Former US citizens who have renounced: any problems when visiting?

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There are plenty of threads about renunciation, but none that scratch my particular paranoid itch. I understand that if I renounce, I will have to apply for a visa or waiver like any other non-citizen, and legally, I'm guessing, upon entry I should be treated like any other non-citizen. Legally. But I have certain fixed and uncharitable ideas about the kind of people who work at border control--namely that they have certain fixed and uncharitable ideas about the kind of person who'd give up US citizenship. And so I'm wondering whether I could expect any particularly bad treatment when I go back "home" to visit. Do you have any personal experience with this? Have you heard any stories? And if I missed a thread that addresses this particular topic, I'd love to see a link. Thanks!

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I don't know if it's much practical help, but you did ask for stories.  Yes, I did know someone who renounced and went back semi-regularly to visit.  Said they were always pulled out for extra questioning/searching at the border, but never had any actual problems entering or leaving the US.

 

I guess for non-residents the biggest thing customs is interested in (apart from whether you're a smuggler or a terrorist, of course) is whether you plan on going back to where you came from.  As a non-resident who's never lived in the US you can have a lot of hassle just going there for a visit.  I'm sure most of us know people who have arrived at JFK or LAX from other continents only to be turned away at the border because the customs officer wasn't entirely satisfied with their travel itinerary.  

 

You, on the other hand, would be someone who has *clearly* stated they don't have any interest living in the US.  You'll have residence somewhere else that you will have gone to some lengths to acquire.  So, as long as you're not a smuggler or a bad guy, they know where you live and where you want to live.

 

But I don't think your fears are unfounded--you're totally right that you could come across the wrong person on the wrong day and have wasted a trans-Atlantic flight just to get turned away at the border.  US Customs is pretty good at treating non-residents with suspicion.  If you'll have *more* problems than the average foreign holiday-maker because you renounced?  Dunno. 

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I can't say I have heard any stories, but there would be no grounds to refuse you (in non-Covid times...) as an EU citizen and provided there are no issues such as being a criminal or having drugs on you, etc. I think you may overstate the concern of the guy to whom you have your maroon passport. They are just doing their jobs, process hundreds of passports a day and are generally trained to be suspicious and look for deception. That's their job (what's the point if they are all just Steve Martin The Jerk). Having travelled scores of times internationally, I have never once dealt with anyone at any border control who was not professional. I don't know why you gave up your US citizenship, but I suspect you had your reasons, and if it comes up, I would just suggest you say why. You likely have good reasons to visit the US too and good reasons to return to the EU. 

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If you want unfettered access to enter the US, don't give up your US citizenship. Simple.

 

Whether they really look closely or not at the forrin' passport may vary, but if they do, I'm guessing they might be more interested in whether you have a second US passport you are not using to enter on (as you are supposed to, if dual). Sure, TSA Homeland recruitment attracts a greater share of John Wayne at the Alamo types than a Portland yoga studio, but that's common in law enforcement in general. I would imagine as long as you're not doing anything illegal, and can show you have a job/life to return to -- and don't have a Muslim name or look too off-white -- you will have few problems. 

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17 minutes ago, alderhill said:

If you want unfettered access to enter the US, don't give up your US citizenship. Simple.

 

Whether they really look closely or not at the forrin' passport may vary, but if they do, I'm guessing they might be more interested in whether you have a second US passport you are not using to enter on (as you are supposed to, if dual). Sure, TSA Homeland recruitment attracts a greater share of John Wayne at the Alamo types than a Portland yoga studio, but that's common in law enforcement in general. I would imagine as long as you're not doing anything illegal, and can show you have a job/life to return to -- and don't have a Muslim name or look too off-white -- you will have few problems. 

 

This. I lived in Turkey during the time some Americans and Brits were traveling to Turkey to fight in Syria. At London Heathrow, I was pulled out of the boarding queue by Homeland Security and asked what I was doing in Turkey, the name/number of my employer, why/who I was visiting in the US, the address I would be staying at in the US, etc. He said since we'd done it in Heathrow, I wouldn't have to go through it again upon landing. Ofc, that was a lie, and they searched my luggage and gave me a solid pat down upon arriving. I then discovered I had been placed on a list at Heathrow, so that any time I return to the US via Heathrow, I get called for additional screening. It's a shit show, and I have little doubt that I would have serious troubles returning to the US if I renounced my citizenship, so I won't be doing it. A shame the US has become such an absurd country.

 

If you've not lived anywhere considered to be "suspect", you're likely fine. If you've ever lived anywhere "too foreign" or ever committed a crime involving "moral turpitude", whatever tf that is, then I'd be very wary of renouncing your citizenship.

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