Steps To Renounce Your U.S. Citizenship

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Now that Donald Trump defied all skeptics and pundits by defeating Hillary Clinton and is now the President-elect of the United States of America, you might be nervous about what this megalomaniac has in store for the country. The sleepless nights might even have you wondering what you can do about it and if you can’t take it anymore, here are the steps to renounce your U.S. citizenship. We’ve also included a list of countries that will welcome you with open arms.

Step 1: Get a second passport

 

dual-passports

 

In order to renounce your US passport you will need a second passport and you are required to bring this with you to your renunciation appointment. Even though expatriation is your right, the State Department will deny anyone the right to renounce their US citizenship if they don’t have a second passport. Ensure that the passport you acquire is directly issued by the government in question and never be tempted to purchase one off the Internet.


Step 2: Review the Renunciation Forms and Prepare DS-4079

 

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The documents listed below are the ones required by the State Department to process your renunciation. You only need to fill out DS-4079 before your appointment. DS-4080, 4081, 4082 and 4083 are forms that you should review beforehand but complete at the appointment, since they just have a few check boxes, dates and signatures.

DS-4079: Questionnaire – Information for Determining Possible Loss of U.S. Citizenship, US State

DS-4080: Oath of Renunciation of the Nationality of the United States, US State Dept.

DS-4081: Statement of Understanding Concerning the Consequences and Ramifications of Relinquishment or Renunciation of U.S. Citizenship, US State Dept.

DS-4082: Witnesses’ Attestation Renunciation/Relinquishment of Citizenship, US State Dept.

DS-4083: Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the United States, US State Dept.


Step 3: Book Your Renunciation Appointment

 

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Ideally you would book your appointment at the embassy or consulate in the country (and possibly city) where you plan to live once you renounce your passport. However, other embassies and consulates will take you, so it pays to “appointment shop” as the wait times can fluctuate greatly among locations. When you book the appointment, make sure to indicate how many people are renouncing US citizenship, if it’s more than one. If you don’t want to book the appointment yourself, you can have your expat lawyer do it for you. However, having a lawyer book the appointment for you can delay the process in some places, as they may require written proof that your lawyer represents you. They ask for this proof via Form G-28.


Step 4: Attend Your Renunciation Appointment

 

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Make sure you take both of your passports to your renuncation appointment. Bring your birth certificate and if you have a certificate of naturalization from the country of your second passport, bring that too. There may be a long line just to get inside the embassy or consulate. If there is, politely let them know you have an appointment booked.

Be prepared to complete many copies of each form at the appointment and keep them organized in stacks. Proofread everything you and the official put on the papers. Make sure the signatures are in the right place.

At the end of renunciation appointment you will be provided with DS-4083, called the CLN for Certificate of Loss of Nationality. Keep this in a safe place and do not lose it, as it is the one piece of physical proof that you’ve completed the process for renouncing US citizenship. It’s signed and affixed with an official seal at the appointment. Technically the CLN will need to be approved by the State Department but this can take several months and in the meantime you will need evidence of the day you formally signed renunciation.


Step 5: File Your Final Tax Return

 

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Your final tax return will be from January 1st through the day you expatriate. However, the fair market valuation for all your assets is as of the day before. That’s because on the day you renounce, you are no longer a taxable person to the IRS. If your renunciation date is any day other than December 31st, you’ll be filing Form 1040 and 1040NR (if applicable) for your final return: IRS Form 8854, the Expatriation Information Statement, is the exit tax form, and it’s filed along with your final return. It’s not especially difficult, but you want to make sure you do it right.

Here are the instructions and the form itself: http://www.irs.gov/instructions/i8854/
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8854.pdf

IRS forms are periodically updated, so make sure you have the most recent one.

The 8854 is targeted at “covered expatriates.” A covered expatriate is someone who meets the wealth criteria established by the IRS. It’s based on having a net worth of $2 million or more, or a threshold annual tax liability from the preceding five years. To read the full definition and see if it applies to you, go here. If you’re a “covered expatriate,” complete 8854 with the assistance of an accountant, preferably one who has done them before. If you have any questions that might be sensitive, consult a tax attorney first. You have attorney-client privilege with your lawyer – not your accountant. If you have foreign accounts already extant before you expatriate, you’ll also need to file a U.S. Treasury form called the “FBAR” (FinCEN Form 114). You may have done this before since the form applies to all U.S. citizens and is not related to expatriation.

As with any major decision, ensure that you are fully confident that renouncing US citizenship is the right thing to do for you and your family. If you decide to renounce your citizenship, here – in no particular order – are the easier (relatively) countries to obtain citizenship and will welcome skilled U.S. workers with open arms. 


Argentina

argentina

 

You want a wild and diverse country to move into? Argentina is just waiting for you to discover its God-given beauty. Migrating to Argentina is a piece of cake. For Mercosur citizens (residing in South American countries), if you don’t have any criminal records for a minimum stay of five years, you’ll automatically receive a visa and a freedom to work in the country. What are the perks? Argentina offers you universal access to healthcare, education, free legal representation, and the right to family reunification. A piece of cake immigration process in exchange for a whole cake shop- only in Argentina, people.


Canada

canada

 

Yes, Canada is still the favorite place on Earth for immigrants for it’s the easiest country to immigrate to ever since. As for most of the countries on the list, as long as you’re a skilled person and is willing to learn, employers would take you in to be a part of their business and eventually, lets you move into Canada. The country offers countless opportunities for skilled workers from each corner of the world. A high-paying job, low tax and inflation rate, top-quality health and education systems, what more can you ask? Canada is the best place on the planet for you to move into!


Brazil

 

brazil

 

The fifth largest country in the world is also one of the easiest countries to immigrate to. Business folks would even love to live here for Brazil has a strong economy. Oh wait, it’s outrageously performing well in global economics. Plus these lovely perks: the warm sun and the beach. I don’t mind leaving my country for Brazil! Because wherever you go here, you’ll definitely find a place to fit in.


Belgium

 

belgium

 

You didn’t see that coming, right? Belgium is the second most accessible country for immigrants that grant the most citizenships per capita in the world. It is also the number 1 distributor of chocolate and diamonds on Earth. So, why would anyone not want to move to Belgium? Anyway, you can easily process a residency visa in Belgium as long as you have a working permit. If you’re still looking for a job, the immigration office will grant you a temporary visa. Belgium may be a tiny country yet it offers you the best of both worlds- chocolate and diamond anywhere.


United Arab Emirates

 

uae

 

The oil-rich country is one of the easiest countries you can reside into permanently. The country is in need of massive manpower to fill the gaps of high employee demands. It mostly attracts Asian overseas workers who later on decide to settle down in UAE. With all the high-rise buildings and overshooting businesses, can we dub UAE as the ‘concrete jungle’ of the Middle East?


New Zealand

 

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This is our personal favorite. New Zealand is looking for younger population of workers. That’s probably their reason for allowing immigrants to move into the country. For its country size, New Zealand still has a small population of only 4.5 million compared to other countries such as Australia that houses 23.1 million people. Owning a land in New Zealand is cheaper. If you intend to put up a business here, there’s a big possibility that it’ll work out for you. As per a report by Foreign Policy in 2010, New Zealand is one of the best countries to immigrate to for its booming economy.


Sweden

 

sweden

 

Sweden offers a sweet deal when it comes to education. Do you want to know how? They provide free-cost education and students in high school are paid monthly to go to school with an amount of US$ 185! This serves the top reason for the huge amount of migrants who wish to be a part of Sweden someday. The immigration process is so easy in Sweden that you can just do the application over the internet. This applies to applicants who have connections with a Swedish or any legal resident of the country. And of course, if you’re in a legal age of 18 and possesses a valid national passport.


Australia

 

australia

 

The Land Down Under is not only one of the countries you can easily migrate to but also a safe place to call your home. It’s the land of your ‘goals in life’ rather than dreams. Pristine education, premium pay even for the apprentice, top medical facilities, and the adorable Aussies, I could not ask for more than Australia! Most of the immigrants have found awesome job opportunities here that provide stability. And, for some, they have found the love of their life. Aww!


Italy

 

italy

 

If you’re ready to be a part of a rich and unique cultural history of Italy, go ahead and make a move. All you need is to process your visa and necessary documents and you’re up as a legal migrant. Establish yourself by buying or renting out a house. Italy is the tourism melting pot in Europe. But it hasn’t really bounced back yet from the 2008 crisis. But think about the gelato, and the authentic pasta and pizza, a shot of espresso, cute hunks, and gypsies! Italy, here we come!


Norway

 

norway-2

 

If you want to live in a place where you’ll meet happy and easy going people who don’t shoot or steal, Norway is the perfect country for you. With a picturesque landscape, high standard of living, yet free tuition fee in schools, I don’t think you can ever go wrong in picking Norway as the country you’ll immigrate to. Not to mention that Norway is the modernized wonderland.

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