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Friday, May 9, 2014

About those renunciations...

Congratulations America.  Exports really took off last quarter.

Not only did the U.S. Commerce Department report that sales of American products abroad rose but the U.S. Treasury Department/IRS announced that over 1,000 Americans citizens exported themselves in the first quarter of 2014.

It gets better.  Tina Turner, the internationally known singer and American icon, appears on the list which just goes to show you that Americans do, in fact, know how to export quality (in the form of their own citizens).

Given that only 3,000 US citizens renounced in all of 2013, I think we can safely say that the trend is upward.  So why aren't Americans out there shouting, "We're number one!"

Because citizens are not products, they are people and it hurts to watch good people leave.

The publishing of the names of individuals who renounce US citizenship each quarter started in 1996 and was originally designed to punish - to "name and shame" those who renounced.  It seemed petty and childish even back in the 1990's and it's hard to say if it ever truly served its original purpose.   In 2014 however it is clearly more of an instrument of torture for the homeland then a deterrent to renunciation.  Those who want to renounce could care less - of all the factors going into the decision to lose that pretty blue passport, it hardly even merits consideration.  

No, this list has become something else again:  a national embarassment.  The myth that "no one ever gives up American citizenship" has been thoroughly debunked (by official US government numbers no less) and now every quarter the American and international media rush to check out the latest figures and to spread them far and wide.  As the American homeland peruses the headlines they provoke an orgy of self-flagellation about national decline, righteous anger at those "traitors", diatribes against tax evasion, and the all too predictable:   "There ought to be a law, damn it!"

Never fear folks, the authors of the above-mentioned Name and Shame list, Reed and his pal Schumer, are working on it with the ex-Patriot Act.  If you can't stop them through shame, exit taxes and byzantine bureaucracy, then harsher measures are coming soon to a theatre near you.

Would they work?  Not a chance.  Because something far worse is at work here and it has nothing to do with tax evasion or any of the other reasons the homelanders give for the uptick in outgoing citizens.

Today a U.S. citizen living outside the U.S. has or will experience one or more of the following things for the sole reason that he or she is an American:  limited or no access to basic banking services, limited employment opportunities, the inability to marry (or stay married) to the one you love, the possibility of complete financial ruin and (this is the real kicker) a government (you know, one that ostensibly exists to protect American citizens the world over) that won't lift a finger in your defense.

The people in Washington are well aware of the banking and discrimination problems but won't actually do anything about it.   This is in spite of the fact that the agreements between the US and individuals countries (the FATCA IGAs) have language that forbids those banks from discriminating against US Persons.  Under the agreements the U.S. government could raise a stink about those banks and put pressure on local governments to do something about it.  So, my U.S. friends, where is that much vaunted "protection" that you seem to think Americans abroad should be paying for?
Welcome to the American Diaspora Tax War which is now in its third year and so far no one (I repeat no one) is winning.  The American homeland will never see the billions it hopes to gain from this exercise because they don't exist - for every so-called "rich tax evader" at home or abroad there are tens of thousands of teachers, IT workers, retirees, au pairs, translators, stay at home mothers and fathers and the like who already pay taxes to the countries they live in and just don't have the resources to hire expensive tax lawyers to stay compliant, much less pay taxes to the United States on top of what they already pay in their countries of residence.  IRS resources have already been diverted to pay for the implementation of FATCA which means less IRS enforcement at home and fewer resources for US taxpayers in the United States who desperately need help coping with the cumbersome US tax code.  These are some of the casualties we can quantify but the untangible ones may be ever greater.

For years US citizenship had an almost mystical quality.  It was the citizenship that "no one ever gives up."  Americans abroad cared so much about that citizenship that they fought long and hard to be able to pass it along to their children born abroad.  Now it has been right-sized with a vengeance and that devaluation effects ALL Americans wherever they live.

As for Americans abroad we have a fair number of casualties on our side, too.  We are seeing our ranks diminishing as we get a phone call here and an email there saying that so and so has given up and made that trip to the US consulate.  Even our compatriots who said in the past, "I will never EVER give up my US citizenship."  But when you listen to their stories, you reluctantly agree that, yes, they really didn't have much of a choice.  Good people.  Loyal Americans with strong emotional ties to the United States. People who were the best damn unofficial ambassadors the US could ever have abroad.  Folks that Americans the world over were proud of.

I note that right now all we seem to be doing is going around and around with no solutions in sight.  The US government isn't taking the situation seriously and the American public only does so when that horrible list comes out every quarter.  And Americans are still marching down to the consulates and making appointments.

What a godawful mess this is, mes amis.  Is there any hope that we can resolve this?  I really don't know but over the past few years my faith in the basic fairness and justice of the American system, in the will of the US government to protect its citizens abroad and exhibit at least some concern for our well-being,  and in the goodwill of my fellow citizens back in the US has been dangerously eroded.  And, frankly, if those things go, then there really isn't any reason to remain a citizen, is there?


AtticusinCanada said...

I fear things will get a lot worse before they get better. With only Rand Paul opposing which isn't a good sign the opposition to FATCA's fallout is hardly going anywhere any time soon. Then we have Brock members who recently endured a two hour hold up on a flight because a kid was only traveling on a Canadian passport with threats of having his name placed on a list.

I hate to say it but, I think there will be retaliation for these renunciations with zero understanding as to why they are happening. So those who could not keep citizenship will now be harassed more often and perhaps worse. Maybe I am paranoid but , five years ago I'd have told you FATCA sounded like a fantasy which could never unfold the way it has.

I'm so over whelmed by the negative actions and what the U.S. has put everyone of us through I hardly know what to think anymore. A mere four years ago I was one who often disagreed with the U.S. on policies but, would still defend her. Now? Why stand up for something which seems to feel you are to be demeaned, accused, and harassed. How sad.

Anonymous said...

Hi Victoria,

Another great post on the US Congress' accidental war of attrition with its own citizens abroad. Like myself (most recently, here:, you seem to be ping-ponging back and forth between wondering whether a combination of fighting and keeping your head down won't somehow restore normality and sensing that a set of structural factors far beyond our control are driving a wedge between us and the country and communities that shaped us.

To quote your line from your visit to DC last fall:

"In one meeting I was asked point blank if I was planning to renounce. And I was filled with so much anger. I will do everything I can, I replied, so that day never comes. I will send letters, I will knock on doors, I will write, I will do whatever I have to including annoying the hell out of people like you until I've exhausted all possibilities.

And then we'll see."

All this raises a couple of questions for me.

1. What is the point of no return? I defined it in my blog post above as being exiled from the Swedish banking system. That might not happen, which is a relief, naturally. But it forces me to confront again whether or not I really want to continue a lifetime of annual effective audits and blackmail through the threat of draconian fines by a country I owe no taxes to. I owe the US loyalty, certainly, but if there is no sign of reciprocation (even in the offings), its hard not to feel like a doormat after a while.

2. What is the attitude of people in the US? I doubt anyone really gets that riled up about us either way. They are just stressed out and trying to make ends meet like we are, and I sometimes wonder if we don't read too much into what is probably indifference, rather than animus. We are on our own with our problems like they are with theirs, the difference being they belong to recognized territorial constituencies and have political pressure points. We don't, and unless we can develop some now, then the lumbering DC behemoth will keep on taking decisions for us.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic post!

I have but 1 question concerning:

"The American homeland will never see the billions it hopes to gain from this exercise because they don't exist - for every so-called "rich tax evader" at home or abroad there are tens of thousands of teachers, IT workers, retirees, au pairs, translators, stay at home mothers and fathers and the like who already pay taxes to the countries they live in and just don't have the resources to hire expensive tax lawyers to stay compliant, much less pay taxes to the United States on top of what they already pay in their countries of residence."

As I am in the latter category (teachers, translators, etc.), with no liquid assets above 10K, it is my understanding that the first $90k or so is non-taxable. For those of us earning below the 90K mark, I don't see how this would affect us?

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous, the question of what is and what isn't taxable is a difficult one. In general, the number you refer to relates to earned income (ie, your salary). For earned income, US tax of Americans Abroad is relatively benign. There is the foreign earned income exclusion as well as ancillary foreign tax credits and treaty rights. But then, who really only has earned income. The problem is more around other types of income. For example, savings, pension funds, brokerage accounts, etc., all present a variety of complex issues, most of which require tax advice. Buying, selling, or indeed refinancing a mortgage for, a house is the same. Then of course, there are the miscellaneous reporting obligations, most notable FBAR and Form 8938 but lesser known (but equally punitive) Form 3520/A for dealings with trusts (which can also capture people who accidentally use a structure that for US purposes is a trust). And finally, there is the impact of FATCA, which means getting access to something as basic as a bank account can be difficult.

Anonymous said...

Victoria, beautifully reasoned and expressed.

AtticusinCanada, I sincerely hope you are wrong about even more retaliation against expatriates but I am old enough to know in my heart that it probably will come. The situation, what with exit tax and the tax on covered expatriates' gifts and bequests to their children, is awful enough already, but that won't stop the US from imposing even further punishment on expatriates and their innocent families. This treatment has eroded so much loyalty already. I think additional penalties and punishments for expatriates and those who hold foreign assets and foreign retirement plans will create a large group of Americans and ex-Americans abroad who simply give up and accept that they may never set foot in the US again because they are likely to lose everything if they do.

Anonymous said...

An interesting anecdote: I can remember when Obama was first elected and the whole birther issue was raised. Had loads of discussions with expats around the definition of natural born citizen and whether our kids (many of whom were just getting their US passports) could be president. Now, 6 years later, those same crowds are discussing renunciations, exit tax and what advice we should give our kids about keeping their US citizenship.

Anonymous said...

I left America almost 45 years ago. I became a Canadian 15 years ago after serious thinking and realizing I was never returning to the USA to live. We had good jobs, good health care and many friends where we lived. I just received my CLN backdated 15 years to when I became a citizen. It is a relief to know my banks will not report my pension and retirement savings to the IRS. FATCA is a violation of privacy. If should only be used for homelanders who have overseas accounts. My bank down the block from me is not foreign to me. I feel like I have returned to sanity now. I feel very sorry for those expats still entrapped.

Blaze said...

May 9, 2014

Robert Stack
United States Department of Treasury

Dear Mr. Stack:

When Victoria Ferauge questions the value of her cherished American citizenship, you are deep trouble.

Madame Ferauge is not a myth.


Lynne Swanson
Former U.S. Citizen

Christophe said...

I am hopeful the Canadian charter challenge will go ahead and be successful. And I hope this might be the end of CBT. When the Canadian supreme court says that they can only go ahead with exchange of information based on residency (or rather non-residency), I don't think the US will actually go ahead and enforce sanctions against Canada.
If I understand it well, this might mean that all other IGAs will also move to be residential, and in essence, the OECD sharing agreement will prevail.
The only question is how long is it going to take for that to happen.

That, along with the lawsuit from Republicans Abroad might get things moving. Let's see how good that super lawyer is!

Stay hopeful. Wow, I am surprising myself in being so optimistic. I am usually of the pessimist kind :-)

Have a good weekend.

Victoria FERAUGE said...

@Atticus, Trying very hard not to live in the wreckage of the future but, yes, I can think of all sorts of ways it could get worse. Phil Hodgen certainly think so and he is someone I listen to.

@rhodri, Damn good question. I can think of a couple of points of no return. One would be losing banking services. The other would be if my husband (the non-US person in the house) was asked to sign something waiving his EU privacy rights. I just don't see how I could ask him to do that. Hell, I'm not sure he would do it.

I was talking to someone at the AAWE AGM and I like what she said. I'm not asking for anything, she said, I just want them to leave us alone. Yep, that works for me. A "Do no harm" to Americans abroad policy and in exchange we don't expect one damn thing from you. :-)

@anonymous, The other anonymous gave a great answer. I'd add that things like unemployment are also not Earned Income and therefore do not fall under the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. Bizarre but true....

@Lynne, Congratulations again, mon amie. And good luck with the Charter challenge which I am going to write about here as soon as I get my house painted.

@Christophe, Thanks for that. Yes, the game isn't over yet. There is the Charter challenge (Go Lynne!) and now Republicans Overseas are trying something similar in the US. They have my full support (and whatever money I can scrape up).

By the way Peter Spiro wrote about the US challenge here at Opinio Juris. He links to Allison Christians Tax Notes article (one to read)

P. Moore said...

These are complex issues to be sure. I try often to look at things on a relative basis. For example, after WW2, the US was the real land of opportunity, comparatively speaking. They had around 50% of world GDP. They had a very prosperous and growing middle class and the future looked bright. Citizens' rights were generally respected and the levels of social well being were the best. Now, on many front, the US is being challenged or overtaken by a number of countries. The government is dysfunctional and rights are constantly being eroded. It just ain't the place it used to be and the future is more scary than bright. I lost my US citizenship decades ago to become Canadian. It was at a time when the decline seem to really get started...race riots, Vietnam war, etc. While I have relatives there and some friends as well, I somehow never felt a sense of loss. While initially my economic situation was somewhat lessened (certainly no so now), I always felt more comfortable and secure in my new home country. In other words, I have no regrets, but no grudges against American people. On the other hand, I don't have a lot of good things to say about the crowd in Washington.

Kermit said...

Victoria, I am on that list of 1000 people but I actually renounced last September. I would not place much trust on these numbers released by the State dept. Any my son and wife were detained at Vancouver airport yesterday for actually 3 hours because my son was going for a summer internship job with Facebook at their new branch in Seattle. He just did not have proof of USA branding (the gum on the shoe). I know now he should have had the "consular report of birth abroad" which I got in 1996 but it two hours of searching by the Dept. of Homeland Insecurity to not find it even though I faxed it with the id number. Apparently their records do not go that far in the past. If you are an American in Canada, and your kids have not had anything to do with the USA all their lives, this report is their ticket to the land of free (NOT!).

Kermit said...

We are chatting with my son now on facebook. The officers at the airport said he could be charged for a felony as impersonating an America trying to enter the USA. The homeland insecurity people said they were just trying to do their job.

Sally said...


Why are you complaining that the US is doing nothing to help US citizens living abroad get access to normal banking services?

When I read FATCA back in 2011, I realized that my being able to have a bank account was totally irrelevant to the US Congress. It is the will of Congress that expats must do without.

I view FATCA as telling expats: "We don't want you to remain citizens. Get out if you can." And I took that advice in 2011.

Yes, I'm bitter and disappointed. But I took the advice.

BC_Doc said...

I was at the Vancouver consulate a couple of weeks ago. I asked the consular officer in the ACS section if he was seeing much of a spike in requests to document relinquishments and renunciations. His response-- "Too many to process."

I expect the numbers this year will be huge given the implementation of a FATCA coming on July 1st. I also expect as the numbers come out and mainstream media report them, the issue will become a public embarrassment in Washington. As you said above Victoria, most of us who live outside the US just want to be left alone by the US-- in my opinion, we are being actively provoked into relinquishing or renouncing our US citizenship. It's an absolute disgrace that so many of us are being forced out the door.

Sauve said...

hmmm... I never knew there was a list published.

Sauve said...

hmmm... I never knew there was a list published.

Catherine said...

I learn so much from your posts, not only on American citizenship abroad but also on global citizenship.

Anonymous said...

@Kermit, was your son travelling on a US passport?

bubblebustin said...

MLK: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

- and even longer when it passes through the three branches of US government.

How long one hangs in is dependant on so many factors, but in the end, renouncing US citizenship might be the most American thing you can do by upholding values of individual freedom and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

AtticusinCanada said...

It feels like this. You've been married for over thirty years. In all that time with all the ups and downs you believed your spouse to basicly be a decent, caring person. One day when you're both in your fifties he/she walks in and says "You are not only a criminal, every decision you've made to support me was stupid. I am leaving you and I might not take everything you have if you can prove you didn't try to cheat me all these years." Any time you protest to that abuse you're accused of wrong doing. The bad guy gets to wear the White Hat and forces the good guy to wear the Black Hat. A person can only put up with that sort of situation for so long before they have to give up. There is NO justice in this situation. Five years ago I couldn't have fathomed people congratulating each other when they get their CLN in the mail. Now that is happening. Why is that happening? Because these people are the only ones who understand the hell on earth their lives have been up to that point. Many are not being congratulated specifically on no longer being American. They are being congratulated on being able to go back to living a normal, law abiding, abuse free life. And THIS is the country that prides itself so many times on being leader in chartiable actions around the world. Unless you are one of their hapless citizens who for whatever life reason ended up not living there. In that case you are a criminal until proven otherwise and will have your entire familes banking information scrutinized among other draconian measures. This is all seen as justified and not nearly as bad as what the NSA does even though it is far worse. I wouldn't feel so bad if every American inside the U.S. was told "Guess what? Your bank in an effort to stop crime is just going to give the treasury and the IRS all your account numbers, transactions and balances. Surely, if you are not a criminal you won't protest." At least then there would be some uproar and instant understanding of what is wrong with this picture.

kermit said...

Anonymous, my son just had a Canadian passport, and he has traveled to the states several times on it. The difference a couple days ago was that he was going to a job (but only for four months). The "consulate report of birth abroad" is the proof of American citizenship for kids born of American parents abroad. We all learned our lesson. My son will have to apply for a US passport. There is also the chance he was flagged because my renunciation is on file in the USA.

Anonymous said...

Marc Rich, a billionaire fugitive, was indicted for defrauding the I.R.S., mail fraud, tax evasion, racketeering, defrauding the Treasury and trading with the enemy. He evaded more than $48 million in taxes and fled to Switzerland

Rich received a pardon from President Clinton on the advice of his Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder. Rich's wife made hefty contributions to the Democratic Party and the Clinton Library.

When his role in the Rich pardon was disclosed, Holder announced: "Public Life's Over for Me."

Holder is Barack Obama's Attorney General, head of the Department of Justice

If one of us inadvertently under-pays our taxes (or slips up on the Fbar, Fatca), how much do we have to contribute to the Democratic party to receive a pardon from the Dept of Justice.

DL NELSON said...

Another great post. As of a few months ago my 2011 renunciation still wasn't on the list.

I don't believe the numbers. I believe they are much, much higher.

My emotions will always be sad which usually overrides anger.

Blaze said...

@Anonymous: on the eve of Congressional hearings, Penny Pritzker, heiress to Hyatt Hotels, announced she had not reported $80 million in income to the IRS for the previous year because of a ``clerical error.``

Her punishment: She was appointed US Secretary of Commerce within days.

Inaka Nezumi said...

I feel like I'm at the last straw stage myself. I've bent my life into pretzels to try to comply with the restrictions placed upon me, and cannot take any further encroachments. For my own peace of mind, I have determined that any of the following events will be the trigger for me to change citizenship:

--Loss of bank account;
--Loss of retirement brokerage account (esp. since there is only one brokerage here that will allow me to invest in non-PFIC investments -- the others are bound by Qualified Intermediary rules to deny me such access);
--The imposition of penalties if, despite my valiant efforts to understand and fill out all the ridiculous tax forms etc. correctly, I make an inadvertent mistake;
--Change in the US tax laws (abolition of FEIE, for example) such that I end up owing significant tax to the US in addition to what I already pay in my country of residence. Sorry, I already have one mortgage payment to make, and cannot afford a second one.

These lines may never get crossed. But deciding on, and reminding myself of, where the lines are helps me set aside temporarily the feelings of fury and injustice that well up whenever I think about this whole situation.

Inaka Nezumi said...

And I might add that had what happened to Victoria (thousands of dollars in taxes imposed on unemployment benefits received from the country of residence) ever happened to me, that would have been clearly over the line for me. You're amazingly tenacious, Victoria.

Anonymous said...

I am already out and relieved about it. Another thing to consider is the narrowing of employment opportunities for any US/duals who are considering jobs where signing authority, insight in a firms budget etc. is required. There is not much said about this, but non-US firms are quietly divesting themselves of, or not hiring, US persons for management positions.

Anonymous said...

I once took an oath to "protect and defend the constitution" (back when I joined the military).

Recently however, I took an oath to "renounce my US nationality."

Times sure have changed!

Anonymous said...


This post is so good it should be published as an OPED.

Thank you!

Janet said...

On Sunday, May 18th elections for the members of the European Parliament will take place. The candidates and their supporters are currently out campaigning throughout the EU. Now is our opportunity to inform these candidates on how FATCA and the FATCA IGA's effect not only Americans who are permanent residents in the EU but also EU citizens who are duals through birth and all Green Card holders. All US persons residing in the EU are no longer covered by the data protection laws of the country in which they live.The price of financial services will increase for all EU citizens since the financial institutions are sure to pass on the costs of FATCA to all their customers.
The unique US citizenship-based tax system requires US persons to pay US taxes not only on the money they earn in their country of residence but also on any social cash benefits they receive from the government of their country of residence (such as unemployment and disability payments). Since these cash benefits are financed by taxes, the US is siphoning off not only money earned in the EU but also the money paid by EU tax payers to aid their citizens in need.

Christophe said...

@Janet, these candidates actually have a paragraph on FATCA.

Transparence fiscale contrer les effets pervers de la réforme FATCA

Pour lutter contre la fraude fiscale, la loi “FATCA” (“Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act") impose aux banques étrangères de renseigner les autorités américaines sur les avoirs et transactions de leurs clients imposables aux Etats-Unis. Les règles américaines étant différentes des règles françaises et européennes, elles nécessitent la création d’un département administratif spécialisé : le coût administratif pour l’établissement financier français est largement supérieur avec le profit réalisé sur ces comptes : des établissements français ont donc commencé à fermer les comptes de français aux Etats-Unis. Nous rappellerons aux établissements financiers leurs devoirs et de ne pas sacrifier leur rôle social.

They also recently wrote an article that got published in the Huffington post

Et voice l'article en Francais.

Honestly, I would hope they do more than remind the banks of their social role. The guy is a lawyer. I asked him if they could look into the legal issues involved in closing bank accounts and openly discriminating, but didn't get an answer. However, to his credit, he mentioned the issue to the French government and asked them to look into the issue. I hope more concrete things will be done to fight discrimination. The discrimination is the negative consequence of FATCA that bothers me most.

Anonymous said...

New question on U.S. passport renewal application:

"If you naturalized as a citizen of a foreign country since your last passport was issued, please provide a photocopy of your foreign naturalization certificate and a statement confirming whether or not it was your intention to relinquish U.S. citizenship when you naturalized as a foreign citizen"

it only turns up on the websites of some U.S. embassies.

bubblebustin said...

@Anonymous. That's something else. I guess its in response to the many who've successfully argued to DOS that renewal of US passport was not sufficient in proving they hadn't relinquished US citizenship at some earlier point. I other words, they want you to state that it is your intention to maintain US citizenship by renewing your passport.

Anonymous said...

Victoria I know you are following closely what Lynne Swanson is doing... Taking the approach to make sure national constitutional rights are respected is perhaps a better approach then to try to reason with a bully. I do so wish someone would take a similar initiative in Europe and start a legal process to uphold constitutional and human rights in Europe, by imposing that for the implementation of the IGA's , European citizens and long term residents cannot be considered "Persons" of any other nationality. I saw that Lynne managed to raise all the money she needed for her legal process in 1 week. I'm sure you could do the same. I encourage you to set up a non-profit structure to start a legal process in Europe. You will make a difference in the lives of tens or hundreds of thousands of people. I'm convinced you will get thousands and thousands of Euros immediately especially if there is a way to donate anonymously. If you need seed money I will gladly help just publish something on your blog. I can't go into the limelight because my spouse is already fed up and this whole situation has distressed our marriage and family. But I really hope we will find someone who will be willing to take on this project just like Lynne is doing...

Janet said...

I agree with Anonymous, its time for a legal challenge in the EU, and in each EU country, but it will probably have to be started by duals. I don't know if the laws to protect citizens also apply to permanent residents.

Janet said...

I agree with Anonymous, its time for a legal challenge in the EU, and in each EU country, but it will probably have to be started by duals. I don't know if the laws to protect citizens also apply to permanent residents.

Patrick said...

I wonder if there will be an increase in 'quiet renunciations/relinquishments' i.e., people not renewing their passports and closing off all contact.

Anonymous said...


But wouldn't they be able after you anyway. Once you have already filed and disclosed all accounts on the F-forms they know you're there.

Or did I misunderstand "quiet renunciation?

Anonymous said...


But wouldn't they be able after you anyway. Once you have already filed and disclosed all accounts on the F-forms they know you're there.

Or did I misunderstand "quiet renunciation?

Pacifica said...

Re: Anonymous May 14, 2014 at 1:37 pm. “New question on U.S. passport renewal application”

It seems that that line has been on the application for at least a few years.

BC Doc commented on Isaac Brock that he recalled seeing a line to that effect on a passport renewal application in 2010.


“I recall being asked to sign the passport application and noticing on the form that there was a section that asked if I had sworn allegiance/naturalized as a citizen anywhere else since my previous passport. I pointed out that I was now Canadian since taking my citizenship in 2001 and asked if this was an issue. At this point, the consular staff (my recollection of this is fuzzy) said that I needed to put a two or three sentence letter in with the passport stating that I had become Canadian in 2001 but my intention was not to give up my US citizenship.”


The current passport renewal form on-line is dated 2013, but it sounds pretty similar to what BC Doc described. Still interesting, though, if this only started being mentioned mentioned on consulate websites recently.

FYI: Page 4 of the passport renewal application mentions the potentially relinquishing acts which are listed in s. 349(a) of the Immigration and Nationalities Act, and tells the person to attach a supplementary explanatory statement if they have performed any of them.

“DS-82 08-2013

“If any of the below-mentioned acts or conditions have been performed by or apply to the applicant, the portion which applies should be lined out, and a supplementary explanatory statement under oath (or affirmation) by the applicant should be attached and made a part of this application.

“I have not, since acquiring United States citizenship/nationality, been naturalized as a citizen of a foreign state; taken an oath or made an affirmation or other formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign state; entered or served in the armed forces of a foreign state; accepted or performed the duties of any office, post, or employment under the government of a foreign state or political subdivision thereof; made a formal renunciation of nationality either in the United States, or before a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States in a foreign state; or been convicted by a court or court martial of competent jurisdiction of committing any act of treason against, or attempting by force to overthrow, or
bearing arms against the United States, or conspiring to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force, the government of the United States.”

Echoing said...

The bare facts on FATCA automatic information exchange between France and the US