September 10, 2015 - Phil Hodgen

The Expatriation Chronicles of an Accidental American, Episode 6

Note from Phil: this is the sixth episode of The Expatriation Chronicles, in which we follow the renunciation process from start to finish with a 17-year old Irish girl who is an Accidental American.

  • Episode 1 (Phil’s introduction)
  • Episode 2 (A’s introduction – why she wants to renounce her U.S. citizenship)
  • Episode 3 (What to do when you don’t have a Social Security Number)
  • Episode 4 (When can a minor renounce U.S. citizenship?)
  • Episode 5 (A submits her renunciation application to the London Embassy)

. . . wherein we wait.

Here is the latest update from A, our 17-year old accidental American, who is busily working on renunciation of her U.S. citizenship.

Hi Phil

Just to give you a quick update to say there are no updates 🙂

I sent an e-mail to the Embassy to find out how long it would take to receive the ssn. They kindly replied within the advised 3 day time scale saying that it would take 6-8 weeks as the information and card would be issued in the US.

Also sent a reminder to the renunciation department requesting an indication as to how long it takes to receive an appointment and whether all the paperwork is in order. Apparently they are short staffed and will be in contact again in late autumn.

Let the waiting game continue …

Kind regards

Social Security Number

So now we know. A will receive a Social Security card within a couple of months, mailed from the United States.

That means she will have a tax identification number (a Social Security number performs that function) in plenty of time to file her 2015 Form 8854 (and any other 2015 filings that she is required to do).

Renunciation Appointment

Yikes. London is shortstaffed and backlogged. Who would have guessed? Fortunately the State Department is wallowing in cash after raising the price of renunciation to $2,350, so they can solve the staffing problem pronto. /sarcasm

Late autumn for the next contact date — not the renunciation appointment date, but the date of next contact by the Embassy staff. When will renunciation actually happen? Let’s hope it happens in 2015.

There is good news and bad news embedded into the delay.

    • The good news is that maybe by the time the London Embassy schedules her renunciation appointment, A will have reached age 18 and will have the absolute right to renounce her U.S. nationality. The State Department’s exercise of discretion over a minor’s renunciation will cease to be a problem.


  • The bad news is that A needs to renounce her U.S. citizenship in order to move forward with her plans to attend university. I hope the delay does not create problems for her admission to university.
Expatriation Expatriation Chronicles of an Accidental American