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sarah9

Should I apply for citizenship?

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Filed: Country: United Kingdom
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Hi All

I've had my permanent resident card for 3 years now (via marriage to US Citizen) and I'm eligible to apply for Citizenship.

I'm originally from the UK, and while I'm aware the US doesn't recognize dual citizenship - am I right in assuming that I don't actually lose my British citizen status as far as the rest of the world is concerned? Would I in reality have both British and American citizenship status?

My reason for asking is pretty simple, I can't rule out the possibility that I may want to return to the UK at some point in the future. All of my family are there, and no-one knows what is going to happen further down the road! I should make clear when I say I - It would hopefully be "we" but with the current immigration laws in the UK it would mean I would have to return first, find a great job before I could apply for hubby to follow me. If for any reason my husband was not approved, obviously I would want to come back - but I would be unable to do so without citizenship and we would have to start all this process again!

My main priority is that My husband and I want to be together. Should something happen that I needed to go back to the UK after applying for citizenship here - would I get into any trouble? In my eyes I don't see any issue with me gaining citizenship and leaving the US..... but I am far from an immigration expert and was wondering if there is something I was missing!

I just want to make clear - I am not saying I intend to leave after gaining citizenship, but I am trying to think of all scenarios, particularly with aging parents on the other side of the world :(

If I am missing something then clearly I won't apply right away and will take some more time to think about things. I just wanted to see what others think

Thanks :)

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Sarah,

I struggled whether to apply for naturalisation as well. I've been a permanent resident for 4 years now (basis marriage) - so was eligible a year ago.

Taking on American citizenship will not cause you to lose British - there are only a small number of countries that enforce it - India being one.

My main concern was taxation. Once you are a US citizen you have to pay US taxes even if you are non-resident. In the case of the UK that's not a big deal since the tax rates are similar - but if you were to end up in Singapore, Switzerland or Luxembourg - you couldn't take advantage of the low tax rates there.

There is nothing stopping you becoming a US citizen and leaving the next day to become resident in the UK or anywhere else.

On balance, I figured I would probably be living in the US for a long time, and didn't want to have to reapply for a green card if I ever left for a period of time - so just put in my application yesterday!


08/12/2010 => Day 00 => Package sent to Chicago lockbox

08/13/2010 => Day 01 => Package received and signed for in Chicago

08/23/2010 => Day 11 => Email and Text receipt notification

08/23/2010 => Day 11 => Cheques cashed - $1010 and $355

08/26/2010 => Day 14 => NOAs received in the mail

08/30/2010 => Day 18 => Received biometrics appointment letter (for 9/23)

09/03/2010 => Day 22 => Did walk-in biometrics

09/16/2010 => Day 35 => Received interview letter for 10/21

10/15/2010 => Day 64 => AP received

10/20/2010 => Day 69 => EAC received

10/21/2010 => Day 70 => AOS Interview, approved, I-551 stamp and card production ordered

10/30/2010 => Day 79 => Green card received

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Filed: Country: United Kingdom
Timeline

That's so good to know! My husband tells me I "over-think" things, but I'd just hate to do something that would land me in trouble!

I completely agree with you, and I don't think it's the sort of decision you should take without thinking through properly! It might take me a year to decide too ;)

I hope that your application is speedy and trouble free :)

Thanks for your help

Sarah,

I struggled whether to apply for naturalisation as well. I've been a permanent resident for 4 years now (basis marriage) - so was eligible a year ago.

Taking on American citizenship will not cause you to lose British - there are only a small number of countries that enforce it - India being one.

My main concern was taxation. Once you are a US citizen you have to pay US taxes even if you are non-resident. In the case of the UK that's not a big deal since the tax rates are similar - but if you were to end up in Singapore, Switzerland or Luxembourg - you couldn't take advantage of the low tax rates there.

There is nothing stopping you becoming a US citizen and leaving the next day to become resident in the UK or anywhere else.

On balance, I figured I would probably be living in the US for a long time, and didn't want to have to reapply for a green card if I ever left for a period of time - so just put in my application yesterday!

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That's so good to know! My husband tells me I "over-think" things, but I'd just hate to do something that would land me in trouble!

I completely agree with you, and I don't think it's the sort of decision you should take without thinking through properly! It might take me a year to decide too ;)

I hope that your application is speedy and trouble free :)

Thanks for your help

Sarah--

Do it. You remain British unless you actually file a form (with a fee) to revoke your British citizenship. You can maintain two passports. Use the British one to enter the UK on visits and the American one to enter the US.

About the taxes. NikosF has that slightly wrong. You have to FILE a US tax return each year that you earn enough money to file. That does not mean you have to PAY taxes to the US on that money.

One scenario: If you were living and working in the UK, you would qualify for the foreign income exclusion from taxable income. When you file, it lets the IRS know you did earn money, it qualified for foreign income exclusion, and you owe zero. You met the requirement of filing. You don't pay anything.

The foreign income exclusion changes each year, but it is approaching $100k. So if you earned a big salary in the UK, you could owe US tax on the portion over $100k.


England.gifENGLAND ---

K-1 Timeline 4 months, 19 days 03-10-08 VSC to 7-29-08 Interview London

10-05-08 Married

AOS Timeline 5 months, 14 days 10-9-08 to 3-23-09 No interview

Removing Conditions Timeline 5 months, 20 days12-27-10 to 06-10-11 No interview

Citizenship Timeline 3 months, 26 days 12-31-11 Dallas to 4-26-12 Interview Houston

05-16-12 Oath ceremony

The journey from Fiancé to US citizenship:

4 years, 2 months, 6 days

243 pages of forms/documents submitted

No RFEs

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Filed: Country: United Kingdom
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Sarah--

Do it. You remain British unless you actually file a form (with a fee) to revoke your British citizenship. You can maintain two passports. Use the British one to enter the UK on visits and the American one to enter the US.

About the taxes. NikosF has that slightly wrong. You have to FILE a US tax return each year that you earn enough money to file. That does not mean you have to PAY taxes to the US on that money.

One scenario: If you were living and working in the UK, you would qualify for the foreign income exclusion from taxable income. When you file, it lets the IRS know you did earn money, it qualified for foreign income exclusion, and you owe zero. You met the requirement of filing. You don't pay anything.

The foreign income exclusion changes each year, but it is approaching $100k. So if you earned a big salary in the UK, you could owe US tax on the portion over $100k.

That's really helpful Nich-Nick, thank you!

I remember there was some sort of exclusion from the 1st year I moved here and had to declare my UK earnings. I knew we would still have to file the tax return if we did leave, its helpful to know the exclusion is that high!

I'm sure if we did move back I will get into a panic about the taxes, but for now my only concern was loosing my ability to go back to the UK/getting into some sort of trouble for doing so!

Thanks again

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Sarah--

Do it. You remain British unless you actually file a form (with a fee) to revoke your British citizenship. You can maintain two passports. Use the British one to enter the UK on visits and the American one to enter the US.

About the taxes. NikosF has that slightly wrong. You have to FILE a US tax return each year that you earn enough money to file. That does not mean you have to PAY taxes to the US on that money.

One scenario: If you were living and working in the UK, you would qualify for the foreign income exclusion from taxable income. When you file, it lets the IRS know you did earn money, it qualified for foreign income exclusion, and you owe zero. You met the requirement of filing. You don't pay anything.

The foreign income exclusion changes each year, but it is approaching $100k. So if you earned a big salary in the UK, you could owe US tax on the portion over $100k.

Nich,

That's what I meant - and why I said it's not an issue in the UK since tax rates are similar given the double taxation treaty. However if you earn a decent salary in say Singapore where you pay ~20% tax, you then have to pay the difference up to the US tax rate ~15% to Uncle Sam.


08/12/2010 => Day 00 => Package sent to Chicago lockbox

08/13/2010 => Day 01 => Package received and signed for in Chicago

08/23/2010 => Day 11 => Email and Text receipt notification

08/23/2010 => Day 11 => Cheques cashed - $1010 and $355

08/26/2010 => Day 14 => NOAs received in the mail

08/30/2010 => Day 18 => Received biometrics appointment letter (for 9/23)

09/03/2010 => Day 22 => Did walk-in biometrics

09/16/2010 => Day 35 => Received interview letter for 10/21

10/15/2010 => Day 64 => AP received

10/20/2010 => Day 69 => EAC received

10/21/2010 => Day 70 => AOS Interview, approved, I-551 stamp and card production ordered

10/30/2010 => Day 79 => Green card received

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