/Analyzing-Your-Tax-Situation-if-you-Expatriate.html#TimeInUS

    How much time you can spend in the U.S. after expatriation and still be taxed as a non-resident

    After expatriation, you will be treated as any other citizen of your country is treated. If your citizenship is from a visa-waiver country, you don’t need a visa for visits up to 90 days. If your country is not on the visa-waiver list, you will need to apply for a visa, but barring any unusual circumstances, you will most likely be approved. (See here for our discussion of your legal rights after expatriation).

    Regarding U.S. taxes, you will be treated as any other citizen of your country in almost all respects. Assuming you live outside the U.S. and don’t have a green card, you will be taxed as a non-resident non-citizen on any U.S. source earnings, allowing you to benefit from no taxes on interest and capital gains.

    However, you will be treated as resident for tax purposes if you spend enough time in the U.S. (including U.S. territorial waters) to meet the “substantial physical presence” test, defined as spending:

    At least 31 days in the current year

    AND

    At least 183 days during the 3 year period that includes the current year and the previous 2 years, where you count all of the days you spend in the U.S. in the current year, 1/3 of the days you spent in the previous year, and 1/6 of the days you spent in the second year before the current year.

    In essence, under the the “substantial physical presence test”, you can spend an average of up to 4 months each year in the U.S. and not be resident for tax purposes.

    Note that because of the different weights used to count days in each year, there are several permutations of time spent in the U.S. that are possible. For example, you could spend 180 days in year 1, 120 days in year 2, and 110 days in year 3, and still not be considered resident in any of those years.

    Unfortunately, we don’t have the real answers — there are none!

    (When you do renounce, consider letting us know your experience so we can include that in our statistics.)

    Good luck to you!!

  103. @Calgary – we need to find out why Terry Gilliam can “only stay for 30 days.” I’ve seen many references to this; the same references stating that anyone else from the UK can stay for longer.

    I think another downside to renunciation is that gun ownership is out-of-the-question for renunciants who are in the USA. I don’t know of any other negatives, but it would be nice if someone could find them.

  104. @calgary; re:”and why is it we don’t have an IRS presence of any kind in Canada or even a 1-800 number, toll-free…”
    Yes, wouldn’t it make sense to be trying to help one of the largest groups of US ‘persons’ ‘abroad’ with their ‘foreign’ tax and account questions?
    I believe that the 800 number question for those in Canada (and elsewhere) was mentioned in a previous year’s report by the Taxpayer’s Advocate …
    ‘course, that’s the same IRS illogic that has them cancelling the IRS services in Canada – because of ‘budget cuts’ while continuing (limited hours) in Europe….

  105. @ geeez
    Maybe it has something to do with TAXES and being a “covered expatriate”????

    The Picket Line — 22 December 2009
    5:00 pm / 21 December 2009by David Gross, at The Picket Line
    22 December 2009

    Terry Gilliam, Monty Python’s Yankee animator and director of such masterpieces as Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Brazil and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, recently told an interviewer why he renounced his American citizenship to become a taxpatriate:

    Mother Jones: In 2006, you renounced your American citizenship to be a full-time Brit. Seems pretty extreme.

    Terry Gilliam: Well, I don’t live there. I got tired of my taxes paying for exciting little wars around the world. Then I discovered that when I died, my wife would probably have to sell our house to pay for the taxes in America. The fact that Bush was there made it easier.

    Mother Jones: Did you get any shit for your decision?

    Terry Gilliam: Not really. It was very funny, ’cause you have to go down to the US Embassy and say, I want out, and then they counsel you and you go away for a month and think on it. And then you come back and they beg you to stay. Sorry!

    Mother Jones: They counsel you? What do they say?

    Terry Gilliam: Oh nothing, just, “We’re great friends! We love your work! Oh, don’t leave us!” Sorry!

    Mother Jones: Is it true that they limit your movement?

    Terry Gilliam: Oh yes, I’m on probation. I can’t be in America more than 30 days a year for 10 years.

    From Wikipedia:

    Personal life

    Gilliam has been married to the British make-up and costume designer Maggie Weston since 1973. She worked on Monty Python’s Flying Circus, many of the Python movies, and Gilliam’s movies up to The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. They have three children, Amy (b. 1978), Holly (b. 1980), and Harry (b. 1988), who have also appeared in several of Gilliam’s films.
    In 1968, Gilliam obtained British citizenship, then held dual American and British citizenship for the next 38 years. In January 2006 he renounced his American citizenship.[61] In an interview with Der Tagesspiegel,[62] he described the action as a protest against then President George W. Bush, and in an earlier interview with The Onion AV Club,[63] he also indicated that it was related to concerns about future tax liability for his wife and children. As a result of renouncing his citizenship, Gilliam is only permitted to spend 30 days per year in the United States, fewer than ordinary British citizens.[62] Gilliam also maintains a residence in Italy near the Umbria-Tuscany border. He has been instrumental in establishing the annual Umbria Film Festival,[64] held in the nearby hill town of Montone.

  106. @ geeez. A bit more.

    Here’s why:

    Gilliam renounced in January 2006.

    Expatriation after June 3, 2004 and before June 16, 2008

    The American Jobs Creation Act (AJCA) of 2004 amends IRC section 877, which provides for an alternative tax regime for certain, expatriated individuals. Amended IRC 877 eliminates the tax avoidance criteria for imposition of the expatriation tax on certain types of income for 10 years following expatriation, and creates objective criteria to impose the tax on individuals with an average income tax liability for the 5 prior years of $127,000 for tax year 2005 ($131,000 for 2006; $136,000 for 2007; $139,000 for 2008) or a net worth of $2,000,000 on the date of expatriation. In addition, it requires individuals to certify to the IRS that they have satisfied all federal tax requirements for the 5 years prior to expatriation and requires annual information reporting for each taxable year during which an individual is subject to the rules of IRC 877.

    Further, expatriated individuals will be subject to U.S. tax on their worldwide income for any of the 10 years following expatriation in which they are present in the U.S. for more than 30 days, or 60 days in the case of individuals working in the U.S. for an unrelated employer.

    Finally, even if they do not meet the monetary thresholds for imposition of the IRC 877 expatriation tax, the new law (per IRC 7701(n)) provides that individuals will continue to be treated as U.S. citizens or long-term residents for U.S. tax purposes until they have notified the Secretary of the Department of State or of Homeland Security of expatriation or termination of residency. The implementation date of this provision is retroactive and applies to expatriations occurring after June 3, 2004. The expatriation is not effective until the notification and tax satisfaction certifications are filed with the IRS and the Department of State or of Homeland Security.

  107. I think another downside to renunciation is that gun ownership is out-of-the-question for renunciants who are in the USA. I don’t know of any other negatives, but it would be nice if someone could find them.

    @geeez

    Don’t forget about “the transporting of hazardous materials by renunciants and other activities”, whatever that means. Could mean doing the Mambo while eating a Big Mac for all I know.

    Here’s the full reference:

    7 FAM 1267 RENUNCIATION AND THE BRADY ACT
    (CT:CON-277; 01-05-2009)
    The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (Brady Act) of 1993, Public Law 103-159 — Persons Who Renounce U.S. Citizenship Ineligible to Purchase Firearms, provides that it is unlawful to sell firearms to persons for whom a finding of loss of nationality due to renunciation has been made.
    Subsequent laws have extended this restriction to the transporting of hazardous materials by renunciants and other activities. The U.S. Department of State and the FBI entered into an interagency agreement on the sharing of information concerning renunciants of May 1998 (CA FBI 1998 MOU)―persons who lose U.S. citizenship under Section 349(a)(5) INA. See 18 U.S.C. 922G Unlawful Acts — Sale of Firearms to Renunciants; Federal Register 68, 86, May 5, 2003 Transporting Hazardous Materials By Renunciants. For additional information, see 7 FAM 1244.

  108. Hi again Em. Why bother revisiting this. We have established that you are a resident of canada. CRA can do little except confirm this. We also know you are a non resident alien sa far as the US is concerned. Ask yourself, what can they do about it? Bugger all.

  109. @calgary411

    And most likely CIA, and NSA, and Homeland Security and RCMP and CSIS and CSE and on and on… Post-9/11 paranoia remains big business, even after a decade.

  110. @Deckard1138
    ‘Post-9/11 paranoia remains big business, even after a decade’. I have said it to my sons and many others – they won. Constantly ‘looking over their shoulders’ to check if there is a terroist behind them, in my humble opinion, has caused the loss of freedom and irrevocably changed the US for the worse. Tis a pity, really!

  111. @ Chester12
    I guess I just didn’t want to be viewed as a criminal in the USA but since I will never go there and at this point Canada will not collect US taxes owing or FBAR/8938 penalties from Canadian citizens living in Canada (that’s me) I think I’ll just have to hang pat and hope there aren’t any more surprises in the future. I personally have nothing for them to confiscate in the US except my standing with friends and relatives down there. I don’t think I will be participating in a 1040 shakedown starting with the 2011 filing. My American husband is switching to Married Filing Separate and I suppose they would want a 1040NR from me but I’ve had enough … I’ve just had enough. The irony is that if they hadn’t made the FBAR so intrusive my husband and I would still be filing jointly. No, I didn’t like doing 1040s every year but it was the FBAR where I drew the line. Canada does not ask that information of me and I am determined I won’t give it up to the USA. My husband has no choice for now but he will renounce his US citizenship after his mother passes away.

    There always seem to be surprises like the one in the link below which relates how Sen. Barbara Boxer is cooking up a bill to suspend passports when taxes are owed ($50,000 and up).

    http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2012/04/04/owe-the-irs-bill-would-suspend-passport-travel-rights-for-delinquent-taxpayers/#comments

  112. @Em, the surprises continue to appear – and every single one is designed only to be punitive in nature and intent. What about the carrot people! Won’t they learn that the stick only goes so far…. All the carrots seem to be outside the US permanently.

  113. I agree @Deckard1138 re;
    ‘Post-9/11 paranoia remains big business, even after a decade’. And I believe that agencies jumped at the chance to bend it to their own devices.

    and, I won’t miss “doing the Mambo while eating a Big Mac”… They had to make a specific prescription against it – just in case?
    : )

  114. about “The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (Brady Act) of 1993, Public Law 103-159 — Persons Who Renounce U.S. Citizenship Ineligible to Purchase Firearms, provides that it is unlawful to sell firearms to persons for whom a finding of loss of nationality due to renunciation has been made.”

    From the news in the US, (like the latest tragedy in Florida) – who needs to worry about renunciants, it appears to be the citizens on the inside that are running around armed and dangerous http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/03/us-usa-florida-shooting-trayvon-idUSBRE8320UK20120403 and http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-17648620

  115. This may not be the right place to post this but I just want to say that I sent an e-mail to The Corbett Report. I’ll let you know if anything comes of it. Here’s what I sent …
    SUBJECT: Tax Tyranny
    As you may know the USA is the only country in the world (other than Eritrea) which uses a country of origin based tax system. That means that US citizens or simply the IRS definition of “US persons” are required to file US tax returns forever, no matter where they may live in the world, no matter for how long. They must also reveal all their banking information to the Treasury Dept. (FBAR form) and now the IRS itself (form 8938). There are 72,000 pages in the US tax code and “overseas filers” face even more complex rules than US residents so most end up paying specialists to do their taxes. Then there are the penalties for simply failing to file a FBAR form. Those penalties can bankrupt a person who most likely would not even have owed any tax to the IRS at all. It’s a horrible mess and if you would like to investigate it then http://isaacbrocksociety.com/ is a good place to start.

  116. @calgary411
    Thanks for your detailed response.
    Of course I will share experiences once i decide
    and move ahead.
    So it seems like the time period for CLN is a mystery. I called consulates in Europe only (not Canada). I may call a few more. Maybe Canada is unique:)

    with respect to taxes, I was advised and everyone should note that first year tax status may be different than subsequent years (with respect to 30 days and Substantial Presence) if return to USA for more than 10 days after relinquishment.. Just to keep in mind.

  117. I wanted to provide an update to the Renunciation Timeline.

    I was part of the “Wild Bunch” that attended the group meeting at the Toronto Embassy last fall.

    Humour: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0065214/

    I renounced my US citizenship on October 27.
    Still waiting for my CLN.

    Filed 2011 Income taxes for Canada and USA, yesterday.
    Completed Form 8854 and FBAR.

  118. Hmm.. it doesn’t appear to say anything about loss of nationality due to relinquishment.

    @Calgary – OK, I see now with Terry Gilliam. He renounced before the new laws…

  119. @CDNHOOSIER,

    It’s so good to hear from you. Thanks for the info to add to the Relinquishment and Renouncement database. Sounds like you’ve completed all of your “next steps”. Congratulations!!

    I see most of the “Wild Bunch” did relinquishment in one appointment? Can you confirm that yours was renunciation as opposed to relinquishment and, if so, did you require just one appointment or two? i.e. did you require a second appointment to complete things on October 27 (or is that the date you all descended on the Toronto consulate)? Did you come away with any copy of what you had signed at renouncement or any kind of receipt? Have you paid your $450 fee?

    I hope you receive your CLN soon — hope anyone in Canada receives theirs soon!

    and you’ll always have the memory of the “Toronto Wild Bunch”. Thanks for the analogy of the movie description …

    This is correct in that it marks the finale of an era, for the characters and the world they live in. They simply can no longer keep up, the times are changing, technology advancing, and their style of life is getting left behind in the dust that they spent so long galloping through. They abandon their careers for the simpler life of retirement. They enjoy this time, they live their fantasies. During this time the law is always on their tracks, bounty hunters

  120. @alex, thanks for your comment:

    “…with respect to taxes, I was advised and everyone should note that first year tax status may be different than subsequent years (with respect to 30 days and Substantial Presence) if return to USA for more than 10 days after relinquishment.. Just to keep in mind.”

    Does anyone have further information regarding this that we should keep in mind?

  121. I can’t find anything referring to ’10 days in the US’ but this talks about change in US Presence after June 17, 2008:

    http://www.protaxconsulting.com/articles/expatriation.pdf

    Old rules before June 17, 2008- US Presence & Tax Consequences After Expatriation:
    As long as you do not meet the above 2 exceptions, if during the 10 year period following expatriation you
    are physically present in the US for more than 30 days per calendar year, you will be treated as a US
    resident alien and taxed on your worldwide income for that whole calendar tax year. Requiring the filing of
    a resident US income tax return Form 1040. Do not count any days up to a limit of 30 days in which you
    performed personal services in the US for an unrelated employer if either of the following apply: 1) You
    have ties with other countries- obtained citizenship/ residency of another country after expatriation in
    which you/ spouse or either parents were born and you become fully liable for income tax in that country or
    2) You are physically present in the US for less than 30 days per calendar year during each of the 10 years
    after expatriation.

    Expatriation Effective Date- *****New effective after June 16, 2008- definition changes:
    You are considered to have expatriated the latter of the date you relinquish US citizenship or terminate
    long-term residency. There is no longer effective after June 16, 2008 a requirement to file a Form 8854 to
    establish an effective expatriation date.
    Former US citizens- You are considered to have relinquished your US citizenship the earliest of: 1) The
    date you renounce US citizenship before a diplomatic or consular officer of the US (provided followed by
    issuance of certificate of loss of nationality), 2) date you furnish the State Department a signed statement of
    voluntary relinquishment of US nationality (provided followed by issuance of certificate of loss of
    nationality), 3) date State Department issues issuance of certificate of loss of nationality, or 4) date US
    court cancels your certificate of naturalization.
    Former Long- Term Residents- You are considered to have terminated your long-term residency the
    earliest of: 1) The date you voluntarily relinquish/ abandon your ‘green card’ by filing with DHS Form I-
    407 with a US consular or immigration officer, 2) date you became subject to a final administrative order
    for removal form the US under the IN Act and actually left the US, 3) dual resident of the US and the
    country of new residence has income tax treaty with the US, you are resident of that new country and filed
    Form(s) 8833 and 8854.

    This is from the renunciation guide: http://renunciationguide.com/Analyzing-Your-Tax-Situation-if-you-Expatriate.html#TimeInUS
    How much time you can spend in the U.S. after expatriation and still be taxed as a non-resident

    After expatriation, you will be treated as any other citizen of your country is treated. If your citizenship is from a visa-waiver country, you don’t need a visa for visits up to 90 days. If your country is not on the visa-waiver list, you will need to apply for a visa, but barring any unusual circumstances, you will most likely be approved. (See here for our discussion of your legal rights after expatriation).

    Regarding U.S. taxes, you will be treated as any other citizen of your country in almost all respects. Assuming you live outside the U.S. and don’t have a green card, you will be taxed as a non-resident non-citizen on any U.S. source earnings, allowing you to benefit from no taxes on interest and capital gains.

    However, you will be treated as resident for tax purposes if you spend enough time in the U.S. (including U.S. territorial waters) to meet the “substantial physical presence” test, defined as spending:

    At least 31 days in the current year

    AND

    At least 183 days during the 3 year period that includes the current year and the previous 2 years, where you count all of the days you spend in the U.S. in the current year, 1/3 of the days you spent in the previous year, and 1/6 of the days you spent in the second year before the current year.

    In essence, under the the “substantial physical presence test”, you can spend an average of up to 4 months each year in the U.S. and not be resident for tax purposes.

    Note that because of the different weights used to count days in each year, there are several permutations of time spent in the U.S. that are possible. For example, you could spend 180 days in year 1, 120 days in year 2, and 110 days in year 3, and still not be considered resident in any of those years.
    I can’t find anything referring to ‘returning to the US for more than 10 days’ in the current ruling

  122. Hi
    it is on page 10 of Pub 519 under the section De Minimis Presence.
    Refers to first year of split residence when you are partly US tax resident and partly not.

  123. Hi, Alex and Calgary. I took a look at IRS pub 519, page 10. My reading of it is that refers to people who were resident in the US in the past year. I think IRS pub 519 is for departing aliens, as opposed to former citizens who were not resident.

  124. yes.
    that is correct. i understand that it is for people who live in usa and who expatriate . it refers to that first year where they have dual tax status – part as usa tax resident and part as non resident alien. USA residents who expatriate need to take this into account

  125. @calgary
    I am not now but i was earlier in the year.
    so I want to be sure to follow all tax regulations correctly and carefully in case decide on expatriaton..

  126. @alex. Good for you for being prepared.

    And thanks for introducing this aspect to us. Without knowledge of all this, how easy it would be to get tripped up.

  127. Once again I’m probably posting this in the wrong place but I just wanted to let everyone know that my husband has started filling out his Canadian citizenship application. (There will be a brief delay in sending it in while he waits for his driver’s license renewal to be completed.) I look forward to the day when he and I can be a Canadian couple riding off into the sunset together. We both know we have to get through all the paperwork puzzles soon, before our brains are too old and fuzzy to deal with them. (Actually the citizenship application was easy-peasy compared to pretty much everything the IRS publishes.)

  128. @Thanks for letting us know. It is all part of the process which will eventually be able to go on the Relinquish and Renounce database. One step at a time.

  129. @The person calculating the totals in the document.

    I think there is an error in the documents concerning the totals.
    There is 1 person for each of the other countries, but for some
    there the total is 3. I’m not sure where the error is :roll:

  130. I have a few questions about renouncing — BTW, my initial appointment at the Toronto Consulate is at the end of April. First, some info. I was born, in Canada, as a dual citizen in the early 60s. I did reside and work in the US for about ten years in the 1980s and 1990s, but I have lived in Canada since 1999. In February of 2012, I paid a tax preparer to file 1040s and FBARS 2005-2010. I owed no taxes for any of those six years. The tax preparer attached a note to my FBARs, arguing reasonable cause (with lots of citations of various legal decisions, etc.). The same tax preparer is now preparing my 2011 1040, Form 8938, and FBAR. These will be filed by the due dates. After I renounce, I will not be a “covered expatriate”, which is a good thing. By the way, I just got married, and my wife certainly does not want any children we might have to be US citizens: this is one of many motivations to renounce.

    OK, here are my questions:

    (1) If I renounce on, say, May 25, 2012, what are my filing obligations after that? Do I have to file a 2012 1040 for the period Jan 1-May 24, 2012? Do I also have to file a 2012 1040NR for May 15-Dec 31? Or maybe I have to file a 2012 1040 for the whole year?

    (2) Suppose that I renounce on May 25, 2012. Also suppose that my official CLN has not yet come by tax time in 2013. Should I file a 1040 for the entire 2012 calendar year, as if I were still a US citizen?

    (3) Do I have to file an FBAR for 2012, or only for Jan 1-May 24, 2012?

    I have a ton of more specific questions about Form 8854 (e.g., what is the “cost basis” of cash in a chequing account?) but those are probably better saved for my tax preparer. (He can probably also answer questions (1), (2) and (3), but I’d like to get more than one informed opinion.)

  131. My take. Note that I’m as amateur at this as you, so this is worth what you paid for it.

    1) File 1040 up to May 25, and a 1040NR for any US-source income after May 25. IRS calls this a “dual-status” return.
    2) You can in fact argue that your renunciation date is your initial appointment, so Apr rather than May. See renunciationguide.com. State should be able to clarify this at your appointment. Under no circumstances should you be forced to wait the indeterminate time it will take for your CLN to appear.
    3) File a “part year” FBAR covering up to renunciation date only. Mark it as such on the top. Send and throw a party. Live your life freely from now on.
    And on 8854 “cost basis”, that’s generally the amount you paid for something. On a cash and savings accounts it’ll be the same as the balance. On a house, stocks, funds etc, what you paid is likely different to its current value. Most stuff is fairly easy to assign this way. Except pensions, which seem to be the square pegs in the round holes here; maybe “n/a”?

    Hope that helps. Good luck.

  132. Congratulations on the fast turn-around, Rick. I’ll update our database with tomorrow’s date (here). It is wonderful to see that some are getting their Certificates of Loss of Nationality in little over a month. We wish that were the story in Canada.

  133. @calgary411 I’m wondering if it has anything to do with the difference in renouncing or relinquishing as maybe the relinquishing might take more verification that simply appearing and renouncing like I did, might want to track if its a relinquish or renunciation.

  134. @Rick,

    From our tracking, there doesn’t yet show a difference in relinquishing time vs renouncing time. Peter Dunn is the only person we have in Canada reporting his receipt of CLN — for relinquishment.

    Is the date on your CLN, the same as the date of your renunciation? Again, congratulations!

  135. I suspect renouncing is quicker. It probably doesn’t take as many bureaucrats to check the paperwork.

  136. @calgary411 yep, expatriated him self on 03-12-2012 under the provisions of Section INA 349 (a) (5).

    The one thing that I did was have my local attorney call the vice consul and ask for a declaration that I had renounced my citizenship, so maybe that got the ball rolling faster, because within a week (this morning) they called and said my CLN was ready to be picked up, I never did get the declaration.

    Thanks everyone, I’m so happy to have my freedom certified in my hands, I hope everyone gets their CLN as soon as possible.

  137. @Rick,

    I found being persistent to be helpful in speeding up the expatriation process.

    I had the feeling the Consular’s office was passively dragging its feet, perhaps in order to make sure it doesn’t get accused of pressuring anyone into expatriating.

  138. @Rick and @Rick Blaine. Thanks for the additional information — it all helps in the picture we are trying to paint. Your suggestions for speeding things up are good for us all to know.

  139. @anyone, Could someone tell me which forms are needed to renounce US Citizenship.I have googled it and only found one form but heard there are about 3 different ones. I would appreciate it.. Thank you!

  140. I will forward you the information email with attachments I had received from Calgary US Consulate, saddened123.

  141. From Expat Guide site:

    http://www.expatinfodesk.com/expat-guide/relinquishing-citizenship/renunciating-your-us-passport/five-steps-to-renunciating-your-us-passport/

    Five Steps to Renouncing US Citizenship

    Contrary to popular belief, renouncing US citizenship is not a highly complex tasks that is fraught with obstacles and barriers. It is, in fact, achievable in just five simple steps.

    STEP 1: Get a Second Passport

    In order to renounce your US passport you will need a second passport and you are required to bring this with you to your renunciation appointment. Even though expatriation is your right, the State Department will deny anyone the right to renounce their US citizenship if they don’t have a second passport. Ensure that the passport you acquire is directly issued by the government in question and never be tempted to purchase one off the Internet.

    STEP 2: Review the Renunciation Forms and Prepare DS-4079

    The documents listed below are the ones required by the State Department to process your renunciation. You only need to fill out DS-4079 before your appointment. DS-4080, 4081, 4082 and 4083 are forms that you should review beforehand but complete at the appointment, since they just have a few check boxes, dates and signatures.

    DS-4079: Questionnaire – Information for Determining Possible Loss of U.S. Citizenship, US State

    http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/97025.pdf

    DS-4080: Oath of Renunciation of the Nationality of the United States, US State Dept.

    http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/81606.pdf

    DS-4081: Statement of Understanding Concerning the Consequences and Ramifications of Relinquishment or Renunciation of U.S. Citizenship, US State Dept.

    http://www.expatinfodesk.com/expat-guide/relinquishing-citizenship/renunciating-your-us-passport/five-steps-to-renunciating-your-us-passport/

    DS-4082: Witnesses’ Attestation Renunciation/Relinquishment of Citizenship, US State Dept.

    http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/81608.pdf

    THE GOAL:
    DS-4083: Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the United States, US State Dept.

    http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/81609.pdf

    STEP 3: Book Your Renunciation Appointment

    Ideally you would book your appointment at the embassy or consulate in the country (and possibly city) where you plan to live once you renounce your passport. However, other embassies and consulates will take you, so it pays to “appointment shop” as the wait times can fluctuate greatly among locations. When you book the appointment, make sure to indicate how many people are renouncing US citizenship, if it’s more than one. If you don’t want to book the appointment yourself, you can have your expat lawyer do it for you. However, having a lawyer book the appointment for you can delay the process in some places, as they may require written proof that your lawyer represents you. They ask for this proof via Form G-28.

    STEP 4: Attend Your Renunciation Appointment

    Make sure you take both of your passports to your renunciation appointment. Bring your birth certificate and if you have a certificate of naturalization from the country of your second passport, bring that too. There may be a long line just to get inside the embassy or consulate. If there is, politely let them know you have an appointment booked.

    Be prepared to complete many copies of each form at the appointment and keep them organized in stacks. Proofread everything you and the official put on the papers. Make sure the signatures are in the right place.

    At the end of renunciation appointment you will be provided with DS-4083, called the CLN for Certificate of Loss of Nationality. Keep this in a safe place and do not lose it, as it is the one piece of physical proof that you’ve completed the process for renouncing US citizenship. It’s signed and affixed with an official seal at the appointment. Technically the CLN will need to be approved by the State Department but this can take several months and in the meantime you will need evidence of the day you formally signed renunciation.

    STEP 5: File Your Final U.S. Tax Return

    Your final tax return will be from January 1st through the day you expatriate. However, the fair market valuation for all your assets is as of the day before. That’s because on the day you renounce, you are no longer a taxable person to the IRS. If your renunciation date is any day other than December 31st, you’ll be filing Form 1040NR for your final return: IRS Form 8854, the Expatriation Information Statement, is the exit tax form, and it’s filed along with your final return. It’s not especially difficult, but you want to make sure you do it right.

    Here are the instructions and the form itself: http://www.irs.gov/instructions/i8854/ch01.htmlhttp://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8854.pdf

    IRS forms are periodically updated, so make sure you have the most recent one.

    The 8854 is targeted at “covered expatriates.” http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8854.pdf
    A covered expatriate is someone who meets the wealth criteria established by the IRS. It’s based on having a net worth of $2 million or more, or a threshold annual tax liability from the preceding five years. To read the full definition and see if it applies to you, go here. If you’re a “covered expatriate,” complete 8854 with the assistance of an accountant, preferably one who has done them before. If you have any questions that might be sensitive, consult a tax attorney first. You have attorney-client privilege with your lawyer – not your accountant. If you have foreign accounts already extant before you expatriate, you’ll also need to file a U.S. Treasury form called the “FBAR” (TD F90-22.1)http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f90221.pdf. You may have done this before since the form applies to all U.S. citizens and is not related to expatriation.

    (and, of course, the new Form 8938, http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8938.pdf / Instructions: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i8938.pdf)

    As with any major decision, ensure that you are fully confident that renouncing US citizenship is the right thing to do for you and your family.

  142. @calgary411 actually you do not need a second passport to renounce your citizenship.

    It’s best to have residency in some country before renouncing, but still not required, for example someone with residency may believe it’s more important to renounce their U.S. citizenship than to be able to travel.

    See State Depart Manual for Renouncing Citizenship.

    http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/115645.pdf

    g. Renunciation and statelessness: Potential renunciants who do not possess another nationality or a claim to one are nonetheless permitted to renounce U.S. nationality. In doing so the individual becomes stateless. You should explain the extreme difficulties that a stateless individual may encounter trying to establish residency in a foreign country or traveling between countries in order to ensure that the individual understands the consequences of statelessness. See 7 FAM 1215 for additional information about statelessness. If the individual still desires to proceed with the renunciation, you may proceed.

  143. Yet some arbitrary consulates operate with no respect for their own stated procedures. One more instance of the rule of whim that stems from the arrogance of power.

  144. @Rick, thanks for pointing out the exception to the rule. usxcanada is correct, there doesn’t seem to be any one standard of procedure for all the US consulates / embassies in the world in regard to those asking for relinquishment or renunciation.

  145. Just had a look at the updated chart.

    To date we have news of six CLNs being issued. Only one so far from Canada, that’s Petros’ — took 11 months for it to be approved (a relinquishment). The other five are all from other countries, all renunciations, none of them took more than a couple of months for approval, and three of those were in 2012 so the difference isn’t just about an increased 2012 workload.

    We have renunciation CLNs pending in Canada going back to November, six months ago. None of the non-Canadian (renunciation) CLNs took anything like that long to be approved. I admit, a relinquishment is probably more complicated in terms of review in Washington. But a renunciation should be a “slam dunk,” the only way it can be rebutted is if the consular officer thinks the applicant was mentally incapable or under duress to swear the renunciation oath, or if the US Passport Office discovers the applicant is still holding a valid US passport. Neither is remotely likely in the Canadian cases I’m aware of.

    What gives, Department of State? Ambassador Jacobson? Secretary Clinton?

  146. Just to elaborate on the workload issue — as I posted earlier today on the password site, we’ve learned that CLN documents submitted to a Canadian consulate go directly to Washington, they do NOT go through the embassy in Ottawa. The backlog/delay is in Washington and not in the consulates, according to my information. All CLNs have to be approved in Washington, including those from countries other than Canada. In the same office in Washington. Whatever workload issue there is in Washington should be affecting CLN approvals for applications from all countries, not just Canada.

  147. schubert1975 –

    Thanks for your two postings. It is becoming clear that Canada is receiving inferior treatment, and that there is wide discrepancy in practice among the consulate localities in Canada. This is a situation that we can hope will sooner or later attract the attention of Canadian media. Something weird seems to be going on. Not just bureaucratic weird, either.

    Fundamental question: In terms of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, when does foot-dragging become ancillary to denial of the right to expatriate? Perhaps the presumptive land of the free is doing its best to preserve the land of the fee (with accounting and legal far more punitive than any tax).

  148. @Rick. Thanks for the link. We don’t have actual names on the database. Those interested can check the list and, if they wish, report whether or not they “made it”.

  149. It would make an interesting complaint to Ambassador Jacobson: Canadian duals are receiving inferior services from Washington – we are being prevented from completing renunciations. Actually, that would make a good story – dual Canadians being held hostage by the US and prevented from leaving. That kind of sound bite sticks – no matter if they denied it.

    Would it make sense to start a letter writing campaign from those affected, cc’ing to the Canadian Ambassador to the US as well? It would seem to fit as a diplomatic issue. The Canadian feds aren’t in favour of dual citizenship anyway, so they might intervene.

  150. @ badger and All

    I have never gotten a response and see nothing regarding ‘US Persons in Canada’ on his blog or site, although he invites us to correspond with him. US Ambassador to Canada David Jacobson:
    ottawainfo@state.gov

    Over the last nine months our governments have solicited comments from interested stakeholders on both sides of the border. We have taken those comments into account in developing the Action Plans. Now that we have announced the Plans we will continue to seek the views of concerned citizens. The United States and Canada have each commenced formal comment processes and have created websites for informal comment. We will also continue reaching out to interested parties. We realize our efforts will be most successful it we understand the views of our citizens. I encourage you to share your thoughts with me.

    Tell Us Your Stories!

    The U.S. Embassy in Ottawa is inviting Americans to submit their stories of living in or visiting the Great White North. Whether it was a day trip to Toronto on business, decades living in the Yukon wilderness, or anywhere else in Canada, we want you to share your experiences. E-mail us at ottawainfo@state.gov. We’ll share some of the best ones on our websites and our social media platforms!

    Connect with us on social media!

    You’re a member of Link2US…but did you know all the ways we can “Link 2 U”? We invite you to like the Embassy on Facebook and Google+, follow our news on Twitter, view our photos on Flickr and watch our videos on YouTube. You can listen to our podcasts on our iTunes channel. We’re also on LinkedIn, where you can join in a discussion on our Embassy group and you can even check in with us on Foursquare. How do you feel about Canada-U.S. relations? Share your stories! Follow our news!

    We may also be able to answer your questions. If you need research assistance or are looking for public policy information on the U.S. and would like the services of a librarian to help you out, we invite you to contact our Information Resource Center (IRC) at 613-688-5311 or by email: ottawareference@state.gov. We look forward to hearing from you!

    The Role of an Ambassador — Ottawa, Canada, Embassy of the United States

    http://canada.usembassy.gov/ambassador/the-role-of-an-ambassador.html

    The Chief of Mission — with the title of Ambassador, Minister, or Chargé d’Affaires — and the Deputy Chief of Mission head the mission’s “country team” of U.S. Government personnel.

    Responsibilities of Chiefs of Mission at post also include:

    Speaking with one voice to others on U.S. policy–and ensuring mission staff do likewise–while providing to the President and Secretary of State expert guidance and frank counsel;

    Directing and coordinating all executive branch offices and personnel (except for those under the command of a U.S. area military commander, under another chief of mission, or on the staff of an international organization);

    Cooperating with the U.S. legislative and judicial branches so that U.S. foreign policy goals are advanced; security is maintained; and executive, legislative, and judicial responsibilities are carried out;

    Reviewing communications to or from mission elements;
    Taking direct responsibility for the security of the mission — including security from terrorism — and protecting all U.S. Government personnel on official duty (other than those personnel under the command of a U.S. area military commander) and their dependents;

    Carefully using mission resources through regular reviews of programs, personnel, and funding levels;

    Reshaping the mission to serve American interests and values and to ensure that all executive branch agencies attached to the mission do likewise; and

    Serving Americans with professional excellence, the highest standards of ethical conduct, and diplomatic discretion.

    I don’t know — is the good Ambassador living up to his duties? Are ‘US Persons’ in Canada part of the constituents he is to serve?

  151. I’m not on that renunciation list and I received my CLN at the beginning of March. I think it is just “covered expatriates” who are on the list.

  152. Not to be outing people but there looks to be a Jay Lynne Fleming on the list which definately could be a resident of West Vancouver who owns Your Life Solutions Inc(A pretty sucessful self storage company in the Vancouver area). Would this happen to be an IBS member I know we have several from West Van and North Van who perhaps is waiting for a CLN.

  153. @calgary411, I’m not sure if it is part of his duties, but even if it isn’t, would sending the letters to him, but making clear that it is also cc’d to his Canadian counterpart – and Harper, and Flaherty might get some notice – even if there is no reply? Renunciation rates alone are going to prove embarrassing, so maybe the US ambassador will pass on that it is in danger of becoming more glaringly public. Perhaps even using phrases like ‘Canadians held hostage by the US.’ ‘US stalls on recognizing sworn allegiance to Canada’ etc.’ ?

  154. @calgary411;
    re:
    “Tell Us Your Stories!

    The U.S. Embassy in Ottawa is inviting Americans to submit their stories of living in …… the Great White North. Whether it was…. decades living in …………., or anywhere else in Canada, we want you to share your experiences. E-mail us at ottawainfo@state.gov. We’ll share some of the best ones on our websites and our social media platforms!”

    Will they post any shared “stories” of Americans living for “decades in” “the Great White North” as a naturalized Canadian, only to find that they’d been reclassified as a US taxpayer and prospective tax evader?

  155. @badger

    One thing that should be mentioned if you look at this lists they are over 50% women something that goes against the stereotypical homelander American grain of who renounced their citizenship and something FAWCO should be emphasizing big time.

  156. @rødgrød

    We’ll look closely for you on the next quarter’s report too to try to figure out their rhyme and reason. Thanks.

  157. @Tim, I hadn’t thought to analyze it by gender, but that could be an important point – backing up the observations that ACA had made about the issue of women renouncing – possibly because of pressure, or in support of non-US spouses who do not agree to disclose their joint accounts to the IRS.

  158. Thanks usxcanada. Well, I cannot answer her there (I had misread and first thought it was on the Brock forum), but if someone is still plugged into the Expat Forum,

    I’ve never filed a Canadian tax return (as I grew up and still reside in the US), but I’m now considering moving to Canada.

    I moved to the US as a young child, obtained Permanent Resident status in the US shortly thereafter, and eventually obtained US citizenship (albeit much, much later at 27, three years ago). I haven’t lived in Canada since I emigrated, but I have applied for (and received) a Canadian passport (since this was the only passport I was eligible for until a few years ago). Additionally (if it matters at all), I registered for (and received) a Canadian Social Insurance Number shortly after obtaining US citizenship (hopefully this does not come back to haunt me…).

    I am wondering two things:

    1) Do I have any sort of tax obligation to the Canadian government on income I’ve made here in the US, even though I’ve not had any residential/financial ties with Canada since I was a young child?

    and

    2) What should I be expecting in terms of taxation (double-taxation, etc.) after moving back to Canada?

    Here is the reply I would give:

    The reply to her first question,

    NO.

    and for her second question will send her to these links:

    CRA Magazine article United States Tax Issues for individuals in Canada, which I think answers the question. And, will give a link to IRS U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad. I’ve also added Do I need to file Form 8938, “Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets”? as it doesn’t appear to be a link in the IRS information for US Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad.

    Depending on further plans to live in the US, she may want to turn in her green card so I’ve added this (from Em):

    I-407 ABANDONMENT OF LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENCE
    A card holder is not required to come to the consulate. LPR card and I-407 can be sent directly to USCIS.
    USCIS TSC
    P.O. Box 850965
    Mesquite, TX 75185-0965

    and will invite her to read the thread of Diane, from which she may glean some information that applies to her situation, http://isaacbrocksociety.com/2012/05/02/she-didnt-know-the-united-states-still-thought-she-was-an-american/. I’ll also invite her to research the main Isaac Brock blog for further information.

    I hope someone can answer her at the ExpatForum and this will be useful information for this US permanent resident to use in making her decision whether or not she will return to Canada, the place of her birth.

  159. Re the CLNs and renunciation statistics, see this excerpt embedded in the middle of this story:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-01/wealthy-americans-queue-to-give-up-passports-in-swiss-capital.html

    …….”They receive a certificate within three months, telling them they are no longer American citizens and entitled to the services and protection of the U.S. government……..

    ….”The U.S. embassy in Bern declined to comment on renunciations. The U.S. State Department doesn’t disclose annual figures, said Elizabeth Finan a spokeswoman for the Washington- based department, adding that “on average” 1,100 people give up their citizenship each year. “…….

  160. curious that three months to get CLN after renunciation switzerland and only 1 month in germany or scandinavia.

    anyone have any real live experience with a swiss renunciation?

  161. sorry; what I mean is, why is the backlog for CLNs recognizing renunciations from those in Canada so behind? I know others have asked this before on these threads, but it is very vexing.

  162. Perhaps Uncle Sam is particularly worried that the large majority of the estimated one million Canadians with US citizenship will renounce.

    The more CLNs issued, the more people will talk to others about it. And once the cork comes out of the bottle, there is no way to put it back in.

    Renunciation is a very sensitive issue for Sammy. It makes him look bad and interferes with his plans for grabbing more tribute.

    This is why 1,788 (dead canaries) was such a headline grabber and is most likely the reason he is dragging out the CLN process for Canadians.

  163. @FromTheWilderness;
    Yes, those dead canaries do look really bad. After all, if it is so great to be a US citizen outside the US, then why would so many Canadian citizens and residents spend so much money and effort for a lengthy process to get rid of it? A democratic and prosperous country just next door, with health care, stability, and historic ties, and yet there are people lined up to have their ‘cancer’ removed before it kills them and their families through legalized extortion.

    What response can they make other than to make it even more difficult – which would also look very bad, because it lends truth to what we are saying.

    So, is this a situation where Canadians are being held hostage -via the IRS and witholding or delay of CLNs? It is far past the time that the Canadian federal government steps in, and speaks to Ambassador Jacobson very frankly – and make clear that the US cannot hold Canadians for ransom.

  164. At what point does US bureaucratic foot-dragging (on processing of relinquishment or renunciation and issuance of CLN) become de facto violation of the basic human right to ditch a toxic citizenship? As weeks stretch into months, and months into a year (or multiples thereof), the state of affairs begins to reek of rot. Especially for the clearly abused residents of Canada.

    Speculation: Canada and perhaps Israel are the flashpoints, the countries where the US can lose the most and lose it fastest. Perhaps the two “closest” countries in terms of muliple linkages, Canada first because of physical proximity and prevalence of English and balance of trade.

    Word gets around. There isn’t much word now. All we really have is Sit tight?

    Nothing can happen before the November election. Nothing. After that, Katy FBAR the door. While nothing is happening, there is almost nothing to report. Atossa is the exception. Imagine if a US response to skyrocketing exit applications were to spawn even greater difficulties in prying loose the lamprey –

    Try these: (1) Increased fee to renounce. (2) Waiting times in years like persons trying to gain US citizenship. (3) Everyone “covered” forever by IRS reporting requirement regardless of citizenship loss.
    Offer up your own horrible possibilities.

    Just look at the flipflopping dog’s breakfast of patchwork legislation for extraterritorials over the past decade.

    Two months to July 4. The only band I want to hear playing is called Dissolve!

  165. @usxcanada;
    I thought about that. It is possible. Perhaps only a very public stink will stop that from happening – at least in the short term.

    All the more reason for the Canadian government (and other sovereign governments) to say ‘let my people go’!

    After all, dual citizenship is only barely tolerated by many in Canada – including our current government. If that is the case, then they should support those who are trying to break out of the shackles of unwanted US citizenship.

    As has been said here before – where does the Canadian government think the money is coming from for ‘compliance’ and IRS penalties? Out of Canadian pockets. And where are our so-called ‘foreign’ assets held? In Canada. And what country is affected when millions are too scared to save and invest in our own RRSPs, RESPs, TFSAs, RDSPs, etc? Canada. And if we can’t buy those investments, and save up for education, disability and old age, then what government’s taxes will have to go to support us? Canada’s.

    It’s a no-brainer to me. We’re never going back to the US. We want to stay in Canada. We want our money that was legally earned here, – and taxed in Canada to stay here in Canada – with our families. That is all under threat if the IRS can just start seizing – or having Canadian banks seize our legal post-CRA taxed assets – with no recourse. And in the case of joint assets – seizing our non-US family assets. We can’t afford the crossborder specialists already – what would it cost to get back any witholdings from the IRS? And even if we could afford it, how long would that take?

    You can’t tell me that given all the complexity, that there won’t be ‘errors’ and ‘unintended’ consequences. Except this time, it won’t just be the bank you have to deal with, it’ll be the bank, scared to death of losing the 30% witholding, with the IRS standing behind them. How could any individual possibly have recourse against that?

    I haven’t seen any discussion of any avenue for recourse if there is any dispute about these with-holdings. If the computer systems they’re rushing to set up to identify US citizen accounts, make errors, who will bear the consequences? The individual account holder.

    And will the Canadian government come to our rescue?

  166. People who renounced or relinquished and have not received their CLNs within 3 months should e-mail or call the consulates or embassies handling their cases and ask about their statuses. E-mails are better because they put the inquiries on record. Bureaucrats don’t like being accused of not doing their jobs.

    Look how fast Petros received his after making an inquiry.

  167. @badger and @usx,

    I agree, it appears Canadians are being held hostage by the IRS by threat of draconian penalties and by DOS in withholding or delay of CLNs.

    Yes, far past time that the Canadian federal government steps in, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE (tell the US to let OUR PEOPLE go, if they wish) but I think that Ambassador Jacobson is absolutely not the appropriate person to deal with. He seems to have done nothing for US persons in Canada so far — other than to make himself look like a clown. If his position has any meaning at all, perhaps he could at least answer emails that he solicits or put something on his Ottawa Embassy blog showing that he is doing something on our behalf. Or, is he just another figurehead, dealing with tourism and trade? which are of course important. But, there are pressing issues that affect US persons in Canada that it appears he has, except for his silly “sit tight” statement, completely lost sight of. It appears to me he has no real power at all.

    @Ben Franklin, you’re right — we will all need to do as Petros did, follow-up to find out why when time is dragging on in getting Canadian CLNs. Just why this is happening compared to the difference in time for other countries needs to be better explained.

    The dragging of CLN feet may go on until after November of this year to quieten the fact that Canadian US persons are renouncing and relinquishing. Perhaps after the election, this will then (hopefully) become a bigger media and political issue. Wake up, USA. Stand by us, Canada.

  168. US citizenship for ex-pats has become so carcinogenic that people are paying money to get rid of it.

    Something has gone seriously wrong!

    Any thoughts on this Messrs. Levin, Grassley and Rangel?

  169. @saddened,

    From the information we’ve gathered on the database, the timing there seems reasonable. There have been 4 Toronto renunciations, 2 of which required only one appointment and two of which required 2 appointments. There have been 7 relinquishments reported for Toronto, and of course one of these, Petros, has received his Certificate of Loss of Nationality, which took over a year from relinquishment appointment. No others in Canada have yet reported receiving their CLNs.

  170. @calgary411, Thank you very much!! What the hell is the hold up with the CLN’s?? Do you know the longest wait time after the renounciation to get CLN?? I see that Petros took a year, has anyone waited longer than 1 year?? Something doesn’t sound right does it, if other countries are getting there’s in just a few months. Gosh, I hope in the next year they don’t make it harder to renounce or a longer wait time to get a appointment.. Can you imagine if was a 2-3 year wait.. for appointments.. OMG!!

  171. @ Saddened. The waiting time to book an appointment in Toronto is quite reasonable, about 2 to 3 weeks, and seems to be holding steady at that since we started tracking these things in late 2011.

    As for the CLN delay for Canadians as opposed to the rest of the world, I’m as baffled as everyone else about that.

  172. saddened wrote, “What the hell is the hold up with the CLN’s??”

    My theory is that the guy who was making the decisions about whether he was going to let me expatriate died at his desk at the State Department in Washington and nobody noticed for 365 days.

  173. @Petros, That is a good one! And what is funny you are probably right! They just didn’t want to let you go!!

  174. @Pacifica777, Thank you for the reply. It does seem really funny doesn’t it, the wait being so long.. Just another aggravation!

  175. Ben Franklin wrote: “Look how fast Petros received his after making an inquiry.” I asked only after a year. Asking any earlier probably would have made no difference, as the approval date on the CLN was 29 February, only a month and a half before I asked.

  176. @Petros:

    Thank you for the clarification. Who knows how much longer your CLN would have sat on someone’s desk had you not asked. Maybe another year for all we know.

    The point I was making is that “sitting tight” waiting for CLNs could take forever. Its not in Uncle Sammy’s interests to issue them, hence so many obstacles.

    Inquiring costs nothing and can’t hurt anything.

  177. A recent relinquishment applicant at a Canadian consulate was told the wait for a CLN should be 2-6 months. The vice-consul at the interview said the problem is in Washington, not in the consulate, and that applications go straight from the consulate to DC they don’t go through the embassy in Ottawa so the embassy isn’t the bottleneck (he said the consulate tries to expedite these applications). He made a comment to the effect that Washington is a big bureaucracy and hence is slow; you’ll hear the roughly same comment from regional or local offices about their national HQ in every government department in every country on the planet. And generally it’s true. Not that’s any excuse …

    If you haven’t got your CLN after six months for sure, it’s time to start rattling some cages as to where is it and why. Particularly given the much faster turnaround folks seem to be getting in other countries.

    If this doesn’t clear up quickly, maybe it’s time to start bombarding Gary Doer, the Canadian Ambassador in Washington, with demands that he start raising a stink with the State Department about what is going on. You could also bombard John Baird our Foreign Affairs Minister but he’ll ignore you, at least so far he’s ignored all my emails. Flaherty is the only government minister who’s replied to anything I’ve sent. You can also try your MP or the opposition critics (Paul Dewar for the NDP and Dominic LeBlanc for the Liberals, last time I checked). Maybe Margaret Wente at the Globe and Mail might be interested? An article or column in a national newspaper might light a bonfire under Jacobsen’s butt …

  178. I’ve received a short questionnaire for completion from the US Consulate in Edinburgh. I’ve been told it takes 4-6 weeks to get an appointment. For personal reasons I’m unable to renounce until the end of September, so have asked for an appointment at this time.

  179. Hello, Scotgirl,

    Congratulations on your planning and the start of the renunciation process. Thanks for the information that it will take 4 to 6 weeks to get your appointment after your contact. We’ll put that onto the database and hope that it will take you only one appointment to renounce when you do complete the appointment at the end of September. Glad to add Edinburgh. Keep up the letter writing on behalf of your (and everyone’s) Accidental American kids and thanks!

    Keep in touch and good luck to you!

  180. This is reply to my email to DOS

    Dear Ms.

    Regarding your CLN, no, there is no mechanism for tracking it. For your reference, it typically takes at least 6 months to completely process and send the loss of nationality documentation. The date of your loss of nationality, however, is the date you took the oath of renunciation, not the date the loss of nationality documentation is approved or the date it is sent to you.

    Kind regards,

    Christine P. Jackson
    Citizens Services Specialist
    Office of American Citizens Services
    U.S. Department of State

  181. We’ll be happy to add her to our Renunciation & Relinquishment of US Citizenship when and if she lives abroad and views US requirements from our lens.

  182. As I mentioned on another thread, under reciprocity, Switzerland could demand access to information about all the financial holdings of Michelle Bachman, her husband, their children, value of their home, retirement savings, education savings plans, her Congressional Office budget, etc.

    Does anyone know her position on FATCA/GATCA?

  183. Duplicated from the “One More Free” thread:

    itacaf
    MAY 9, 2012 AT 11:59 PM
    @Calgary411
    I got a response from the Calgary Consulate about my CLN request.

    “Thank you for your comment. Unfortunately, as we discussed at your interview, we remain unable to give you a precise timeline for completion of your loss of nationality case. As also discussed, recent experience shows that it is taking between six months and a year to complete the process. I do hope that it is completed more quickly than that, but it would be imprudent to make any guarantees that this will be the case. Your documentation is currently being considered by the Department of State in Washington. As soon as we become aware of their decision on your file we will contact you. After completion of the process, your date of loss of nationality should be retroactive to the date that you took your oath of renunciation.

    Sincerely,

    Consul
    U.S. Consulate General Calgary”

    Basically all I was looking for was that some action had already been taken. I specifically like this, “your date of loss of nationality should be retroactive to the date that you took your oath of renunciation”. That’s whats important to me.

    calgary411
    MAY 10, 2012 AT 5:53 PM
    @itacaf,

    Thanks for sharing the feedback you received from the US Consulate in Calgary. There certainly appears to be no standard of procedure from one Consulate to another; one Country to another; one Relinquishment vs Renunciation in timing for appointments, number of appointments or the time it takes to get a Certificate of Loss of Nationality.

    Thanks again!

  184. I would wait six to eight weeks and politely e-mail them again.

    Then perhaps they would make a phone call or two to get the ball rolling.

    $ 450 and lousy service all the way to the end.

  185. Renouncing / relinquishing solves the problem of citizenship-based taxation for individual ex-pats and puts the issue front and center in the media.

    The higher the body count, the more attention the issue gets, which is the key to solving the problem for others in the future — a real paradox indeed.

  186. My wife and I inquired two weeks ago (the three month mark) and got a reply which was a lot terser that Calgary411 received:

    Please be advised that we have not received any from the Department of State regarding a Certificate of Loss for you or your wife. These cases may take up to one year to process to completion.
    Sincerely,
    American Citizen Services Unit
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    Canada

    They were still saying up to a year which is why I am hoping that Schubert’s posting of trying to clear up in 2-3 months is a change in policy.

  187. I think they are all trying to make this as difficult as possible. I believe I received the same letter Ladybug’s husband received. Mine would have been in April 1974, one year after I became a Canadian citizen.

    I contacted Vancouver Consulate to try to get copies. They told me they could not provide information due to the Privacy Act. Yet, Freedom of Information FOI) says I should be able to access records about myself.

    I then contacted National Archives and Records Agency. The woman at NARA tried to be very helpful, but NARA’s most recent records from Vancouver Consulate are from 1966. Plus, they only hold about 3% of DOS records from over 25 years ago.

    NARA referred me to FOI at DOS. That letter will go out soon. I’m not optimistic, but I will keep trying.

    I have no desire to deal with any Consulate!

  188. Yesterday a friend of mine e-mailed me asking about expatriation. She lives in a poor African country where her and her family have naturalized. They own a successful restaurant which serves a lot of foreigners.

    They would like to relinquish / renounce US citizenship before FATCA and all the other anti-expat legislation comes into effect. But they have very poor travel on their African passports.

    So I suggested to them the following:

    1. Read Renunciation Guide as a good primer on expatriation:

    http://renunciationguide.com/

    2. Get a St Kitts or Dominican passport for each family member:

    http://ciu.gov.kn/

    http://www.dominica.gov.dm/cms/index.php?q=node/678

    3. If in need of legal assistance, consult a good lawyer who is experienced with expatriations:

    http://hodgen.com/expatriation-tax-services/

    4. Join the Isaac Brock Society to keep up with latest developments:

    http://isaacbrocksociety.com/

    That was my good deed for the day!

  189. @ Joe What about Israel if she is Jewish; if she has a European grandparent, perhaps there is possibility a passport from one of the European countries.

  190. @ Petros

    Thank you. Her and her husband are not Jewish. She has Irish ancestry but I am not sure how far back it goes before her ancestors emigrated to America.

    I don’t know about her husband’s side of the family other than his last name is Anglo-Saxon.

    In any case, I will ask because I hadn’t thought about the possibility of obtaining citizenship in this way.

  191. @ Joe The caribbean passports are probably better, with the exception perhaps of South Africa; Africans are carefully scrutinized and they need visas for almost every western countries that I know of. Your friends would probably have to present bank statements and proof of income in Africa before even being allowed a tourist visa.

  192. @ Petros

    It seems like the St Kitts passport is the best option because it has visa free travel to all EU countries and also to Canada.

  193. For your PDF:

    JAPAN / TOKYO (relinquish: 1 adult)

    Request: Nov 21, 2011
    1st appointment: Dec 20, 2011
    2nd appointment: Feb 10, 2012
    CLN date: Mar 28, 2012

  194. Eido: Did you relinquish or renounce? If you relinquished, why would it take three appointments? It only takes one, because you go in there and you tell them the way it is, that you committed a expatriating act with the intent to relinquish.

  195. When my wife and I went to Halifax to relinquish we gave the officials all our documentation. They then told us that we would ordinarily have to make another appointment to sign the forms after they had put everything together. However, since they weren’t too busy that day we could go away for an hour and then come back and they would have everything done and we could swear to the declaration. That’s what we did and felt grateful to not have to drive back to Halifax another time.

  196. Petros: so the “relinquish” vocabulary is new to me. All I know is:

    1. The CLN reason says “willfully committed and officially reported an expatriating act [swearing allegiance to another country's constitution/government] with the intention of losing citizenship” (paraphrasing, as I don’t have it in front of me right now; I keep it in a safe place with other important papers like my will etc).
    2. I was not charged $450, it was free. And it’s free for all people that do this as part of their Japanese naturalization process as the above is not considered to be “renouncing.”
    3. Japan is a country that requires the renunciation/abandonment/relinquishment of all other nationalities as a condition for naturalization. For Americans this must be done within two years after Japanese citizenship is approved.
    4. The U.S. process is unique in this aspect (re Japanese naturalization) in that for most countries, you get rid of your previous nationalities just before to proceeding with acquiring Japanese nationality.
    5. The first interview is basically an bunch of questions trying to determine if you know what you’re doing, understand the ramifications (explaining all the things you won’t be able to do anymore), making sure you’re not being coerced or forced to do it, and being provided with the forms and paperwork (mostly printed from the state.gov website). The second interview was returning and reviewing the completed paperwork, passport, and swearing in front of a consular officer that the information is true etc.

  197. Petros: one last thing: I did go to the embassy three times because the first time (interview “zero”) was to explain what I was trying to do. To get into the U.S. Embassy at Tokyo for a non-emergency, you need to make an appointment using their online web form / appointment system. (no well published phone number).

    So I clicked on/selected the closest thing: “passport services: other”. When I got to the embassy for interview #0, they explained that not just anybody at the embassy can do this procedure, so I’d have to make a special appointment using a non-listed phone number that they provided me to find a date that the officer was available.

    The hardest part of losing my U.S. nationality was making these appointments, and the official is apparently a busy man and only has a few days a month that he’s available.

  198. @Eido INOUE,

    Thanks very much for contributing your information for the R&R database. I will enter your information as relinquishment. It is a puzzlement the differences among Consulates and our requirements for being able to relinquish or renounce. If you were not charged $450, it seems in line with “relinquishment”. The quandary is how many appointments are required! The dating of your CLN is also different than that of others — or at least what they have been told the date will be.

    Case in point johnnb in Halifax and terse reply for inquiry as to how long the wait for the CLN might be. Thanks, johnnb.

    Still asking, why is there no one standard of procedure for the process at US Consulates around the world?

  199. calgary411: there are two dates in the stamp on page 49 of my cancelled U.S. passport: the date of expatriation (which is the same date of my acquisition of Japanese nationality) and pre-dates all of my U.S. embassy visits, and the date that the U.S. “processed, recognized, and approved” this report.

    And to complicate this, the date that goes on the IRS form 8854 is the date the embassy first received my initial expatriation paperwork (interview #1 for me, although for most people it’s interview #2), which is in the middle of these two dates.

  200. Eido, I gather that you “relinquished” upon become a Japanese citizen. This is not renunciation. It requires only one appointment, as it is only required that you give them your statement. That you had three appointments means that you didn’t know what you were doing when you went into the consulate. I insisted on my right to inform them of my expatriating act, and that that was the reason that I was there. The Consulate officials are often obstructionist and incompetent, so it is important that those who go into the Consulate to relinquish must know what their rights are. Your situation of not getting the right kind of appointment in the first instance is understandable. Even getting information from these people is like pulling your hair out.

    See http://isaacbrocksociety.com/2011/12/12/relinquish-dont-renounce-if-you-can/

    And, http://righteousinvestor.com/2011/04/07/my-april-7-visit-to-the-us-consulate/

    Also, if your “renunciation” was before July 2010, then there was no $450 fee in either case, because the renunciation was fee was put in place at that time.

  201. Eido: also I should say congratulations. You did well to relinquish instead of renouncing. For one thing, the Reed Amendment does not apply to those who relinquish, only those who renounce.

  202. Petros: yes, I understand completely. I myself was really trying hard to get my paperwork done as early as possible, because it means the difference between one extra really complicated 1040 etc for me, so I was gunning to complete everything before the end of 2011.

    The reason I had two and a half appointments, I believe, is because:

    appointment #0 aka “request”: talked to low level embassy employee (“visa/birth/marriage recorder”. Not trained or authorized to do anything wrt renunciation etc.

    appointment #1: slightly higher level person, reading from a script, with a supervisor to his left helping and guiding him

    final appointment #2: swearing and talking to and giving the paperwork directly to Edward C. Burleson, foreign service officer for the U.S. Embassy at Tokyo. This was the smoothest and most professional part of the process.

  203. Hi Eido, Welcome and congratulations! And thanks for explaining the procedure to us, I’ll put it in our Consulate Visit Report Directory. You’re our first report from Tokyo. BTW, to pass the time and stay relaxed in the waiting room for my relinquishment appointment in Toronto, I brought along my Japanese textbook and learned a few new kanji.

    @ All, yes, it definitely sounds like relinquishment under s. 349(1)(2), citizenship relinquished at time of taking the Japanese citizenship, therefore no oath of renunciation, only swearing is that the documents are true and correct.

    The first appointment (interview “zero”) sounds like a cross between the more standard “booking date” and “interview 1″, as Brock lists them. A pain to have to make an extra trip to go in in person.

    I can’t see why, logically, they require two interviews for a 349(1)(2) relinquishment … there’s really no need for a visit to warn the person of what they’re giving up because they’ve already given it up. Vancouver is the only other consulate I’m aware of that does that. It seems really weird as some people reported they’ve relinquished 40 years ago and didn’t even know they could possibly even be considered US citizens all those years.

  204. Petros: to clarify, I knew what I was doing, and I tried to get it done all in one appointment, but they got really aggravated and nervous and upset when I tried to force the pre-completed paperwork on them during interview #0 and #1.

    I believe it was because the person that handled me was not trained / qualified to do the process. Had I lucked out and managed to get Ed Burlson for appointment #1, I would have been able to do it all in one appointment.

    The U.S. Embassy, even the “American Citizens Services” section, is not a customer service organization so the process was very opaque; they were loath to give me any names, direct phone numbers or email addresses, and they had a “don’t call us we’ll call you” and “don’t tell us what to do we’ll ask the questions and give direction thank you very much” and “don’t rush us” mentality. I believe that’s why it took two interviews.

  205. @renounce – put this message in the bottle for 25 years later:

    FATCA – it started with reporting requirements on US Citizens anywhere in the world. Then it turned to ANYONE in the world the US wants to know about.

    Seriously, if they let this go through, how difficult would it be to demand anyone’s information in the world, irregardless of citizenship? After all, they will have the 35% “withholding”, why not just apply it to everyone!!

    Mark my words, history has told us a lot. The US has to be the #1 trickiest country in the world. They say one thing and do another. They apply patriotic euphanysms to bills that strangle personal freedoms. They use their army of media goons to write stories that twist and distort facts. The countries that ally with the US will give up their national sovereignty.

  206. Eido: Thanks for sharing your information. I wish I had been allowed to relinquish instead of renounce. In my case, though, the fault is not with the US embassy but with Denmark. Denmark doesn’t allow dual nationality and will only PROMISE to give you citizenship until you’ve actually renounced your original citizenship. I would have liked to save the $450. :-)

    Do you know of other US renunciants in Japan? Is it common?

  207. Yes, I know of other U.S. citizens who have taken Japanese citizenship. But they are rare (and not because the process is hard; Japan is, contrary to rumor, actually one of the easier countries to acquire citizenship relatively speaking). Around 15,000 people naturalize to Japanese every year. Of those, over 90% are of Korean and Chinese nationality (and the many of those were born and lived in Japan their whole life).

    I literally know of (through searching on the net) less than two dozen native English (American, British, Canadian) speakers who have adopted Japanese nationality, and I’ve personally met about a half-dozen of these. It’s a small club. :-)

    I also know (and have met) not a few Americans that take Japanese nationality, and do not complete the process and renounce their U.S. citizenship, and hide this from the Japanese government, which is against the Japan nationality law. Their motivations for doing this are complicated; it usually has to do with the desire for multiple residency/suffrage rights or an association/belief in ethnic identity being connected to nationality/citizenship.

    I have no idea what they do about their U.S. (or Japanese, for the matter) taxes.

  208. @geeez and Joe Expat?

    Yikes.. if you are naturalised, you can’t live outside of Paraguay for 3 years or you will lose the nationality!

    Yeah, but do they really enforce it? I get the sense it’s just a stupid paper law that no one care about. Kind of like FBAR two decades ago. (Of course, that might mean in 2032, we’ll see Paraguay asking everyone’s banks for information about Paraguayan Persons and hitting them with tens of thousands of dollars of fines for being naturalized Paraguayans living abroad).

    Paraguay used to be famous in “Perpetual Traveller” circles for not keeping track of which residents are actually in the country. They didn’t have an income tax, so there wasn’t that much incentive for the govenrment to care. So people were able to get naturalised without living there: they went in, made a bank deposit to qualify for their “inversionista” visa, got their cédula, left, came back once every so often on holiday, and then went for the naturalisation interview. Allegedly the procedure is getting harder but there’s still facilitators who can help you navigate it.

    http://www.tdvpassports.com/paraguay.html

    Of course, don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. I don’t recommend or disrecommend Dollar Vigilante, it’s just an example where it doesn’t seem to be a total scam. I know a guy in Taiwan who tried to get a Dominican Republic passport for his mainland Chinese wife by a similar route (it’s really hard for mainland Chinese to get spouse visas to settle in Taiwan, and much easier for foreigners), but it didn’t work out.

  209. Another Dominican Republic passport anecdote: Kim Jong-il’s son Kim Jong-nam who lives in Macau was caught once traveling to Japan on what the media kept calling a “fake Dominican Republic passport”. (He said he wanted to go to Disneyland; here’s a Time Magazine article about it).

    The thing is, he’d used his “fake passport” successfully to go to Japan before, so I don’t think it was a case of Japanese immigration suddenly noticing something about the quality of the document itself. My theory about what happened is that he had gone to the Dominican Republic using a fake Chinese identity and some sort of shady immigration agent, but then underwent a “real naturalisation” on that fake identity; he got caught not because his passport was fake, but because Japanese immigration figured out he wasn’t really Chinese despite the obviously Chinese name on his DR passport (e.g. they noticed he couldn’t read kanji or something like that).

  210. This is my first post.
    Do IBS regulars or visitors have any recent information about renunciation at either the London or Paris US embassies ?
    Three members of my family have scheduled renunciation appointments, one in London in mid-June and two in Paris at the end of December (our choice, in order to avoid dual IRS reporting for 2012). We have received all the required forms and understand the process, but we would like to know how each embassy handles the interview. Thanks in advance.
    Here briefly is my situation :
    • I worked for an international organization in Switzerland for 19 years ; retired in 2010 and now live in France
    • All members of my family are dual US/French citizens
    • I am current and compliant (as much as that is possible) with US (and French) taxes, including FBARs and FATCA 8938 filed for 2011
    • I have no home or other assets in the US
    • I am neither rich nor poor ; my « wealth » comes from the monthly payments received from my organization’s pension fund.
    My reasons for renunciation are multiple :
    • Europe is home for me and the members of my immediate family ; I own a home, pay taxes and vote in France ; none of us has any intention of returning to live in the US ;
    • The US, through unfair policies and rules affecting my daily life in France, is forcing me to choose between my two nationalities ; I have therefore decided to voluntarily renounce one of them – my US nationality
    • US reporting requirements have become more invasive with each passing year ; rules change constantly, are explained poorly and cause confusion, making compliance difficult and stressful. I resent the IRS enforcement policy of accusations and threats, rather than understanding individual situations.
    • Compliance with complex US reporting requirements is costly both in time and money ; few US citizens who have chosen to live outside the US can complete the myriad forms required without « professional » help ; the FEIE no longer applies to me ; the income tax agreement between France and the US does not shield me from double taxation (the infamous « saving clause, » many taxes in France not recognized as such by the US, tax breaks and credits provided in one country not recognized or allowable in the other, etc.)
    • Citizenship-based taxation is wrong and unfair. FATCA is wrong and unfair.
    In addition to sending me the renunciation forms to fill in, the US embassy in Paris offered the possibility to « add your own statement explaining your decision to renounce US nationality. » Why would it do that ?
    I have written my statement, in which I describe the process leading me toward my decision. I am letting it mellow until my December appointment.
    But I hesitate between two approaches : reason, which tells me to keep the statement to myself, say as little as possible at the interview, and, if asked, only give the first reason for renunciation (have dual nationality, Europe is home, etc.) ; and principle, telling me that since I believe that the US is making a huge mistake, the State Department should know my reasons. What can they do to me – refuse my CLN ? Can they do more (if I read the State Department Manual chapter on renunciation) ?
    I will provide you with full reports of our « experience » following our interviews.

  211. @ Lord Jim
    My advice would be to keep the statement simple. Get the CLN in hand and then tell them what you really think. You say you voted in French elections. I’m just thinking that may be grounds for relinquishment rather than renunciation. Others here have more experience with the pros and cons of relinquish and renounce. Anyway you are in full (or as full as possible) tax compliance so it should be smooth sailing for you. Here’s wishing you and your family a quick journey to the freedom of those CLNs.
    BTW, loved your book — required reading at my university many long years ago. ;)

  212. @Lord Jim,

    Thanks for your information and your questions. I am off to help move my son to a new abode so will look at at this more closely when I get back. We have limited information regarding renunciation in London and nothing for Paris.

    Re writing your statement, it is not necessary and may, especially in light of the renewed possible punitive legislation by the US regarding expat renunciations, be a very bad idea. It seems the US can change their laws to suit the occasion — a good reason to get out from under sooner rather than later, in my view.

    Congratulations on your family making these decisions you think right for your situation!!!

    (I’ll be back later.)

    P.S. It doesn’t appear that relinquishment could be an option for you as you are already participating in the US tax system so, I think, they would consider you definitely a US citizen. I made my first mistake by getting back under their thumb by getting my first advice from a cross-border accounting firm rather than an immigration / nationality lawyer. Had I done that, I would not have made the additional mistakes that bind me to the US and the need for my renunciation rather than relinquishment (that it appears I would have easily been able to do given the time and reasons I became a Canadian citizen in 1975).

  213. @Lord Jim,

    I wrestled with the same issue regarding my written statement, of which the Consular insisted I prepare.

    Should I keep it generic or use it to tell Uncle Sam how I really feel?

    So I decided to explain how I feel, but only partially and in a carefully “measured” way, because at that point I had lost all trust in the government and suspected that anything I write in my statement could somehow be used against me in the future.

    To my surprise, the majority of time spent during the second renunciation appointment was having the Consular read through my statement line-by-line and attempt to invalidate what I had written in an effort to talk me out of renouncing.

    Another interesting point is that my statement is listed on my CLN as an official attachment.

    So consider that whatever you write will be on record forever. Therefore, letting it “mellow” for a while is probably a good idea.

  214. Thanks for your helpful comments.

    We will all renounce rather than relinquish. Before moving to Switzerland, I actually worked for the US government, traveled on a US diplomatic passport and represented the US at meetings where we negotiated an international treaty ! Luckily any damage to the brain during that period wasn’t permanent.

    I suppose I knew beforehand that reason should prevail. At the renunciation interview, I will probably maintain a low profile and keep my thoughts to myself. But it is frustrating to know that the US will exert a certain power over me until the very end (during the renunciation interview, the embassy interviewer will make a judgment on my behavior and write a report….).

  215. @Dianne –

    Not sure where you are, but one starting point would be looking for an immigration lawyer with experience in dealing with US issues – green cards and so forth. There was an article last year (can’t find it now) on a Toronto immigration law practice which was handling far more (US) renunciation cases than they had in the past.

    FWIW, after doing a lot of my own research, I never felt I needed a lawyer at any point in the process – an accountant, yes, but not a lawyer. YMMV.

  216. @Lord Jim –

    +1 with what Calgary411 said. You don’t have to make any statement when you renounce, and I don’t see any advantage in doing so. If pressed, you might say something very general about ‘simplifying your life,’ or just that you have made your life in France, have no plans to return to the United States, and it seems like a reasonable step based on that.

    I don’t trust the US in future to make a distinction between renouncing to avoid taxes and renouncing to avoid administrative burdens related to taxation, so best to leave the whole subject alone.

  217. On the subject of making a statement as to why you are applying for a CLN, during the interview process:

    I agree that for renunciations there is no need to do this, and there are some potential dangers in getting into that discussion.

    That is NOT true with relinquishments, however IMO and in the experience of at least two relinquishers I’ve been helping. Particularly if you are reporting a relinquishment some decades ago, but really any relinquishment, there is a certain burden of proof to demonstrate that you willingly committed your expatriating act (e.g., becoming a foreign citizen) with the intent of relinquishing your US citizenship. That pretty-much demands some sort of statement as to why you intended to relinquish, PARTICULARLY in the case of becoming a foreign citizen, given that no longer is automatically deemed to cost you your US citizenship (as it definitely was back in the 1970s and at least early 1980s). Also, you may be asked (as at least one person I know was) for an explanation of why you’re coming forward NOW with a relinquishment request and didn’t do so back then (simple answer, you had no idea there was any need back then, it was assumed to be automatic that you lost your USC, you’d never heard of a CLN — I sure hadn’t until I got mine in the mail one day — but you’ve lived your last X years as a Canadian/whatever and NOT as an American and now realize you need to get the CLN to avoid border hassles and also to ensure that everyone knows what you’ve know and believed for decades, that you are NOT an American — if you’d known back then you had to “apply” for a CLN, you would have at the time, but that was then and this is now, etc).

    My advice would be carefully and thoughtfully to draft an affidavit covering these points, review them with someone you trust and maybe even a lawyer, and then get it formally printed and notarized BEFORE your consular interview. Have at least two copies notarized, put one in your safe deposit box, and bring the other to the interview as an attachment to your forms 4079 and 4081 (both of which ask if you want to attach any statement in addition to what’s on those forms). It’s your right to do this, and in a relinquishment case as I describe above I think you would be very foolish not to exercise that right.

    But not, as I mention in the outset, if you’re renouncing rather than notifying State of a decades-ago relinquishment. Different story entirely. One size does NOT fit all.

    I’m no lawyer, this is not legal advice, and if you’re in doubt, speak with a KNOWLEDGEABLE lawyer on these points. I’d be extremely surprised if you’d be told otherwise than above, and if you were, I’d question whether the lawyer really understands the process.

  218. @Diane For starters, check out Christine Perry at this website

    http://www.keelcottrelle.com/directory.php?lawyer=cperry

    This is NOT an endorsement, and I have no financial or other connection with her. However she has been quoted extensively as a cross-border immigration and expatriation expert in two Financial Post articles I’ve seen in the past six or seven months and is based in Toronto. I understand she does telephone consultations. As with any lawyer, I would in confidence provide a general outline of your case and ask her for an estimate of the cost of whatever services you want from her or that she might suggest, before proceeding. If you don’t like the price or what you hear, shop around some more. But I do know she’s handled a fair number of relinquish and renounce cases.

    There are also some US lawyers you could consult, including one or two who post sometimes on this website. Personally I’d prefer to deal with a cross-border lawyer whose nationality and primary practice is in Canada, but that’s my nationalist preference and maybe not yours.

    To find other lawyers for comparison shopping, Google FATCA, FBAR, renounce, relinquish, and look for articles in reputable newspapers that are written by or that quote one or more lawyers on these topics. Read what they say and judge for yourself whether you think they’re worth consulting. That’s exactly how I found out about Perry.

    Alternatively, depending on how comfortable you feel with your own lawyer (if you have one) and how well-connected he or she might be, ask your lawyer for a reference or whether someone in your lawyer’s firm works in this area. I’d do that in preference to going through your local Law Society referral service; in my experience those referrals are often only marginally relevant to something as complex and specific as citizenship renunciation/relinquishment. I tried the Law Society approach in my Province once, and I definitely do NOT recommend it, from my own experience.

  219. For anyone living in Sweden, I have just contacted the American Embassy in Stockholm by e-mail in order to schedule my first appointment. In response to my request I received the following form letter (via email):

    Dear Sir/Madam:

    We want to emphasize that renunciation of U.S. citizenship is a very serious and irrevocable exercise and should therefore only be undertaken after serious consideration of its consequences. Please read more about the procedure and consequences on http://travel.state.gov/law/citizenship/citizenship_776.html.

    If you are still interested in renouncing your U.S. citizenship after reading this information, you must first visit the embassy for a consultation. Thereafter, if you remain interested, you will be scheduled for an appointment where you formally renounce your U.S. citizenship. If you want to schedule a time for a consultation, please reply to this email with a daytime telephone number.

    This confirms what Lisa previously reported concerning her first interaction with the embassy in Stockholm.

    I will post more when I have managed to obtain a first appointment. For personal reasons I cannot go to the embassy before the end of July, but I will let you know when I have made any progress.

    Thanks to all the other posters who have brought some comfort during these dark times. It is good to know that one is not alone.

  220. @Citizen of Europe,

    Thanks for checking in here and reporting your first contact with the US Consulate in Stockholm. I’ll put your information into our database as making your first contact with that Consulate and will look forward to further information from you regarding your experience. It is valuable to all of us to have a picture of what is happening from Consulate to Consulate.

    Good luck in your process!! And, thanks again.

  221. @Citizen of Europe

    You are not alone. There are 6-7 million more of us out there.

    Good luck and God bless.

  222. Dianne on May 22 –

    Recollection has it that you are located in Winnipeg? That would likely mean that you would choose to travel to Calgary for severance of US citizenship. Reports so far indicate that Calgary is one of the sanest and most humane outposts in Canada of Uncle Sam’s ever-uglier empire. No matter what or where, unless you have total inability with forms and/or incredibly complicating circumstances, you should be able to do this for yourself without a lawyer. Save the money. Nobody really knows what is going on. No lawyer can offer you any guarantees. You cannot buy certainty on this front. If they won’t let you relinquish, they have to let you renounce. Eventually. Unless you give evidence of being coerced by another party. Pretty simple. Look at the two forms, DS-4079 and DS-4081. That’s it.

  223. This is hearsay so you can decide if you want to include it in your list of renunciations or not. At a recent examination I needed to take in Sweden to certify local language competence, I was paired with the German girlfriend of a Dutch man. She and her boyfriend reside in Sweden. She told told me that her boyfriend had been American, but in 2011, he renounced his US citizenship. One of his concerns was that the Netherlands is discussing only allowing one citizenship and he decided that being Dutch was more important to him. Giving up US citizenship also simplified his life.

    The girlfriend was disappointed as she had liked the idea of being able to live in America as an option once they get married. I pointed out to her the cost of this option and told her that she should be happy that she had an astute and informed boyfriend. I could still see her disappointment even after that. For many it appears hard to believe the costs of maintaining US citizenship.

  224. Took the oath today in London. I am now an ex-US citizen. Taken a little over two months from writing to the Consulate to having the final appointment today. Very matter of fact, had to read the oath out loud. Slight catch in my voice on the final sentences, but hey, what the heck. It’s over (except for the tax paperwork.)

    Last week in the phone interview she told me that the CLN normally takes 4-6 weeks. Today she said that it could take 6-7 weeks or even longer because of the backlog caused by people renouncing in Switzerland.

    I’ll be writing something up about it on my own blog, and will post in the forum.

    I shall be enjoying a quiet bottle of English bubbly tonight. (Had a gin and tonic on the train home to also mark the occasion.) I am now all-British, but with a bizarre accent. I’ll just tell everyone I’m from Dorset.

  225. @Lisa

    I think many will be waking up to the reality of the costs once the implementation of FATCA begins in 2013.

    @Gentlemen’s Rapier

    Congratulations! Well done. Enjoy the bubbly.

  226. @Gentlemen’s, Congratulation!!

    I am so jealous!! But my day will come hopefully soon!!

  227. @ A Gentleman’s Rapier
    Yay!!! You really think they’ll fall for “I’m from Dorset”? Actually doesn’t matter — you are free. Yay!!!

    @ usxcanada who wrote: “Reports so far indicate that Calgary is one of the sanest and most humane outposts in Canada of Uncle Sam’s ever-uglier empire.”
    I am so glad to hear that because that will be where my husband will relinquish/renouce (relinquish hopefully) someday.

  228. @Blaze, Maybe you could go with me to the US Consulate with your Sword, it could speed things up..I will wear the Crown and you can carry the Sword..But we would probably wind up at a mental hospital..

  229. @Saddened: We would probably end up being arrested as a terrorist threat. Now, there’s something else for you to worry about.

  230. @ A Gentlemen’s Rapier,

    One more wish of sincere congratulations from me. I will be happy to update our database. Wish we could all help you celebrate — enjoy!!

    Hope you can stick around as you can help others with your newly gained expertise.

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