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A few hours ago at the American Embassy in Bratislava, I surrendered my United States passport, completing my “expatriating act” and making my renunciation of United States citizenship official. If everything is accepted and certified by someone back in the US at the State Department, I am a stateless person as of today, 8 December 2008.
I also submitted the IRS Form 8854 mentioned in my previous post, and there were several revisions needed to the various documents that I signed, filed, submitted, swore or affirmed to and had certified by the Consul. Repeated checking of things turned up several minor errors that needed to be corrected. A merry time was had by all in reviewing successive quintuplicate copies of documents, repeated signature and re-signature, unstapling and restapling corrected pages, and so on. I guess I was there for about an hour.
The Consul was kind enough to provide a certified letter on official embassy stationery for me to present to the Aliens’ Police (the visa authority) to document my status pending receipt of my Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the United States, which may help me cut through a bit of confusion when I contact them later in the week to inform them that my passport (and therefore my visa) is no longer in my hands. It reads:
December 8, 2008
Veľvyslanectvo USA v Bratislave potvrdzuje týmto, že bývalý občan USA Michael Jude Gogulski, narodený 8. augusta 1972 v Arizone podal 8. decembra 2008 žiadosť o prepustenie zo štátneho zväzku USA a odovzdal svoj americký cestovný pas č. XXXXXXXXX, vydaný 5. decembra 2005 na veľvyslanectve USA v Bratislave. O schválení žiadosti rozhodne Ministerstvo zahraničných vecí USA, ktoré menovanému poskytne písomne vyrozumenie vo forme Certifikátu o zrušení štátneho občianstva USA.
December 8, 2008
The Embassy of the USA in Bratislava confirms hereby that former citizen of the USA Michael Jude Gogulski, born 8 August 1972 in Arizona, submitted on 8 December 2008 an application for release from the state bond of the USA and surrendered his American passport no. XXXXXXXXX, issued 5 December 2005 at the Embassy of the USA in Bratislava. Approval of the application shall be decided upon by the United States Department of State, which will provide the named person [i.e., me] with written notification in the form of a Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the United States.
My next steps:
- Get a notarized copy of the letter above (tomorrow).
- Draft a letter to the Aliens’ Police Director explaining what has happened and requesting information on my legal obligations with respect to the loss of my passport and the procedure to follow to apply for the stateless person’s travel document and a replacement visa sticker. Enclose certified copy of the above letter (tomorrow).
- Write and distribute a press release (tomorrow or Wednesday).
- Sit around waiting for my Certificate to arrive at the Embassy. I’ll get a phone call or email from them when it comes in (whenever Information Retrieval gets around to it). Call came in on 29 December 2008 that the certificate is in. Now I have to get down there and pick the silly thing up.
- Update my “About” page (*yawn*…).