Renunciation of US citizenship: On avoiding the new $450 renunciation fee (update 2)

UPDATE:  Please note that my belief in this post, that by indicating that I’d relinquished my US citizenship by becoming a Canadian citizen, I could avoid the $450 renunciation fee panned out, and I received the CLN without paying).

I’ve been pretty upset that it would cost me $450 to renounce my citizenship now that the US consulate in Toronto has instituted a fee.  But today I was looking at the various government websites:  Consider this website from the US state department and its explanation of how to renounce US citizenship:

Section 349(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1481) governs how a U.S. citizen shall lose U.S. nationality. Section 349(a) states:

A person who is a national of the United States whether, by birth or naturalization, shall lose his nationality by voluntarily performing any of the following acts with the intention of relinquishing United States nationality:(5) making a formal renunciation of nationality before a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States in a foreign state, in such form as may be prescribed by the Secretary of State; or(6) making in the United States a formal written renunciation of nationality in such form as may be prescribed by, and before such officer as may be designated by, the Attorney General, whenever the United States shall be in a state of war and the Attorney General shall approve such renunciation as not contrary to the interests of national defense.

Now perhaps it would interest readers to know that this government website is not telling the whole story: The U.S.C. 1481 lists several other ways that a natural born US citizen may lose their citizenship. Here is the full text (emphasis mine):

§ 1481. Loss of nationality by native-born or naturalized citizen; voluntary action; burden of proof; presumptions

(a) A person who is a national of the United States whether by birth or naturalization, shall lose his nationality by voluntarily performing any of the following acts with the intention of relinquishing United States nationality—

(1) obtaining naturalization in a foreign state upon his own application or upon an application filed by a duly authorized agent, after having attained the age of eighteen years; or
(2) taking an oath or making an affirmation or other formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign state or a political subdivision thereof, after having attained the age of eighteen years; or
(3) entering, or serving in, the armed forces of a foreign state if

(A) such armed forces are engaged in hostilities against the United States, or
(B) such persons serve as a commissioned or non-commissioned officer; or
(4)

(A) accepting, serving in, or performing the duties of any office, post, or employment under the government of a foreign state or a political subdivision thereof, after attaining the age of eighteen years if he has or acquires the nationality of such foreign state; or
(B) accepting, serving in, or performing the duties of any office, post, or employment under the government of a foreign state or a political subdivision thereof, after attaining the age of eighteen years for which office, post, or employment an oath, affirmation, or declaration of allegiance is required; or
(5) making a formal renunciation of nationality before a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States in a foreign state, in such form as may be prescribed by the Secretary of State; or
(6) making in the United States a formal written renunciation of nationality in such form as may be prescribed by, and before such officer as may be designated by, the Attorney General, whenever the United States shall be in a state of war and the Attorney General shall approve such renunciation as not contrary to the interests of national defense; or
(7) committing any act of treason against, or attempting by force to overthrow, or bearing arms against, the United States, violating or conspiring to violate any of the provisions of section 2383 of title 18, or willfully performing any act in violation of section 2385 of title 18, or violating section 2384 of title 18 by engaging in a conspiracy to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, if and when he is convicted thereof by a court martial or by a court of competent jurisdiction.
(b) Whenever the loss of United States nationality is put in issue in any action or proceeding commenced on or after September 26, 1961 under, or by virtue of, the provisions of this chapter or any other Act, the burden shall be upon the person or party claiming that such loss occurred, to establish such claim by a preponderance of the evidence. Any person who commits or performs, or who has committed or performed, any act of expatriation under the provisions of this chapter or any other Act shall be presumed to have done so voluntarily, but such presumption may be rebutted upon a showing, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the act or acts committed or performed were not done voluntarily.
On Monday, February 28, 2010, I will complete the naturalization process of applying for Canadian citizenship, having attained 18 years of age.  I did this application with the intention of relinquishing my US citizenship. I will then take the following oath of allegiance to the Queen Elizabeth and her heirs:
I swear or affirm that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to her Majesty Queen of Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfill my duties a Canadian Citizen.
I will therefore have committed the first two acts listed of a possible seven which make it clear that I am no longer an American citizen.  No oath before a consular authority is necessary according to the current statute.  As evidence of this act, I will create a video tape before swearing that my intention in taking the oath of Canadian citizenship is to relinquish my American citizenship.
UPDATE 1:  the following website deals with this manner of relinquishing citizenship and says that the presumption is that the person taking on citizenship in another country is not doing so to relinquish his US citizenship.  However, there is a procedure to indicate to the State Department, as in my case, the intention is to lose citizenship:
An individual who has performed any of the acts made potentially expatriating by statute who wishes to lose U.S. citizenship may do so by affirming in writing to a U.S. consular officer that the act was performed with an intent to relinquish U.S. citizenship. Of course, a person always has the option of seeking to formally renounce U.S. citizenship abroad in accordance with Section 349 (a) (5) INA.
This website thus verifies that the act of taking the oath of citizenship in Canada, if done with the intent of relinquishing US citizenship, counts as one of the seven ways of losing one’s US citizenship according to USC 1481.
Update 2:  Today a consular officer called me from the US consulate in Toronto.  She confirmed what I’ve said in this post, that relinquishing US citizenship and renouncing US citizenship are two different processes that are treated in a different manner by the consulate (including the fee structure).
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