How to Renounce Foreign Citizenship


Being a citizen of two or more countries at the same time can cause hardship. You are responsible for military service, taxes and civic duties in all the countries you are a citizen of. Complications can arise when traveling abroad because the U.S. may not realize you are outside of the country if you travel on a foreign passport. The Department of State may not be able to protect you abroad in this circumstance either. You can renounce your foreign citizenship by proving you hold U.S. citizenship and formally renouncing at a consulate.

  • Make a photocopy of your U.S. passport and have it certified by a notary public. Generally, you can have photocopies certified for free at your local bank.

  • Locate the nearest embassy or consulate of the country you would like to renounce. Search government websites of the country to locate the embassy or consulate.

  • Call the embassy and ask for the procedures specific to that country for renouncing citizenship. You may be able to renounce through the mail or you may be required to renounce in person. Request the documents needed if you choose to renounce through the mail, or schedule an appointment to arrive in person at the embassy or consulate.

  • Prove that you are a citizen of the U.S. Mail the certified copy of your passport or bring your U.S. passport to the appointment. Mail or bring all citizenship documents from the foreign country including passport, naturalization certificate or birth certificate.

  • Submit the application either through the mail or in person at the appointment. Pay any applicable fees. A U.S. Postal money order is recommended if paying the fee through the mail.

  • Receive notification of renunciation. You will not be obligated to the foreign state and you must apply for a visa to visit the foreign country you just renounced.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some countries will automatically renounce your citizenship when you acquire U.S. citizenship. Make sure you are a legal dual citizen before renouncing as it may be unnecessary to do so.
  • Renunciation is permanent and you will be forced to obtain a visa for travel to that country in the future. Carefully weigh your decision to renounce.


  • Photo Credit Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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