My April 7 visit to the US consulate

Today I visited the US Consulate in Toronto to inform them that I had committed an act which had caused me to relinquish my US citizenship.  They made me fill out seven pages of paperwork (which I had done in advance–DS-4079 and DS 4081), swear with my right hand raised that I had read and understood the consequences of my actions, and then I signed the paperwork in front of a consular officer, who then put the seal of the Consulate General of the United States on each signature page.

How I was treated

The main person that I dealt with Mrs. A. was very polite; she too is Canadian, and so there was zero recrimination for the act I had committed–but she did her job, and made sure that I knew what I was doing.  The consular officer, a certain Ms. J.H.F., also was polite.  At first Mrs. A. suggested that I must come in for a second visit, but when I insisted that I had already committed an expatriating act, she agreed that I was only at the consulate to inform them of that fait accompli and that there would be no need to return.  The expatriating act took place on 28th of February, and she recognized that I was no longer an American citizen according to USC 1481 .

$450 renunciation fee [UPDATE: Please note, I did in fact receive my CLN without paying $450]

I can’t yet say, as I suggested in an earlier post, that the $450 fee would not apply to someone who had committed a prior relinquishing act.  It is clear however that “renunciation” and “relinquishment” are two completely different acts in the understanding of the United States Department of the State and their US Consulates General around the world.  Mrs. A. explained that my paperwork would be sent to Washington for examination.  This could take a great deal of time.  Meanwhile, she provided me with sealed copies of all the paperwork.  She said that when the Certificate of Loss of Nationality (CLN) would be approved, she would contact me and I could pick it up after it arrives but I would have to pay any fee that might apply.  She didn’t think that the $450 fee would apply but she wasn’t sure.  So I am not in the clear.  However, the Toronto US Consulate General says that fee is applicable at the time of taking the oath of renuciation.  Singapore too.  The Hamilton Consulate General says the fee is applicable at the time of picking up the CLN, and says that fee technically applies to the processing of the necessary paperwork.  In any case, if I’ve made the relinquishing act, owning a Certificate of Loss of Citizenship may not be necessary, provided the State Department recognizes my loss of citizenship.  I’d be like Scarecrow, brains but no diploma.

My written statement

I provided a written statement which I signed in front of the consular officer and which she stamped and sealed.  The text of that statement is as follows:

I have lived in Canada most of my adult life.  I have married a Canadian.  After so many years in Canada it became clear that I have a great attachment to Canada, to my Canadian friends, to my Canadian wife and her family, and to my church community in Canada.  I felt that it was therefore necessary to become a Canadian citizen so that I may become a full member of this great and wonderful country and its people.  Therefore, I applied for Canadian citizenship in 2010, and I also had, even at that time, the intention of relinquishing my US citizenship.  For in taking my pledge to the Queen of Canada, Elizabeth II, on February 28, 2011, I realized that it would be absurd for me to be of divided loyalty.  My duty to the Queen and to the Dominion of Canada precludes me from maintaining citizenship in the United States of America, since when one country calls me to serve, dual citizenship could potentially create a conflict of interest.  To avoid all such conflicts, I have decided with my full volition and all my heart, to relinquish my United States citizenship once and for all, realizing that it is an irrevocable act.