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.

13 thoughts on “My April 7 visit to the US consulate

    • Domore: thanks for the comment. It is now July and I still haven’t heard back regarding my cancelled passport or Certificate of Loss of Citizenship. Of course, I’ve heard it takes them six months.

  1. Hi,

    WHAT! You haven’t gotten it yet. They do not want americans to expat for some reason. I am in Norway, and on Thursday someone spoke to me “through the fence” of the embassy (when I went there to hand in my passport) and told me I couldn’t become stateless if I didn’t have another citizenship. This is totally false information. I asked her to please look into that claim as it was incorrect. She walked away. Note very hospitable.

    I wrote them with attached / signed documents. They wrote back with an appt. (and a fee request).

    I made my announcement on Monday, June 27, 2011. Please visit:

    I will keep you posted and you keep me posted too!

  2. It is true that you can become a stateless person and you are right and the person at the consulate is incorrect. But it is not desirable in my view to become stateless, and so I relinquished my US citizen only upon swearing an oath to Queen Elizabeth and becoming a Canadian. Within eight days of that event I had my new Canadian passport, and now I am able to travel in hundreds of countries in the world including the US. And yet, if you become stateless, you have no right to travel or even to be where you are. That can lead to truly difficult situation. So while the US consulate is wrong, they are probably sparing you some problems.

    Despite your high ideals and your strong reasons for expatriating, I recommend, nevertheless, that you take a practical approach to the problem. First, find a country that will take you. Then relinquish US citizenship. At very least, make sure that you have the right to permanent residence somewhere outside the US.

  3. Thank you Petros for the feedback, however, I am not relinquishing citizenship for those reasons, as stated in the release.

    I wish you much success, and please do keep us posted on your outcome!

    • Yes, I read the release to which you linked and apparently you have your reasons. Whatever they are, it is nonetheless practical to have passport to be able to travel and the right to live somewhere, otherwise you may be detained–perhaps indefinitely. I would find that intolerable.

      I will endeavour to share as a much as I can, but unfortunately, I cannot share openly all my reasons lest I make myself a target of federal harassment.

  4. Hello Friends. I had a 9:30 appointment with an ACS at the Vancouver US consulate. I arrived there at 9:00 and informed the staff person there that I had an appointment. She directed me a shorter line. The worst parts of the interview experience yesterday were the security processes and the waiting (not knowing how long I would be). I realized I had preconceived notions about what would happen without checking how things would unfold. If I had had some knowledge of the reality of all this it would have been far less stressful. So I thought I’d share that with anyone who could benefit from it.

    The consulate staff I spoke with were professional and pleasant and asked the kinds of questions I was expecting. The security processes were somewhat arbitrary – a woman in front of me who was with two young children had to discard her lipsticks. She had to do that by leaving the consulate and walking next door to a courtyard where there was some kind of garbage container where she could drop her lipsticks. I was not asked to discard my lipstick (why?). Lipsticks were not on the list of things one could not bring into the consulate. Neither were any kind of “drugs”. I forgot about the few lactaid and tylenol tablets I carried in my purse. That was enough to cause me to have to leave the security check line, give the offending material and my drivers license to another security guard, stand outside holding the loose contents of my purse along with some important documents in a wooden box for about 15 or 20 minutes before I was called in again to go through the same security process sans offending pills. Then once escorted by a security guard to the elevator and transported to the 20th floor I was given the wrong directions and stood in front of an empty wicket waiting for service. People around me, in a very crowded room were sitting on the floor (all chairs used up) and I started to wonder just how long I was going to be there.

    Someone finally did come – and I was told to go to another wicket. I answered questions from two different people, and while waiting in a darkish warm hallway filled with chairs for another interviewer, heard a staff person announce that the computers had gone down but not to worry, it wasn’t just them it was “the whole world”. And I thought what horrific thing could have possibly happened for all the world’s computers to have shut down? And there was I sitting in a U.S. consulate and that wasn’t a good thing! Later, my husband said it was probably “just” the worldwide consulate network that had problems, but at the time, I had a mini panic attack sitting in that line of chairs wondering when number X (my number) would be called again and when I could get out of that building.

    I was out in about two hours and I would have sworn it was eight. Time lost its usual sense for me. I felt like I was in prison. Those of you who have traveled more, especially to countries where you needed visas have probably experienced some of this. But it was all new to me.

    The second interview should be in two or three months and I believe will be much less stressful because I will be more prepared. After that interview my information goes to Washington where the final decision is made. That will probably take a year from yesterday. After that, I hear from the IRS. I knew all this but it was still sobering to hear it again and all the anger and sadness I have had about this whole process came welling up and is still very present in me.

  5. Pingback: United States Consulate in Vancouver: Procedures for Renunciation of Citizenship | The Isaac Brock Society

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