When a US citizen renounces, they must first swear or affirm their intent to a Consul Officer, and fill out a "Loss of Nationality" certificate. There are of course requirements leading up to the above. My question is about the timelime that comes afterward.

After a period of time, the certificate of loss of nationality is "approved" but the expatriate is not notified.

After another period of time, the certificate of loss of nationality is returned to the expatriate.

During the above delay times, the status of the expatriate is unclear and this causes potential difficulty in both US tax planning and travel to the USA. How long do these events take?

  • I'd like to add that it would be helpful if other expatriates would add their experiences on timings. I don't plan to select a "correct" answer for this question.
    – anon
    Mar 25, 2016 at 1:38

2 Answers 2


In my experience,

  • I affirmed the intent to lose nationality to the consular officer in July 2015. This date later became the effective date of renunciation.
  • The CLN was stamped with approval by the Department of State in September 2015 (2 months).
  • Whatever final checks were performed, and the document was returned to me in March 2016 (6 months). I received a text message from the embassy and the document was delivered the next day.

Interestingly, the quarterly publication of the Federal Register https://www.federalregister.gov/quarterly-publication-of-individuals-who-have-chosen-to-expatriate does not list the relevant entry in any of:

  • 2015-07-31
  • 2015-10-27 (which claims to cover 2015Q3)
  • 2016-02-08 (which claims to cover 2015Q4)

I think this extra information is really interesting because I think it means that the number of US citizens expatriating (which we read about in the newspapers) is actually under-reported.

It is possible, that in a clerical error only my application was missed. But it is more likely that the under-reporting is a result of maxmimum workload on the workers who process renunciations; and that the reported figures (460, 1426, 1058, respectively) are simply the number of documents that have been able to pass a certain part of the approval or counting process.


As another data point, my CLN was submitted at the US embassy in Stockholm on October 8, 2013 and stamped as approved on "09/Oct 2013" - the very next day. I don't recall when I received it back in the mail and can't seem to find the envelope it came in to check the postmark.

This doesn't mean that it was quick overall, of course. It took me nearly a year from my first attempt to contact the embassy (late October 2012) until I was able to perform the formal renunciation (early October 2013). It was then a further seven months before I was published in the Federal Register, on May 2, 2014.

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