While Forcing Americans Abroad To Renounce Citizenship, The US Will Not Provide Them With Renunciation Appointments
December 29, 2021 - Participants Include:
John Richardson - @Expatriationlaw
Diane Gelon - London, UK based New York lawyer - DianeGelon.com
On November 29, 2020 London based US lawyer Diane Gelon joined me for a discussion about the current state of renunciation. That podcast may be accessed here. One year ago, we discussed the fact that the relevant statute - S. 349(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act - does not require that the renunciation meeting take place inside a US Consulate of Embassy.
The text of the statute is:
§1481. Loss of nationality by native-born or naturalized citizen; voluntary action; burden of proof; presumptions
(a) A person who is a national of the United States whether by birth or naturalization, shall lose his nationality by voluntarily performing any of the following acts with the intention of relinquishing United States nationality-
(1) obtaining naturalization in a foreign state upon his own application or upon an application filed by a duly authorized agent, after having attained the age of eighteen years; or
(2) taking an oath or making an affirmation or other formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign state or a political subdivision thereof, after having attained the age of eighteen years; or
(3) entering, or serving in, the armed forces of a foreign state if (A) such armed forces are engaged in hostilities against the United States, or (B) such persons serve as a commissioned or non-commissioned officer; or
(4)(A) accepting, serving in, or performing the duties of any office, post, or employment under the government of a foreign state or a political subdivision thereof, after attaining the age of eighteen years if he has or acquires the nationality of such foreign state; or (B) accepting, serving in, or performing the duties of any office, post, or employment under the government of a foreign state or a political subdivision thereof, after attaining the age of eighteen years for which office, post, or employment an oath, affirmation, or declaration of allegiance is required; or
(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; or
(6) making in the United States a formal written renunciation of nationality in such form as may be prescribed by, and before such officer as may be designated by, the Attorney General, whenever the United States shall be in a state of war and the Attorney General shall approve such renunciation as not contrary to the interests of national defense; or
(7) committing any act of treason against, or attempting by force to overthrow, or bearing arms against, the United States, violating or conspiring to violate any of the provisions of section 2383 of title 18, or willfully performing any act in violation of section 2385 of title 18, or violating section 2384 of title 18 by engaging in a conspiracy to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, if and when he is convicted thereof by a court martial or by a court of competent jurisdiction.
(b) Whenever the loss of United States nationality is put in issue in any action or proceeding commenced on or after September 26, 1961 under, or by virtue of, the provisions of this chapter or any other Act, the burden shall be upon the person or party claiming that such loss occurred, to establish such claim by a preponderance of the evidence. Any person who commits or performs, or who has committed or performed, any act of expatriation under the provisions of this chapter or any other Act shall be presumed to have done so voluntarily, but such presumption may be rebutted upon a showing, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the act or acts committed or performed were not done voluntarily.
The London Embassy continues to deny US citizens wishing to renounce the opportunity to make renunciation appointments.
In this episode Diane and I discuss possible renunciation options that may meet the requirements of the law while not requiring a specific appointment for the purposes or renouncing.
Thanks to Diane Gelon for her creative thinking!
The description of the November 29, 2020 Diane Gelon podcast was ...
"One the hand one, many Americans abroad are desperate to pay the $2350 USD fee to renounce US citizenship. On the other hand, the US State Department has stopped providing appoints to renounce.
Do US citizens have the right to renounce?
The 1868 Expatriation Act suggests that they have a statutory right to renounce.
R.S. § 1999 provided that: “Whereas the right of expatriation is a natural and inherent right of all people, indispensable to the enjoyment of the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and whereas in the recognition of this principle this Government has freely received emigrants from all nations, and invested them with the rights of citizenship; and whereas it is claimed that such American citizens, with their descendants, are subjects of foreign states, owing allegiance to the governments thereof; and whereas it is necessary to the maintenance of public peace that this claim of foreign allegiance should be promptly and finally disavowed: Therefore any declaration, instruction, opinion, order, or decision of any officer of the United States which denies, restricts, impairs, or questions the right of expatriation, is declared inconsistent with the fundamental principles of the Republic.”
The 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Afroyim suggests they have a constitutional right to renounce.
The fact is that there is no bar to conducting renunication appointments through video conferencing. It's too bad that the US government won't allow this."