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How to Renounce US Citizenship in UK

By Nita Nicole Upadhye

Table of Contents

How to Renounce US Citizenship in UK

Renunciation of US citizenship is a legal process that must be undertaken at a US Embassy or Consulate Office outside the US.

If you are certain that you want to proceed, you will need to complete the following steps.


What is the process to give up US citizenship?

For renunciation to have legal effect, you are by law required to apply with intent and voluntarily in-person to a US Embassy or Consulate in a foreign country and sign an oath of renunciation.

The renunciation process comprises two key stages:

  • Submission of documentation, including form DS 4079
  • In-person interview at a US Embassy outside the US

Failure to meet any of these requirements will not constitute renunciation.

Renunciation will become official on reciting the Oath of Renunciation and you will be issued a Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the United States.

Note also that a list of those renouncing US citizenship is published in the Federal Register.


How to renounce US citizenship from the UK

If you are in the UK, you can renounce your US citizenship by scheduling an appointment for renunciation at either the US Embassy in London or the US Consulate in Belfast.

In advance of the interview, you will need to compile supporting documentation and complete a number of forms.

Importantly, you should not sign any of the forms until your interview.

During the renunciation interview, you will be asked to give your reasons for wanting to give up your US citizenship. The Consular officer will also want to be satisfied that you understand the implications of loss of US citizenship.

You will also be required to pay the requisite processing fee of $2350, which is non-refundable. This fee is subject to change and you are advised to confirm the prevailing fee at the time of making your application.

If the officer is satisfied that you meet the requirements, you will take the Oath of Renunciation, at which point you will have given up your US citizenship irreversibly.

After attending the interview and taking the Oath, you will receive a Certificate of Loss of Nationality. You should retain this document as confirmation of your renunciation for purposes such as finalizing your US tax affairs.


Renunciation of US citizenship supporting documents

You will be asked to submit supporting documents in advance of the interview. Errors or issues with the documentation can result in your interview being postponed. Taking professional advice can help ensure you are fully prepared and have compiled and submitted all the necessary documents, which include:

  • Proof of your US citizenship, such as your birth certificate and/or US passport
  • Proof of your second or dual citizenship eg if you have attained British citizenship, your certificate of naturalization, to evidence you will not become stateless upon renunciation
  • Proof of any formal name change such as a deed pool certificate, marriage certificate, divorce certificate
  • Your completed and unsigned form DS-4079, (Request for Determination of Possible Loss of United States Citizenship), which is a questionnaire gathering information about your citizenship status and possible loss of citizenship.
  • Your completed and unsigned form DS-4080 (Oath of Renunciation of the Nationality of the United States)
  • Your completed and unsigned form DS-4081 (Statement of Understanding Concerning the Consequences and Ramifications of Relinquishment or Renunciation of U.S. Citizenship)


How to prepare for your renunciation interview

It is advisable to prepare well for your interview, both to be certain in your own mind that renunciation is right for you and also to convey to the officer that you have given full consideration to the implications. You will also need to bring original copies of the supporting documents previously submitted to the Embassy.

You will meet with a consular officer for your second interview and you will be given another opportunity to review the documents that you have already filled out (but not signed) (Form DS-4080, Oath/Affirmation of Renunciation of Nationality of United States, Form DS-4081, Statement of Understanding Concerning the Consequences and Ramifications of Relinquishment or Renunciation of U.S. Citizenship; and, if necessary, Form DS-4079, Request for Determination of Possible Loss of United States Nationality) prior to signing them and taking the oath of renunciation.


The implications of renunciation

Renunciation is permanent and irrevocable. Once you have formally renounced your US citizenship, you cannot rescind, retract or reverse the process or your status. As such, it’s important to fully understand all of the implications, from immigration through to tax.

Renunciation is a process that should only be entered into if fully informed of all the implications of loss of US nationality – this includes considering the legal ramifications as well as, for example, taxation implications.

For example, renunciation can be an attractive solution for individuals looking to simplify their lives. Where individuals have lived and worked in a different country for a significant period of time, have raised a family there and now own property and other assets in that country. Renouncing citizenship can offer a way to simplify the administrative burdens of maintaining ties to the US through nationality.

Before embarking on renunciation, take advice on your circumstances to ensure you have taken full account of the effects on your rights and legal obligations.


Loss of rights post-renunciation

It’s critical to understand however that loss of nationality also means loss of the rights afforded to US citizens. You will no longer have the right to vote in US federal elections and you will also lose the right of protection from the US government when travelling outside the US.

Once you have renounced your citizenship, you are giving up your rights to enter the US freely. You will become subject to US immigration rules and entry will be dependent on having secured relevant authorization under US law.

This means satisfying the requirements for eligibility relating to the visa you are applying under, as well as the general grounds for entry such as being of good moral character.

If you have a criminal record and hold a valid American passport, you retain the right to enter the country. As a non-US national with a criminal record, you risk being deemed inadmissible and would generally be required to apply for a waiver of inadmissibility for entry. Even with a waiver, entry will remain at the discretion of the border official.

If you do not have a criminal record, for short-term travel, if you are a national of a Visa Waiver country, you may be able to travel under the Visa Waiver Program if you are ESTA-eligible. Where you are not ESTA eligible or require a longer term stay in the US, you would look at specific visas such as the B-2 visa for tourism.

Having renounced your citizenship, you also give up the right to work in the US without restriction. This means you would need to hold an appropriate visa in order to carry out business-related activity or gainful employment while in the US.

To travel to the US, you would need to factor in visa processing times and the onerous requirements of making an application to a US Embassy, including attending a visa interview.

Even where a visa has been granted, you may face scrutiny at the port of entry. Border officials have discretionary powers to single out and question individuals as to their reasons for the visit and plans and intentions for their time in the US. It is within their power to deny entry into the country.


Impact on family members

Renunciation will limit future immigration options for spouses and family members to enter, remain, live and work in the US.

For example, it is worth considering the impact of loss of nationality on any minor children since the option to attain a US passport or Green Card can offer valuable opportunities and choices in the future.

US citizens who have resided in the US for five years (at least two of which must be after the age of 14) can automatically transmit US citizenship to a foreign-born child.

This right is removed where the parent renounces their US citizenship.

If a parent has already transmitted US citizenship to their minor child, this will not be affected by the parent subsequently renouncing US citizenship.

You would usually have to be 18 or over to renounce US citizenship, which means a parent would not be able to renounce a child’s US citizenship on their behalf.

Renunciation also removes eligibility for Green Card by Marriage, meaning the reliance would be on securing employment-based visas. 


Need assistance?

Renunciation is often driven by considerations or concerns outside the legal issues – but legal ramifications can be equally far-reaching and should demand equal consideration not just on the impact on the individual looking to renounce their US citizenship, but on their spouses and children, and their future rights to enter, live and work in the US.

It’s also crucial to seek an approach between your tax adviser and lawyer. NNU Immigration are highly experienced in the immigration aspects of the US renunciation process. Contact us for expert guidance.


Renouncing US citizenship in the UK FAQs

What happens if you give up U.S. citizenship?

If you formally give up your US citizenship, you will no longer have the benefits or obligations of US citizens, such as the right to a US passport.


Can an American hold dual citizenship?

US citizens are not prohibited from holding dual citizenship, but other countries may have their own rules, restrictions and requirements for individuals holding citizenship.


Where can I renounce US citizenship from UK?

You should contact the US Embassy in London or the US Consulate in Belfast to arrange an interview and start the process of renunciation.

This article does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only.


Founder & Principal Attorney Nita Nicole Upadhye is a recognized leader in the field of US business immigration law, (The Legal 500, Who's Who Legal and AILA) and an experienced and trusted advisor to large multinational corporates through to SMEs. She provides strategic immigration advice and specialist application support to corporations and professionals, entrepreneurs, investors, artists, actors and athletes from across the globe to meet their US-bound talent mobility needs.

Nita is an active public speaker, thought leader, immigration commentator, and immigration policy contributor and regularly hosts training sessions for employers and HR professionals.

Need legal advice?

For specialist advice on your query, get in touch with our team of US immigration attorneys.​

Need legal advice?

For specialist advice on your query, get in touch with our team of US immigration attorneys.

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For specialist advice on a US immigration or nationality matter for your business, contact our US immigration attorneys.

For specialist advice on a US immigration or nationality matter for your business, contact our US immigration attorneys.