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Confusion at two US Consulates in Canada during recent relinquishment cases initiated by Flott & Co. clients revealed the need to develop forms and documents for use in establishing the intentional loss of US citizenship in the past.
The current form, Form DS-4079, is entitled “Request for Determination of Possible Loss of United States Citizenship”. In two relinquishment cases (link to “Relinquishment v Renunciation), former US citizens are really seeking a Certificate of Loss of Nationality (CLN) based on facts which establish the past date of a voluntary loss of citizenship. Indeed, this process should more properly be called Application for a Certificate of Loss of Nationality, for that is precisely what these individuals are seeking. They want to obtain proof that they left their US citizenship behind when they became citizens of other countries.
Form DS-4079 is certainly a starting point for a form that could be used for persons who wish to apply for a CLN based on a prior act of expatriation with intent. This form speaks of the “possible loss” of citizenship, and so a specific form should be developed for those who wish to assert their loss of US citizenship based on an intentional voluntary expatriating act they have taken.
The current form would not need much modification. As it now exists, the form asks applicants to specify the expatriating acts they have taken and to identify the acts taken since expatriation demonstrating their continued intent to relinquish US citizenship. Commentary in the U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual could connect the answers to these questions and the documentation supporting them to the burden of proof to remove any doubt as to what constitutes sufficient proof to meet the burden. It should also include areas to reflect the “past tense” of the expatriating act to which the application applies.
These suggested changes were among those included in Flott & Co.’s submission to the Department of State earlier this year.