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  #81  
Old 21.02.2013, 17:54
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

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Renunciation/relinquishment is irrevocable, unless you appeal your case. Once it's done, the passport issue is irrelevant. Only if your appeal succeeds (does anyone know if it's even been tried?) could you get a US passport again.
No, that's incorrect. You can once again obtain a passport by going through the naturalization process - same as any other non-US citizen. As for the reasons, can you seriously not imagine someone who was born with US citizenship giving it up in their early 20s because of the administrative burden it places on them, then meeting "that special someone" 30 years later and moving to join her in America and eventually wanting to become American again?

That said, I'm envious of you and the others who have the option to get rid of it.

Has anyone else read the FATCA treaty? HollidayG mentioned in a previous thread that it would prevent banks from discriminating against US citizens, and he was sort of right - the way I read it, if Swiss-only banks want to become "deemed compliant" and thus exempt from reporting requirements, they cannot discriminate against Americans. Unless I'm misreading things, it means that smaller banks can bypass the work associated with FATCA and not have to report at all.
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  #82  
Old 21.02.2013, 17:58
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

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Renunciation & ESTA???

I have a general question. I know of a colleague who tried to get the US visa online with a Swiss passport but it was rejected because of the US birthplace. I think this person in the end went to get the US passport renewed. Also I know in general that dual citizens are only supposed to enter with a US passport.

Does anyone else have experience on whether a renunciant has any difficulty getting a US visa online in this ESTA system?
I got ESTA approval online in minutes last winter, and I had a US birthplace.
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  #83  
Old 21.02.2013, 18:00
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

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No, that's incorrect. You can once again obtain a passport by going through the naturalization process - same as any other non-US citizen.
Please read my last.
JC
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Old 21.02.2013, 18:02
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

Found this failed appeal judgement from 1984 on one site:

http://www.law.fsu.edu/library/colle...%281984%29.pdf

I haven't found any successful ones, apart from a cult renunciation thing back in the early 1990s. Successful individual ones don't seem to happen or else I'm googling badly.
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  #85  
Old 21.02.2013, 18:13
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

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Has anyone else read the FATCA treaty? HollidayG mentioned in a previous thread that it would prevent banks from discriminating against US citizens, and he was sort of right - the way I read it, if Swiss-only banks want to become "deemed compliant" and thus exempt from reporting requirements, they cannot discriminate against Americans. Unless I'm misreading things, it means that smaller banks can bypass the work associated with FATCA and not have to report at all.
Have the treaty open in front of me. Do you have a reference Article to your "deemed compliant" requirements?
Thanks
JC
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Old 21.02.2013, 18:44
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

sadly, indeed!


in my meeting early in Feb (in German), they may have said the the UK was the only *major*
fin centre where a protocol had been signed (Mex & Denmark...). CH now 2nd one

I have just been reading about the next steps to translate the agreement into CH law (NZZ).
It seems the Bundesrat have fast-tracked it, consultation period (Vernehmlassung) only 30 days,
and having it approved in time to take effect in Jan 2014 isn't a given, particularly given the
referendum question. approval in parliament by end of the summer session
(deadline for Jan 2014 implementation) also in some doubt; FDP & SVP strongly against.
BDP & CVP on the fence, with only (predictably) SP & Greens clearly in favour.



also seems that the 'automatic reporting' to IRS not a feature of the CH agreement?; notification/consultation
with client first.


Treverus: horror stories like yours will be coming out of the woodwork.
how so daft? we can only hope that, for US authorities it'll be case of 'err in haste repent at leisure'
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Old 21.02.2013, 19:02
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

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No, that's incorrect. You can once again obtain a passport by going through the naturalization process - same as any other non-US citizen. As for the reasons, can you seriously not imagine someone who was born with US citizenship giving it up in their early 20s because of the administrative burden it places on them, then meeting "that special someone" 30 years later and moving to join her in America and eventually wanting to become American again?

That said, I'm envious of you and the others who have the option to get rid of it.
I doubt it very much. Do you know anyone who's tried and succeeded? Once the fact that you're an "ex" becomes known, and it will, do you really think they'll approve the application?

That wasn't my personal view, it's what's on all the official documents from the embassy/State Department about renunciation. I quote:

"Renunciation is the most unequivocal way in which a person can manifest an intention to relinquish US citizenship. Those comtemplating a renunciation of US citizenship should understand that renunciation is irrevocable, except as provided in Section 351 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and cannot be cancelled or set aside absent successful administrative or judicial appeal. Put another way, renunciation cannot be "taken back", and it does not merely "suspend" citizenship but irrevocably renounces citizenship."

From my reading, appeal is the only possible way to get your US citizenship back. As for the scenario you outline, I believe the American answer would be tough luck.
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Old 21.02.2013, 20:15
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

I quote my own post from the bottom of the last page of this thread:
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On the lighter side... Once renounced, you can take a number along with the millions of people that would give their right arm to have a green card let alone the naturalization/citizenship.

To put the icing on the cake...
This just in from US Citizen Services in Bern:
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You will not be able to get your citizenship back, and will not be able to obtain a US passport in the future. Only the (slim) chance is if you can prove that you did not act out of your free will, or that you were mentally incapacitated, when the oath was taken, but, since a Consul interviewed you and asked you if you understand the gravity of the act, and this very Consul actually made a judgement of your capability, it would hardly get granted.
After renunciation of your citizenship you will be treated, from the US point of view, as an alien with all the rights an alien has. As such you may apply for any kind of visa you wish, also for an immigrant visa. However, if you get the immigrant visa and, subsequently, the green card, you will not be able to naturalize after a certain time of residence in the US.
JC
There is NO APPEAL PROCESS. No "tough luck" or "sorry charlie" from the State Department. The words from Bern are IMO clear.
JC
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Old 21.02.2013, 20:19
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

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Please read my last.
JC
Please note the posting times - you posted the referenced comment after I had begun typing my response.

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Have the treaty open in front of me. Do you have a reference Article to your "deemed compliant" requirements?
Thanks
JC
In the appendix, I believe it was section II, paragraph A - but I don't have it open in front of me at the moment.

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I doubt it very much. Do you know anyone who's tried and succeeded? Once the fact that you're an "ex" becomes known, and it will, do you really think they'll approve the application?

That wasn't my personal view, it's what's on all the official documents from the embassy/State Department about renunciation. I quote:

"Renunciation is the most unequivocal way in which a person can manifest an intention to relinquish US citizenship. Those comtemplating a renunciation of US citizenship should understand that renunciation is irrevocable, except as provided in Section 351 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and cannot be cancelled or set aside absent successful administrative or judicial appeal. Put another way, renunciation cannot be "taken back", and it does not merely "suspend" citizenship but irrevocably renounces citizenship."

From my reading, appeal is the only possible way to get your US citizenship back. As for the scenario you outline, I believe the American answer would be tough luck.
Nothing of what you quoted applied to what I wrote. The quoted text is talking about undoing the renunciation. I'm talking about applying for citizenship from scratch. There are no laws that prohibit it, so I can't give you something to reference - and while it's possible that some INS guy will be having a bad day and think that you spit on his granddaddy's grave by renouncing, the fact of the matter is that America is still, more or a less, a society under the rule of law, so you would have to be treated equally to other applicants in the absence of legislative requirements to the contrary.

I believe you are assuming that the "irrevocability" of giving up your citizenship should be interpreted as a lifetime ban; I think, however, that text is quite clear. It simply says you can't change your mind and ask to be given your old citizenship back. Apply for a visa, get a green card, apply for citizenship and get a brand spanking new (well, probably lightly used by someone in the 40s) social security number, and you're good to go, so far as I can see.

On another note, I found this story interesting. More people may be able to relinquish (as opposed to renouncing) than I thought.

http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/2011/12/...ce-if-you-can/
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Old 21.02.2013, 20:25
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

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Please note the posting times - you posted the referenced comment after I had begun typing my response.
That's cool, no sweat

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In the appendix, I believe it was section II, paragraph A - but I don't have it open in front of me at the moment.
Thanks, will look into it.

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Apply for a visa, get a green card, apply for citizenship and get a brand spanking new (well, probably lightly used by someone in the 40s) social security number, and you're good to go, so far as I can see.
Immigrate, green card, job, TIN, long term residence... yes. Citizenship, no.
JC

ADDITION: Thanks Corbets, the IBS link is a good read.
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Old 21.02.2013, 20:50
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

Yes, there are a lot of US/Canadians who are finding out that they can relinquish instead of renouncing due to various laws in place many years ago. I suspect there are other Amercian/dual citizens around the world who could do the same if they find the relevant citizenship laws in force at the time of their relinquishment. The Isaac Brock Society is a goldmine of info for people wanting to know more about relinquishing and renouncing US citizenship. I've found it very helpful since it was recommended to me.

Corbets, my view is that if you re-apply for US citizenship, then you are asking for your old citizenship back. The fact that you might get a new SSN doesn't mean anything. Renunciations are kept on file and any application is going to flag up the fact that you've done it. Irrevocable as far as US citizenship goes is a lifetime ban. That's why the warnings are so strong, to make clear what you risk losing and to be absolutely sure you really want to take that "irrevocable" step. Appeal is the only way to overturn it.
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Old 21.02.2013, 21:17
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

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Corbets, my view is that if you re-apply for US citizenship, then you are asking for your old citizenship back. The fact that you might get a new SSN doesn't mean anything. Renunciations are kept on file and any application is going to flag up the fact that you've done it. Irrevocable as far as US citizenship goes is a lifetime ban. That's why the warnings are so strong, to make clear what you risk losing and to be absolutely sure you really want to take that "irrevocable" step. Appeal is the only way to overturn it.
I was also curious about this issue. A tax preparer told me that there are cases where people have gotten back their citizenship even though it is irrevocable and is definately not a given. An example would be someone who previously renounced and later in life decides he wants to be buried there, etc. He said that the biggest hitch was that it could be expensive. You probably have to back file and pay up on the taxes. This was one person opinion and I did a google search but couldn't come with any information on this issue.
I do think that people who renounce, there is probably no good reason to try to reaquire it. If a twist of fate and job lands you back there, then get a green card.
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Old 22.02.2013, 09:25
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

A relevant post by "Uncle Tell" on IsaacBrockSociety.ca on February 18, 2013 at 5:28 am (bold added):


"I was interested in finding out what the current waiting time is for relinquishing, so I sent the Swiss Embassy this e-mail.
***************************
Good morning,​
I would like to confirm my intent of relinquishing my United States nationality by voluntarily performing the following act according to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) (8 U.S.C. 1481(a)(4)(A)).
“accepting, serving in, or performing the duties of any office, post, or employment under the government of a foreign state or a political subdivision thereof, after attaining the age of eighteen years if he has or acquires the nationality of such foreign state”
Please send me all the forms and information needed for this procedure.
Please also inform me of the current waiting time for completing this procedure.
I’m aware that this relinquishing procedure is not subject to the 450 USD fee for renunciation.
Thank you,
******************************
The following morning I received this reply:
Dear *********,
Thank you for your message. Attached please find our information package regarding the renunciation process. If you wish to make an appointment in our Embassy, please call 031 357 7011 between 14.00 and 16.00.
Currently, the waiting time for an appointment is ca. 4-5 weeks, after your visit in our office, the time for the processing of your case will be another 4-6 weeks. However, a renunciation is effective as of the date of the appointment in our Embassy.
Please note that for the relinquishing or renouncing of your US citizenship the fee of $450.- applies.
Kind regards
American Citizen Services
US Embassy
Sulgeneckstrasse 19
3007 Bern, Switzerland
+41 31 357 7011
************************************
As you can see it looks like the Swiss Embassy only requests 1 appointment, but the 450 USD fee is to be paid regardless of either relinquishing or renouncing.
I guess the state department has found out that printing CLN’s could be a cash cow!"


http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/renuncia...comment-196816
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Old 22.02.2013, 09:46
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

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As you can see it looks like the Swiss Embassy only requests 1 appointment, but the 450 USD fee is to be paid regardless of either relinquishing or renouncing.
I guess the state department has found out that printing CLN’s could be a cash cow!"
My contact that is feeding me with the details of renunciation in Bern has updated with the following:

- Yes, only one appointment is necessary in Bern.
- Yes, you may only apply via e-mail.
- There is a 4 week grace period from e-mail to the earliest appointment.
- Once the four week grace period is over, the appointment can be within a few days (pending open appointment time).
- The appointment itself is made by telephone.
- Yes, it costs $450.-, no way around that (cash cow).
- The process takes only about 1.5 hours in Bern.
- There are only two to three appointments available each working day.

My contact sent the e-mail and received the files to fill out. Five weeks later he called and was offered an appointment two days later, he had not yet sent in any forms or paperwork.

They agreed on an appointment in five days and he sent in the files completely filled out (not offering too much information) the next day. He went to the appointment and did more waiting than oath-ing.

This was Autumn 2012.
JC
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Old 22.02.2013, 10:58
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

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My contact that is feeding me with the details of renunciation in Bern has updated with the following:

- Yes, only one appointment is necessary in Bern.
- Yes, you may only apply via e-mail.
- There is a 4 week grace period from e-mail to the earliest appointment.
- Once the four week grace period is over, the appointment can be within a few days (pending open appointment time).
- The appointment itself is made by telephone.
- Yes, it costs $450.-, no way around that (cash cow).
- The process takes only about 1.5 hours in Bern.
- There are only two to three appointments available each working day.

My contact sent the e-mail and received the files to fill out. Five weeks later he called and was offered an appointment two days later, he had not yet sent in any forms or paperwork.

They agreed on an appointment in five days and he sent in the files completely filled out (not offering too much information) the next day. He went to the appointment and did more waiting than oath-ing.

This was Autumn 2012.
JC
Yes, that pretty much ties in with my own experience so far. I contacted them by e-mail before Christmas, but didn't ring until the 28th of January. I hadn't filled out any of the paperwork at that point, but made an appointment for the 4th March. The only thing you have to fill in before the appoinment is their questionnaire which has to be returned, either by e-mail or post, so they have it at least 5 working days before the meeting. It's just a form for your current personal details, where and when born, how you have US and any other citizenships, when you resided in the States, last US address, current US passport number and where issued, SSN if you have one, whether you want to add a written explanation for your renunciation and whether you want to swear/affirm for the oath ceremony. This has to be sent back with copies of your US passport, any other passports you have, a US birth certificate/report of birth abroad if you don't have a US passport and your US naturalization certificate if applicable. You must bring all the originals with you when you come for the appointment.

The other two forms (the Oath itself and the Statement of Understanding) don't have to be sent off with the above, but there's nothing to stop you filling them in before the meeting and taking them with you so they're ready to go. Whether they will use them I don't know yet, but a lot of people over on the IBS have been doing this. I get the impression from there that often in Canada the forms aren't actually filled in until you get there which increases the waiting time while they do the paperwork. Having your own ready to go should reduce this.

I was told that you can't take anything much in with you and to read the security notice. Here it is from the Bern embassy website:

"In order to ensure everyone's safety and to ensure that security screening does not delay admission to the Consulate, no electronic devices (including phones) may be brought into the Embassy or Consulate. Backpacks, handbags and suitcases are not permitted. Security personnel will not store items for applicants. We therefore suggest that all such items be left at home, in a locked car, at a locker at the train station, or with a friend or relative who remains outside the premises.

We encourage visitors to bring only necessary documents with them."

For those comtemplating renunciation/relinquishment the Bern embassy has a special section for more info under Citizenship Services including the e-mail address to use to request the necessary documentation. You can't use the normal appointment system for this service.
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Old 22.02.2013, 11:08
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

Yes, always bring original documents with you... and don't forget your US passport They will take that from you*.

You will probably have to complete another form when you are there, my contact did. Basically repeat or similar questions to check for authenticity of the original forms you sent in.

Last move from the State Department is the CLN. *You will receive this with your hole punched passport together from Bern... once the State Department in DC approves. Only on rare occasions has a renunciation been disapproved. My contact received his in just a few weeks after the Consul in Bern said it would take up to six months.

The CLN is backdated to your renunciation appointment date in Bern.

Once the CLN is in hand, time to complete the IRS Form 8854.
JC
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Old 22.02.2013, 11:18
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

As I recall, I left all my stuff in a locker at the train station. It's in walking distance of the Embassy.

Tom
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Old 22.02.2013, 11:41
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

And don't be fooled by using Google maps and a search of US Embassy Bern. It comes up with the old location, not the new one. The correct address is Sulgeneckstrasse 19, 3007 Bern and as st2lemans says, is in easy walking distance from the station.

The $450 can be paid in either US dollars or Swiss Franc equivalent (an average rate, not daily is used) or with a major credit card. EC, Maestro and Post Cards aren't accepted.
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Old 22.02.2013, 11:52
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

I think this thread has gone astrayfrom the facts and law on a few issues so hope to clarify a few points.

1. Regarding undoing a renunciation--

There are indeed ways that a renunciation can be undone--by appeal or a judicial decision, and indeed many of these have been done in the past. Furthermore a minor who renounces has 6 months after his/her 18th birthday to undue it if they want. There are still laws on the books on the appeal process and it is still being used, so it certainly has not "disappeared" as some seem to imply. Look to 22 CFR part 7 for the appeals procedures law and associated formalities are in 7 FAM sec. 1232.

2. Act voluntarily--Furthermore I find it quite interesting that one of the key points in the law is that the personperformed the act "voluntarily" or under his own free will. Indeed this aspect has been used many court cases to regain citizenship thereafter, as the person was found to be under pressure, duress, and even economic duress. The economic duress argument is perhaps the most intriguing in the case most of us face in CH with respect to being denied bank accounts, mortgages, credit cards and the like… as I believe this indeed could be proven in court that the seactions by the US FATCA and the like caused economic duress and thus the person had no alternative but to renounce. I really would like to see some of these cases end up in the US court system in the future. I think it can be easily proven that in order to live in the 21st century one needs a bank account and a house over their heads.

3. Naturalization after renouncing--
As to Jumping Captain's quote from embassy on how persons cannot be naturalised after renouncing. I really take this paragraph from State Dept.as another form of fear mongering unless they quote the law directly. (Which they don't) This is typical US govt.practices of interpreting things that are indeed grey, and likewise until someone challenges this in the courts, I would take it for what it is, one side's opinion of something, not written into law.

Furthermore a reading of the law, INA Title III, in my view doesnot specifically preclude a former citizen from the naturalisation process. I do not think they would fall into excluded categories such as deserters of the armed forces or members of the communist party. Of course they would have to meet the eligibility requirements like residence, good moral character, speaking English, etc... Sec. 311 contains a non-discriminatoryclause. And indeed Sec. 324 specifically allows for former citizens to regain citizenship, ie. shorter requirements for women who lost through marriage for example, or children not meeting the resident requirements. Thus, I do not see anything that would specifically preclude this by law, and the courts could easily have a field day with this.
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Old 22.02.2013, 12:25
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

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I think this thread has gone astrayfrom the facts and law on a few issues so hope to clarify a few points.

1. Regarding undoing a renunciation--

There are indeed ways that a renunciation can be undone--by appeal or a judicial decision, and indeed many of these have been done in the past. Furthermore a minor who renounces has 6 months after his/her 18th birthday to undue it if they want. There are still laws on the books on the appeal process and it is still being used, so it certainly has not "disappeared" as some seem to imply. Look to 22 CFR part 7 for the appeals procedures law and associated formalities are in 7 FAM sec. 1232.

2. Act voluntarily--Furthermore I find it quite interesting that one of the key points in the law is that the personperformed the act "voluntarily" or under his own free will. Indeed this aspect has been used many court cases to regain citizenship thereafter, as the person was found to be under pressure, duress, and even economic duress. The economic duress argument is perhaps the most intriguing in the case most of us face in CH with respect to being denied bank accounts, mortgages, credit cards and the like… as I believe this indeed could be proven in court that the seactions by the US FATCA and the like caused economic duress and thus the person had no alternative but to renounce. I really would like to see some of these cases end up in the US court system in the future. I think it can be easily proven that in order to live in the 21st century one needs a bank account and a house over their heads.

3. Naturalization after renouncing--
As to Jumping Captain's quote from embassy on how persons cannot be naturalised after renouncing. I really take this paragraph from State Dept.as another form of fear mongering unless they quote the law directly. (Which they don't) This is typical US govt.practices of interpreting things that are indeed grey, and likewise until someone challenges this in the courts, I would take it for what it is, one side's opinion of something, not written into law.

Furthermore a reading of the law, INA Title III, in my view doesnot specifically preclude a former citizen from the naturalisation process. I do not think they would fall into excluded categories such as deserters of the armed forces or members of the communist party. Of course they would have to meet the eligibility requirements like residence, good moral character, speaking English, etc... Sec. 311 contains a non-discriminatoryclause. And indeed Sec. 324 specifically allows for former citizens to regain citizenship, ie. shorter requirements for women who lost through marriage for example, or children not meeting the resident requirements. Thus, I do not see anything that would specifically preclude this by law, and the courts could easily have a field day with this.
WTF? Why make a mountain from a molehill?

You follow through the renunciation process over time, there is a grace period... it is not done overnight. No reason for distress or second thoughts. Do the deed or don't - it is your decision. Stand up to it.

Don't enter into a process if you have any doubts. As I seriously doubt the US will honor any pleas of doubt after the fact. Deal with it, the US is getting tougher... you want out? Sure thing, pay your money and you are out. Want back into the club? No way Jose
JC
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