The act of renouncing US citizenship is a very serious action to take and should not be done lightly. Prior to this it is imperative that you understand what happens as a result. This is not something that can be reversed, revoked or changed once it is completed.
The first thing to realize about renouncing US citizenship is that it is not reversible. Once you have taken this action, you cannot change your mind later and obtain US citizenship again. The only exception to this is if you are under the age of 18 at the time that you renounce your citizenship. Within six months of the eighteenth birthday, you can make it known that you want to have your citizenship status reinstated. Parents cannot renounce US citizenship on the behalf of their children, even if the US citizenship was obtained by the child being born in the US. Children must be at least fourteen years of age and can fully demonstrate that they understand the consequences of renouncing US citizenship before they will be allowed to do so.
Some people think that if they owe the Internal Revenue Service money, have committed a crime in the US or desire to leave the military that they can go through the process of renouncing US citizenship to avoid their obligations and responsibilities. If you owe taxes to the Internal Revenue Service that money that is owed is still present, even if you are no longer a US citizen. Additionally, any penalties, fines and prosecution proceedings will still be in effect as well. If you have committed a crime, you are still responsible and will be prosecuted under US laws even if you renounce your citizenship. The IRS, military and crimes cannot be forfeited and automatic erasure from your record simply because you choose to renounce your citizenship.
Other consideration when before renouncing US citizenship is your general citizenship status. If you do not have dual citizenship you will be left with no country of citizenship. This means that you will automatically be placed in a condition of statelessness and have no protection from any countries. Additionally, you might have trouble travelling anywhere because you will not be able to receive a passport or travel visa. You can even end up becoming barred from entering the United States unless you are deported back to the US from some other country.
In order to go through the process of renouncing US citizenship an individual must be physically present before a United States consular or diplomatic officer. If the individual is not in the United States they can appear before a US consular or diplomatic officer at an official US Embassy. The individual will then sign an oath of renunciation from the United States. The United States has the right to reject renouncing US citizenship if the individual wishes to retain certain citizenship rights or still maintains a legal residence within the United States. Anyone that attempts renouncing US citizenship through the mail, email, Internet or through a representative will not be considered renounced and their citizenship status will not change. Part of renouncing US citizenship is to demonstrate that you clearly understand the consequences of the action. For example, if you wish to travel freely and be able to re-enter the US and even keep a physical address in the US, you have clearly demonstrated that you do not understand the consequences of renouncing US citizenship. As a result, the State Department will reject your renunciation and your citizenship status will remain unchanged.