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Are Americans leaving the US?
June 10, 2008 9:09 PM   Subscribe

While Gerorge Soros and Jim Rodgers predict one of the worst recessions for the US, Americans seem to look for exit options in form of a second citizenship.

Some people seem to see it as treason if Americans accept a second non-US citizenship, but it must not necessary be a bad thing if Americans (and other folks) start leveraging with a second citizenship. After all they might not have much of a chance when corporations manufacture in China, administrate in India, sell in the US and pay their taxes on the Cayman Islands. The world has been flat for quite some time and if borders are open for capital and goods, why shouldn't they be open for people?

Maybe you want to check out if you are eligible for a European citizenship? But be aware of the disadvantages.
posted by yoyo_nyc (128 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
*Waves Canadian passport around mockingly*

BUSH LOL
posted by SassHat at 9:13 PM on June 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


>why shouldn't they be open for people?

I don't know. How's that big fence coming along America?
posted by pompomtom at 9:17 PM on June 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm looking for an exit option in the form of an Obama presidency.
posted by Poolio at 9:17 PM on June 10, 2008 [12 favorites]


The world has been flat for quite some time

One of reality's more endearing traits is that when Thomas Friedman writes something on the cover of a book, it doesn't necessarily become true.
posted by bicyclefish at 9:33 PM on June 10, 2008 [18 favorites]


SassHat, as much as I love Canada I wouldn't be waving the BUSHLOL sign around much with Harper as your number one dude. He's like a little version of Bush, like Mulroney was for Reagan.
posted by the dief at 9:38 PM on June 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


The world has been flat for quite some time and if borders are open for capital and goods, why shouldn't they be open for people?

Globalism for some, miniature American flags for all!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:39 PM on June 10, 2008 [5 favorites]


> *Waves Canadian passport around mockingly*

Have you really thought that through? Canada is a wonderful and unique nation and I love it as our neighbor so please hear me clearly when I say this... e.g. it's not a hit on Canadians. The United States is your LARGEST trading partner. The United States has a population of over 300,000,000 while Canada comes in at a little over 30,000,000 with 80% of that population within hours drive of the U.S. border. Bottom line... our economy is larger by so many gauges and maybe a smarter economist who feels like taking the time to explain more of the intricacies but when you take that, GDP and NAFTA into account the situation doesn't look that much better for our friends to the North.

So you can wave the passport of your wonderful country (and I mean that neighbor) but we are all in this together. Unfortunately (for this moment in time) the economy of your country is so tightly linked to that of the United States that if we go down Canada is going to feel it just as much, if not harder then the United States. I say this despite all the wonderful (if not environmentally questionable) money being generated from the Alberta tar sands.
posted by jasenlee at 9:52 PM on June 10, 2008


SassHat you are on a roll.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 9:56 PM on June 10, 2008


So, the only evidence at all that this may or may not be happening is the following incisive statement from the Palm Beach Post?

Since the United States doesn't keep statistics on dual citizens, it's impossible to know exactly how many people have applied for citizenship in Europe. But it's estimated that more than 40 million Americans are eligible for dual citizenship, and a growing number of Americans want to try their luck elsewhere.

So, are American's leaving the US? Well, the standard estimate in the late 1990s was 220,000 foreign-born and 48,000 U.S-born emigrants a year. In 2005, it was not much more. And no clear sign that this has changed.
posted by blahblahblah at 9:58 PM on June 10, 2008


The United States has a population of over 300,000,000 while Canada comes in at a little over 30,000,000 with 80% of that population within hours drive of the U.S. border.

We got all the people, they got all the oil and water. *headdesk*
posted by mullacc at 10:00 PM on June 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


For how tightly our economies are linked it's rather interesting that the Canadian economy has been very healthy through the last five years while yours has been in decline.
posted by loiseau at 10:11 PM on June 10, 2008


"if borders are open for capital and goods, why shouldn't they be open for people?"

Ah, but see, goods and money can move around the world freely. Labor can't, or globalization wouldn't work as well, at least for those who benefit the most from it. As you move down the ladder, it gets harder to move to another country and become a citizen.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:14 PM on June 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


Some people seem to see it as treason if Americans accept a second non-US citizenship

But those people are nationalist idiots, so never mind them.
posted by homunculus at 10:15 PM on June 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'd love to move to Canada. I work for a Vancouver-based company and I always enjoy my trips up there. If Obama doesn't get elected, I'll definitely move. I would probably give up my US citizenship, since US citizens still have to pay US taxes even if they don't live in the US, unlike every other civilized country.
posted by mike3k at 10:36 PM on June 10, 2008


> We got all the people, they got all the oil and water. *headdesk*

Oil maybe, water no. The Great Lakes are shared by both Canada and the United States. You have the power of the U.S. Government and the Canadian Government managing what has been called the largest source of freshwater in the world. Right now the two groups work together pretty well but on the Canadian side you have two provinces (Ontario and Québec) with a voice in how the water is used but on the U.S. side you have eight states (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin) and the power of the U.S. government managing that resource. How do you think things are going to swing if it gets rough. I'm just saying.

> For how tightly our economies are linked it's rather interesting that the Canadian economy has been very healthy through the last five years while yours has been in decline.

It is interesting... I can't deny that, but more often than not when stacked side by side against the United States the U.S. has shown longer periods of growth throughout the last century than Canada has. More often than not that growth (on the Canadian side) has been through weaknesses in U.S. economic policy. Personally, I need more than a five year record to show that Canada can stand independent of the U.S. and show the same level of prosperity without the current level of dependence Canada has on the United States.

So again, Canada... I love you but no amount of passport waving is going to save you from a economic collapse in the United States. If we go down, Canada goes down. May god (or the FSM) save us all.
posted by jasenlee at 10:38 PM on June 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


I have dual citizenship (US/Belgian). I live in DC, and while many forms of public service appeal to me, they require clearances I could never get (even if I renounced it all tomorrow).

I'm working in the Obama campaign (started in the potomac primaries, went to Ohio, working in Kentucky for the general), but I don't see it as a "stay and fight" or "get the hell out" dichotomy. Irresponsible leaders in the US impact the entire world... there is nowhere to run or hide. So I want things to turn around, but it doesn't really impact my decision to leave.
posted by phrontist at 10:39 PM on June 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


The Great Lakes are shared by both Canada and the United States.

Looking at a map I see a lot of big-ass lakes up there in Canada.
posted by tachikaze at 10:47 PM on June 10, 2008


I had no idea it was that easy to get EU citizenship for some people. Why can't I have a German grandfather? Just my dumb luck that my ancestors came to America via either the Mayflower or the Bering Strait.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:48 PM on June 10, 2008


For how tightly our economies are linked it's rather interesting that the Canadian economy has been very healthy through the last five years while yours has been in decline.

Not in decline so much, as just plain retrenchment. There was a lot of capital misallocation 2003-2006 -- SUVs, wars, commercial development, residential income property investment, etc -- that is beginning to, or will soon, sputter out as engine drivers.

The inefficiencies of the American economic sectors -- health care, education, the financials, the military-industrial complex -- are beginning to interfere with each other, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Canada has the advantage of having the population of California coupled with the natural wealth of half a continent.
posted by tachikaze at 10:53 PM on June 10, 2008


I do not see the advantages of dual citizenship. As a US citizen living permanently in Sweden (for more than 15 yeats), I couldn't be bothered with obtaining a Swedish passport. Why?, travel to the U.S. requires U.S. citizens to enter using their U.S. passport. Travel to and from Sweden within Schengen does not require any passport at all. Outside of that, traveling with an EU or US passport presents little difference.

As for being able to live and work in any EU country, I can do that now. I'm self-employed (doing something for which there is always a shortage of trained locals), I can show tax recepits, and getting a work and residency visa anywhere I might want to actually live in the EU isn't difficult. I decided to pull up stakes and move to London for 2 years and it was lengthy, but not difficult to obtain the visas.

That's the practical side. There is also something of an emotional side.

Some people seem to see it as treason if Americans accept a second non-US citizenship

It has always been obvious to me that I would never under any circumstances give up my US passport. I'm American and America is my country. I won't pretend to be anything else. Having come to that conclusion, it is also obvious that I could never make the same commitment to Sweden, as much as I love her. I usually say to people who press me on the subject that America is my country, but Sweden is my home. This works for me.

Not being able myself to accept the role of a dual citizenship it would seem not treasonous, but morally questionable to seek a second passport. Frankly unless those Americans talking about moving to Canada are ready to serve in the Canadan Armed forces, defend the Canadian flag, and cheer for Canada in any and all sports events, they shouldn't be talking about Canadian citizenship.
posted by three blind mice at 10:54 PM on June 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


Hmm.. isn't there some site where you can plug in a series of answers to determine which country will proffer citizenship in the least amount of time, with the least amount of hassle?

Instead of, you know, reading 20-odd separate synopses of varying countries rules.
posted by unmake at 11:01 PM on June 10, 2008


Frankly unless those Americans talking about moving to Canada are ready to serve in the Canadan Armed forces, defend the Canadian flag, and cheer for Canada in any and all sports events, they shouldn't be talking about Canadian citizenship.

Ha, this is such a weird notion. States are defined by governments - people are much more nuanced than that. We're all stateless persons, some of us simply have tighter relationships with a government or two.
posted by phrontist at 11:03 PM on June 10, 2008 [10 favorites]


well, here in singapore dual citizenships are not allowed

Also i cant believe Jim Rodgers is residing in Singapore..
posted by ntoken at 11:06 PM on June 10, 2008


Frankly unless those Americans talking about moving to Canada are ready to serve in the Canadan Armed forces, defend the Canadian flag, and cheer for Canada in any and all sports events, they shouldn't be talking about Canadian citizenship.

Sign me up. The hockey's better there. Also, I tear up at the Canadian national anthem whereas my own leaves me unmoved. Go figure.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 11:43 PM on June 10, 2008


If Obama doesn't get elected, I'll definitely move. I would probably give up my US citizenship, since US citizens still have to pay US taxes even if they don't live in the US...

Go ahead and try giving up your US citizenship. Most likely, the US will simply ignore it. But if you insist, expect the IRS to hand you a bill for the next 10 years of tax revenue that they assume you're trying to sneak out on.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 11:50 PM on June 10, 2008


The EU/US economic partnership is the deepest and largest bilateral trade and investment relationship in the world. Trade flows across the Atlantic are running at around 1.7 billion euros a day. The EU is home to almost 70 percent of total outward US investment.1

I'm baffled by the idea of someone trying to escape an American recession by fleeing to Europe. Economically, the EU and US are Siamese twins connected at the face. "Interdependent to a high degree." The only thing to gain by fleeing to Europe would be to find yourself in a foreign country during a global economic slowdown, surrounded by foreigners who are pissed off about losing their jobs, and probably pissed off at you for trying to come over and take theirs.
posted by Ljubljana at 11:54 PM on June 10, 2008


We got all the people, they got all the oil and water. *headdesk*

Um....

US oil production: 8.322 million bbl/day
Canadian oil production: 3.092 million bbl/day.

So the US produces more then twice as much oil as Canada.
posted by delmoi at 12:03 AM on June 11, 2008


So you can wave the passport of your wonderful country (and I mean that neighbor) but we are all in this together.

Sorry, but you are wrong wrong wrong and...wrong. The housing crisis has not affected Canada whatsoever. We have a lower unemployment rate, and actually created jobs last quarter. We have a balanced budget (for now, but a small deficit may not be such a bad thing). True, the absolute shittiness and uselessness of American-branded cars have affected the auto industry in Ontario (which may slide into recession), but the rest of Canada is doing just fine, thanks very much, largely due to high commodity prices and of course, energy.

Will Canada be affected by the American slowdown? Undoubtedly, but not because of our shared destiny. Canada will be affected (and is being affected) like the rest of the world. And it cannot be stressed enough that we happen to have our fiscal house in order. So there.

SassHat, as much as I love Canada I wouldn't be waving the BUSHLOL sign around much with Harper as your number one dude. He's like a little version of Bush, like Mulroney was for Reagan.

Give me a break. Mulroney is the best thing that has happened to Canada. He set up Free Trade, which has been nothing but a blessing for Canada. And he also genuinely tried to find a way out of the constitutional mess, and find a place for Quebec in Canada.

Harper is definitely on the right-wing end of the political spectrum, but he's definitely sticking to the center right now. As for being a little version of Bush, well, you gotta do what you gotta do. Still, you have to admire Chretien and his fuck-you attitude towards the States.

At the end of the day, I hate that Canadian attitude of "LOL U R idiotz" to the Americans. It's unsophisticated and unfriendly. I'm genuinely happy for my American friends and their chance to elect Obama into office. The entire "hope" thing is kind of schmaltzy, but hope is what you guys need, and I am one Canadian cheering you on.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:06 AM on June 11, 2008 [4 favorites]


I can't decide if people preparing to run off to the United NewZaust CanaBelgeAnia are brave pioneers seeking new lands or rootless cosmopolitans you can't count on for shit.

I'm conflicted. I'm far from happy about where the US is right now but I can't imagine I'd be happier leaving my friends and extended family to be a sniffy emigre in a cafe somewhere.
posted by codswallop at 12:09 AM on June 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


We got all the people, they got all the oil and water....

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.....nah!
posted by The Light Fantastic at 12:23 AM on June 11, 2008


I can't decide if people preparing to run off to the United NewZaust CanaBelgeAnia are brave pioneers seeking new lands or rootless cosmopolitans you can't count on for shit.

History tends to be written by the survivors. Sometimes those survivors became survivors by running like abject cowards.
posted by Ritchie at 12:30 AM on June 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


codswallop: Half my (very small) family is over there anyway. After college, I don't expect to be living near my friends anyway (I go to school out of state). You say rootless cosmopolitan like it's a bad thing. America, as a country, exists thanks to people who decided it was easier to jump the Atlantic than change things at home. Nothing could be more American than leaving.
posted by phrontist at 12:37 AM on June 11, 2008 [6 favorites]


brave pioneers seeking new lands or rootless cosmopolitans you can't count on

I struggle with that myself, but you know, having populations in diaspora has generally been good for the home country. Look at the role of emigre Indians in the Indian economy, for one example. Migrant workers - non-immigrant guest workers, I mean - generally are sending big bucks back home too. Plus, expat communities strengthen ties between the two countries and boost for their home team, in the same way that foreign exchange students do. So whether the individual is selfishly motivated or not, I think it's a net positive either way.
posted by BinGregory at 12:44 AM on June 11, 2008


/facepalm.

I sincerely wish all the whiners would run away to their faux European utopias. Sadly, 99.99% of them are all talk and no action. When push comes to shove their resolve is as lazy as their work ethic.
posted by dsquid at 1:18 AM on June 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


dsquid: I'm the genuine article. I left the US three years ago, and have had to endure endless numbers of personal attacks from insecure, scared little boys on the interwebs because of that decision.

Some people seem to see it as treason if Americans accept a second non-US citizenship,

...and some people are Nationalistic, xenophobes who have been blinded and deafened by the outrageous bullshit they were spoon fed in American History class.

I will never understand why someone would brand me as a traitor for leaving the US and pursuing citizenship elsewhere. I happened to exit a vagina on American soil... in what way does that tie me to the place? Am I not free to leave? The American government did absolutely nothing for me, so why am I bound to it?

Americans stopped giving a shit about anything but money LONG BEFORE BUSH fucked things up to this sad extent. This storm has been coming for some time.

rootless cosmopolitans you can't count on

Complete bollocks. My tiny little amount of tax revenue pales in comparison to the trillions that the huge corporations get away without paying. Make those 'rootless' motherfuckers pay up. I'm too old to fight in a war, and I never would have done in the first place. I never took and tax money away from anyone, and I paid doctors, dentists, lawyers and insurance men a fortune to live there (for which I got some truly shady, shoddy, extremely overpriced overhyped medical care when I could afford it).

People ask me all the time: Don't you miss America?

What's to miss? Everything America does well is exported. Everything it does poorly is exported as well. I don't miss anything except the amazingly fucked up health care situation, and that's a blessing I can do without. In 2010, when I'm eligible, I'm going to become a full citizen here, and there's nothing a bunch of frightened little flag-wavers on the net can do to stop me.
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:40 AM on June 11, 2008 [13 favorites]


I'm far from happy about where the US is right now but I can't imagine I'd be happier leaving my friends and extended family to be a sniffy emigre in a cafe somewhere.
posted by codswallop at 8:09 AM on June 11 [+] [!]


You never know until you try. I'm way happier, if not as 'sniffy' as you suppose. I also don't go to cafes. What's wrong with pubs, you Philistine?
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:45 AM on June 11, 2008


Nothing could be more American than leaving.

Thems fightin' words, you hippie.

*squares up*

Don't you listen to Toby Keith? Fucking TRAITOR.
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:47 AM on June 11, 2008


From your last wiki link (which I doubt people read thoroughly):

Taxation

In some cases, multiple citizenship can create additional tax liability. Countries that impose tax will generally use a combination of three factors when determining if a person is subject to taxation:

* Residency - they tax anyone who lives there, regardless of citizenship;
* Source - they tax income earned there; or
* Citizenship - they tax their citizens.

Most countries use residency and/or source when determining if a person should be subject to taxation. A few countries, such as the Philippines and the United States, do use citizenship as one of the determining factors for tax liability.

A person with multiple citizenship may have a tax liability to his country of residence and also to one or more of his countries of citizenship; or worse, if he was unaware that one of his citizenships created a tax liability, then that country may consider him to be a tax evader. Many countries and territories have contracted tax treaties or agreements for avoiding double taxation. Still, there are cases in which a person with multiple citizenship will owe tax solely on the basis of holding one of those citizenships.

Example: A person who holds both Australian and United States citizenship, lives and works in Australia. He would be subject to Australian taxation, because Australia taxes its residents, and he would be subject to US taxation because he holds US citizenship. In general, he would be allowed to subtract the Australian income tax he paid from the US tax that would be due. Plus, the US will allow some parts of foreign income to be exempt from taxation; for instance, in 2006 the foreign earned income exclusion allowed up to US$82,400 of foreign salaried income to be exempt from income tax.[14] This exemption, plus the credit for foreign taxes paid mentioned above, often results in no US taxes being owed, although a US tax return would still have to be filed. In instances where the Australian tax was less than the US tax, and if there was income that could not be exempted from US tax, the US would expect any tax due to be paid.


So, um, class. Even when you leave America, the government still fucks you over. One must be cautious not to earn over $82,400 (a sum which seems to shrink in real terms daily) or one must reject one's American citizenship completely (an act which will surely bar you from ever visiting again).

Nice, eh?
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:51 AM on June 11, 2008


Like three blind mice, I've lived in Europe for a few years now, and at this point in history there really aren't any advantages and lots of hassles to giving up US citizenship. The current Adminstration is terrible and any following Administration will probably not be much better (I hope for an improvement, but don't expect it). But even so, it is simply easy to travel and deal with various officials in the First World if you have a US passport, and getting another different passport would create more hoops to jump through.
posted by moonbiter at 1:59 AM on June 11, 2008


it is simply easy to travel and deal with various officials in the First World if you have a US passport, and getting another different passport would create more hoops to jump through.

I don't know that you're right (I reckon a UK passport will be just as good, if not better), but I'm keen to find out.
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:04 AM on June 11, 2008


One must be cautious not to earn over $82,400 (a sum which seems to shrink in real terms daily) or one must reject one's American citizenship completely (an act which will surely bar you from ever visiting again).

Unless you're working for the UN or some other agency whose employees don't pay local tax, it doesn't matter what you earn. Income taxed in Europe (where the taxes are generally higher) gets credited 100% against what you might owe in the US so there's really no double taxation. A drag to fill in several sets of tax returns though.

The 82,400 limit was part of a change in the law (Bush's tax cuts) that hit really hard against American UN employees living outside the US. Their formerly tax free income suddenly was no longer tax free. I know more than a few expats complaining about this "tax cut" and who do not want to see it made permanent.

Anyway if taxes is what drives you to go country shopping, then you're missing the point of living.

Ha, this is such a weird notion. States are defined by governments - people are much more nuanced than that. We're all stateless persons, some of us simply have tighter relationships with a government or two.

Then don't seek and accept the passport of a foreign government.
posted by three blind mice at 2:07 AM on June 11, 2008


by running like abject cowards.

I sort of think that it's more cowardly to stay in America and do nothing at all about the atrocitites commited by the current government (torture, unauthorised wire tapping, flouting the Geneva convention... I could go on for say, five hours on this topic).
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:07 AM on June 11, 2008


A drag to fill in several sets of tax returns though.

I still haven't done it this year. I had until June (ex-Americans get longer to fill it in), but I couldn't be arsed. I don't owe anything, so it's just a chore I can't work up any enthusiasm for.

I can't really see what the negative effect will be if I don't file. What are they going to do? Stop me from entering the US?
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:10 AM on June 11, 2008


Sorry, but you are wrong wrong wrong and...wrong. The housing crisis has not affected Canada whatsoever.

Don't hold your breath, mate.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:20 AM on June 11, 2008


but I'm keen to find out.

Ohmigod, they've already gotten to you, chuckdarwin!
Or should I say got to you?
posted by Turtles all the way down at 2:55 AM on June 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Turtles all the way down, that battle over my syntax long over. I probably sound a lot like Lloyd Grossman now (except when I sing - I still sound like a shit-kicker).

I don't know how anyone could live here for years and not pick up the language. Repeating yourself all the time gets old pretty quickly.
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:00 AM on June 11, 2008


One must be cautious not to earn over $82,400

Jeez, if I could earn over 82,400USD I'd throw caution to the wind and happily fork over tax due on the extra. Just wishful thinking on my part though, I'm afraid.
posted by BinGregory at 3:01 AM on June 11, 2008


BinGregory, it's more the principle of the thing: I don't relish the idea of paying tax in America when I don't even live there, or reap any benefit from having a blue passport. When / If I start earning £42,117.44 a year, then I'll have to reassess my position, of course.
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:07 AM on June 11, 2008


I happened to exit a vagina on American soil... in what way does that tie me to the place?

I have the same point of view about entering American vaginas.
posted by rokusan at 3:08 AM on June 11, 2008 [4 favorites]


if I don't file. What are they going to do? Stop me from entering the US?

This is precisely what I worry about - they could call it tax evasion or something. I don't want to get whisked away at the airport. But it says that there is no penalty for filing late if you don't owe. So I figure I can always file the paperwork if/when they try to get nasty. As yet the fear of future hassle hasn't overcome the immediate hassle of filing now.
posted by BinGregory at 3:20 AM on June 11, 2008


BinGregory, I did file last year, and it was quite the palaver. I ended up making a skype call to the tax office (because you can't call a 1-800 number from the UK) and talking to someone who knew even less about US taxation law than I do. I finally figured out what to fill in and sent it off.

This year, they seem to have sent me the proper forms. I just need to buy some beer, lock the door, turn off the phone and fill the sodding things in.
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:24 AM on June 11, 2008


chuckdarwin -- "I can't really see what the negative effect will be if I don't file. What are they going to do? Stop me from entering the US?

Well, the IRS does have options even if you don't owe money.

First of all, they're gonna pester you to death (speaking from experience here). Get ready for weekly if not more frequent, letters reminding you of your obligation, asking you to contact them ASAP and generally (if you're like me and don't care much for government intrusion) making your life hell.

Second stage, if you've got stateside assets they can levy "backup withholding", or a %28 forced deduction from and remittance to the IRS by any entity (e.g., brokerage, bank, etc) served this notice by the IRS. The issue here will be the IRS will assume you owe money, and until you file that return and they accept it, this is just your opnion.

Third, travel. When your passport expires, you'll naturally want to renew it. Since 911 Americans living abroad must renew their passports in their foreign country of residence. As per Federal Tax Law, specifically Section 6039E of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 "requires that applicants provide their name, mailing address, date of birth and social security number." Note that State directs any questions on this requirement to the IRS, and mentions fine if you try to apply without providing your SS#.

When you do this, State will obtain confirmation from the IRS that you're current on your taxes; if you haven't filed for a certain period of time (not really sure what that is, but it ain't two years as I was that late once and I didn't have a problem) State will deny the renewal until IRS says its ok.

Its in your best interests to file, as IRS can only come back to you about information you've reported for three years. So once you do file, that clock is ticking. Don't file, and that avenue for hassle is still open.

They won't want to attach assets or income in England for lots of reasons - I know of folks that haven't filed in almost ten years without issue. So they'll look stateside first. But they know at some point you'll have to have some interaction with the Federal Government (I heard of one Gal it was when she filed for Social Security), and that's when they'll present you with a bill for back taxes / penalties / etc.

Seems like I'm always late. But my taxes are very complex as I've got a small business here (London), work two jobs here, travel a lot for work (cuts tax liability), have income generating assets stateside, keep a second flat in Amsterdam, and I trade a lot in my personal accounts.

For 2007 my income tax return might break two hundred pages! Come the revolution someones gonna pay!!
posted by Mutant at 3:35 AM on June 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


Jeez, if I could earn over 82,400USD I'd throw caution to the wind and happily fork over tax due on the extra. Just wishful thinking on my part though, I'm afraid.

I don't think that chuckdarwin has talked to a real tax professional about ex-pat tax issues, because mine has told me that I will be highly unlikely to ever pay taxes to the US government on top of my foreign taxes, even though I make more than $82,400 per year. Something about dual-taxation agreements.
posted by cmonkey at 3:36 AM on June 11, 2008


whoops! Not enough AM coffee typo -- "this is just your opnion."

should read "...owing nothing is just your opinion."
posted by Mutant at 3:37 AM on June 11, 2008


Cheers for that, Mutant. I owe you a pint.

You've made me feel much better about filling in a paltry few forms. I'll do it this weekend, guv.
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:46 AM on June 11, 2008


cmonkey -- "...because mine has told me that I will be highly unlikely to ever pay taxes to the US government on top of my foreign taxes, even though I make more than $82,400 per year. Something about dual-taxation agreements."

Spot on cmonkey. Since we're fully taxed on the UK side, we get what are called tax loss carryforwards (that link is hideous, but its the only thing out there - this is a very, very obscure part of the US tax code).

You won't be getting money back, but in years forward the current years tax loss can be carried forward and applied to future obligations.

In spite of the higher taxes in the UK, approached properly an American living in the UK can have an overall tax burden of about %15. A rate of taxation that I'm very comfortable enduring.

N.B. For those ex-pat Amercians living in the UK - your current rate might vary, so I suggest engaging with your tax professional, learning how both systems work and actively playing them off against each other. It is by no means illegal, and no, its not immoral - you're just acting as a rational market participant and seeking to minimise your overall tax burden within the letter of the law.
posted by Mutant at 3:48 AM on June 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


cmonkey, are you on about this treaty?

It would be good (if I didn't have to pay), but I really think the tax forms are quite specific. Any amount one earns OVER the cutoff (£42,117.44) is taxable... which could bite me in the arse if I get a rise (which I greatly deserve).

I did have a rather long discussion about this at brits_americans and I looked it up on http://www.americanexpats.co.uk/
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:51 AM on June 11, 2008


Never mind! I think Mutant has this topic well in hand!
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:54 AM on June 11, 2008


In spite of the higher taxes in the UK, approached properly an American living in the UK can have an overall tax burden of about %15. A rate of taxation that I'm very comfortable enduring.

Mutant, are you free for a pint anytime soon? :)
posted by vacapinta at 3:56 AM on June 11, 2008


I'm surprised by the emotional reactions by US mefites about people who leave not being reliable f.i.
In my experience in NL nobody gets riled up when somebody decides to emigrate. To be with their spanish boyfriend, to work in Germany, to have better diving opportunities in Australia, to find an exciting career in California f.i.

Can it be that US americans emigrating challenges the self-image that the US is the pinnacle of societies, object of envy for the whole world and the center of gravity around which the rest of the world swirls?
posted by jouke at 4:01 AM on June 11, 2008 [8 favorites]


Yes vacapinta, Mutant is free for a pint on the 21st in Amsterdam.
The Amsterdam meetup!
You're invited too.
posted by jouke at 4:05 AM on June 11, 2008


Its in your best interests to file, as IRS can only come back to you about information you've reported for three years. So once you do file, that clock is ticking. Don't file, and that avenue for hassle is still open.


Thanks, Mutant, that was useful information.
posted by BinGregory at 4:10 AM on June 11, 2008


SassHat, have you thought about using your Canadjun citizenship as a way to meet hot hot librul [American] guys? Or does it not work that way?
posted by Eideteker at 4:28 AM on June 11, 2008


jouke just won the internet. Where shall we deliver it?
posted by chuckdarwin at 4:34 AM on June 11, 2008


because you can't call a 1-800 number from the UK

Give it a try CD. On a lot of numbers, you can still get through after a recorded message tells you that you will still have to pay normal rates.
posted by triggerfinger at 5:11 AM on June 11, 2008


vacapinta -- "Mutant, are you free for a pint anytime soon? :)"

Hey there vacapinta. You know until I read this thread I didn't realise just how many MeFites were Americans living in England! Why don't we commandeer the next UK meetup for our own purposes? Sometime in July would work well for me and it seems were due one ... unless you can make it June 21st in Amsterdam that is.


jouke -- "Can it be that US americans emigrating challenges the self-image that the US is the pinnacle of societies, object of envy for the whole world and the center of gravity around which the rest of the world swirls?"

Yeh, now that's a very interesting observation jouke.

My wife is Dutch and moved to London from Amsterdam when we got married last September. The worst she's had to endure from her family are good natured taunts about bad weather and worse food in England (food is fine but the weather sometimes is indefensible). Oh, and lots of Hema catalouges sent by her father to remind her of all the wurst and gebak she can't get in London.

My family back in The States are for the most part indifferent but its easy to discern from their comments when the US media is cranking up the pro America / anti RestOfWorld rhetoric.

I took Mrs Mutant back to The Farm in April to meet my family, as Maw was illin' when we eloped to Vegas and couldn't make the trip (sidenote: took her to a KKK rally, a church picnic and a rodeo and we're still married - I think its true love!!)

Well now I know this was a remote part of The United States, but at times some people were more than a little put off when they learned I didn't live in America any longer, as this comment illustrates. Other folks just assumed Mrs Mutant would be living in The United States since we were married. Like it was some kind of prize, and she'd WON!

Very curious behaviour, but I think you're correct - for some odd reason, many Americans perceive people that don't want to live in The United States with hostility.

And also disbelief. I spent about six months working in Warsaw, and got to know many Poles (wonderful people, btw) very well. I'm a very curious sort, always asking lots of questions of folks I meet about how they live, what their life is like, etc. So I got to know some things going on in Warsaw fairly well, and learned many younger Poles were choosing to stay in Poland, or perhaps work in Western Europe for a year or two, solely to acquire capital & expertise before returning to Poland to reside permanently. No, not choosing to emigrate to the United States.

Any way, when I mentioned to folks back home that many Polish people were no longer coming to America they refused to believe me. I found it difficult convince them that given a choise, Polish people would eagerly return to a free Poland to help develop their nation. They just couldn't grasp that the primary driver of much of the Polish immigration to The United States was due to lack of freedom and opportunity in Europe, and, once those barriers were definitively removed, now that Poland was part of The EU, most Poles would stick closer to home.


In any case, there are some interesting books out on what many call the "New Europe".

Super-State: The New Europe and its Challenge to America: Britain and the Drive to a New Europe, by Haseler is very interesting, especially so he discussed American hostility towards an emergent "New Europe".

Leonard wrote Why Europe Will Run the 21st Century , a book that posits much of European economic and political success in the 21st Century is due to American's predilection towards unilateral force, while Europe seeks to trade with other states.

Disclaimer: I'm a banker by education and by no means an expert in this area so please, please suggest other, perhaps more highly regard books on this topic, as this is an area of interest for myself and I suspect lots of MeFites. These were but two of a large pile of (non financial) books I took with me when I went to Bombay for a month in 2005.
posted by Mutant at 5:34 AM on June 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


The American government did absolutely nothing for me

Bullshit. Loads of people in America say this all the time, not realizing that one of the reasons they're even alive is because of the efforts of the US government, not to mention all of the other programs intent on keeping you alive and allowing to you to enrich your life. (Education comes to mind...) Granted, a lot of programs are broken, and there are folks who seek to break them further, but the successes far outweigh the failures.

I'm not asking you to love America and stay put, but think this statement through a little more. Your statement comes across rather short-sighted.
posted by grubi at 5:37 AM on June 11, 2008


it is simply easy to travel and deal with various officials in the First World if you have a US passport, and getting another different passport would create more hoops to jump through.

I don't know that you're right (I reckon a UK passport will be just as good, if not better), but I'm keen to find out.


I have an 'American' friend with both a British and American passport. When traveling to certain countries he uses which-ever passport will garner the least ill-will.
posted by From Bklyn at 5:42 AM on June 11, 2008


grubi, my state school education in Appalachian America was painfully bad. Awful. For the most part, I would have been better off staying home and reading TV Guide.

In second grade, my teacher tied my left hand (The Devil's Hand, as she called it) to my belt loop for weeks as she forced me to learn to write with my right hand.

Don't preach to me about how I should be grateful. The schools here are far better, and, if anything, I would have been better off I'd been born British in the first place.
posted by chuckdarwin at 5:58 AM on June 11, 2008


Well now I know this was a remote part of The United States, but at times some people were more than a little put off when they learned I didn't live in America any longer, as this comment illustrates. Other folks just assumed Mrs Mutant would be living in The United States since we were married. Like it was some kind of prize, and she'd WON!

Very curious behaviour, but I think you're correct - for some odd reason, many Americans perceive people that don't want to live in The United States with hostility.


Brilliant summary! In many ways, I blame the the way that Americans are taught about history... it's as if the books were written by zealots who were convinced that GOD really DID BLESS AMERICA and anyone who says different is a FUCKING COMMIE PINKO who deserves to HANG.

That impression is reinforced every school day; and all the flags, pledges, patriotic songs, etc. don't help. I think people who spend too much time in American schools have a weirdly inflated sense of patriotism.
posted by chuckdarwin at 6:04 AM on June 11, 2008


"The American government did absolutely nothing for me"

Of course not. You were a privileged* white male. The American Government never did anything for you. In my case, though, they did go to war so my parents could eventually marry and make me! Thanks, Mr. Lincoln!

* priveleged enough to leave the country
posted by Eideteker at 6:09 AM on June 11, 2008


You know, Eideteker, I'm sitting here trying to make a mental list of things to be personally grateful (to the US government) for.

I'm really struggling to think of anything. I really am.
posted by chuckdarwin at 6:13 AM on June 11, 2008


Ouch. Your comment started out so nice&interesting. But then: wurst! That pains me. We Dutch are not some quaint sort of Germans. They are Deutsch. We are completely different. We eat worst!
It's as if I'd talk to a Canadian blithely about his president Bush and chastise him for his country's unprovoked invasion of Iraq.

posted by jouke at 6:19 AM on June 11, 2008


Don't preach to me about how I should be grateful.

Where did I do that? I simply pointed out something your statement overlooked: the US government does more for the people in this country than they are aware of. Be grateful or don't be grateful; I don't give a fuck.

And try not to get a nosebleed up there on your high horse.
posted by grubi at 6:20 AM on June 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


They let you leave. Though maybe you're right, and they didn't do that for you. Maybe they did it for the rest of us.
posted by Eideteker at 6:20 AM on June 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


Maybe they did it for the rest of us.

Cheers. I'm glad we can all agree. Some people are born in the wrong place.
posted by chuckdarwin at 6:25 AM on June 11, 2008


It was interesting to see this ask metafilter question the other day and now, this post.
posted by vacapinta at 6:27 AM on June 11, 2008


Wait, I thought everyone moved to Canada after the last presidential election?
posted by mattholomew at 6:40 AM on June 11, 2008


jouke -- "But then: wurst! That pains me. We Dutch are not some quaint sort of Germans. They are Deutsch. We are completely different. We eat worst!"

Ah! Apologies jouke! I don't speak Dutch but do speak German, and even though Mrs Mutant has told me dozens of times the correct spelling hasn't quite sunk in yet ... but I did get the cheese part correct, yes?
posted by Mutant at 6:43 AM on June 11, 2008


Whoops! Another typo -- "...but I did get the cheese part correct, yes?"

should read but I did get the cake part correct, yes?

I can never separate German handkasse from wurst, no matter how I try ...
posted by Mutant at 6:45 AM on June 11, 2008


This post was specifically designed for Chuckdarwin to get his rocks off, wasn't it?
posted by Stynxno at 6:51 AM on June 11, 2008


In many ways, I blame the the way that Americans are taught about history... it's as if the books were written by zealots who were convinced that GOD really DID BLESS AMERICA and anyone who says different is a FUCKING COMMIE PINKO who deserves to HANG.

Damn, I shoulda paid more attention in class and read the textbooks more carefully; I don't remember any of that.
posted by JanetLand at 6:53 AM on June 11, 2008


I don't remember any of that.

Maybe your school had a better textbook. In retrospect, it seems that mine was written by neocons.
posted by chuckdarwin at 6:55 AM on June 11, 2008


@Stynxno


This post was specifically designed for Chuckdarwin to get his rocks off, wasn't it?


Well, all my posts are spedifically designed for Chuckdarwin to get his rocks off.

posted by yoyo_nyc at 6:59 AM on June 11, 2008


Stynxno, I think it was designed to illustrate the fact that Mutant rules.
posted by chuckdarwin at 6:59 AM on June 11, 2008


No, that's what hardcore economics threads are for.
posted by Eideteker at 7:05 AM on June 11, 2008


Mutant, I was taking the piss out of the narcissism of small differences" that the Dutch tend to have towards the Germans. Zelfspot (self-mocking)!
No apologies necessary of course.

Did chuckdarwin get his rocks off? I feel so dirty and used!
posted by jouke at 7:08 AM on June 11, 2008


Did chuckdarwin get his rocks off?

Not yet! I'm not that quick on the draw. Give me a little credit.
posted by chuckdarwin at 7:11 AM on June 11, 2008


I guess the problem with some Americans is that they see their country as "the best" which is a very childish thing to do (everyone who want to leave to Europe is a communist bla bla). In Europe people understand that countries and cultures are different, which does not mean that they are better or worse than other countries or cultures. If you tell your friends in Europe that you move to Spain, Australia or Mexico they probably envy you and don't make any judgements.
I left Europe myself and live in the states. While I don't know the US too well I love NYC. But I also see that well eduacted people that came to the US are leaving to find better options elsewhere. I , since having experienced some discrimination in my job search in the US, am also considering leaving my favorite city in the world. At this time there are better options elsewhere.
posted by yoyo_nyc at 7:13 AM on June 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


...as much as I love Canada I wouldn't be waving the BUSHLOL sign around much with Harper as your number one dude. He's like a little version of Bush

Did Bush get elected because Clinton and the Democrats were seen as hopelessly corrupt? No? Because that's why Harper got elected (because Martin and the Liberal Party were seen as hopelessly corrupt).

As for Harper being a little version of Bush, well, that's just so ridiculous it's hard to respond to. But hey, as an example, guess what Harper is doing today? Hard to imagine Bush doing the same thing.
posted by stinkycheese at 7:13 AM on June 11, 2008


Sorry, but you are wrong wrong wrong and...wrong. The housing crisis has not affected Canada whatsoever.

This is of course asinine. The housing crisis has affected the exchange rate, among other things, which ends up enriching AB/SK at the expense of ON/QC. I daresay the effects go much deeper but I do not believe that you could find an economist, credible or otherwise, who would disagree with my contention.
posted by Kwantsar at 7:28 AM on June 11, 2008


I do not see the advantages of dual citizenship.

The advantages are simple and stark.

If you are a permanent resident somewhere, you are a guest and can be easily kicked out any time the country you live in decides that they're tired of guests. Or if you fuck up and commit a crime. Kicking out citizens is substantially tougher.

Likewise, becoming a citizen of the country you live in (normally) means that you can go back to your home country for an extended period and then return to the country you currently live in without having to go through the immigration process again.

on the Canadian side you have two provinces (Ontario and Québec) with a voice in how the water is used

Why does Quebec get a say without any shoreline?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:39 AM on June 11, 2008


Soros is completely insane.
posted by tadellin at 7:44 AM on June 11, 2008


Stuff White People Like #75: Threatening to move to Canada.
posted by anthill at 7:45 AM on June 11, 2008


People should have exactly the same international mobility as money.
posted by aramaic at 8:04 AM on June 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


I have been actively pursuing dual citizenship in Ireland. I'm not sure who to bribe, but I'm pretty sure I'll move to Ireland or Europe in the next ten years or so.
posted by disclaimer at 8:11 AM on June 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Canada will invade in our time of weakness.
posted by Tacodog at 8:47 AM on June 11, 2008


Oil maybe, water no.

According to this website, Canada has 2,850 km^3/year of renewable water resources vs the US's 2,000 km^3/year (excluding Alaska, which would add another 800 km^3/yearl). So, assuming I'm not totally misreading these spreadsheets, Canada has a small advantage in total water resources, but a huge advantage relative to population.

I read in this book that there was talk back in the '80s about a North American Water and Power Alliance (NAWAPA), a development project which would import water from Alaska and Canada into the western US. I got the sense it was more fantasy than reality*, but just the idea of it demonstrates the resource advantage Canada holds.

* It doesn't help that the first Google hit for "NAWAPA" is a long Lyndon LaRouche essay.
posted by mullacc at 8:58 AM on June 11, 2008


So a couple of billionaires who through shorting (and other stock manipulations) stand to make money if the economy tanks are out there giving interviews saying the economy is going to tank? Wow. No way could there be an ulterior motive there.

But anyways, yes, continue with the whole America vs whateverothercountry debate. Pardon the interruption.
posted by Salmonberry at 9:01 AM on June 11, 2008


Stynxno: assinine
Yes! Of course the boring correct spelling 'asinine' in the meaning of a pejorative is derived from 'asinine' meaning pertaining to an animal. Which is in turn from 'equus asinus', meaning 'donkey'. While the synonym for 'donkey' is 'ass' in the meaning of the animal. But 'ass' has also a pejorative meaning. This all you pointed out by simply adding a superfluous 's'.
Very elegant. A delightful quip.
posted by jouke at 9:16 AM on June 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


@Salmonberry
No way could there be an ulterior motive there.

Then put your money where your mouth is and bet against them...
posted by yoyo_nyc at 9:21 AM on June 11, 2008



People should have exactly the same international mobility as money.


It's kind of a shame that it doesn't work this way. A company can easily move its plants (relatively speaking) from country to country, but workers can't easily do the same.
posted by drezdn at 9:26 AM on June 11, 2008


US oil production: 8.322 million bbl/day
Canadian oil production: 3.092 million bbl/day.


Uh...

US population: 301,139,947
Canadian population: 33,390,141

So, an order of magnitude less people, and a bit less than 40% the oil output.

The simple numeric truth of the matter is that Canada has more natural resources that everyone needs--not just our largest trading partner (oil, natural gas, lumber, fish, fresh water...)--and has a fairly small population to manage (/pay for). On top of that, they have a sane sense of wealth redistribution (at least, compared to the U.S.), which means less crime, healthier workforce, longer life expectancies... really, for the average American, there isn't much of a challenge between the U.S. and Canada for overall lifestyle. If you don't mind the weather (how's that 100-degree heatwave across the country doing?) and the fact that you're sacrificing the potential to be a multi-gajillionaire like Bill Gates for the benefit of knowing you'll never go hungry, or without a home, or be unable to afford medical care... well, it's a no-brainer.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:17 AM on June 11, 2008


Don't hold your breath, mate.

Garth Turner is a very questionable individual.

This link is better:

http://www.cbc.ca/disclosure/archives/0229 paying/media.html#turner

But it appears to be dead.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:42 AM on June 11, 2008


It should also be said that the relative cost of living is lower in the United States than it is in Canada, with lower taxes and obviously lower prices (nearly 20% lower) than in Canada.

Most decent homes here in Canada cost about $450K (but $800K is not at all out of the ordinary), and the average household income is, what, CDN $50K a year? Granted, a family that owns a $800K house is probably earning about $150K a year...

Still, the cost of living in the States seems to be waaaaay cheaper.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:47 AM on June 11, 2008


cmonkey, are you on about this treaty?

I'm not on about anything, nor do I know anything about the particulars of US-UK tax laws. I was just saying that a) being an American abroad and making more than $82,400 does not automatically mean that you have to pay two governments lots of money and b) if you talk to a competent tax advisor familiar with the tax system in both countries, and they really don't cost all that much, you will end up in a perfectly acceptable place.
posted by cmonkey at 11:00 AM on June 11, 2008


Still, the cost of living in the States seems to be waaaaay cheaper.

Been merrily snorting tea all over my ex pat embonpoint here (sorta Brit in NY) at chuckdarwin's fabulous comments.

I love the USA - but loathe the conversational skid into uber-patriotism if you - as a foreigner - should be critical. Though I've found if you are effusive about the country first, then you may be permitted to join in the moans. Within reason.

But this "cheaper cost of living" thing is no longer a given.
No, it's not nearly as bad as London yet.

But every month our NY family food bill is skyrocketing. It's finally getting within nasty sniffing distance of comparable UK costs.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 11:49 AM on June 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


My two favourite quotes from US Border Patrol agents:

"The United States does not recognize dual citizenship".

"Wouldn't you want to travel on a US passport and enjoy all the rights and privileges of an American?"

Now I just tell them I'm a Canadian, and things are so much easier. Unfortunately even my Canadian passport says where I was born (Massachusetts), causing one agent to ask me if my parents were missionaries. Too bad you're not allowed to laugh at them...

I would add that anyone leaving the US for the UK, where I am presently imprisoned until the completion of my PhD, will, especially if you find yourself on a council estate in the north, be sorely disappointed at the quality of... ANYTHING. But then, I'm comparing it to Vermont, one of the greatest, and most Canadian, parts of the USA.
posted by crazylegs at 11:58 AM on June 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Most decent homes here in Canada cost about $450K (but $800K is not at all out of the ordinary)

Only if by "Canada" you mean "Vancouver and Toronto."
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:02 PM on June 11, 2008


KokuRyu said: "Most decent homes here in Canada cost about $450K (but $800K is not at all out of the ordinary), and the average household income is, what, CDN $50K a year?"

Dude. This varies a lot. Like so much, depending on what province and city you're in. Where my mother lives in the maritimes there's like one house over $300k in the whole city and everyone knows which one it is. And median income by province ranges anywhere from $34k to $60k.

However,
Median earnings of Canadians employed on a full-time basis for a full year changed little during the past quarter century, edging up from $41,348 in 1980 to $41,401 in 2005 (in 2005 constant dollars). (cite)
posted by loiseau at 12:04 PM on June 11, 2008


Where my mother lives in the maritimes there's like one house over $300k in the whole city and everyone knows which one it is. And median income by province ranges anywhere from $34k to $60k.

The problem is, the earning potential in smaller Canadian cities with affordable housing is waaay lower. What is the largest employer in your mother's town in the Maritimes?

Sure, I could buy a $200K house in Estevan, Saskatchewan, but where would I work?
posted by KokuRyu at 12:20 PM on June 11, 2008


Now I just tell them I'm a Canadian, and things are so much easier.

But you have to be careful about that, since it is illegal for US citizens to enter the US on a foreign passport...

Can it be that US americans emigrating challenges the self-image that the US is the pinnacle of societies, object of envy for the whole world and the center of gravity around which the rest of the world swirls?

I'll agree with those who think that's a very good point. For better or worse, the US is culturally and historically defined as a country populated by people who pulled up their roots to build a better life. Even small levels of emigration challenge that Whiggish national self-conception. Which is curious, because those who came to the US as free immigrants had exactly the same motivation (self-interest) as those leaving.

(There's also the assumption that all immigrants to the US desperately want to become citizens, and to suggest otherwise, or be ambivalent, makes you suspect. Or weird.)

An American friend who spent two years trying to find a job to match his skillset (working night shifts in factories to pay the bills) recently upped-sticks with his family to New Zealand for a position on the 'desired skills' list. He doesn't have any intention of coming back. But he received all manner of shit from people in the lead-up to his move.
posted by holgate at 12:29 PM on June 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


But every month our NY family food bill is skyrocketing.

Just to clarify a point here though: NY is less "America" than London is "Britain" or to put it more simply, NY is NY. NY is in America, but not even close to representative of America as a whole. Sorry New York, but you know it's true (and perhaps laudable depending on your perspective).
posted by Pollomacho at 12:36 PM on June 11, 2008


But you have to be careful about that, since it is illegal for US citizens to enter the US on a foreign passport...

Good gravy, who on Earth would want to do that?! The customs lines for naturalized citizens are so much shorter and processed so much faster than for immigrants. I would definitely use my other passport to travel outside the US, though.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:01 PM on June 11, 2008


Just to clarify a point here though: NY is less "America" than London is "Britain" or to put it more simply, NY is NY.

Fair point, Pollomacho.

(I suppose I meant just ten years ago, one could be insufferably content with lower food costs even in NY, compared with major London cities, and that's certainly no longer the case.)
posted by Jody Tresidder at 1:21 PM on June 11, 2008


The problem is, the earning potential in smaller Canadian cities with affordable housing is waaay lower. What is the largest employer in your mother's town in the Maritimes?

Indeed, who could ever expect to find decent work in tiny burgs with names like "Ottawa/Hull" or "Montreal" or "Winnipeg" or "Kitchener/Waterloo" or "London" or "Windsor."
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:28 PM on June 11, 2008


[few comments removed - take grudge matches to email or metatalk]
posted by jessamyn at 4:53 PM on June 11, 2008


Garth Turner is a very questionable individual.

That may be. I don't follow politics back in Canada very closely. But I think he's right about the present and future of various real estate markets in Canada.

It doesn't take a great deal of perspicacity to look at the history charts of property values (with special attention to 1981ish and 1992ish) in the Lower Mainland of BC, do some cursory research on affordability measures in some of the more overheated areas in Canada, look at global economic woes and the situation in America in particular, and be able to tell pretty easily which way the wind is blowing.

Nobody has a crystal ball, but there's no way in hell (after watching it closely for years) I'd be betting on real estate as an investment in southern BC in particular in the mid-term future.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:29 AM on June 12, 2008


I thank you for that Turner link, though. He does seem to have been spectacularly full of shit in the past.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:35 AM on June 12, 2008


*Waves Canadian passport around mockingly*

BUSH LOL


On behalf of my girlfriend, who is asleep right now:

*waves Canadian passport around mockingly*
*waves American passport around mockingly*

BORDER LOL
posted by oaf at 4:13 AM on June 12, 2008


the rest of Canada is doing just fine

Tell that to CIBC.
posted by oaf at 4:21 AM on June 12, 2008


"The United States does not recognize dual citizenship".

Why do you find this amusing? It's 100% true.
posted by oaf at 4:39 AM on June 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Just a word to thank jessamyn for removing a rather silly and pointless comment. Thank you, J.
posted by chuckdarwin at 4:45 AM on June 12, 2008


"The United States does not recognize dual citizenship".

Why do you find this amusing? It's 100% true.


It depends on how you define the term. They may not recognize the term 'dual citizenship', but if you're a citizen of the USA and of Canada, they'll honor both passports, so they do in effect recognize it, even if it's in some lame kind of "don't ask don't tell" gays-in-the-military scenario, as if there's something vaguely shameful about it. Weird.
It's basically an extension of this American attitude that there's something wrong with any American who would want to live somewhere else.
posted by crazylegs at 5:33 AM on June 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


"The United States does not recognize dual citizenship".
Why do you find this amusing? It's 100% true.

Uh, no, it is not true:
The U.S. Government recognizes that dual nationality exists but does not encourage it as a matter of policy because of the problems it may cause. Claims of other countries on dual national U.S. citizens may conflict with U.S. law, and dual nationality may limit U.S. Government efforts to assist citizens abroad. The country where a dual national is located generally has a stronger claim to that person's allegiance.However, dual nationals owe allegiance to both the United States and the foreign country. They are required to obey the laws of both countries. Either country has the right to enforce its laws, particularly if the person later travels there.Most U.S. citizens, including dual nationals, must use a U.S. passport to enter and leave the United States. Dual nationals may also be required by the foreign country to use its passport to enter and leave that country. Use of the foreign passport does not endanger U.S. citizenship. Most countries permit a person to renounce or otherwise lose citizenship.
posted by moonbiter at 7:43 AM on June 12, 2008


Egads, I mangled that HTML.
posted by moonbiter at 7:44 AM on June 12, 2008


Uh, no, it is not true

If you are a U.S. citizen, you are the same in the eyes of the U.S. regardless of how many other citizenships you have. So, yes, it is true.
posted by oaf at 1:50 PM on June 12, 2008


Most decent homes here in Canada cost about $450K (but $800K is not at all out of the ordinary), and the average household income is, what, CDN $50K a year?

What?!

Survey of Canadian Pricing, Q1, 2008 [PDF]: Average Two-Story Home Prices
(Neighborhoods chosen at random from a fairly long list of options) posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:30 PM on June 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


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