January 24, 2014 - Phil Hodgen

How Many Appointments in Buenos Aires to Expatriate?

I heard from someone that it takes four appointments to successfully expatriate in the Buenos Aires Embassy. (He found it expedient to go to another country to expatriate).

The normal expatriation procedure at the moment is a two-meeting process.

  • The first appointment at the Embassy is designed to install a guilt-bomb in your brain, and the delay between the first and second appointment is supposed to give enough time for you to regret your decision and remain an American.
  • The second appointment is where the fun happens and you cease to be a U.S. citizen.

When I first started doing these expatriations under the new rules we had a one-appointment process. Do the paperwork, show up. If the paperwork was wrong, they’d fix it on the spot. Then the Embassy official would generate the other documents. Sign, date, swear out, and you’re done.

Then the two-appointment process started to appear. For a while some locations were one-appointment and others were two-appointment places. And even within that we would see variations. We would see “yes we have two appointment but we’ll informally just finish it all in one appointment” expediency in some situations.

But now “four appointments”? Wow.

The State Department’s uniform procedures are not, it appears, equally applied across the planet. 🙂

Anyway, I’m curious about trends. What have you seen in Argentina, or elsewhere for that matter, that deviates from the “two appointments to expatriate” procedure?

Quite apart from the bone-headed bureaucracy of it all, requiring multiple appointments can put a real travel strain on a person who wants to expatriate. Someone living far from the Embassy will have to drive, fly, etc. a long way to scratch the State Department’s itch if two appointments–carefully spread out–are required. I can’t imagine more than that.