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How do I renounce my citizenship as allowed by 8 U.S.C. 1481(a) paragraph 6?

Burlington, VT |

First of all, let me be clear, I am only interested in renouncing my citizenship as allowed by paragraph 6 of the before mentioned article, "you can't" isn't an acceptable answer, 1483 of the same governs restrictions on renunciation.

I am a dual citizen of the US and Canada currently residing in the US. I would like to renounce my citizenship, with intent to leave the country a allowed by 8 USC 1481(a) paragraph 6. I have already attempted to contact the Attorney General as well as the State Department and USCIS, and have gotten nothing more than the run around. My question is simple. What must I do to start the process of renouncing my citizenship in the US?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. The answer is simple:

    1. Pack everything you own
    2. Leave the US and go to Canada
    3. Go into the nearest US Consul and tell them you wish to renounce.
    4. Anticipate problems if you ever wish to visit the US in the future.

    PROFESSOR OF IMMIGRATION LAW for over 10 years -- This blog posting is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Also, keep in mind that this is an INTERNET BLOG. You should not rely on anything you read here to make decisions which impact on your life. Meet with an attorney, via Skype, or in person, to obtain competent personal and professional guidance.


  2. Since you have already contacted USCIS and the Attorney General, and gotten no response, and for whatever reason you prefer to do this under section (6), rather than from Canada under paragraph (5), then your only option would be to file a mandamus action in U.S. district court, asking the federal judge to order USCIS or the Attorney General to take action on your renunciation requests.

    Good luck.


  3. I agree with attorney Barr

    Samuel Ouya Maina, Esq. 415.391.6612 s.ouya@mainalaw.com Law Offices of S. Ouya Maina, PC 332 Pine Street, Suite 707 San Francisco, CA 94104


  4. Section 349(a)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) (8 U.S.C. 1481(a)(5)) is the section of law governing the right of a United States citizen to renounce his or her U.S. citizenship. That section of law provides for the loss of nationality by voluntarily

    "(5) making a formal renunciation of nationality before a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States in a foreign state , in such form as may be prescribed by the Secretary of State"

    A person wishing to renounce his or her U.S. citizenship must voluntarily and with intent to relinquish U.S. citizenship:
    1.appear in person before a U.S. consular or diplomatic officer,
    2.in a foreign country (normally at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate); and
    3.sign an oath of renunciation

    Renunciations that do not meet the conditions described above have no legal effect. Because of the provisions of Section 349(a)(5), U.S. citizens cannot effectively renounce their citizenship by mail, through an agent, or while in the United States. In fact, U.S. courts have held certain attempts to renounce U.S. citizenship to be ineffective on a variety of grounds, as discussed below.

    REQUIREMENT - RENOUNCE ALL RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES

    A person seeking to renounce U.S. citizenship must renounce all the rights and privileges associated with such citizenships. In the case of Colon v. U.S. Department of State , 2 F.Supp.2d 43 (1998), the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia rejected Colon’s petition for a writ of mandamus directing the Secretary of State to approve a Certificate of Loss of Nationality in the case because he wanted to retain the right to live in the United States while claiming he was not a U.S. citizen.

    DUAL NATIONALITY / STATELESSNESS

    Persons intending to renounce U.S. citizenship should be aware that, unless they already possess a foreign nationality, they may be rendered stateless and, thus, lack the protection of any government. They may also have difficulty traveling as they may not be entitled to a passport from any country. Even if not stateless, former U.S. citizens would still be required to obtain a visa to travel to the United States, or show that they are eligible for admission pursuant to the terms of the Visa Waiver Pilot Program (VWPP). Nonetheless, renunciation of U.S. citizenship may not prevent a foreign country from deporting that individual to the United States in some non-citizen status.

    TAX & MILITARY OBLIGATIONS /NO ESCAPE FROM PROSECUTION

    Persons who wish to renounce U.S. citizenship should be aware of the fact that renunciation of U.S. citizenship may have no affect whatsoever on his or her U.S. tax or military service obligations (contact the Internal Revenue Service or U.S. Selective Service for more information). In addition, the act of renouncing U.S. citizenship does not allow persons to avoid possible prosecution for crimes which they may have committed in the United States, or escape the repayment of financial obligations previously incurred in the United States or incurred as United States citizens abroad.

    RENUNCIATION FOR MINOR CHILDREN/INCOMPETENTS

    Citizenship is a status that is personal to the U.S. citizen. Therefore, parents may not renounce the citizenship of their minor children. Similarly, parents/legal guardians may not renounce the citizenship of individuals who are mentally incompetent. Minors seeking to renounce their U.S. citizenship must demonstrate to a consular officer that they are acting voluntarily and that they fully understand the implications/consequences attendant to the renunciation of U.S. citizenship.

    IRREVOCABILITY OF RENUNCIATION

    Finally, those contemplating a renunciation of U.S. citizenship should understand that the act is irrevocable, except as provided in section 351 of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1483), and cannot be canceled or set aside absent successful administrative or judicial appeal.

    If this answer was helpful to you or if it was the best answer, please click the buttons that state helpful and best answer. Please understand that all of my answers are for informational purposes only, are not legal advise, and do not create an attorney-client relationship between you and me. I am not your attorney and you are not my client unless we enter into a signed contract. My only legal advise to you is that you should immediately consult with and hire a lawyer and that you should not represent yourself. If you want to more information about personal injury, visit http://www.sainjurylawyer.com or if you want more information about criminal defense, visit http://www.giardinolawfirm.com. Good luck!

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