Renouncing citizenship is a pretty simple task in many countries around the world. It isn’t even costly. For example, in Great Britain, a citizen can renounce citizenship for a mere cost of £272, that too, through a mail.
Though in the United States, it’s expensive, the price has almost increased by 400% in the last decade; the cost now is $2,350. This price hike was in response to the rise in people renouncing their citizenship. But as for the actual process, according to the U.S. Department of State, citizens have to settle their tax bills, affirm they’re renouncing their citizenship voluntarily, and this is the same process in most of the countries.
Citizens also need to appear in front of a Diplomatic Officer and sign an oath of renouncing citizenship. Then the citizen will receive a Certificate of Loss of Nationality, which says you’re no longer a citizen of the United States.
Now, if the person does not already have citizenship with another country when they attempt to renounce citizenship, the United States Department counselor will counsel the person on numerous difficulties he/she may face after renouncing their citizenship.
What will happen when a citizen renounces their citizenship
After the citizen has renounced their citizenship and doesn’t have citizenship of another country, they become stateless. While stateless people face different difficulties based on the country they’re currently in. In general, many otherwise commonplace things can probably become problematic for stateless people. These could be things like :
- Getting access to education for themselves or their kids,
- Getting a job,
- Getting citizenship for their future children,
- Get a driver’s license,
- Rent or buy a property,
- Ability to get married,
- Not able to create a bank account or
- Travel to other countries.
The biggest problem for some people is that they will lose certain legal protections they were granted as a citizen of the country.
In the U.S., there are over 4-million stateless people living in America, many of whom can get arrested without having committed any crime and go to jail for months, generally. At the same time, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement tries to find a country where they can deport them if it’s possible.
So, renouncing citizenship isn’t a big deal. All you need to do is clear your dues with the government and sign your renouncing citizen documents, and you’re done. But if you don’t have citizenship of another country in hand, then you can potentially get jailed for many months and will lose all the benefits of being a citizen of a nation. So, if you’re thinking of renouncing your citizenship, make sure you have another one in hand so that you don’t face any problems like stateless people.