Welcome to the Passport & Citizenship Unit of the U.S. Embassy Athens. We provide services for United States Citizens resident in Greece. We are open for appointments Monday to Friday mornings. The Unit is closed to the public on U.S. and Greek. Public Holidays.
Please note: There is no walk-in service for United States citizens who require a service related to passports, citizenship or birth registration. These services are by appointment only.
What Service Do You Require?
Apply for Citizenship
Claiming U.S. Citizenship
If you have been issued any of the following documents, you may immediately begin your application for your first U.S. passport. If you are no longer in possession of any of these documents, you must obtain a certified copy from the issuing authority.
A U.S. Birth Certificate – for certified copies, please contact the state in which you were born. The National Center for Health Statistics maintains a list of states’ contact information for this purpose;
A Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240) – for certified copies, please contact the Passport Services Office at the Department of State;
A Certification of Birth (Form FS-545 or DS-1350) – for certified copies, please contact the Passport Services Office at the Department of State;
A U.S. Certificate of Citizenship – for certified copies, please contact the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services;
A U.S. Naturalization Certificate – for certified copies, please contact the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services;
A passport of your U.S. citizen parent(s) in which you are included – for a copy of your parents’ passport records, please contact the Passport Services Office at the Department of State.
Once you are in possession of one of the listed documents, please see our instructions for applying for your first U.S. passport.
If you were born outside the United States, have not been previously documented as a U.S. citizen and are:
under the age of 18: please see our instructions for obtaining a Consular Report of Birth Abroad;
over the age of 18: you should review the information concerning transmission requirements (to see if your parent(s) had the prerequisite physical presence in the United States required by U.S. citizenship law in effect at that time. If, based on this information, you believe you have a claim to U.S. citizenship, please click here and follow the instructions provided.
Loss of U.S. Citizenship (i.e. Expatriation)
Loss of U.S. citizenship is a serious and irrevocable act which deserves your thoughtful consideration. It is imperative that you fully understand the nature of its consequences prior to requesting a Certificate of Loss of Nationality. If you decide that this is the course of action you wish to pursue, there are several steps you need to take including arranging an appointment to come into the Embassy to sign the Statement of Understanding, the Loss of Citizenship Questionnaire and/or the Oath of Renunciation, in the presence of a Consular Officer. Please note that the Statement of Understanding clearly states that the action you are taking is irrevocable.
Remember that expatriation is a personal right and can never be exercised by another person (including parents and/or legal guardians).
Important Information on the Loss of Nationality Process
Become familiar with legal requirements and possible expatriating acts before beginning this process. Pay particular attention to your right to request an informal initial appointment to discuss your possible loss of citizenship with a consular official over the phone or in-person prior to your final interview. For questions related to expatriation tax and possible tax implications, please consult with the Internal Revenue Service.
Documents Required (Loss of Citizenship)
You should gather the following documents:
- Evidence of U.S. citizenship; (such as your most recent U.S. passport or U.S. birth certificate, if you are not in possession of your U.S. passport;
- S. Consular Report of Birth Abroad, if applicable;
- Bio-pages of all current foreign passports;
- Certificates of Naturalization for any country, including the United States, if applicable;
- Certificates of Citizenship for any country, including the United States, if applicable;
- Evidence of any name changes, if applicable(for example marriage or divorce certificates, court orders or deed polls);
- Completed form DS-4079 – download the form from the Department of State website here
You will be required to pay a non-refundable fee of $2,350 or equivalent in Euros.
Residents of Greece
American Citizens who wish to renounce their U.S. citizenship or have any questions concerning this should contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate having jurisdiction over their place of residence.
American citizens resident in Greece should e-mail the Embassy atAthensAmericanPassports@state.gov for further information.
Appointments are scheduled approximately one month in advance, on a first come, first served basis. Please request an appointment only if you are able to attend.
On the day of your appointment, you will meet with a Consular Officer and be given another opportunity to review the Statement of Understanding prior to taking the Oath of Renunciation or signing the DS-4079 questionnaire. Your completed packet will be returned to the Department of State for review and approval. If approved, the date of expatriation will be determined based on individual circumstances. In straightforward renunciation cases the Certificate of Loss of Nationality will be the date the Oath of Renunciation was administered. It is important to note that this process may take several months to complete.
The Immigration and Nationality Act
Section 349(a)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) (8 U.S.C. 1481(a)(5) is the section of law that governs the ability of a United States citizen to renounce his or her U.S. citizenship. That section of law provides for the loss of nationality by voluntarily performing the following act with the intent to relinquish his or her U.S. nationality:
“(5) making a formal renunciation of nationality before a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States in a foreign state , in such form as may be prescribed by the Secretary of State” (emphasis added).
A person wishing to renounce his or her U.S. citizenship must voluntarily and with intent to relinquish U.S. citizenship:
- appear in person before a U.S. consular or diplomatic officer,
- in a foreign country (normally at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate); and
- sign an oath of renunciation
Renunciations that do not meet the conditions described above have no legal effect. Because of the provisions of section 349(a)(5), Americans cannot effectively renounce their citizenship by mail, through an agent, or while in the United States. In fact, U.S. courts have held certain attempts to renounce U.S. citizenship to be ineffective on a variety of grounds, as discussed below.
Requirement - Renounce All Rights and Priviledges
In the case of Colon v. U.S. Department of State , 2 F.Supp.2d 43 (1998), plaintiff was a United States citizen and resident of Puerto Rico, who executed an oath of renunciation before a consular officer at the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia rejected Colon’s petition for a writ of mandamus directing the Secretary of State to approve a Certificate of Loss of Nationality in the case because the plaintiff wanted to retain one of the primary benefits of U.S. citizenship while claiming he was not a U.S. citizen. The Court described the plaintiff as a person, “claiming to renounce all rights and privileges of United States citizenship, [while] Plaintiff wants to continue to exercise one of the fundamental rights of citizenship, namely to travel freely throughout the world and when he wants to, return and reside in the United States.” See also Jose Fufi Santori v. United States of America , 1994 U.S. App. LEXIS 16299 (1994) for a similar case.
A person who wants to renounce U.S. citizenship cannot decide to retain some of the privileges of citizenship, as this would be logically inconsistent with the concept of renunciation. Thus, such a person can be said to lack a full understanding of renouncing citizenship and/or lack the necessary intent to renounce citizenship, and the Department of State will not approve a loss of citizenship in such instances.
Persons intending to renounce U.S. citizenship should be aware that, unless they already possess a foreign nationality, they may be rendered stateless and, thus, lack the protection of any government. They may also have difficulty traveling as they may not be entitled to a passport from any country. Even if they were not stateless, they would still be required to obtain a visa to travel to the United States, or show that they are eligible for admission pursuant to the terms of the Visa Waiver Pilot Program (VWPP). If found ineligible for a visa or the VWPP to come to the U.S., a renunciant, under certain circumstances, could be barred from entering the United States. Nonetheless, renunciation of U.S. citizenship may not prevent a foreign country from deporting that individual back to the United States in some non-citizen status.
Tax and Military Obligations/No escape from Prosecution
Also, persons who wish to renounce U.S. citizenship should also be aware that the fact that a person has renounced U.S. citizenship may have no effect whatsoever on his or her U.S. tax or military service obligations (contact the Internal Revenue Service or U.S. Selective Service for more information). In addition, the act of renouncing U.S. citizenship will not allow persons to avoid possible prosecution for crimes which they may have committed in the United States, or escape the repayment of financial obligations previously incurred in the United States or incurred as United States citizens abroad.
Renunciation for Minor Children
Parents cannot renounce U.S. citizenship on behalf of their minor children. Before an oath of renunciation will be administered under Section 349(a)(5) of the INA, a person under the age of eighteen must convince a U.S. diplomatic or consular officer that he/she fully understands the nature and consequences of the oath of renunciation, is not subject to duress or undue influence, and is voluntarily seeking to renounce his/her U.S. citizenship.
Irrevocability of Renunciation
Finally, those contemplating a renunciation of U.S. citizenship should understand that the act is irrevocable, except as provided in section 351 of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1483) and cannot be canceled or set aside absent successful administrative or judicial appeal. (Section 351(b) of the INA provides that an applicant who renounced his or her U.S. citizenship before the age of eighteen can have that citizenship reinstated if he or she makes that desire known to the Department of State within six months after attaining the age of eighteen. See also Title 22, Code of Federal Regulations, section 50.20).
Renunciation is the most unequivocal way in which a person can manifest an intention to relinquish U.S. citizenship. Please consider the effects of renouncing U.S. citizenship, described above, before taking this serious and irrevocable action.