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Renunciations

Renouncing your U.S. citizenship is a serious and an irrevocable action.  It is the most unequivocal way in which a person can manifest an intention to relinquish U.S. citizenship.

Renunciation Process

  1. Email us at BernRenunciations@state.govto request an informational packet (not binding). Minors must call 031 357 70 11 between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Monday – Friday, except Swiss and U.S. Holidays. Note: Each individual needs its own informational packet.
  2. Review the informational packet thoroughly.
  3. Make a decision.  If you decide you do not want to renounce, no further action is required; we will shred your file after 6 months.  If you decide to proceed, continue with the following steps.
  4. Complete the questionnaire included in the informational packet and prepare the require documents (please see below).
  5. Return the completed questionnaire and copies of the required documents (see below) via email with subject line “Prospective Renunciant’s Documents: Last Name, First Name”.
  6. Allow 5 business days for us to review your documents.
  7. Schedule an appointment at the U.S. Embassy in Bern by calling 031 357 70 11 between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Monday – Friday, except Swiss and U.S. Holidays.
  8. Bring the questionnaire and the required documents, pay the fee of 2,350 USD (payment options) and sign the oath of renunciation on the day of your appointment.
  9. Wait for the U.S. Department of State to process and make a final decision on your application.
How did you obtain your U.S. Citizenship? Required Documents
Born in the U.S.
  • U.S. birth certificate
  • Last issued U.S. passport
  • Foreign valid passport(s)
Born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent (s)
  • Consular report of birth abroad (if applicable)
  • Last issued U.S. passport
  • Foreign valid passport(s)
Naturalized in the U.S.
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Last issued U.S. passport
  • Foreign valid passport(s)
Through my naturalized parent(s)
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Last issued U.S. passport
  • Foreign valid passport(s)

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I don’t want to renounce after reviewing the informational packet?

No problem, there is no action required.  Receiving the informational packet is not binding.  After 6 months, we will shred your file. After those 6 months, if you change your mind again and chose to renounce, you must restart the process and request a new informational packet.

Can I renounce via mail or at the consular agency?

You cannot renounce by mail, through a consular agent, or while in the U.S.  You must appear before a U.S. consular officer at the U.S. Embassy in Bern and sign the oath of renunciation voluntarily and intentionally.

What privileges of my U.S. citizenship can I retain after I renounce?

You cannot retain some of the privileges of citizenship (i.e. travel freely within or live in the U.S.).  This would indicate a lack of full understanding of renouncing and/or a lack of the required intent to renounce, and the U.S. Department of State will not approve a loss of citizenship in such instances.

How long does the renunciation process take? 

After your renunciation appointment where you sign the oath of renunciation in front of a consular officer, your application is sent to the U.S. Department of State for final approval.  This process can take a few months and there is no ability to expedite your renunciation application.

Can I travel to the U.S. while my renunciation application is pending approval?

During the time between your renunciation appointment where you sign the oath of renunciation in front of a consular officer and the time when the U.S. Department of State approves your application, you are technically still a U.S. citizen.  Therefore, if you decide to travel to the U.S. with your foreign passport to the U.S. during this period, you are in violation of U.S. law, which requires U.S. citizens to travel to the U.S. with a U.S. passport.  (We strongly encourage you to plan accordingly.)

Can I travel to the U.S. after my renunciation is approved?

After your renunciation is approved and you are no longer a U.S. citizen, you need to be properly document to visit, live, work or study in the U.S.  For instance, you need to show you are eligible for admission under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and have an approved Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). If you are found ineligible for the VWP, you must apply for a visa.  If you have any visa ineligibilities, you could be barred from entering the U.S. and need to follow the legal process to obtain permission to enter the U.S. as any other foreigner.

Why do I need to provide my foreign passport(s)?

Unless you possess another foreign nationality, you may be rendered stateless after you renounce your U.S. citizenship.  This means you would lack the protection of any government and you may not be entitled to a passport from any country, making it difficult for you to travel.

How are my tax or military service obligations affected after I renounce?

Your renunciation may have no effect whatsoever on your U.S. tax or military service obligations (Please contact the Internal Revenue Service or U.S. Selective Service for more information).

Can I renounce if I do not have a social security number?

Yes.  However, we strongly encourage you to obtain one before renouncing to meet any tax obligations.  After your renunciation is approved and you are no longer a U.S. citizen, you may not qualify for a social security number and may adversely affect your ability to meet your tax obligations. 

Can I still be legally prosecuted in the U.S. after I renounce?

Renouncing will not allow you to avoid prosecution for crimes committed in the U.S., or escape the repayment of financial obligations previously incurred in the U.S. or as a U.S. citizen abroad.

Can a minor child under the age of eighteen renounce?

A minor child under the age of eighteen must convince the U.S. consular officer that he or she fully understands the nature and consequences of the oath of renunciation, is not subject to duress or undue influence, and is voluntarily and intentionally seeking to renounce his or her U.S. citizenship.  (Historically, this has been very difficult to prove.)  A minor child under the age of sixteen is presumed not to have the requisite maturity and knowing intent, making it even more difficult to renounce.

Can my parent renounce on my behalf?

Parents cannot renounce U.S. citizenship on behalf of their children.

How can I obtain a copy of my Certificate of Loss of Nationality?

Use this form and get it notarized at the U.S. Embassy in Bern or the Consular Agency in Geneva or Zurich. Include a copy of your current photo identification i.e. driver’s license, federal/state/local work identification nor federal/state/local government identification. Return the form to: Department of State, Office of Legal Affairs, Law Enforcement Liaison Division, 1111