Relinquish U.S. Citizenship (Expatriate)

Relinquishment of U.S. nationality by performing certain potentially expatriating acts, including taking the oath of renunciation of U.S. citizenship, voluntarily and with the intention of relinquishing U.S. citizenship, is a personal right and can never be exercised on a person’s behalf. For example, a person’s parent(s) or legal guardian may not take the oath for renunciation for that person. A Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the United States (CLN) approved by the Department of State is the final agency determination of loss of U.S. nationality. NOTE: The steps below provide instructions for requesting a CLN based on taking the oath of renunciation under Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) Section  349(a)(5), 8 USC 1481(a)(5). For information on the parallel process to request a CLN based on the performance of a potentially expatriating act under INA 349(a)(1)-(4), 8 USC 1481(a)(1)-(4), please see and/or contact the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa.

Oath of Renunciation of U.S. Nationality – Immigration and Nationality Act 349(a)(5), 8 USC 1481(a)(5)
The U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa processes requests to take the oath of renunciation of U.S. citizenship under INA 349(a)(5). Minors, individuals who do not read or write English, individuals with mental health/cognitive disability or impairment and/or guardianship, and those for whom loss of U.S. nationality would result in statelessness are invited to contact the Embassy or a consulate directly at the email addresses above to discuss taking the oath of renunciation.

Taking the oath to renounce U.S. nationality before a U.S. diplomatic or consular officer overseas is a serious and irrevocable act.  Therefore, you should carefully consider and fully understand the consequences and ramifications of this act prior to your decision to begin the process.

In order to have any legal effect under INA 349(a)(5), the oath of renunciation must be taken voluntarily, with the intent to relinquish U.S. nationality, in the form and according to the process prescribed by the Department of State.  U.S. citizens cannot take the oath of renunciation under INA 349(a)(5) by mail, through an agent, or while in the United States.

1 – Review the legal requirements and consequences/ramifications of taking the oath of renunciation of U.S. citizenship.
Please read the information available online at the Department of State and Internal Revenue Service links below regarding the legal requirements for taking the oath of renunciation.  Loss of U.S. nationality is irrevocable, and you should fully understand the consequences and ramifications before beginning this process.

For questions related to possible U.S. tax implications, please contact the Internal Revenue Service and/or review the Joint Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) FAQ.

For questions related to Social Security Administration (SSA) or other federal benefits, please contact the Federal Benefits Unit in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Department of State and Internal Revenue Service links:

2 – Please gather all the required documents below:

  • ORIGINAL U.S. Birth Certificate (issued by your State of birth) or ORIGINAL Consular Report of Birth Abroad or ORIGINAL Certificate of Naturalization or Certificate of Citizenship
  • ORIGINAL most recent U.S. passport
  • ORIGINAL most recent valid, foreign passport(s) or Government-issued ID Card(s) – If you possess multiple nationalities, bring passports or Government-issued IDs for all nationalities
  • ORIGINAL proof of any name change (marriage certificate, court order, divorce decree, etc.), if applicable
  • Completed DS-4080 Oath/Affirmation of Renunciation of Nationality of United States **Please complete but do NOT sign form DS-4080, you will sign in front of a consular officer**
  • Completed DS-4081 Statement of Understanding Concerning the Consequences and Ramifications of Relinquishment or Renunciation of U.S. Citizenship **Please complete but do NOT sign form DS-4081, you will sign in front of a consular officer**
  • Completed Loss of Citizenship Questionnaire and Informal Acknowledgement Form.

3 – To initiate the process and receive further instructions, please scan and submit copies of the required documents to:

**In the body of your email, with the above documents attached, please also include your:

  • Last Name
  • First Name
  • Middle Name(s)
  • Any other Names used
  • Date and Place of birth (Month/Day/Year + City/State, if applicable/Country)
  • Telephone number

4 – You will receive a confirmation email with further instructions (within five business days). 

Immediately prior to taking the oath of renunciation, you must pay the non-refundable fee of $2,350 USD for administrative processing of a request for a Certificate of Loss of Nationality (cash or credit cards accepted). The fee is not waivable, nor is it refundable on the sole basis of denial of your request for a Certificate of Loss of Nationality.

Please make the necessary arrangements with your bank as payments of this size often require pre-approval.

How many interviews are there?
There is an initial information session which most individuals may conduct electronically. A subsequent, in-person interview will take place at the U.S. Embassy  at the time of your appointment.

Can the fee be waived?
The current U.S. consular services fee for “Administrative Processing of Request for Certificate of Loss of Nationality” is $2,350. It cannot be waived or refunded except in limited cases involving Department of State error. See 22 CFR 22.1.

Where can I find more information on the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)?
Please see the joint FATCA frequently asked questions on our website.

How long will it take?
Your completed package to request a CLN will be sent to the U.S. Department of State for final determination.  The Department of State will review each request for a CLN to determine whether there is a legal basis to approve it. This process may take several months or more.  The embassy or consulate may contact you for further information before the Department of State decides your case. The embassy or consulate will email you if and when your request has been approved.  If your request is denied, the embassy will send you an email attaching a denial letter.

If your request is approved, your Certificate of Loss of Nationality will reflect as the date on which you took the Oath/Affirmation of Renunciation as the effective date of expatriation.

What happens to my U.S. Citizenship document(s)?
Pending approval of your application, you remain a U.S. citizen.  Your U.S. birth certificate (if applicable) will be returned to you on the day of your application. However, your U.S. passport (if applicable) and other proof of U.S. citizenship (Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certificate of Naturalization/Citizenship, as applicable) will be retained by the U.S. Embassy while awaiting a determination.

Upon approval of your request and issuance of your Certificate of Loss of Nationality, your original Certificate of Naturalization/Citizenship (if applicable) will not be returned to you, but will be forwarded to the Department of Homeland Security . Your U.S. passport (if applicable) will be canceled, annotated, and returned to you. The Consular Report of Birth Abroad (if applicable) will be annotated and returned to you.

Am I renouncing all rights and privileges?
A person who wants to renounce U.S. citizenship cannot decide to retain some of the privileges of citizenship, as this would be logically inconsistent with the concept of renunciation. A person who attempts to retain some rights lacks a full understanding of renouncing citizenship and/or lacks the necessary intent to renounce citizenship. The Department of State will not approve a request for a Certificate of Loss of Nationality in such instances.

Dual nationality / statelessness
If you renounce your U.S. citizenship and do not already possess a foreign nationality, you may be rendered stateless and, thus, lack the protection of any government. You may also have difficulty traveling as you may not be entitled to a passport from any country. Even if you are not stateless, you would still be required to obtain a visa to travel to the United States or show that you are eligible for admission pursuant to the terms of the Visa Waiver Pilot Program (VWPP). You could be barred from entering the United States if found ineligible for a visa or the VWPP. Nonetheless, renunciation of U.S. citizenship may not prevent a foreign country from deporting an individual back to the United States, in some non-citizen status.

Are there any tax & military obligations? Can I escape from prosecution?
Renunciation of your U.S. citizenship may have no effect on U.S. tax or military service obligations. (Contact the Internal Revenue Service or U.S. Selective Service for more information). In addition, U.S. citizens who take the oath of renunciation under INA 349(a)(5), 8 U.S.C. 1481(a)(5), cannot thereby avoid possible prosecution for crimes which they may have committed in the United States or escape the repayment of financial obligations previously incurred in the United States or incurred as a United States citizen abroad.

Can minor children renounce U.S. citizenship?

Parents cannot renounce U.S. citizenship on behalf of their minor children. Before an oath of renunciation will be administered under Section 349(a) (5) of the INA, a person under the age of eighteen (and persons of any age) must demonstrate to a U.S. diplomatic or consular officer that he/she fully understands the nature and consequences of the oath of renunciation, is not subject to duress or undue influence, and is voluntarily seeking to renounce his/her U.S. citizenship.

Is renunciation revocable?
Renouncing U.S. citizenship is irrevocable and cannot be canceled or set aside without successful administrative or judicial appeal. A person who renounced his or her U.S. citizenship before the age of eighteen can have that citizenship reinstated if he or she makes that desire known to the Department of State within six months after attaining the age of eighteen.

Where can I find more information about renunciation?