One of my correspondents renounced his U.S. citizenship in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Here is an excerpt from his email to me:
For your data gathering:
- I sent, as requested, scans of all our documents and forms to the Halifax consulate on 10-30 (Oct 30) and requested appointments for my wife and myself to renounce.
- They phoned one week later, 11-07 (Friday), and left a message to call back for an appointment. I called back after closing hours.
- They returned my call 11-12 and we chose the earliest appointment they offered, on 11-24. So it was not a long wait, as some you have heard of. Three weeks and a bit from sending of forms/documents to the appointment.
- We renounced yesterday, 11-24. They were very friendly. Halifax is a very small consulate operation.
- They said that a couple of years ago, they had 6 renunciations to process. This year so far it is 60. A lot of Canadians are bailing, at least in a relative sense to previous years.
The key pieces of information that I glean from this email . . . .
This was a “one appointment” renunciation. That’s a good sign.
When the latest renunciation craze 🙂 started in 2008, renunciations were easy: you went in for one appointment, they did all the paperwork, and you were finished in a couple of hours.
Later, the State Department decided to convert the system to a two-appointment process. The first appointment was nominally to give you the forms to fill out, but mostly (in my opinion) to attempt to implant guilt and remorse into you so you would not follow through with the renunciation.
Now we’re seeing a trend (not just Halifax) back to one appointment. Of course it should be one appointment. The paperwork ain’t that damn hard, State Department.
Remember how in the old days it was one appointment to renounce, without a processing fee?
Then, of course, the State Department bitched and moaned and whined about all of the work required to process renunciations (self-created work, mind you) and popped the processing fee up to $2,350.
Some Embassies do, of course, engage in a lot of make-work and effort. (I won’t identify the worst Embassy because I don’t want to speak ill of the dead, but there is one European Embassy that is just tragic in how badly they mangle this process. People in that country are advised to travel to another country to renounce.)
Magically we are now seeing multiple locations with vastly simpler, faster renunciation processes. Including Halifax. Still at the new, enhanced pricing, however.
A clue for those of you who want to renounce U.S. citizenship before the end of the year: small countries and out-of-the-way Consulates are your best bet for getting an appointment before December 31.
There are exceptions. We have many people renounce citizenship in Riyadh and that’s a pretty big operation. The processes run smoothly and the Embassy officials are friendly. But in terms of getting an appointment and getting treated like a human—jump on a plane and go to a tiny country or a sleepy Consulate.
Look at the informal report from the Halifax Consulate: 60 renunciations so far this year. I expect them to process even more renunciations in 2015.
For those of you looking for first-hand information about renunciations, go to the Isaac Brock Society website.