From The Desk of John Richardson: Co-Chair – Letter to State Department on behalf of #Americansabroad – renunciation fee increase

October 27, 2014


You may recall that the Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty announced it’s intention to seek specific and targeted relief for Americans abroad who need to relinquish U.S. citizenship. This initiative is separate from the FATCA lawsuit in Canada.

Large numbers of those who ARE U.S. citizens (or those who are DEEMED by the U.S. government to be U.S. citizens) wish to exercise their right to relinquish U.S. citizenship. This desire is the result of FATCA (and the expansion of  U.S. extra-territorial legislation in general) combined with  the incremental and increasing Congressional, State Department and IRS abuse of Americans abroad. The chronology of this abuse has been detailed in many places. Some of the detail provided by Jackie Bugnion is reproduced in an earlier post.

The response of the Obama administration to the need of Americans abroad to renounce U.S. citizenship has been to:

1. Allow the “wait time” for appointments to renounce to increase to an intolerable length, while concurrently to

2. Increase the fee to renounce U.S. citizenship from $450 to $2350.

(in other words to increase the abuse!)

The fee increase was recently announced by the State Department. It is our submission that, at a bare minimum, the procedure used by the Department of State to increase the fees was NOT in compliance with U.S. law.

The Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty (with the financial assistance of an anonymous donor) has retained Washington, DC lawyer James J Butera of the Washington, DC firm of Jones Walker to seek relief from this fee increase.

The grounds for our request are two-fold:

1. Any fee to renounce U.S. citizenship is an impermissible burden on the right to expatriate recognized in the Expatriate Act of 1868 and a right recognized in the Supreme Court decision in Afroyim v. Rusk; and

2. The increase in the renunciation is in violation of the U.S. Administrative Procedure Act because the State Department failed to follow the rules requiring notice and submissions in relation to the fee increase.

On this point (read Mr. Butera’s able submission) you will see that the State Department claims that because the need to increase the “renunciation fee” is a matter of “national security” to the United States of America, the normal rules rules for notice and public discussion should not apply. In justification the State Department notes (in relation to its obligations to comply with the Administrative Procedure Act) that:

The Department is publishing this rule as an interim final rule, with a 60- day provision for post-promulgation comments and with an effective date less than 30 days from the date of publication, based on the ‘‘good cause’’ exceptions set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B) and 553(d)(3). Delaying implementation of this rule would be contrary to the public interest because the fees in this rule fund consular services that are critical to national security, including screening visa applicants.

(Perhaps it’s the view of the State Department that those renouncing U.S. citizenship are a threat to National Security.)

Those interested in reading the complete “Message from the State Department” can read it at the link below.

Department of State Interim Final Rule on Citizenship Services Fee Changes

At a minimum, the Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty is of the view that the United States Department of State really should be obeying the laws of the United States.

You can read Mr. Butera’s submission to the State Department by clicking on the link below.


You can read the Alliance For The Defence of Canadian Sovereignty press release by clicking on the link below.

ADCS_PrR_OCT27_2014 Efinal

With or without FATCA, the burdens of U.S. citizenship are such that those wishing to expatriate should be able to do so in a more humane, simple and less costly way.

We will keep you posted!

Once again I wish to thank you personally, on behalf of the board of and on behalf of all Americans abroad for your confidence, patience and support. I also thank you for your financial support. Without ALL of these things, none of this would be possible!

If Ontario, Canada is your home, please remember that today October 27, is municipal elections day.  Don’t forget to exercise one of your rights as a Canadian citizen. Please support your local community by voting!

As an American President once said:

“The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.” – Lyndon B. Johnson (36th U.S. President)

All the best and keep the faith!


John Richardson



Posted in Uncategorized
One comment on “From The Desk of John Richardson: Co-Chair – Letter to State Department on behalf of #Americansabroad – renunciation fee increase
  1. Thanks for this piece of information.
    I’ve been wondering…
    I live in France since 1975 (9 years old at that time).
    I’m going to get my French nationality and give up US citezinship with great relief.
    Now, since I am obliged to give up my US citizenship because of the descrimination that FATCA causes me and my fellow americans living abroad, I must be able to refuse to have pay the fee.
    After all, I was thiking of dual nationality but I never had the thought of giving up my US citizenship until FATCA came around.
    Now I am obliged to give UP US citizenship just to avoid financial desrimination from my bank to be able to live a normal life again. It’s THEIT FAULT, so I shouldn’t have to pay for it.
    Any thought about this ?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: