August 23, 2011 - Phil Hodgen

Expatriation delay rumor is not true

I got an email from a correspondent (thanks E) who is considering giving up his U.S. citizenship.  He said in his email:

I have heard that there is a two-year wait/processing time to renounce US Citizenship. Is that correct?

Nope.  Not true.

In order to give up your citizenship, you will make an appointment at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.  You go through an interview and you sign a bunch of paperwork.  Your effective date for giving up the citizenship is that day.  It takes maybe four or five months for the final written confirmation to come back to you by mail.

The hard problem is getting yourself on the calendar at your favorite Embassy or Consulate.  Many have insane calendars–fully booked up, far into the future.  Switzerland is very difficult.  London, too, I’ve heard.  And I’ve heard that the Canadian Embassy and Consulates are clogged.  On the other hand, my recent rumor mill tells me that Frankfurt, Sydney, Singapore, and Berlin are relatively easy to deal with and get on the calendar.

I think the rumor about a two-year wait refers to the time delay involved in getting the appointment on the calendar at a particular Embassy or Consulate.

You are not required to go to the Embassy or Consulate closest to you.  You can go anywhere in the world.

My suggestion:  get on the phone and start calling Embassies and Consulates worldwide until you get yourself an appointment.  Then book a flight and go.