Press TV: Americans living abroad who wish to renounce their citizenship have found themselves stuck in limbo as most US consular missions around the world have suspended their expatriation services for those seeking to officially sever their ties to the United States.
Delays have led to a growing backlog of renunciation requests, the Guardian newspaper reported on Friday.
By some estimates, as many as 300,000 Americans seeking to give up their citizenship have faced barriers in getting the process going since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic as US embassies are “currently unable to accept appointments for loss of nationality applications.”
The US State Department requires a face-to-face interview before American citizens can renounce their citizenship. But it has put the sessions on hold during the pandemic.
In recent years, many Americans looking to start a new life abroad have come to regard the United States as an abusive nation. The chaotic end of the Donald Trump era, combined with the inequities that were further exposed by COVID-19, has made them despair of being an American.
“I can acknowledge my past association with that person while at the same time wanting to keep future association to a minimum,” one such individual, identifying himself only as Michael, told the Guardian.
“Coronavirus made me realize that in the US if you’re not a member of the moneyed elite you’re left to fend for yourself with virtually no help from the federal government,” he said. “The farcical presidential campaign made me realize that I don’t want to be a member of a society in which my vote is made irrelevant by gerrymandering or the electoral college.”
Having moved to Finland 10 years ago, Michael decided he no longer wished to have ties to a country whose values he did not recognize anymore. But he discovered that along with thousands of other US citizens living abroad, he was caught in “a Kafkaesque trap.”
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