Cost of Renouncing US Citizenship Now More Expensive

Fleeing America and renouncing U.S. citizenship is now more expensive. With no warning, the U.S. Consular Services' fee for renouncing citizenship just went from no cost to a whopping $450. Appears the demand for such a service is increasing, so it's natural for the State Department to raise fees to meet demand, and put more money in U.S. coffers.

“What we have seen is a substantial change in mentality among the overseas community in the past two years,” said Jackie Bugnion, director of American Citizens Abroad, an advocacy group based in Geneva. “Before, no one would dare mention to other Americans that they were even thinking of renouncing their U.S. nationality. Now, it is an openly discussed issue.” New York Times Expats Give-up U.S. Citizenship

Processing fees for judicial matters were also increased substantially. The other fee that was free and is now $82 is additional passport visa pages. As someone who has needed additional visa pages for his passport on several occasions, I've always been glad to see at least one service my country provided its citizens for free. The consular notice explains the reason for the fee increase: "The 27 adjusted fees are based on a Cost of Service Study completed by the Bureau of Consular Affairs in June 2009. The study, which was the most detailed and exhaustive ever conducted by the Department of State, established the true cost of providing these consular services, which by law must be recovered through collection of fees." Additional visa pages for a passport cost $82? Hardly. I've had additional passport pages added in Singapore and Bangkok in less than five minutes. A free service from my government was too good to be true.

Why the sudden fee increase to renounce U.S. citizenship? Perhaps an attitude by government officials of "how dare an American renounce their citizenship!" With the current climate in the U.S., more Americans are fleeing. Because the United States is one of the few governments with a policy of overseas taxation, many more Americans will no doubt be exercising their last right as an American: that of renouncing their citizenship. The U.S. government will extract one final tax and give them a nice kick in the pants as they exit. To get it straight from the horse's mouth: U.S. Consulate Services