Ok, If you renounce your US citizenship and are stateless, can you work? Can you register for residency? Everything I have read or watched, seems to just brush over a lot of the details. I am really looking for a step by step answer. Can anyone help me with this?

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    Can you work in what country? Can you register for residency in what country? You can only renounce US citizenship at a US consulate outside the US.
    – user102008
    Commented Nov 11, 2018 at 2:21
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    If you are stateless you will have a hard time finding a country to live in. It's probably better to find that first, and then renounce your citizenship only after you're settled there. Perhaps if you add a link to some of the things you've read, it will shed some light on your question.
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 11, 2018 at 3:11

2 Answers 2


See Renunciation of U.S. Nationality Abroad. It gives the steps for renouncing citizenship. However, I strongly recommend reading Section D before choosing statelessness. Most stateless people would be absolutely delighted to get a US passport.

In particular:

Persons intending to renounce U.S. citizenship should be aware that, unless they already possess a foreign nationality, they may be rendered stateless and, thus, lack the protection of any government. They may also have difficulty traveling as they may not be entitled to a passport from any country.


Former U.S. citizens would be required to obtain a visa to travel to the United States or show that they are eligible for admission pursuant to the terms of the Visa Waiver Program.

One of the things you would give up is the right to enter the US at all. Permission to live and work in the US, without being a US citizen, is much harder to obtain than a visitor visa.

Whether you would be able to live and work in some other country will depend on that country's laws. Most countries will not even let you enter the country without a passport or equivalent proof of citizenship. If you have a specific country in mind I suggest posting a new question about that country's rules.

In general, it will be easier to be admitted to a country, and to live there, with a US passport than as a stateless person. You should at least consider first establishing residence and naturalizing as a citizen of a country where you wish to live.

  • I wouldn't be planning on coming back to the US. and would want to stay else were and work also.
    – katra4813
    Commented Nov 11, 2018 at 3:49
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    Then you should first get citizenship in the country where you intend to live and work. Life while you are working on that will be much easier with a US passport than as a stateless person. Commented Nov 11, 2018 at 3:51

It partly depends on what is meant by “renouncing.”  In Spain, for example, to become a citizen, you supposedly renounce your US citizenship.  But they don't demand you actually do the paperwork and pay the exit fee.  USA still considers you a citizen.  Spain knows that and is just pretending.  I don't know about other countries but probably some are more strict.

You’re not “planning on coming back to the US” but unless you’ve gone through the official US process—which includes not only the hefty “exit fee” but IRS certification you don’t owe any taxes—you’ll still be expected to file tax returns, though enforcement is unlikely.

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