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U.S. Citizenship Renunciation
Individuals who wish to renounce U.S. citizenship may do so by making a formal renunciation of nationality before a consular officer.
The elements of the act of renouncing usually include appearing in person before a U.S. consular or diplomatic officer at a U.S. embassy or consulate in a foreign country and signing an oath of renunciation.
U.S. citizens may only renounce their U.S. citizenship in person, thus it is not possible to renounce by mail, phone or email. Because relinquishing U.S. citizenship is personal, it cannot be done by a parent on behalf of a child or by a spouse.
Who would want to renounce US citizenship?
Individuals who hold dual Canadian and U.S. citizenship, but have never lived in the U.S. are examples of people who may wish to give up their U.S. citizenship. In some cases, individuals discover later in life that they hold U.S. citizenship through a parent, even if they have never lived in the U.S. Others who lived in the U.S. in the past but no longer have any ties to the U.S. also sometimes decide to renounce. Renouncing may be based on other personal circumstances.
Individuals considering renunciation may wish to speak to both a lawyer and an accountant prior to making the decision. It is important to be aware of the process and any implications for future finances, lifestyle and international travel.
Effects of renunciation
The Department of State has indicated that renouncing U.S. citizenship may have no effect on U.S. military service obligations. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has also indicated that renouncing U.S. citizenship may not always affect U.S. tax obligations. If the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) determines that an individual was motivated to renounce U.S. citizenship for tax avoidance purposes, the individual can be found inadmissible to the U.S. Therefore, individuals should make sure that they are fully informed regarding these matters.
Renouncing U.S. citizenship can be complex and intimidating. We can consult with you to determine a strategy for you to meet your goals and help ensure that you comply with all of the relevant rules and regulations.
Speak to an immigration professional at Mamann, Sandaluk & Kingwell LLP about renouncing your US citizenship and they can help guide you based on your individual circumstances and needs!