Expatriation of minors

Media across the globe has recently paid significant attention to the growing number of US citizens relinquishing their citizenship. Many different factors affect one’s decision to expatriate, although most commentators agree the primary driver is the growing complexity of the US tax system. The US is one of the few countries taxing its citizens and long-term permanent residents on their worldwide income, while simultaneously employing new and aggressive legislation (e.g. FATCA) to identify those failing to report their offshore income and investments. However, recent coverage has failed to highlight the increasing number of minor US citizens and green-card holders also relinquishing their US citizenship.

Contrary to popular belief, it is possible, albeit more difficult, for a US person under the age of 18 to expatriate. For expatriating adults, some US embassies require two in-person appointments with a US consular official following the submission of identifying documents and various paperwork. However, there are some embassies, such as the US embassy in London, that generally only require one in-person appointment. Minors must submit the same documents and paperwork as their adult counterparts; however, US state department guidance states that all applicants under 18 must have both an in-person informal appointment and an in-person final appointment with a consular official…

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