Renouncing US citizenship is possible as an American abroad, though not recommended. You’ll need to be tax compliant for five years, sign an oath, pay a large exit fee, and more.
Want to Renounce your US Citizenship?
While renouncing US citizenship is possible, it’s not recommended. If you give up your citizenship, finding a job in the US will be difficult, and you may lose the opportunity to pass your citizenship on to your children, who could gain US tax benefits. Also, as we have seen when the pandemic affects the entire world and countries’ borders, US citizenship may prove to be especially useful.
The US Citizenship laws and policies have certain requirements for you to renounce responsibly.
All US expats must do four things to renounce US citizenship:
- Have to be tax compliant for five years (no skipping filing and paying taxes!)
- Appear in person before a US consular or diplomatic officer (US Embassy or Consulate)
- Sign an oath of renunciation in person
- Pay a $2,350* exit fee
*This fee is subject to change anytime!
Renouncing your US Citizenship does not mean you are quite done yet with US taxes though. You will still need to file a final US tax return with exit form 8854 and comply with all the requirements. Otherwise, you might be stuck still needing to file US taxes even without US citizenship.
Here is more information from elsewhere on our blog, Relief Procedures for Certain Former Citizens:
Keep in mind that relieving your US citizenship for tax purposes can negatively impact your ability to travel within the US. For starters, you will have no residence in the United States. Then if you believe you will want to work in the US again or may need to visit people there in the future, your loss of nationality with the country may not be a recommended idea.
Many expats still keep US citizenship in order to pass it on to their children in the future. This allows them to may have access to the US job market when the time comes. Additionally, if a child has US citizenship through their parent, they can get a driver’s license, work and live easily in the States.
Furthermore, all US children with valid SSN under the age of 18 may enable US expats to get up to $1,400 in refundable tax dollars per year. You can read more about the Additional Child Tax Credit here.
Learn more about renunciation: Relief Procedures for Certain Former Citizens.