AIT and renunciation of US citizenship

I would like this issue clarified if possible for myself and any others who are not clear on this point. Paogao said that he couldn’t renounce US citizenship in at AIT and instead had to do so in Hong Kong. Now I have heard over the years plenty of news about Taiwanese legislators having renounced at AIT. The following link is to one of these cases. … 803s2.html

Looking at the AIT website - citizens services - it doesn’t list renunciation as a service. And a google search of the AIT website doesn’t yield the relevant information either.

So can mere mortals renounce US citizenship at AIT or is there some kind of rule that you have to be a member of the Taiwanese legislature?

There is a clear contradiction here.

However, it is inadvisable to renounce US citizenship to get ROC citizenship, since the ROC is not recognized internationally . . . . . .


I’ve also wondered how these officials do it, since AIT does not provide this service. My best guess is that, since AIT does provide notarization service, which is basically, you going in and saying “X”, after which they’ll hand you a document saying you came in and said “X”, these officials are going to AIT and saying “I hereby renounce my (whatever) citizenship” and using that as a document. However, you could also theoretically go in and say “I can flap my arms and fly” and AIT would give you a notarized document that you came in to their office and said that. Still doesn’t make it true or valid.

As far as the ROC not being recognized internationally, well, I haven’t had any trouble travelling so far on an ROC passport. Granted, I’ve only been to the US, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Indonesia, so there’s many countries I haven’t tried yet.

How did you do it Poagao ? If you did it in Hong Kong, what passport did you use to get to Taiwan ?

The Chunghwa Travel Agency issued me a temporary travel document, but it took about six months of red tape to finally get it while I was stuck in Hong Kong. I don’t think they have a standard operating procedure for such actions.

A couple of quick comments on this issue.

I believe that you can now be able to stay in Taiwan and renounce your citizenship. Your application for citizenship is processed by the Ministry of the Interior. The Ministry apparently now requires documentation from the US State Department that the State Department recognizes that you have renounced your citizenship. This takes a long time to get and happens after you have turned your passport in to AIT. So in the meantime you will be stuck in Taiwan. I think these changes have to do with the large numbers of SE Asian women applying for citizenship.

The legislators do not deal with the Ministry of the Interior since they are not seeking Taiwanese citizenship. Instead, they simply need to satisfy the Examination Ministry and the Control Yuan that they are not citizens of another country. A statement to that effect by AIT suffices for those agencies.



However inadvisable some may think it may or may not be.
Reading the followup posts nor the other thread hasn’t clarified the situation at
all. Your draft letter says that you can indeed renounce at AIT. Poagao says no you

Richard, can you confirm that AIT will actually accept an oath of renunciation in Taipei and issue
you with a certificate of loss of nationality? Not having a clear yes or no on the subject just leads
to further idle speculation.

If yes or no there are some roads that could be taken but you have to gamble
the whole pot. A US passport is fairly good travel document for visa free
entry round the world but beyond that I don’t believe it has much intrinsic value
in of itself for a person who doesn’t want to live in the US.

They most likely don’t have any SOP for these things because most nationalities (that actually do renounce) can probably renounce in Taiwan so the problem simply never arises.

If AIT’s charter doesn’t allow for renunciation to take place then why not have them give you written proof that they won’t or can’t do it and the reason why. Perhaps the MOI would accept this as proof that you can’t renounce. After all they will contact the State Dept who will just confirm AIT’s stance. Renouncing abroad and becoming stateless so you can’t even come back doesn’t sound like much of a solution. If the Taiwanese aren’t willing to have a travel document to return to Taiwan waiting for you in HK upon presentation of the renunciation document then obviously their system requires that you renounce in Taiwan (as well you should). If you are unable to renounce in Taiwan that is hardly your fault but the fact that you tried and failed to do so due to US laws might satisfy the can’t renounce clause
in the citizenship law.

BTW, If anybody would like to see the paperwork that you file to renounce - just grab this file: … nounce.pdf

The reason AIT gave was that they are not a real embassy and therefore cannot provide all of the services a real embassy is expected to provide. They will accept your oath and notarize it with their seal. But it doesn’t mean anything, as I said before, since all it means is that you came into their office and said something, doesn’t matter what, or if it’s true.

Apparently British citizens can renounce their citizenship and then re-claim it, but only once. It seems to be a cheat arrangement for the convenience of nutters who want to serve in the R.O.C. army.

Can British citizens actually renounce their nationality at AIT? I know that in the early days of the American Republic, it was allowed (and even encouraged) for British to renounce their oaths of allegiance to the Crown and to become “American citizens”, but I am not sure if that is still the case.

Does anyone have details from the US point of view???

I think your right about politicians just making a non-binding oath.

I did some searching and indeed Mr Ovid Tzeng is still a US citizen.
( … 803s2.html )

The US govt publishes the name of every individual who has the gall to renounce their US citizenship.
They originally wanted it to be a list of shame. The list grows longer year by year…

The below 4 documents list all former US citizens who renounced in the year 2000. Each document
represents one quarter of the year. No Mr Tzeng renounced in the year 2000. … 02jn00-125 … 20mr00-168 … 21de00-164 … 24se01-116

Sorry just stumbled across this so apologies if my question is out of line.

Poagao: What are your feelings about renouncing your US passport now? Could you have kept your US passport and gotten Taiwanese citizenship at the time without renouncing it? Do you ever want to get your US citizenship back, etc.? How difficult would that be, etc. etc.

[quote=“fred smith”]Sorry just stumbled across this so apologies if my question is out of line.

Poagao: What are your feelings about renouncing your US passport now? Could you have kept your US passport and gotten Taiwanese citizenship at the time without renouncing it? Do you ever want to get your US citizenship back, etc.? How difficult would that be, etc. etc.[/quote]

I don’t know

I have received word (from a former US citizen) that it is possible to renounce US citizenship in Taiwan. The individual renounced at AIT in Kaoshiung.

Yeah, I talked with an AIT employee a couple of nights ago and she said that things have changed in the years since my experience there, and that they will in fact perform this service now.

You don’t have to be in a country that the USA officially recognizes to renounce. You can have the application filed in the USA and renunciation completed there and have the documents stamped trsnalated and restamped by the ROC Office and have the docs sent over here.

But the people here will mislead you and tell you you cant do it that way.

I did ( for Australia )and I know of another USA national who did it this way as well…

Hello, everyone,

I talked with Gazza earlier and I am the person he mentioned that renounced at Kaohsiung’s AIT branch.

On my first visit, they looked at me as if I were purple with pink hair and had a kazoo sticking out of my forehead. They sent me home with a list of known to be English-speaking lawyers in the Kaohsiung area. Their purpose was for me to “explore the possibility of doing what I want to do in Taiwan without renunciation.” (They have canned answers for everything. It makes sense, in a way, that they do this. They don’t want you to cancel your citizenship too quickly and then they could be held responsible for something.) That day, they copied my passport and I hand-wrote a brief statement on my reasons for wanting renunciation. They said “that will get the ball rolling.” Actually, I think they just “need” to keep records for this kind of inquiry. I’m not sure.

Before you cancel, you will need your document of “preparing for naturalization of ROC citizenship” and I’m going to post this whole process elsewhere (soon) to be a resource for anyone who might be interested.

When I went in to cancel my citizenship, at first I was disappointed that the officer I had talked with on the phone about it was no longer there (David Seckler). He was a nice guy. Instead, it turned out that there was an equally nice officer named Jamie Fauss. Jamie and I talked for around 30 minutes. If you renounce in Taipei, you may get to meet Jamie since he was temporarliy filling in in Kaohsiung before they got a permanent officer.

Everything went smoothly. The paperwork took around 45 minutes. I had to sign my name n times. I hadn’t filed US income tax since I’ve been in Taiwan, so I had to fill out a form where I had to estimate my current “value” in cash and assets as well as my USD income for the last 6 or 7 years. Apparently you’ll be responsible for back-paying US tax if you have made (I’ve heard two different version) US$70,000 or US$111,000 per year. Don’t I wish!

The other major checkbox on the renunciation form is “I wish/do not wish to submit a statement for why I want to renounce my US citizenship.” Jamie was careful to tell me that my renunciation could possibly be denied if I mentioned anything that sounds like tax evasion or any other sensitive issue. I tried to summarize what I had written and ask him his personal feeling about it and he stopped me. He basically said “It’s your personal choice.” I had prepared a 3-page statement of why I wanted to cancel my citizenship. I looked it over and decided that what I had written truly was what anyone examining my case would be interested in seeing. I submitted my statement. I understand that Jamie was not trying to be a trouble-maker, it’s just that he’s not qualified to speculate on these things.

Two AIT office workers were present as witnesses and I raised my right hand and repeated after the officer. I signed my name many more times, thanked them and that was it! Also, they kept my passport at that time. Seems kind-of easy looking back at all this. I was to wait for their call to go pick up my Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the US.

I’m not technically stateless until my renunciation is approved and the document is created. I waited over 3 months and finally called them. Jamie was no longer there, but the “new guy” (Mr. Johnson) apologized for a computer problem where a database had been locked or whatever. Soon after that, it was approved and the document was sent to Kaohsiung. When I went to pick it up, I also had a friend’s passport with me to have it renewed. He already had all of the necessary paperwork to do this smoothly and have it sent to him. They gave me my Cert. of loss of Naty…and returned my passport with 2 holes punched in it. They refused to process his passport renewal because “the officer wanted to see him.” I asked why? She stared at me for about 3 seconds and said “the officer wants to see him.”

My friend was really hacked off about this and didn’t call them for over 2 weeks. Finally, he called and they said “it was a question of identity” and processed his new passport. That’s stupid.

I just looked at AIT’s website under “personnel” and J. Brian Fauss is no longer listed. I would recommend going to him, if possible. Maybe you can call and ask. This does not mean I deem Mr. Johnson to be difficult, but look at my friend’s passport situation and judge that for yourself. He was helpful on the phone, at least.

Available upon request (privately) are any of my previous documents. Loss of Nationality, my personal statement, etc. I have a scanner and I’ll scan anything for you if you’re curious or it’ll help you in any way.