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Green Card to Citizenship....any downsides??

Green Card to Citizenship....any downsides??

Old Aug 23rd 2015, 11:02 pm
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Default Green Card to Citizenship....any downsides??

I have had a Green Card now for over 3 years now and can apply for citizenship next Christmas.

Our plans are to go back to the UK in about 2 yrs to spend some time with our parents as they reach their later years. We will probably live back in the UK for a few years and are concerned about loosing our Green cards when we return to the US.

If we apply for citizenship ( therefore becoming dual citizens ) what are the implications tax wise? If i understand correctly we will have to do a tax return every year ( $250 from my man here in NJ ) and if we work in a country where the tax regime is lower than in the US ( Singapore for example) we would have to pay tax here. As the UK has a higher rate of tax than the US I don't see that as an issue.

Has anyone gone down this route and are aware of any major issues getting dual citizenship? If we lived in the UK for say 10 yrs could the US take our citizenship ( and medicare ) away from us when we return to the USA?
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Old Aug 23rd 2015, 11:09 pm
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Default Re: Green Card to Citizenship....any downsides??

Once you're a citizen, you're a citizen for life unless you decide to renounce it. The length of time you reside outside the US is irrelevant. You've already covered the tax implications. You'll also need to enter and exit the US on a US passport even if only in transit so it'll be advisable to keep your US passports up to date.

Any children you have outside the US will also be US citizens with the associated benefits and responsibilities (tax returns, passports, Selective Service if male) which wouldn't be a case as green card holders.

Having to file tax returns is the one major drawback so if you're happy to do this then it's something to seriously consider if you wish to return to the US or you plan on having children outside the US.
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Old Aug 23rd 2015, 11:10 pm
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Default Re: Green Card to Citizenship....any downsides??

I haven't found anything that offsets the great advantage of citizenship. You can come and go as you please, and stay away as long as you like. With medicare as long as you qualify to receive part A for free, than it will be available to you. You would need to make sure you qualify by the time you are 65.
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Old Aug 23rd 2015, 11:53 pm
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Default Re: Green Card to Citizenship....any downsides??

Originally Posted by industrystandard View Post
If we apply for citizenship ( therefore becoming dual citizens ) what are the implications tax wise? If i understand correctly we will have to do a tax return every year ( $250 from my man here in NJ ) and if we work in a country where the tax regime is lower than in the US ( Singapore for example) we would have to pay tax here. As the UK has a higher rate of tax than the US I don't see that as an issue.
As USCs, you'd be liable to file US tax returns on worldwide income regardless of where you live. Whether you actually have to file or not depends on your income. There are other tax implications (e.g. in terms of estate and gift tax) that you should look into.

Originally Posted by industrystandard View Post
Has anyone gone down this route and are aware of any major issues getting dual citizenship?
My wife and I naturalized over 9 years ago. We've only found benefits. One huge benefit was that our 3 minor children who were not USCs acquired US citizenship through us for free (a 4th was born here and so was already a USC). Remember that PRs can be deported under certain circumstances. PRs can also be denied entry to the US under certain circumstances. So becoming USCs secures your future in the country and your ability to come and go freely.

Originally Posted by industrystandard View Post
If we lived in the UK for say 10 yrs could the US take our citizenship ( and medicare ) away from us when we return to the USA?
They can't take your US citizenship away unless (a) they discover that your citizenship application was fraudulent in some way or (b) you perform certain acts with the intention of giving up your US citizenship (e.g. treason; joining the government of a foreign country; taking up arms against the US, etc).
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Old Aug 24th 2015, 12:15 am
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Default Re: Green Card to Citizenship....any downsides??

If you plan to return to the US and work then I would get US citizenship. Spending a long time outside the US might mean that you'd lose the GC.

However, if you plan to live outside the US in future I would not take US citizenship as it will greatly affect your tax and financial life. You will have to file a US tax return and probably a tax return for where you live and make sure the two are compatible. There are rules about how to divide up your taxes. Also many foreign investments will essentially be rules out because of their tax inefficiency in the US.
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Old Aug 24th 2015, 12:28 am
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Default Re: Green Card to Citizenship....any downsides??

Pros and Cons to Getting US Citizenship : British Expat Wiki

A little summary in the wiki.

The tax thing, you should be doing that anyway, so it isn't much of a change. A large windfall or moving to a tax free country in the future might be reasons to avoid citizenship.
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Old Aug 24th 2015, 2:33 am
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Default Re: Green Card to Citizenship....any downsides??

Originally Posted by Bob View Post

The tax thing, you should be doing that anyway, so it isn't much of a change. A large windfall or moving to a tax free country in the future might be reasons to avoid citizenship.
A UK citizen in the US often has no UK tax to worry about being UK non- resident. Being a US citizen in the UK is much more complicated.
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Old Aug 24th 2015, 6:21 am
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Default Re: Green Card to Citizenship....any downsides??

Originally Posted by industrystandard View Post
I have had a Green Card now for over 3 years now and can apply for citizenship next Christmas.
I thought according to: Path to U.S. Citizenship | USCIS

If you are a green card holder of at least 5 years, you must meet the following requirements in order to apply for naturalization:
Do I need enlightening?
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Old Aug 24th 2015, 7:50 am
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Default Re: Green Card to Citizenship....any downsides??

Originally Posted by McBadger View Post
I thought according to: Path to U.S. Citizenship | USCIS



Do I need enlightening?
I assume OP means Christmas 2016, when OP says "next Christmas," since Christmas 2015 is "this Christmas" ?? This would then give us five years..
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Old Aug 24th 2015, 7:56 am
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Default Re: Green Card to Citizenship....any downsides??

Originally Posted by industrystandard View Post
I have had a Green Card now for over 3 years now and can apply for citizenship next Christmas.

Our plans are to go back to the UK in about 2 yrs to spend some time with our parents as they reach their later years. We will probably live back in the UK for a few years and are concerned about loosing our Green cards when we return to the US.

If we apply for citizenship ( therefore becoming dual citizens ) what are the implications tax wise? If i understand correctly we will have to do a tax return every year ( $250 from my man here in NJ ) and if we work in a country where the tax regime is lower than in the US ( Singapore for example) we would have to pay tax here. As the UK has a higher rate of tax than the US I don't see that as an issue.

Has anyone gone down this route and are aware of any major issues getting dual citizenship? If we lived in the UK for say 10 yrs could the US take our citizenship ( and medicare ) away from us when we return to the USA?
The only bit I'd question is where you say your man in NJ can do your US taxes for $250. This sounds like a minimal fee for a simple tax return for a standard issue US resident. If you're living in the UK, your US return would have specialized elements in it which would probably mean a higher fee for tax prep.

Also, would you have to continue to file NJ taxes? This is where you have to think about cutting ties with NJ; selling the house, abandoning the driving license, closing out your bank accounts etc.
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Old Aug 24th 2015, 12:42 pm
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Default Re: Green Card to Citizenship....any downsides??

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
I assume OP means Christmas 2016, when OP says "next Christmas," since Christmas 2015 is "this Christmas" ?? This would then give us five years..
3 years if married to a USC.
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Old Aug 24th 2015, 3:29 pm
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Default Re: Green Card to Citizenship....any downsides??

Originally Posted by MidAtlantic View Post
3 years if married to a USC.
That is true, but is it relevant in this case? I assume not, since OP has 3+ years already and feels he'll be eligible next Christmas...
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Old Aug 25th 2015, 3:31 am
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Default Re: Green Card to Citizenship....any downsides??

Originally Posted by BritInParis View Post
Once you're a citizen, you're a citizen for life unless you decide to renounce it.
The OP is not going to lose their citizenship for living back in the UK for a while, but is should be noted that Natural-born U.S. citizens may not have their citizenship revoked against their will. Those of us naturalized, can be denaturalized.
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Old Aug 25th 2015, 7:50 am
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Default Re: Green Card to Citizenship....any downsides??

Originally Posted by thinbrit View Post
The OP is not going to lose their citizenship for living back in the UK for a while, but is should be noted that Natural-born U.S. citizens may not have their citizenship revoked against their will. Those of us naturalized, can be denaturalized.
Sure, if it's demonstrated that the OP committed fraud in his application process or takes up arms against the United States, neither of which are very likely in the normal course of things, which I why I didn't mention it.
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Old Aug 25th 2015, 10:58 pm
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Default Re: Green Card to Citizenship....any downsides??

Originally Posted by BritInParis View Post
Sure, if it's demonstrated that the OP committed fraud in his application process or takes up arms against the United States, neither of which are very likely in the normal course of things, which I why I didn't mention it.
The reason I pointed it out is you claimed "Once you're a citizen, you're a citizen for life unless you decide to renounce it.". As you later state, this is not true. This may confuse other readers who take your initial claim at face value when investigating different circumstances.

You can also be neutralized for refusing to testify before Congress, or having been dishonorably discharged from the military if your citizenship was obtained based on service in the military.
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