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Renouncing US citizenship loophole?

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Renouncing US citizenship loophole?

Post by usvstw » Thu, 02 May 2024 1:35 am

Hi guys, few questions regarding renouncing US citizenship. I know this forum is focused on Singapore and I'm talking about Taiwan, but my topic should be able to be applied to both.


I'm trying to obtain dual citizenship in Taiwan but as a US citizen, I am unable to get dual citizenship unless I renounce my US citizenship. I would be required to submit "Abdication Certificate of the Original Nation" for my new Taiwan citizenship to be processed.


So my questions are.

1. At what step of the process of renouncing would they provide that letter, is it after the interview? Or after U.S. Department of State makes a final decision?
2. After the interview, would it be possible to cancel the process?


I am trying to satisfy the Taiwan requirements to get my Taiwanese citizenship while also retaining my US one. I've heard this is a kind of loophole that has been done but I want to confirm with the experts in this forum. Any replies and info would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance!

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Re: Renouncing US citizenship loophole?

Post by Strong Eagle » Fri, 10 May 2024 2:30 am

I preface my remarks with, "I am not a lawyer. The information I provide is not legal advice. If you have questions regarding your proposed plan of action, you should contact a qualified immigration attorney."

What I write here is based upon similar questions that have been asked in these forums over the 20 years that I have been a moderator. My remarks are based upon renouncing US citizenship to become a Singapore citizen but the process should be similar, given that Singapore also does not allow dual citizenship.

1. The obvious starting point is to apply for Singapore/Taiwan citizenship. The next step (not easy in Singapore) is to be approved for citizenship.

2. The Singapore/Taiwan ICA will inform you that you need a letter of renunciation (maybe a different name). These letters are only issued with a personal appearance before a US consulate official, partly because you must swear an oath of renunciation (no fingers crossed behind your back), partly so the embassy official can talk you out of it, and partly to ensure that you understand all the implications of renunciation.

3. So, you go before a US consulate official. Because they don't want to see you stateless, you must provide evidence that you are, or are going to be, a citizen of another country. They don't have to do this, by law, but anecdotally, the embassy won't let you become stateless. Besides non payment of fees and taxes (below) there are no other reasons that the embassy will stop you from renouncing.

4. The consulate will also remind you that the fee for renunciation is $2350, non refundable. In addition, you will still be liable for certain taxes in the USA, and as an expat, you may also be subject to a tax payable on all your worldwide assets, depending upon your status. I have no expertise in these tax matters; if you're going to proceed, I highly recommend a qualified immigration attorney.

5. If you pay the fee, have got another citizenship lined up, understand the tax and citizenship implications involved with renunciation, you will get your letter stating that your citizenship has been terminated. You would typically get this done in the embassy or consulate of the country in which you plan on taking citizenship since they know all the requirements for their host country. As soon as you have the letter, you are no longer a US citizen.

6. You take your letter to the immigration authorities in Singapore/Taiwan, they check the last box that they have your formal, embassy signed renunciation in hand, and now you get to go through the naturalization ceremonies of your new country.

Here's the thing. Once that letter has been issued, your citizenship has been revoked by the USA. The State Department clearly states that citizenship renunciation is irrevocable unless you were under 18 at the time. There is an appeals process... but I have to tell you; if you think that you're going to get your citizenship back by explaining that you were trying to snooker the Taiwanese authorities into granting you citizenship, I don't think that appeal will fly.

That's my view. Again, if you think you might could have a successful appeal, contact an immigration attorney. Hope that helps.

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Re: Renouncing US citizenship loophole?

Post by Strong Eagle » Fri, 10 May 2024 3:23 am

I add two things. First, Singapore requires that you appear before the US consulate in person to renounce citizenship. They do this because they don't want you coming back later saying, "Well, I didn't officially renounce." They want you to take the oath.

Second, this is what a law firm has to say about appealing a renunciation.
The loss of U.S. nationality, including instances in which the loss was caused by voluntary renunciation, can be challenged in an administrative proceeding with the Department of State or by filing a lawsuit seeking to regain U.S. citizenship in a United States District Court. It may be possible to regain citizenship showing by demonstrating in one of these two forums that the renunciation of citizenship was done under duress or was the result of a psychological condition that inhibited decision-making. As a practical matter, seeking reinstatement of citizenship through a lawsuit is expensive and procedurally difficult, in part because of the costs of federal litigation, confusing rules regarding the proper court in which to bring such a lawsuit and a five-year statute of limitations.
You can read their entire article here: https://thekaplanlawfirm.com/challengin ... tizenship/

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Re: Renouncing US citizenship loophole?

Post by Strong Eagle » Fri, 10 May 2024 6:17 am

This is an example of the renunciation form that is issued by the state department. I don't know if this is what Singapore/Taiwan require or whether they want additional documentation.

Image

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Re: Renouncing US citizenship loophole?

Post by usvstw » Tue, 14 May 2024 12:27 am

Great stuff, really helpful and detailed.
What I am taking away is it would be incredibly costly and difficult to regain US citizenship after renouncing.

I guess my next question would be is how closely does Singapore/Taiwan inspect these loss of statehood documents? Is there some kind of database they run them through to make sure they are authentic?

Would a convincing looking forgery pass the sniff test?
All hypothetical of course.

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Re: Renouncing US citizenship loophole?

Post by Strong Eagle » Tue, 14 May 2024 7:01 am

I have utterly no idea what would happen if you attempted to use a forged document to "prove" that you gave up US citizenship. However, given the lengths that Singapore goes through to verify the documents that people provide when applying for citizenship, I wouldn't be surprised if the same level of diligence is practiced when vetting renunciation documents. Don't forget that it's not only US citizens that renounce their citizenship, and at the risk of pissing off hopeislife, I'd imagine that they've seen more than a few forgeries from the sub-continent.

As for Taiwan, I'd suspect that they have at least as high a level of due diligence as Singapore. Given the great dangers of being infiltrated by PRC sympathizers, I'd imagine that verification of the authenticity of all documents would be a top priority.

Finally, it's not that it would be incredibly costly or difficult to regain citizenship ($710 to file online), it's that you get into the same line as every other Tom, Dick, Harriet, Xiang, Jose, Fatima, Binh, or Amrita has to get into. You are now subject to the visas, waiting lines, application process, and quotas to which every other applicant is subject. This includes becoming a permanent resident for 5 years before you can apply for citizenship.
usvstw wrote:
Tue, 14 May 2024 12:27 am
Great stuff, really helpful and detailed.
What I am taking away is it would be incredibly costly and difficult to regain US citizenship after renouncing.

I guess my next question would be is how closely does Singapore/Taiwan inspect these loss of statehood documents? Is there some kind of database they run them through to make sure they are authentic?

Would a convincing looking forgery pass the sniff test?
All hypothetical of course.

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