Here's the situation:

A dual citizen American-British couple lives abroad (i.e. in the U.K). Because of the burdens of U.S. worldwide tax (the only country that does this besides Eritrea) the husband decides to renounce his U.S. citizenship so that he won't be doubly taxed on his income, sale of his home, etc. The wife and children however maintain their U.S. citizenship with the idea that should they ever wish to move back to the U.S., the husband can accompany the wife and obtain status (i.e. green card) as the spouse of an American.

Are there any rules that would prevent an ex-citizen from returning as a spouse? Form I-130, the Petition for Alien Relative, makes no mention of ex-citizens, but I wonder if anyone knows of any hidden rules or precedent for this sort of situation.

  • 1
    Given the wide discretion of immigration officials over visa applications and naturalization petitions, I doubt that this would work. – ohwilleke Jan 9 '18 at 7:34
  • 3
    Before assuming that income and capital gains will be doubly taxed, the husband should investigate tax treaties, the deduction for foreign taxes, and the foreign earned income exclusion. The tax burden of maintaining US citizenship may be smaller than he thinks (and with the wife retaining her US citizenship, the cost of ensuring that she is insulated from his income so she isn't taxed on it may be significant). – phoog Jan 20 '18 at 20:49

If the Attorney General has officially determined that you renounced US citizenship for the purpose of avoiding taxation, you have a lifetime ban under INA 212(a)(10)(E), and there is no immigrant waiver for this ban. See 9 FAM 302.12-6. I am not sure if the Attorney General has ever made such a determination about anyone.

Otherwise, I don't see anything that would prevent you from immigrating to the US like any other foreigner.


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