Monthly Archives: February 2014

@TorontoStar Thomas Walkom – Changes To Canada Citizenship Act in a #FATCA World

This is a brilliant article – one of the best I have seen on Canada’s proposed changes to the citizenship act. The article includes:

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FATCA Repeal Becomes a Partisan Issue

CF&P President Andrew Quinlan commented, “The costs of FATCA’s misguided fiscal imperialism are mounting. It is past time for elected officials to wake up to the unmitigated disaster that they have unleashed upon the world.”

IRS vs expats

It has been reported that the Republican National Committee has passed a resolution at its winter meeting on January 24, 2014 that called for the repeal of FATCA, a law that the Wall Street Journal referred to as “aimed at U.S. tax evaders.” The IRS has been active in publicizing the coming enforcement of this controversial law which was tacked on to 2010 legislation passed to increase employment in the United States. The controversial FATCA amendment, which has nothing to do with employment, may represent an invasion of privacy and is accredited with causing an increase in EXPATS loosing banking privileges in their home countries and even with causing the recent increase in renouncing their citizenship. That number has grown from 742 in 2009 to more than 1,854 last year, according to State Department figures. It is also said to

The Republican party adopted a resolution to repeal the Foreign…

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Robillard & Myers: Open our door to Mexico

Canada has every right and obligation to protect our borders and know who we admit into the country. In order to do that, we are implementing an electronic travel advisory program with our other trading partners. That program should be extended to Mexico as a replacement for entry visas.

National Post | Full Comment

As Prime Minister Harper meets with Mexican President Peña Nieto this week, the two leaders will look back over the past 20 years of the North American Free Trade Agreement and be encouraged by the expansion in trade and investment that has taken place between Canada and Mexico over that period of time. Undoubtedly, they will also be discussing why our bilateral economic relationship has not grown even more rapidly and what can be done to encourage further growth.

[np_storybar title=”More air-travel links between Canada, Mexico to be unveiled during Harper visit” link=”http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/02/17/stephen-harper-wont-end-visa-requirements-for-mexicans-obama-unlikely-to-talk-keystone-at-three-amigos-meeting/”]MEXICO CITY, Mexico — Prime Minister Stephen Harper is leaving for Mexico today with a plan that could pave the way for getting rid of his host’s biggest complaint about Canada — the onerous visa on Mexican travellers.

Trade Minister Ed Fast, who is also travelling on Harper’s plane, has been authorized by the federal cabinet to sign…

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Something’s missing from statistics on loss of US Citizenship

There has been at least one denied Freedom of Info request to get the real numbers, and there is a new one out for which we are waiting to receive the results. The real issue at hand is what are the REAL numbers.

Banc Centrale de l'astéroide B612

Image

The above graph shows the officially released statistics for renunciations of US citizenship over the period 2006 to 2013.

The blue line takes statistics from the Federal Register, the red line is from the FBI list publicized in order to list renunciants who are not allowed to purchase firearms.

There are serious deficiencies in the data.

First, the data states only those that have actively renounced their citizenship, paid $450, and made oral statements to the local US embassy as to their renouncements.  Those figures do not include those who have “relinquished” their citizenship, by having stated that they have performed a relinquishing act such as working in a federal government, military, or most often those who had taken upon a 2nd citizenship some years ago when such an act automatically cancelled US citizenship (duals were not allowed)>

However, none of it matches anecdotal evidence of those who have been going…

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Chris Selley: Actually, my citizenship is a right

@cselley Well done! Cuts to the heart of the matter. How can @PMHarper take a person’s citizenship that he never gave to begin with?

National Post | Full Comment

In unveiling his Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act last week, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander felt it important to remind us that “citizenship is not a right, it’s a privilege.”

[np_storybar title=”Would-be Canadians to wait longer for citizenship as Tories toughen language and knowledge rules” link=”http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/02/06/immigration-changes-mean-would-be-canadians-will-have-to-wait-four-years-not-three-to-apply-for-citizenship/”]TORONTO — Calling citizenship “our most precious commodity,” the Conservatives tabled legislation on Thursday requiring immigrants to reside in the country four years before qualifying to become Canadians.

In addition to lengthening the residency requirement by one year, the reforms triple the cost of applying for citizenship to $300 and impose more stringent language and knowledge-of-Canada standards.

Those seeking citizenship would also have to file income taxes in Canada and commit to living in the country. At the same time, penalties for residency fraud — in which immigrants falsely claim to be living in Canada in order to maintain their status and qualify for citizenship…

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Dual Citizens and the Selective Service System

Taxes are not the only obligations of U.S. citizens abroad. Don’t forget about the “Selective Service” – AKA “The Draft”

Dual Citizenship

Men between ages 18 and 25 by law must apply for the Selective Service to retain benefits such as “student financial aid, loans, or grants; vocational training under WIA; government employment; and security clearances” (sss.gov) and to avoid penalties such as “…a fine of up to $250,000, imprisonment for up to five years, or both.” (sss.gov)

SSS.gov explicitly states:

Dual nationals of the U.S. and another country are required to register, regardless of where they live, because they are U.S. nationals.
See also Aliens and Dual Nationals – Liability for Service

If you are living IN the USA, you can register here.
If you are living OUTSIDE the USA, you can complete a foreign registration here.

I was asked if I had registered with the Selective Service System, and if I had my card with me when I applied for a US passport…

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