Home » Law & Government » How Much Does it Cost to Renounce Your US Citizenship?

How Much Does it Cost to Renounce Your US Citizenship?

The process under federal law by which a US citizen or national can voluntarily or intentionally give up that status and become an alien with respect to the United States is called Relinquishment of United States nationality. How much does it cost to push through with the process?

When you renounce your citizenship, you are essentially giving up your rights and responsibilities as a US citizen. Any American citizen who wishes to renounce their citizenship would need to pay a fee of $2,350.

How Many US Citizens Have Relinquished Their Citizenship?

According to the records, there are 3,000 to 6,000 US nationals who renounced citizenship each year since 2013. The number of former US nationals who became a citizen of another nation can be anywhere between 3 million to 9 million of them residing abroad. 

The number of relinquishments rose up sharply from in the 1990s and 2000s, though only about three times as high as in the 1970s. 

Lawyers believe this growth is mostly driven by Americans who grew up abroad and only became aware of their US citizenship and the tax liabilities for citizens abroad due to continuing publicity surrounding the 2010 Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. 

Between 2010 and 2015, obtaining a Certificate of Loss of Nationality (CLN) became a difficult process with high barriers, including nearly year-long waitlists for appointments and the world’s most expensive administrative fee, as well as complicated tax treatment. 

Legal scholars state that such barriers may constitute a breach of the United States’ obligations under international law, and foreign legislatures have called upon the US government to eliminate the fees, taxes, and other requirements, particularly with regard to accidental Americans who have few genuine links to the United States. (Source: US Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs)

Why Do Americans Want to Relinquish Their Citizenships?

Although the US governance has withdrawn most restrictions on dual or multiple citizenships from its nationality laws, some other governments retain such restrictions, and US citizens in such countries may choose to give up US citizenship to comply with those restrictions.

Some alien countries do not permit their citizens to hold other citizenships at all. Bars on dual citizenship take a variety of forms, but two standard provisions in such countries’ laws are that a foreigner seeking to become a citizen of the country generally must obtain release from any other citizenships according to the laws of those other countries and that a person who was born with dual citizenship must choose whether to retain the local citizenship or the alien citizenship upon reaching the age of prevalence. (Source: US Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs)

Who are the Most Famous People to Renounce Their US Citizenship?

As mentioned, thousands of Americans relinquish their US citizenship every year. While the records of renunciation are at an all-time low, there have been some popular people and celebrities who have handed in their US passports, here are some of them:

Yul Brynner

Yul Brynner was a dual citizen of Switzerland and the US. He was living outside the US for most of his adult life and would often claim a tax exemption by working on small projects that didn’t subject him to the US tax law. He was flagged for this and in order to avoid issues he renounced his US citizenship.

Denise Rich

The ex-wife of billionaire Marc Rich renounced her US citizenship in 2011 in order to keep her Austrian citizenship and avoid the controversy with the Clinton administration at the time. The move saved her millions of dollars.

Jet Li

Although the actor was born in China, he applied for US citizenship after several projects required him to be in the US. He renounced his citizenship to become a citizen of Singapore instead. 

Eduardo Saverin

The co-creator of Facebook was actually born in Brazil to Brazilian parents. When his family became wealthy, his father believed it was safer for them to move to the US. The family moved to Miami and Saverin became a US citizen. Due to legal battles with Zuckerberg, Saverin moved to Singapore and became a resident there. 

Tina Turner

The iconic singer spent 20 years of her life in Switzerland and decided to renounce her US citizenship.

(Source: Nomad Capitalist)

Leave a Comment