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Immigration Law

Americans Seeking Expatriation File Suit

Ed Pilkington, The Guardian, Dec. 31, 2021

"For almost two years, since the pandemic struck in March 2020, most US consular missions around the world have suspended their expatriation services for those wishing to give up US citizenship. The US embassy in London, the largest of its sort in western Europe, announces on its website that it is “currently unable to accept appointments for loss of nationality applications” and is unable to say when services will resume. The US state department says giving up citizenship requires a face-to-face interview with a government official, and that it is too risky given coronavirus. Delays have led to a growing mountain of disgruntled citizens. By some calculations, there may be as many as 30,000 people among the 9 million US citizens living abroad who would like to begin the renunciation process but can’t. ... Nine US citizens abroad who have found themselves unable to give up their nationality are now suing the state department in a federal court in Washington. The suit, brought on the plaintiffs’ behalf by the French-based group Association of Accidental Americans, likens the situation to feudal times. “The US appears intent on preventing its citizens from exercising their natural and fundamental right to voluntarily renounce their citizenship,” it says."