Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sign of the Times: US Citizenship Renunciation Category Added at Hong Kong Consulate

Sometime in the not-too-distant-past the US Consulate in Hong Kong added and new category to its fee schedule.   Costing US$450, 'Renunciation of U.S. Citizenship' is the most expensive of the seven passport related services they perform.

A few years ago I read that many Hong Kong based US citizens were giving it up in advance of stringent new tax and reporting laws.   As I understand it, except for North Korea, the US is the only country that taxes its non-resident citizens' income.

I've met two people in HK who have renounced their US citizenship.  One is a born and bred white American.  He is now a PRC citizen and hold a Hong Kong passport.  The other is from Belgium and spent something like 20+ years in the US before moving to Hong Kong several years ago.  He now holds an EU passport.  Many American citizens I've met and know - both ethnic Chinese as well as other races - that I've met have at least contemplated giving up US citizenship.

In another sign-of-the-times, the consulate is now charging for adding new pages to a passport.  It was previously free.  And at US$82 the 'increase' is very steep, and not much less than getting an entire new passport.


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