Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > USA
Reload this Page >

To become a US citizen or not?

To become a US citizen or not?

Old May 25th 2018, 8:16 pm
  #1  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 1
dwally89 is an unknown quantity at this point
Default To become a US citizen or not?

Hi all,

First time poster here. I'm currently a Green Card holder and will soon be eligible for US citizenship. I currently see the following pros and cons:

Pros
  1. Not having to renew Green Card every 10 years
  2. Being able to leave America for an extended period of time without having to worry about Green Card expiring
Cons
  1. Identifying very strongly as English
  2. I have heard that US citizens need to declare (and possibly pay) tax to America, regardless of where they live in the world. I have also heard that Green Card holders need to do this. Can anyone confirm if this is the case for either/both?
Are there any other major pros/cons I'm missing?

Thanks in advance
dwally89 is offline  
Old May 25th 2018, 8:32 pm
  #2  
Living the NYC dream
 
Joined: May 2016
Location: New York
Posts: 125
kateinbrooklyn has a reputation beyond reputekateinbrooklyn has a reputation beyond reputekateinbrooklyn has a reputation beyond reputekateinbrooklyn has a reputation beyond reputekateinbrooklyn has a reputation beyond reputekateinbrooklyn has a reputation beyond reputekateinbrooklyn has a reputation beyond reputekateinbrooklyn has a reputation beyond reputekateinbrooklyn has a reputation beyond reputekateinbrooklyn has a reputation beyond reputekateinbrooklyn has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: To become a US citizen or not?

For me, not being able to be kicked out and the ability to vote were what clinched it for me.
kateinbrooklyn is offline  
Old May 25th 2018, 8:57 pm
  #3  
 
BritInParis's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Not in Paris
Posts: 16,746
BritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: To become a US citizen or not?

Con 1 is a non-starter. Holding dual citizenship doesn’t make you any less British/English. Both LPRs and citizens are liable for tax declarations regardless of their country of residence. Obviously it is easier to abandon your LPR than it is your citizenship but you won’t actually pay any tax to the US unless you live in a low/zero tax country. On the pro side voting and being able to come and go as you please indefinitely is a big bonus as is the ability to pass on US citizenship to children born anywhere in the world. Personally I wouldn’t have any hesitation in naturalising if given the opportunity.

Last edited by BritInParis; May 25th 2018 at 10:16 pm. Reason: Typo
BritInParis is offline  
Old May 25th 2018, 10:09 pm
  #4  
Peace onion
 
Joined: Jul 2006
Location: Denver
Posts: 5,686
Octang Frye has a reputation beyond reputeOctang Frye has a reputation beyond reputeOctang Frye has a reputation beyond reputeOctang Frye has a reputation beyond reputeOctang Frye has a reputation beyond reputeOctang Frye has a reputation beyond reputeOctang Frye has a reputation beyond reputeOctang Frye has a reputation beyond reputeOctang Frye has a reputation beyond reputeOctang Frye has a reputation beyond reputeOctang Frye has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: To become a US citizen or not?

Do you identify as a Democrat or a Republican? If the former, please remain as an LPR.

Thank you.

Respectfully yours,

America.
Octang Frye is offline  
Old May 25th 2018, 10:35 pm
  #5  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 827
Cook_County has a reputation beyond reputeCook_County has a reputation beyond reputeCook_County has a reputation beyond reputeCook_County has a reputation beyond reputeCook_County has a reputation beyond reputeCook_County has a reputation beyond reputeCook_County has a reputation beyond reputeCook_County has a reputation beyond reputeCook_County has a reputation beyond reputeCook_County has a reputation beyond reputeCook_County has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: To become a US citizen or not?

If you are not already, for US estate tax purposes a US citizen is a UK domiciliary. Taking on US citizenship may help shed a UK domicile for UK IHT purposes.
Cook_County is offline  
Old May 25th 2018, 10:55 pm
  #6  
Grumpy Know-it-all
 
Steve_'s Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 8,928
Steve_ has a reputation beyond reputeSteve_ has a reputation beyond reputeSteve_ has a reputation beyond reputeSteve_ has a reputation beyond reputeSteve_ has a reputation beyond reputeSteve_ has a reputation beyond reputeSteve_ has a reputation beyond reputeSteve_ has a reputation beyond reputeSteve_ has a reputation beyond reputeSteve_ has a reputation beyond reputeSteve_ has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: To become a US citizen or not?

Originally Posted by Cook_County View Post
If you are not already, for US estate tax purposes a US citizen is a UK domiciliary. Taking on US citizenship may help shed a UK domicile for UK IHT purposes.
I think you've tripped up there, a US citizen in the US is clearly resident in the US for US estate tax purposes. As far as UK domicile, becoming an LPR establishes US residency under HMRC rules although it is better to remove all doubt by becoming a citizen. Also depends on the asset, it doesn't matter where you live or what citizenship you have, real property is subject to IHT in the UK.

There is a weird US tax rule that an LPR does not benefit from the same estate tax exemptions as a US citizen (the rule intended to stop you from giving your estate to a mail order bride to avoid estate tax but also screws up people who were too lazy to naturalize), but for 99.9% of people this only matters if you live in a State (aka New Jersey) that has adopted the US estate tax rules into State law as the Federal estate tax limit is gigantic.
Steve_ is offline  
Old May 25th 2018, 11:01 pm
  #7  
BE Irregular
 
RICH's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2004
Location: Tampa Bay Florida
Posts: 4,213
RICH has a reputation beyond reputeRICH has a reputation beyond reputeRICH has a reputation beyond reputeRICH has a reputation beyond reputeRICH has a reputation beyond reputeRICH has a reputation beyond reputeRICH has a reputation beyond reputeRICH has a reputation beyond reputeRICH has a reputation beyond reputeRICH has a reputation beyond reputeRICH has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: To become a US citizen or not?

Being one of a relatively few people becoming eligible for us citizenship , I would, and did consider it a lucky privilege, and snap it up. I waited until green card was almost up for renewal, to get my moneysworth! 8 years or so. I am sure the price will only increase as time goes by.
RICH is offline  
Old May 25th 2018, 11:02 pm
  #8  
Grumpy Know-it-all
 
Steve_'s Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 8,928
Steve_ has a reputation beyond reputeSteve_ has a reputation beyond reputeSteve_ has a reputation beyond reputeSteve_ has a reputation beyond reputeSteve_ has a reputation beyond reputeSteve_ has a reputation beyond reputeSteve_ has a reputation beyond reputeSteve_ has a reputation beyond reputeSteve_ has a reputation beyond reputeSteve_ has a reputation beyond reputeSteve_ has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: To become a US citizen or not?

Originally Posted by dwally89 View Post
  1. Identifying very strongly as English
  2. I have heard that US citizens need to declare (and possibly pay) tax to America, regardless of where they live in the world. I have also heard that Green Card holders need to do this. Can anyone confirm if this is the case for either/both?
Are there any other major pros/cons I'm missing?

Thanks in advance
There's a whole Wiki entry on it but psychologically you're still going to be the same person. I have a friend who is an LPR who gets very agitated about things politically and even goes to voter registration drives to get students to register to vote. But he won't naturalize because he's British.

To which my response is, wait until you get convicted for something, like running someone over and get put into removal proceedings. If you live in country X become a citizen of country X. Otherwise you're always going to be a round peg in a square hole. You might like being a round peg in a square hole - until someone shows up with a hammer.

How anyone can look at the abuses going on with the immigrant population in the US at the moment and not naturalize if they're eligible is beyond my comprehension.

As far as taxes go, have a read of IRS publication 54: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p54.pdf Yes it can be a pain, but it's more of a pain to be an LPR because by definition you are claiming to reside in the US, that's what "permanent resident" means, at least if you're a US citizen you can be a tax resident elsewhere.
Steve_ is offline  
Old May 26th 2018, 12:06 am
  #9  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 111
BigK is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: To become a US citizen or not?

Yes, as a Green card holder you should be declaring world wide income anyway (its the law!), and filing US taxes even if your income is overseas. Keep in mind that the taxes are equalized and you only pay the difference, if any. You are not double taxed. So Con #2 is not really a Con moving forward. Con #1 is stupid. You can continue to be as English as you like wherever you are. Go get your USC, you'll be happier for it
BigK is offline  
Old May 26th 2018, 2:13 am
  #10  
BE Forum Addict
 
rpjs's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: Sleepy Hollow, New York
Posts: 2,523
rpjs has a reputation beyond reputerpjs has a reputation beyond reputerpjs has a reputation beyond reputerpjs has a reputation beyond reputerpjs has a reputation beyond reputerpjs has a reputation beyond reputerpjs has a reputation beyond reputerpjs has a reputation beyond reputerpjs has a reputation beyond reputerpjs has a reputation beyond reputerpjs has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: To become a US citizen or not?

Originally Posted by BigK View Post
Con #1 is stupid. You can continue to be as English as you like wherever you are. Go get your USC, you'll be happier for it
We even have a Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Americans
rpjs is offline  
Old May 26th 2018, 2:17 am
  #11  
BE Irregular
 
RICH's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2004
Location: Tampa Bay Florida
Posts: 4,213
RICH has a reputation beyond reputeRICH has a reputation beyond reputeRICH has a reputation beyond reputeRICH has a reputation beyond reputeRICH has a reputation beyond reputeRICH has a reputation beyond reputeRICH has a reputation beyond reputeRICH has a reputation beyond reputeRICH has a reputation beyond reputeRICH has a reputation beyond reputeRICH has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: To become a US citizen or not?

Re english stongly. You would become enhanced eglish, as opposed to diluted english.😁
RICH is offline  
Old May 26th 2018, 12:40 pm
  #12  
Banned
 
Joined: Aug 2016
Location: Cascade Mountains, WA
Posts: 1,089
Twinkle0927 has a reputation beyond reputeTwinkle0927 has a reputation beyond reputeTwinkle0927 has a reputation beyond reputeTwinkle0927 has a reputation beyond reputeTwinkle0927 has a reputation beyond reputeTwinkle0927 has a reputation beyond reputeTwinkle0927 has a reputation beyond reputeTwinkle0927 has a reputation beyond reputeTwinkle0927 has a reputation beyond reputeTwinkle0927 has a reputation beyond reputeTwinkle0927 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: To become a US citizen or not?

We all have our reasons why we do or don't want to naturalize.

Voting and jury service are two of my reasons for doing it next year. The biggest one for me is the guarantee that my husband and I will always be able to be together. I think couples and families with mixed nationalities should definitely strive to share one common nationality so that when the proverbial hits the fan there is at least one place in the world where they can't kick you out. My husband gas a felony and a lifetime ban from the U.K. so it's crucial for us that I can stay here forever (or until a more sensible government in the U.K. revises immigration laws and allows spouse of UKCs with felonies from over 20 years ago to enter the U.K.).

In my case I will lose my German citizenship for good. At least we get to keep British citizenship during this process. But losing my German citizenship is a price I am prepared to pay to stay with my husband. I won't feel any less German, though. It's not like I'm going to forget the language overnight, stop speaking German with my family or stop supporting Germany in the World Cup.
Twinkle0927 is offline  
Old May 26th 2018, 1:39 pm
  #13  
 
BritInParis's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Not in Paris
Posts: 16,746
BritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond reputeBritInParis has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: To become a US citizen or not?

Originally Posted by Twinkle0927 View Post
We all have our reasons why we do or don't want to naturalize.

Voting and jury service are two of my reasons for doing it next year. The biggest one for me is the guarantee that my husband and I will always be able to be together. I think couples and families with mixed nationalities should definitely strive to share one common nationality so that when the proverbial hits the fan there is at least one place in the world where they can't kick you out. My husband gas a felony and a lifetime ban from the U.K. so it's crucial for us that I can stay here forever (or until a more sensible government in the U.K. revises immigration laws and allows spouse of UKCs with felonies from over 20 years ago to enter the U.K.).

In my case I will lose my German citizenship for good. At least we get to keep British citizenship during this process. But losing my German citizenship is a price I am prepared to pay to stay with my husband. I won't feel any less German, though. It's not like I'm going to forget the language overnight, stop speaking German with my family or stop supporting Germany in the World Cup.
A lifetime ban from the UK is pretty difficult to achieve unless you earn the ire of the Home Secretary for political reasons. I’d be interested to know the circumstances if you are willing to share.

If you apply to retain your German citizenship before you naturalise then you can hold both.
BritInParis is offline  
Old May 26th 2018, 2:13 pm
  #14  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 2,900
carcajou has a reputation beyond reputecarcajou has a reputation beyond reputecarcajou has a reputation beyond reputecarcajou has a reputation beyond reputecarcajou has a reputation beyond reputecarcajou has a reputation beyond reputecarcajou has a reputation beyond reputecarcajou has a reputation beyond reputecarcajou has a reputation beyond reputecarcajou has a reputation beyond reputecarcajou has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: To become a US citizen or not?

Some very good replies here. As a Green Card holder, you have no guaranteed right to enter or remain in the US. Only US Citizens have that.

I am a bit concerned about your comment that you have "heard" Green Card holders have to pay tax. They do, and you are a Green Card holder. Have you not been paying tax?
carcajou is offline  
Old May 26th 2018, 2:44 pm
  #15  
Concierge
 
Rete's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 44,353
Rete has a reputation beyond reputeRete has a reputation beyond reputeRete has a reputation beyond reputeRete has a reputation beyond reputeRete has a reputation beyond reputeRete has a reputation beyond reputeRete has a reputation beyond reputeRete has a reputation beyond reputeRete has a reputation beyond reputeRete has a reputation beyond reputeRete has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: To become a US citizen or not?

Originally Posted by carcajou View Post
Some very good replies here. As a Green Card holder, you have no guaranteed right to enter or remain in the US. Only US Citizens have that.

I am a bit concerned about your comment that you have "heard" Green Card holders have to pay tax. They do, and you are a Green Card holder. Have you not been paying tax?
As his post said in regards to taxes, he was asking if he had to pay taxes if he left the US to reside elsewhere even if he were a LPR.

Quote I have heard that US citizens need to declare (and possibly pay) tax to America, regardless of where they live in the world. I have also heard that Green Card holders need to do this. Unquote
Rete is offline  

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.