— John Richardson – Counsellor for US persons abroad (@ExpatriationLaw) February 5, 2024
For Americans U.S. citizenship is an asset that depreciates with age. U.S. citizenship is more valuable for younger people beginning their careers than for older people moving toward retirement. The United States is a large market with many career and employment opportunities. In addition, older people often live off capital, (which if “foreign” to the United States) comes with punitive U.S. taxation and reporting.
There are many reasons to retain U.S. citizenship or to renounce U.S. citizenship. It is a “circumstance dependent” decision. To be clear, the process of renunciation is relatively easy. Renunciation is a process that takes place under the Immigration and Nationality Act. That said, the fact of renunciation has consequences that extend well beyond the Immigration and Nationality Act.
What follows is a list of “some” specifics people should consider as part of making the renunciation decision. This is a “quick and dirty” post. I make no attempt to detail the specific reasons why these considerations may be important. This list is intended only to “raise your level of awareness” about a decision that has long term implications in your life.
The renunciation decision requires a tolerance for uncertainty.
Deciding whether to renounce is a decision made in an uncertain environment. Where there is uncertainty one must think in terms of “better vs. worse” outcomes. Not “right vs. wrong” outcomes.
On the one hand one never knows what the future could hold.
On the other hand U.S. citizenship carries many present and future costs.
The process of renouncing U.S. citizenship is easy.
The process of understanding the implications that renunciation may have on your life are neither easy nor well understood.