Learn more about the State Department’s Loss of Nationality form required to renounce U.S. citizenship
What is the DS-4079?
The DS-4079, officially known as a “Request for Determination of Possible Loss of United States Nationality,” is a form filed with the U.S. Department of State to determine whether U.S. citizenship has been lost. The DS-4079 is also filed when a U.S. citizen wishes to voluntarily renounce their citizenship.
In this guide, we’ll cover the basics of filing the DS-4079 and what it means for your loss of U.S. citizenship.
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Determining if U.S. Citizenship Has Been Lost
U.S. citizenship is typically acquired by birth in the U.S. or through the naturalization process. However, certain actions or events can potentially lead to the loss of U.S. citizenship. These actions or events might include serving in a foreign military force, taking on a foreign government position, or committing other acts that demonstrate a voluntary allegiance to a foreign country.
When a person is uncertain about their citizenship status and wants to determine whether they have lost their U.S. nationality, they can file the DS-4079 “Request for Determination of Possible Loss of United States Nationality.” The U.S. Department of State is able to review the individual’s DS-4079 and provide a formal determination of their citizenship status.
It’s important to note that the process of losing U.S. citizenship is complex, and not all actions or circumstances will result in a loss of nationality. If you’re concerned that your actions or circumstances may have jeopardized your U.S. citizenship, you can use the DS-4079 to resolve any doubts or concerns about your citizenship status.
Voluntarily Relinquishing U.S. Citizenship
The DS-4079 is also used in instances where a U.S. citizen wishes to legally give up their citizenship status. Renouncing U.S. citizenship is not a casual or informal act. It involves a formal procedure, which typically includes taking an oath or signing an official statement before a consular officer at a U.S. Embassy or consulate. To renounce U.S. citizenship, you must be at least 18 years old.
Renouncing U.S. citizenship can have significant legal and financial consequences. It can impact your ability to travel, work, or reside in the U.S. in the future and it can result in tax-related obligations, including an exit tax for certain high net worth individuals. In some cases, the U.S. government might deny a renunciation request, particularly if it believes that the individual is doing so to evade U.S. taxes or legal obligations.
Before you can receive official confirmation of your loss of U.S. citizenship from the State Department, you’ll need to prove that you “performed an expatriating act voluntarily” by filing the DS-4079 and following the specific process outlined below.
How to File DS-4079
If you’d like to inquire about the status of your U.S. nationality or voluntarily renounce your citizenship, here are the general steps to file the DS-4079:
- Complete the DS-4079: The DS-4079 form can be downloaded on the State Department’s site here. You should read the form instructions carefully, answering each question on the form as accurately and completely as possible. DS-4079s are submitted to the U.S. Department of State, specifically to the Bureau of Consular Affairs.
- Schedule an Appointment at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate: After completing your DS-4079, you will need to schedule an appointment at the U.S. Embassy or consulate in your country of residence. At the appointment, a consular officer will review your DS-4079 and supporting documents, to determine whether any additional evidence is required or the government has enough information to make a determination on your request. Be sure to reach out to your U.S. Embassy or consulate directly for detailed instructions on scheduling an appointment and what to expect.
- Gather Required Documents: During your appointment with a consular officer, you’ll need to present your completed DS-4079 and specific supporting documents to support your application. The following documents may be required: Evidence of your U.S. citizenship or identity: U.S. passport, naturalization certificate, or U.S. birth certificate, etc. Proof of a legal name change (if applicable): Court order, marriage certificate, divorce decree, etc. Evidence of other nationality/nationalities: Foreign birth record, foreign-issued passport, etc. NOTE: Supporting documents must be originals or certified copies. U.S. Embassies and consulates generally do not accept photocopies or notarized copies.
- Statement of Voluntary Relinquishment of U.S. Citizenship: If you are voluntarily giving up your U.S. citizenship, you will be required to complete an additional section on the DS-4079 before a consular officer. The “Statement of Voluntary Relinquishment of U.S. Citizenship” is a sworn statement that confirms with the Bureau of Consular Affairs that you intend to give up your citizenship. Be sure to sign and date this portion of the form legibly during your appointment at the U.S. Embassy or consulate.