The American Expatriation Guide

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Wed, 05/05/2010 - 04:43 | 332108 xPat
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My hat is off to the author for an OUTSTANDING job on this guide. This information is extremely hard to find when you are looking for it on your own, as the author attests.

I thought it was excellent overall, and only noticed two minor errors and one omission:

  1. The statement that giving up your citizenship is called renunciation is slightly incorrect. There are two ways to give up citizenship; renunciation or relinquishment. The difference is subtle and has little significance other than perhaps (arguably) the possibility that the Reed Ammendment applies to those who renounced but not those relinquished. (The Reed ammendment is a never-been-used piece of legislation that gives the government the authority to exclude expatriates from entering the USA)
  2. The assertion that you are required to bring a second passport to your expatriation appointment is technically incorrect, although certainly makes sense in practical terms. You do have the right to expatriate without having another citizenship and thereby become a stateless person (citizen of no country). That would appear to be about the stupidest thing you could ever want to do, but it does have a purpose. If you want to emigrate to China, they won't take you while still a U.S. citizen. You have to go stateless first then naturalize as Chinese.
  3. A significant omission in the "where to live" section: Anyone contemplating this decision needs to acquaint themself with the territorial tax doctrine, and research whether or not your target country has it. Both singapore and Hong Kong do. In short, this means you pay income tax in your new home country ONLY on income you earn there. Income from investments in other countries is tax-free. You want this if you can possibly get it and for many it will be a major deciding factor.

On the whole, this guide is outstanding. However I think anyone who is actually going through with this should still retain the services of an expert consultant who knows the rules better than the governments do. I recommend Mark Nestmann at



Wed, 05/05/2010 - 12:28 | 332768 Mont Bleu
Mont Bleu's picture

This guide is only half true. You can be a US citizen, live abroad, and not owe any taxes to the IRS:


"The United States has tax treaties with a number of foreign countries. Under these treaties, residents (not necessarily citizens) of foreign countries are taxed at a reduced rate, or are exempt from U.S. taxes on certain items of income they receive from sources within the United States. These reduced rates and exemptions vary among countries and specific items of income. Under these same treaties, residents or citizens of the United States are taxed at a reduced rate, or are exempt from foreign taxes, on certain items of income they receive from sources within foreign countries. Most income tax treaties contain what is known as a "saving clause" which prevents a citizen or resident of the United States from using the provisions of a tax treaty in order to avoid taxation of U.S. source income.",,id=96739,00.html

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Wed, 05/05/2010 - 04:55 | 332109 tony bonn
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sound, timely, and delicious....

expatriation is the only way to slay the beast....america is ruled by evil and arrogant rulers....

the sad thing is that most americans are foolish ignorant stupidasses who believe the lies spewing from the state controlled media and the gs-owned politicians....

until you understand that the military industrial complex murdered john kennedy you do not understand america....

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 05:18 | 332116 i.knoknot
i.knoknot's picture

or... we can quietly wait for the right moment, and pounce...

or teach our kids and grand-kids to wait for the right momen....


Wed, 05/05/2010 - 05:17 | 332114 Fred C Dobbs
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On page 62 of Robert E. Bauman's "The Passport Book" regarding Dominca.


Over the years, there have been several sanctioned investment routes to acquire economic citizenship, including investment in long-term and low-yield government bonds, direct cash contribution to the government, or investments in particular designated projects.

The "single option," under which an individual applicant's US$75,000 investment is to be divided equally between public and private sector projects.


This to means sounds like an $75,000 dollar investment and not a $75,000 fee.  Could the writer clarify?

Also if someone is 5 years away from leaving the USA, when would you suggest they start the process to get a second passport? 





Wed, 05/05/2010 - 05:28 | 332120 xPat
xPat's picture

In Dominica, the $75k is a fee, not an investment minimum. By the time you've paid for the lawyer, airfare and hotel for the required government interview, background checks, etc. the total loaded cost of economic citizenship in Dominica is about $110k USD. Nevis/St. Kitts is about double that, and no in-person visit is required if you are using a local attorney.


Wed, 05/05/2010 - 05:43 | 332127 Fred C Dobbs
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Thanks xPat.  $110,000 would not make it worth it to me unless I make a lot more money than I anticipate over the next 5 years.  It seems to me that some smart government(s) might see the market for selling second passports at more affordable prices.  Seems like easy money to me.  Any rumors out there that some might?    

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 06:36 | 332151 speculator
speculator's picture

Austria also reportedly has a program, but they want a cool million euros. Haven't seen an update on this a while, though, so it may have changed.

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 08:11 | 332203 Renfield
Renfield's picture

entrance tax

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 05:48 | 332131 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Renunciation can be made at home.

Yet a point one could agree on: the first world overpopulation issue might take the path to be solved by a new round of colonization.

Founding fathers were expats but first of all, colonization settlers.

The big difference is that while the Indians generously handed down a preserved continent, this time, the new colonials will have to face a soon to be depleted environment. Perhaps this explains the reluctancy of the US citizen to leave their country.

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 05:48 | 332132 AnAnonymous
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Double post

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 06:02 | 332142 Renfield
Renfield's picture

Wow, the stampede is starting, just at the edges.

Here on ZH and other blogs, people are talking about leaving. I wonder how much talking about this people in other countries are doing too.

None here in Aus yet. It is coming as a shock to the people here that hard times are starting - lots here still say, STILL, that 'it's different here' and Aus has 'skipped the recession' (direct quotes from the clueless). Many have NO idea how much China's recent tightening is about to affect us.

Fleeing Americans (or other nationals) had better be careful where they're fleeing TO. The bad thing about the US and UK is that they're deeper in depression than many other places in the G20. The good thing about the US and UK is that they're further ahead in the process than the rest of us. Our Depression reality, in many places, is only just starting to hit. Ask the Greeks...

I'm just saying, with the Depression about to bite down on some of us bubble laggers, be careful you aren't flying the frypan into the fire. I like his recommendation of Canada, but keep in mind that the housing bubble has yet to break there, AND if commodities experience deflation then their currency/market/economy will be HURTING, a lot more than now. As with Aus, China's tightening has only begun and the effect has not yet been felt there. Canada is in the eye of the storm IMO at the moment. The China cushion has only JUST been rudely snatched away.

BTW, the handbook says that the US is the only country with an exit tax, but I have the impression that South Africa has one too. Pretty much just as draconian - can anyone confirm whether I'm right or wrong on that?

PS: WTH is going on with the currency markets????? I've been watching the EURUSD and USDJPY pairs. For the last three hours, Frankfurt and London have not BUDGED. This is suspiciously, ominously unusual. I've never seen these big markets not zooming up or down at this peak trading time, especially with these major pairs. No-one is buying or selling the Euro - it's really just sitting. They're cooking something up and I'm wondering what it is.

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 12:19 | 332751 declineNfall
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Exit taxes for canada, australia, france. strangely enough the land of taxation the UK, doesnt have an exit tax.


Wed, 05/05/2010 - 08:56 | 332147 Cognitive Dissonance
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I was discussing this exact subject yesterday with a client and I professed total and complete ignorance. I am no longer in that state, pun intended. Thank you "Former US Citizen", Tyler/ZH and also xPat for clearing up a few wrinkles.

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 06:50 | 332155 UncleFurker
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IIRC, Panama only taxes residents on income earned onshore. They also have a fasttrack residency program where you invest in a reforestation project. I don't like the legal system there though, like Mexico is too easily circumvented by locals with cash to pay the right people.

NZ does not tax new arrivals for 5 years, so that's worth thinking about too. - they can help with immigration as well, I think. Best to set up the most tax advantageous structure BEFORE you move.

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 12:40 | 332791 Common_Cents22
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 I think Curacao(Netherland Antilles) is pretty attractive for 2nd passport/citizenship.

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 06:50 | 332156 Mercury
Mercury's picture

You mean capital wants to flow to where it's welcome and stay where it's well treated?

Who knew?

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 06:59 | 332160 MarketFox
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The world can be a wonderful place. The US has become a Fascist State, run by the Elite.

Over 80% of its wealth is now controlled by a very small percentage and growing.

The US public just had $Trillions stolen from it by the big banks and investment firms along with the associated politicians....and let there be no mistake....the public who has the lessor  wealth ratios WILL be paying for it.

An intelligent person should be finding it somewhat more difficult to justify getting hosed by the US Elite. And the lack of tools to fight legal largesse is just one of the big disadvantages.

If the US were to replace the income and corporate taxes with a maximum 15% Consumption tax....the US would start becoming an attractive setting.

The US is going in the wrong direction.


Tue, 05/18/2010 - 22:57 | 332543 wyosteven
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Wed, 05/05/2010 - 07:04 | 332162 Frederic Bastiat
Frederic Bastiat's picture

Step 1. Purchase Citizenship in Dominica

Step 2. Fly to Mexico

Step 3. Jump border fence

Step 4. Enjoy the tax free lifestyle of an illegal immigrant living in America

But seriously, this was great information about immigration and becoming an expat.  

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 07:23 | 332174 speculator
speculator's picture


Wed, 05/05/2010 - 07:53 | 332187 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Step 5 Feel the bite of losing US protection shield in the doing.


Remember, in wars involving the US, only one body count: US citizens.

Dont forget to request a warming welcome from the side of sub human beings dieing in drove to US soldiers and not worth a body count.

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 12:33 | 332777 declineNfall
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@AnAnonymous. guess you've not checked properly. so long as the bodies arent related to big politicos or wealthy donors, then the US doesnt give a damn. 

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 16:01 | 333156 UncleFurker
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Exactly. Cue SOAD...

"Why do they always send the poor? Why don't presidents fight the war?"


Wed, 05/05/2010 - 07:15 | 332167 mynhair
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Honduras is worth investigating.  There is a medium track there if you work in a desired desired area, such as teaching.  Mainland prices are cheap, too.

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 07:18 | 332169 capitalisa
capitalisa's picture

Leave America? lol  Don't let the door bang you in the ass, retarded pussies.  Good riddance.

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 07:18 | 332170 Zina
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Come to Brazil! We love gringos here!

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 07:28 | 332178 Fred C Dobbs
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Retarded pussies? How ignorant.  

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 07:32 | 332180 economicmorphine
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Seems to me the whole renunciation movement is built on the belief that one can escape.  I used to believe that but I don't any more. I've watched the IRS reach into Swiss banks and take what they want?  Freedom?  Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 07:42 | 332184 Renfield
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I'm gradually coming to this conclusion as well.

In the natural human 'fight or flight' response, what happens when the Powerz deliberately eliminate flight?

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 21:40 | 333682 Goyim Sheep
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I think "Me and Bobby Mcgee" will be heading down to NZ this winter to start the lengthy process of looking for an alternative place to live.

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 07:35 | 332182 John McCloy
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Greece is not going to make it. You guys watching Bloomberg? It is amazing how powerless military and police are once people band together.

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 07:46 | 332185 Renfield
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Agree. I think this is the first domino in the worldwide fiat crash.

Greece --> Eurozone --> flight to USD (now that the JPY doesn't seem to be a 'safe haven' anymore) --> USD 'strength' puts the US government between a rock and a rock --> failed attempt by IMF/BIS to treat SDRs as a 'reserve currency' --> China unveils asset-backed new currency in co-operation with Middle East and Russia --> new era.

Well, that's generally speaking what I'm expecting anyway...

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 09:14 | 332307 SWRichmond
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That's similar to what I expect, but the timing is challenging.  China's move is obvious, though over the mid-term, ten years or more.  ME wants out of the USD standard, but needs a replacement military "protector".  Russia's policies are blinded by their hatred of the U.S.

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 11:08 | 332608 hangemhigh
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"Russia's policies are blinded by their hatred of the U.S."

interesting bit of history there.  back in the day the soviet union only had two real sources of hard foreign exchange; gold and oil.  to buy (food/technology/etc) on foreign markets they had to borrow money.  the reaganauts, in collusion with the UK and the saudi's, managed to tank both the gold and oil markets so that the USSR had no viable exports (other than weapons to client states). without a ready source of foreign exchange no one would lend to them. 

the USSR collapsed.   vlady putin was around then, knew what happened and how and is now in the process of returning the favor.

it's the grand karmic super-cycle, what goes around comes around



Wed, 05/05/2010 - 11:19 | 332638 Renfield
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I remember that.

I kinda hate them (the Reagan puppeteers) for that, too...

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 19:25 | 333485 SWRichmond
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I didn't say their hatred wasn't warranted, I just said they are blinded by it, and they are.

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 13:28 | 332669 hangemhigh
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"Russia's policies are blinded by their hatred of the U.S."

interesting bit of history there.  back in the day the soviet union only had two real sources of hard foreign exchange; gold and oil.  to buy (food/technology/etc) on foreign markets they had to borrow from western banks.  the reaganauts, in collusion with the UK and the saudi's, managed to tank both the gold and oil markets so that the USSR had no viable, hard currency earning exports (other than weapons to client states). without a ready source of foreign exchange, no one in the west would lend to them. 

the USSR collapsed.   vlady putin was around then, knows what happened and how and is now in the process of helping to return the favor.

it's the global trading game's grand karmic super-cycle of oil, gold and debt. what goes around comes around.


Wed, 05/05/2010 - 18:22 | 333395 UncleFurker
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And the USA cheered on (and funded) radical islamists against the USSR, who then liked the feel and decided to expand.


"Family of Secrets" is a great read.



Wed, 05/05/2010 - 07:58 | 332192 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

I am not watching but let me guess the feeling.

Tiny sectors of a  country are sold as being representative of the big picture.

A one street long chaos is sold as if the whole city turned amok. A quarter concentrating a demonstration sold as if the whole country turned ablaze, so much you can see fires light from the other side of the Mediterannean sea.

Far or close?

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 08:03 | 332194 John McCloy
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 Speaking of fires Bloomberg reports at least 1 person was killed as a bank was just set on fire in Greece. 

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 08:10 | 332196 Renfield
Renfield's picture

Hi AnAnon

I'd say 'close' as in the MSM likes to have sensational violent scenes in front of their cameras. I don't think most of us believe that things are as chaotic as Channel Seven News might portray them as being though. :-)

I don't think the Greece crisis has as much to do with protests/demonstrations as it does with the ratings agency downgrade, followed swiftly by the bond market scrutiny.

As to what triggered THAT (the ratings downgrade, now as opposed to earlier or later, and why Greece in particular) I don't know. But I bet the IMF does. (This feels like a takedown to me. It was deserved but equally deserved for most 'G20' countries, including the IMF bigshot ones.)

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 09:04 | 332281 bernorange
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The MSM likes to have sensational violent scenes in front of their cameras unless that violence occurs in Pittsburgh at a G20 summit.

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 18:25 | 333401 UncleFurker
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Yeah. That march of Wall Street last Friday sure didn't get much coverage.


Wed, 05/05/2010 - 07:52 | 332186 Internet Tough Guy
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Where will you go? It needs to be someplace that will fare as well, or hopefully better, than the place you are leaving. When you move to a strange land, you are the outsider, without support of friends and family, perhaps unfamiliar with local custom and law, perhaps viewed with suspicion by the locals.

How bad will things get where you are going? How sure are you that you can make it on your own? What's your backup plan? All things to consider.


Wed, 05/05/2010 - 10:13 | 332480 Cursive
Cursive's picture

ITG, my thoughts exactly.  And why run?  America is a beautiful land with hard working peole.  Those who wish to flee are suffering from a "greener pastures" syndrome.  Just push for regime change at home.

Wed, 05/05/2010 - 18:26 | 333403 UncleFurker
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Regime change? I thought that just happened?

Doesn't seem to have changed much.


Wed, 05/05/2010 - 08:08 | 332201 Souverainiste
Souverainiste's picture

75 grand for the cheap passport!?  The world may be an oyster, but for people who can't afford 6 figure seafood, it feels more like a cage. 

On the bright side, I'd make a better revolutionary than expat, anyway.  And cage matches are always a thrill.

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