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Derek Sivers Renounces his US Citizenship (federalregister.gov)
77 points by secure1234 on May 8, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 167 comments

EDIT: 48 upvotes in an hour and this submission just jumped from top 10 to second page? WTF?

Honestly, the US is the most invasive government in the "free" world I've had the misfortune to encounter.

I can't think of another developed nation that is quite so overbearing when it comes to foreign income. US citizens who haven't been in the US for 40 years and work in other countries STILL need to report their income to the IRS (as an Australian who lives and works in the US, Australia doesn't care about my income as one example).

The reporting requirements on tax residents in the US (citizens and non-citizens) is absurd. If I fail to disclose my retirement account in Australia, established well before ever working in the US, the US government can technically imprison me and charge me a penalty of 300% of the value of that retirement account (all in the name of "fighting terrorism").

What really doesn't sit well with me is the presumption of criminality that exists in US law (actual and enforced). The presumption of innocence seems to be some kind of anecdote in history.

I know I'll never take up US citizenship. No thanks. I'll stick with Australia/Britain (dual citizen) thanks.

In all honesty the only reason I'm even here is because I want to see it (New York in particular) before it's gone. The US reminds me of the crumbling, dying days of the Roman Empire.

Don't get me wrong. There are many great things about the US. Up until WWI, the US opened its doors to those seeking riches, a new life, freedom from religious persecution and any number of other terrible things in the Old World. In the span of a century (1800 to 1900), the US had turned itself from an agrarian backwater into an industrial superpower, a legacy that has lasted until the present day. The US has certainly played a key part in the technological progress of the 20th century.

But now the government seems to consist of self-interested parties who are happy to persecute citizens of every country including its own. It really seems like it's lost its way and I'm not sure how it comes back from that.

The law in this case is unjust. Those who don't like it (practically the majority of people) can open a separate company in Hong Kong and keep their foreign money untaxed. Or they can just not disclose the money they make.

Yes, it's illegal - selling drinks was also illegal during Prohibition - that didn't mean it was right.

The US actually reminds me of the relationship between the British Empire and the East India Company - the organization was so powerful that the actual government didn't have as much control over it as they wanted. It's the same with the US gov and its citizens (including corporations/businesses).

I don't know where the country is going, though. Other countries (especially in the EU) are now very close, equal or better than the US when it comes to business and living conditions, so there's really no reason to "switch sides" now.

With a British and Australian passports, you don't even need to think about a US citizenship - it is indeed useless, however if you're from one of the less developed countries , it's still worth it.

The US actually reminds me of the relationship between the British Empire and the East India Company

This is the key! It is the all-pervasive, highest priority plutocracy aspect that is causing the most damage to the US and its image.

When your prime concern is to treat your citizens as a tax fund and then on-top of that misappropriate those precious resources in mainly multi-decade long and continuous militaristic campaigns and development instead of socially cohesive and constructive policies that protect the long-term interests of your citizen base, then it is hardly surprisingly the amount of dissatisfaction caused, especially how citizenry itself is becoming globalised by communication and technology.

Of particular concern is:

* why banks are allowed free reign to cause so much damage without penalty or preventative regulation (e.g. now, subprime is starting all over again except in structured finance commmodity markets),

* why large corporates and high wealth individuals are so permitted to abuse accounting principles to avoid taxation even compared to the rest of the West (where do you think this tax revenue will now be sourced from?) and bypass social or environmental responsibilities,

* why political campaign funding is allowed to be so corruptingly privatised particularly at the non-federal level,

* why (highly funded) private lobbies, even of foreign governments, are permitted to be so powerful against the political system,

* why politicians are so protected in office even when they behave in ways that would be illegal in any other situation (e.g. trading based on inside information),

* the extreme lengths the "multicultural experiment" has been allowed to segregate and ghettoize their citizenry,

* the extreme punishment and lack of tolerance for even the most minor of crimes in the legal system, etc. etc.

Given the above, it is hardly surprising that US citizens are both turning to and incidentally discovering the many benefits of living elsewhere and dissociating themselves from their parent country's government.

Every country has requirements of its citizens. A lot force you to serve in the Armed Forces. The US doesn't do that.

While I agree that the US isn't as welcoming as it once was and has always had an onerous tax code, for foreigners it is still a huge benefit to work and do business there.

The funny thing is that Citizenship in the US has been essentially devalued by non-citizen working categories that have been developed in order to make the economy function. Unlike Europe or Canada, the US as a country doesn't really provide anything substantial to its citizens that make moving from a green card to a full citizen really worthwhile unless you care that much about voting.

Green Cards (or equivalent legal status) are gold though. Save the passports for EU countries or CAN/AUS. :-)

Permanent Residents (Green Card holders) also have to pay tax on their worldwide income, even if they do not reside in the US.

That's true, but adding some of the obligations of citizenship to permanent residency isn't uncommon, either. For example, permanent residents of Singapore of military age must serve in its military. Personally, I'd rather file a 1040 than attend boot camp, so am pretty happy with my U.S. citizenship, even as an expatriate. :)

But they can also leave, and it'll expire.

PR Cards are canada are pretty close to citizenship. PRs get subsided educations and are treated like citizens for all rights and purposes. Other than voting, political office, passports and other standard citizen benefits I don't know how Canada's PR is any worse than a US PR.

>>The US reminds me of the crumbling, dying days of the Roman Empire.

Indian here, many of uncles visited US in the 90's and continue to visit even now. One of my uncles is a doctor who is now settled in US. Well as a kid my uncles would often talk to me about the infrastructure, opportunities and great things about the US. So naturally when I grew up I wanted to come to US and work there.

Not anymore, in the past few years the very same people are telling how futile it is to go to US now. How costly the cost of living and health care is, how the common masses are totally out of energy without access to affordable higher education, how china virtually dominates every aspect of the life of a ordinary US consumer.

You can do anything here in India, whatever you could possibly do in the US. Nothing really is impossible today in India and China. You can make the same money, get the same opportunities, buy the same stuff and afford the same luxuries. Many of my friends who went to US to their MS now desperately want to come back to India, the only thing that seems to be holding them back is the education loan.

India looks to be in the same place US was in WWI, tons of opportunities, high optimism among the masses and a lot of young population desperate for success. There is tons of money to be made out there.

US looks to be stuck in needless conflicts, prolonged wars and wasting its energy, resources and wealth on pursuits which are going to give nothing in return.

People generally ask about the resurgence of India and China on the global scene, sure outsourcing is huge factor in it. But US really dug its own grave. If even US had spent half the money its spending on military and wars on development, with the kind of infrastructure US has, it would be unbeatable.

"In all honesty the only reason I'm even here is because I want to see it (New York in particular) before it's gone. The US reminds me of the crumbling, dying days of the Roman Empire."

Thank god you got there in time! NYC TTYL is down to 5 years. Probably won't be there in 2020.

"But now the government seems to consist of self-interested parties who are happy to persecute citizens of every country including its own."

When has this not been the case in US history?

Sounds like you buy into the same "in the old days, things were better" pollyanna version of US history many of its own citizens do.

In the old days, things WERE better.

But that's because in the old days, I was 12.

Many americans don't seem to understand this because they've grown up in the US media bubble and were educated in US schools which don't tend to really accurately portray the rest of the world.

Going out and living in other countries you find how impressively different things can be.

For instance, an acquaintance of mine who is a medical doctor who treats terminally ill patients, had his life ruined (and is in jail now) because the DEA decided he was writing too many prescriptions. Those same drugs- that he determined were medically necessary and he's a DOCTOR, can be bought over the counter in Chile, and many other countries south of the US border. Walking around chile you don't see a lot of stoners or drug addicts (in fact, I haven't seen any homeless at all) compared to the USA.

Nevermind that the person who decided he was writing "too many" of these prescriptions has no medical training and was doing so based on what amounts to a quota system whereby over time patients are increasingly denied the drugs they need as their doctors become afraid of the same fate that befell my acquaintance. This fear causes fewer prescriptions to be written over all, lowering the standard for "too many", causing those who didn't deny their patients the drugs they need to be prosecuted, installing more few, further lowering the numbers, etc. It is a self reinforcing cycle.

So, please tell me why a doctor had his life ruined for giving his patients- terminally ill, remember- prescriptions for drugs that you can buy over the counter in many countries? Please tell me why the USA is pursuing a program that ensures that ill people are in agony?

It is because the USA has gone off the deep end in certain areas.

Yet attempting to defend this doctor to others who also went to high school with him, mostly got no sympathy. To those americans' eyes he was a "Drug dealer" and a "scourge on society."

There's a lot more to this story you're not disclosing. The DEA doesn't just imprison someone overnight because "decided he was writing too many prescriptions".

Of course, at no point in history has someone been prosecuted by a government on trumped up charges.

I guess you're not aware of it, but my acquaintance is not the only one. Many doctors across the USA have been attacked this way.

Here's an article going back to 2003: http://www.opioids.com/offshorepharmacy/deapaindoc.html

Here's one on 2004: http://doctordeluca.com/wordpress/wod-pca/

Doctor's opinion from 2008: http://www.healthcentral.com/chronic-pain/c/91/46424/prescri...

A briefing to congress from 2004, contains many useful references: http://www.aapsonline.org/painman/paindocs2/libbystatement.p...

Doctors shirking their duty due to fear of persecution via prosecution: http://www.doctorgorrell.com/a-bad-time-to-be-a-chronic-pain...

Article about how the fear is causing doctors to resist adequate remedies: http://www.healthsearchonline.com/doctors-prescribing-pain-m...

The white house is calling it an "epidemic": http://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/

As someone who holds three nationalities, and is 2 years away from a fourth: I look forward to the day I hold none.

Beligerence of the "State" knows no bounds, I hope we can free ourselves from this regressive construct and, once again, live in this world judged by our own merit and character, beholden to none.

The idealogically pure idea of stateless citizens working in harmony of their own free accord is a fantasy that doesn't mesh with reality and just as dangerous as any Marxist Communist fantasy. In the right here and right now states are far from perfect, and we are in the middle of a period where lots of forces are pushing for greater consolidation of power in the hands of the state. But the benefit of having governments (some of them at least) still outweighs the extreme dangers of not having them.

In what way is communism dangerous? I fail to see any inherent danger in a form of society that distributes its wealth evenly across its citizens.

Well, for one, it fails to address the inherent need of people to achieve for personal/selfish reasons, thus removing life purpose for many of your best and brightest - it kills ambition.

Ambition is what drives humanity forward, for better or worse. Unless you can channel the needs of the state as a replacement for personal ambition, your society under communism is unsustainable. This is very difficult to do without reverting to a society that is either 1) capitalist or 2) utterly corrupt.

Either way, communism is self defeating, and therefore dangerous.

EDIT: Just to note that I upvoted you and encourage others to do the same. This is a place to share knowledge and you asked a perfectly valid question that many people have. This is not reddit and nobody should be downvoted for asking a question, regardless of how basic it might be.

I'm not so sure that it's clearcut that personal/selfish ambition is exactly identical to financial ambition. Further, there's probably a few different configurations of societies that distribute wealth evenly that are compatible with financial ambition. As for corruption, you probably need to convince someone that capitalist corruption is better :)

I'm not so sure that it's clearcut that personal/selfish ambition is exactly identical to financial ambition.

It really doesn't matter if they are or not. In order for communism to truly work, you'd need to abolish all rewards. That is, the very act of having hockey players and cosmonauts and musical talent recognized by the state at large - regardless of financial reward - creates the very imbalance that communism is supposed to address. As I said: self defeating.

People may seek different rewards based on their character, but the very nature of man is that we work best when challenged and respond will to the rewards earned when overcoming those challenges, financial or not.

If your economic system essentially requires a man with a gun to ensure and enforce its existence, there is something wrong.

What run4yourlives said.

To put it simply - when all the wealth is equally spread, there is no incentive for anyone to do anything. If everyone is paid equally and has the same benefits, there's no point in working harder or smarter - you just do the bare minimum and be done with it.

Let's take a capitalist factory: workers are paid $5 per assembled iPad. Those who want more money can assemble 100 iPads and make $500 in a day's work. Most are happy with $100 per day, so they'll assemble only 20 iPads (let's say that's the minimum amount required).

Now a communist, state-operated factory: workers are paid $100 per day because everyone is equal. Those who want to make $500... can't, even if they assemble 1000 iPads. So they just assemble the bare minimum of 20 and are done with it, secretly cursing the government for this injustice/inequality (how ironic is that?).

The overall production level drops significantly unless the state raises the minimum amount of iPads made to 100 per day. Obviously, the people who are happy with $100 per day are now pissed off, either because they don't want or simply can't work that hard.

The only ones benefiting from communism are those who make the laws and control the factories/country.

To put it simply - when all the wealth is equally spread, there is no incentive for anyone to do anything.

I don't think this is true in general, though it's true for some jobs (mostly jobs that nobody wants to do). For example, I don't think scientists, or even most HN types, are motivated solely by money, and would just sit around drinking beer if they couldn't make more money. Many of us are more motivated by science and technology. Making money is nice, but I would still work on tech if it made absolutely no difference to my salary. The reward is finding interesting things, gaining recognition for my ideas from my peers, etc., not just some monetary bonuses.

If anything I think there's a slight negative correlation between in-it-for-the-money and quality in science. The people who are there to optimize money are usually good game-players, adept at working the system and working their way up bureaucracy. Brilliant scientists often aren't even very good at that, and are more often really driven by the science first, perhaps peer recognition second, and maximizing money a distant third.

True, but what's the incentive beyond creating your new product/tech? There's no one to buy it but the government (unless it's something that appeals to the ordinary citizen and is not banned because it's competing with a gov-issued product), and then what? How will you develop your new theory/tech in the future?

I don't have in mind some kind of Soviet-style authoritarian state that would censor things and whatnot. Was just commenting on the more general issue of whether people would create things if it had no effect on their salary; I think many people would. I certainly would; actually I probably do more things as side projects than as "real" projects as it is. The incentive is that technology is interesting, and people using and commenting on my stuff is rewarding. How to actually set that up in practice, I have less confidence in. My own politics tend towards more Scandinavian style social-welfare state, rather than communism, because it seems much clearer how to make it work in practice (market economy, but with high taxes, high level of public services, and a strong social safety net).

Even within a strongly capitalist system like the US, being motivated by things other than money actually used to be closer to the norm for a large number of professionals. The current situation where people change companies a lot, get large bonuses, and have widely differential pay, is a pretty recent phenomenon. At Bell Labs, everyone got fairly similar salaries, despite the fact that some people were much more successful in research than others. Of course, you had to be at a certain level of success to get there at all, but once you were there, you just got the normal Bell Labs salary, with raises tied to seniority, old-corporate-style. Yet many people there excelled anyway, despite the fact that they could've sat around pulling the exact same salary without putting in much effort. Why? Because they were motivated by things other than money, I would guess.

Wow. I do not recognize your description of factories, economics, or political systems. iPads are made in China, governed by the Communist Party of China. They have migrated from a planned economy to one of "socialism with Chinese characteristics." Is this a communist factory?

I think you are confusing a "planned economy" with "communism." But even then, there is nothing in the definition of a planned economy to say that all people in a certain position have the same daily wage. The Soviet union had an incentive system. For example, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09668134908409742 says "encourages the foremost collective farmers by means of adding extra labour-days."

You idealize the idea of the piece-rate system, without realizing that that's the system used in the Soviet Union during the Stalinist era. Read in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wage_reform_in_the_Soviet_Union... how the Khrushchev era reform movement pushed to move from a quota system to "standardising their wages and reducing their dependence on overtime or bonus payments."

From that page, "The piece-rate system led to an enormous level of bureaucracy and contributed to huge inefficiencies in Soviet industry. In addition, factory managers frequently manipulated the personal production quotas given to workers to prevent workers' wages from falling too low."

So it seem that your "capitalist factory" is using the same piece-system incentive system as used during the Soviet era, which is about as communist as you can get.

I also think you are confusing "capitalist" with "meritocracy." The US during the period of slavery was under laissez-faire capitalism, but quite obviously slaves did not enjoy the same benefits which you attribute to capitalism, and a slave working the same job, with the same abilities as a free man was unlikely to make the same rates.

You write "Obviously, the people who are happy with $100 per day are now pissed off, either because they don't want or simply can't work that hard." Or they might put their family life ahead of the company's bottom line and think that 40 hours of week is enough even if some people want to work 80 hour weeks.

Finally, you wrote "The only ones benefiting from communism are those who make the laws and control the factories/country." There's nothing unique to communism there. The same holds with capitalism. If only the richest 1% in a capitalist country make the laws and control the factories/country, then it's very likely that they are benefiting the most. The economic system and the form of government are not as strongly coupled as you suggest.

It requires the use of force to redistribute weatlh. It also removes the price mechanism, thus robbing the people of information required to produce and evaluate.

What if we just gave everyone like vouchers or something that they could use to trade for whatever they wanted? Although, how do we encourage people to do work that's more important than other work? Or people who have skills that are in short supply? And how do we make sure that people don't hog the stuff that takes a lot more work to produce? Maybe if we gave people more vouchers if they worked in more difficult or more needed jobs, and maybe we could make it so that the stuff that takes more work to produce requires more vouchers to trade for. But then how do we set the values for such things? Who could possibly collect enough information to get all the ratios right? Oh wait, who knows better than the people who use goods and services? What if we just let them set their own rates for voucher exchanges and let everyone sort out things on their own? That way people who have skills that are rarer or more needed by the public will be able to collect more vouchers and people can choose what goods and services are most important to them personally by deciding how many of their vouchers they're willing to give up for them.

There you go, I think I fixed communism.

Or (re)invented capitalism?

Vouchers == Church Indulgences == Dollars


(My wife pipes in "Way to go, Master of the obvious..." with much tremolo).

Yes, I admit, I can be slow on the uptake... Sorry. :)

The pursuit of communism resulted in the tragic deaths of over 100 million innocents during the 20th century. More than were killed by Nazism, Facism, and Japanese Imperialism combined. And that is merely the darkest portion of the shadow that communism has cast on human civilization, the full extent of suffering and loss is on a scale that makes the Black Death look like a walk in the park.

History can't convince a nerd until you show that history was caused by an intrinsic quality, not an accidental one. I think it touches too closely to 'decline of pirates linked to increase in global warming' without any explanation of how their ice cold hearts kept us cool.

I don't think it's fair to say killing millions of people is an intrinsic quality of communism or that pursuing it will inherently cause millions of deaths. As an example, pursuit of communism in Cuba has not caused magnitudes more deaths than pursuit of capitalism and generally "right wing" politics during Operation Condor.

An example of how and why this will always fail is well presented in the story of the Twentieth Century Motor corporation. A reading of an excerpt can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCmJUobwKQk

If you'd prefer text here's one: https://thesnarkwhohuntsback.wordpress.com/favorite-passages...

Maybe, but if you're in a country that's going to hell (Russia invades Georgia, Rwanda in 1994) and you're a U.S. citizen, you can be evacuated.

In addition, if you're captured in the United States and labeled a "terrorist," you're less likely to be tortured and held in "black" facilities if you're a U.S. citizen. Perhaps not an optimal reason, but it still exists.

The U.S. embassy has evacuated my family and we're still paying for it. It's not free. We could have hired a private militia and escaped to safety for 5% of what we paid the state department.

Could you elaborate? I'm interested in knowing more. Where were you, how much did it cost, what services were provided?

Somalia 1991. [two-digit]k per person. Do the math.

(I need to ask the family, I remember it being more than 30k)

Did they disclose the fees before providing this service? Or they just surprised you with the bill in the mail? Was this tax-deductible?

I'm kind of glad to hear that it isn't free. U.S. taxpayers shouldn't have to subsidize the risks that some take to travel to dangerous areas, even if it's an aid worker (most recently, like [this guy][1]).

[1]: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/08/world/asia/kidnapped-ameri...

Yes, if you go somewhere that's dangerous, the local embassy will usually warn you to leave asap if something is going down. It's not a free pass to get out. If you want that, become a diplomat.

You should do a reddit AMA. I'm sure many people would like to hear your story.

If we erased all governments and rulers from the Earth in the next second, by 2013 there would be a panoply of tyrants, warlords, and all manner of governments imaginable. There are only so many ways that people self-organize, and the perfect ideal of a peaceful anarchist commune is not one such method that is stable or practical with our current level of technology.

I also hold three passports. I think that having multiple nationalities does make you see how arbitrary the concept of a nation state is (getting privileges solely because of your place of birth or who your parents are), however I don't see that changing anytime soon, because there is not really a realistic alternative.

EDIT: In case people are interested, my nationalities are: Dutch, German, Canadian. I was born with all three of them (even though I found out only much later). I would loose both my Dutch and my German citizenship if I were to acquire another one.

Mind listing out the countries, and how one goes about becoming a citizenship collector?

My parents sacrificed an incredible deal to come to the US. For the life of me I can't comprehend why someone would do this. Loss of citizenship is permanent. Your kids lose it as well. Why would derek would do this to his kids.

> For the life of me I can't comprehend why someone would do this. Loss of citizenship is permanent. Your kids lose it as well. Why would derek would do this to his kids.

Maybe he doesn't want his kids to have to deal with the U.S. I.R.S. every year of their life, regardless of whether or not they live in the U.S.? Just one of the possible reasons.

That seems implausible. If anything, maybe he doesn't want to deal with the IRS for the rest of his life.

After all, it's not a burden on his children until they begin collecting income. If the concern is really for the children, it would be more pragmatic to give them sufficient time to make up their own mind.

His kids will now be forced to do two years of mandatory military service in the Singapore army, though, and in addition, must remain in the army reserves and attend annual refresher training until the age of 40. I'd consider that considerably worse than dealing with the IRS once a year.

Valid point, but the Singaporean citizenship or residence being more onerous does not invaluate U.S. tax laws as a reason to drop U.S. citizenship.

You seem to be assuming that his children have acquired Singaporean nationality. We don't know that this is the case.

> Your kids lose it as well.

No. Parents cannot, under any circumstance, renounce US citizenship on their childrens' behalf. If they gained citizenship at birth, they can only lose it by their own actions.

According to his blog, as of last year he had moved to Singapore and it appeared he intended that to be his permanent home.

Perhaps he has decided to obtain Singapore citizenship? Singapore requires those who obtain naturalized citizenship there to renounce all other citizenships they hold.

His wife has dual citizenships in the U.S./India.

My wife is Indian with US citizenship. As far as we've been able to tell, India does not allow dual citizenship (a quick google turns up many references to this, including Wikipedia). An Indian who becomes a US citizen can become an "Overseas Citizen of India" (OCI) which is not exactly the same as citizenship (you can't vote in India on that status, for example)

India does not allow dual citizenships. Rather people of Indian origin get the equivalent of a lifetime visa should they choose to be citizens of other countries, but this can be in no way equated with citizenship.

I heard that she's Indian, so she might just be a citizen there.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the discussion of Sealand on Ars Technica [1] was the notion of 'laws of state' vs 'laws of self' which is really nicely explained in this PDF http://illinoislawreview.org/wp-content/ilr-content/articles... . The money quote being:

"Juxtaposing these three theories of the rule of law allows us to see that there is something deeply anomalous in HavenCo’s simultaneous rejection of national self-government and embrace of formal legality and restraint on government. Having started from the premise that the political systems of existing nations could never be trusted to protect free speech, HavenCo needed a place outside of them to stand while it beamed its bits their way and undermined their national Internet laws.

That place needed to be able to stand up to annoyed nations, which led HavenCo to seek Sealand, with its colorable claims to sovereignty. And once HavenCo had chosen a protector with power, it also needed to be protected from the abuse of that power. HavenCo expected international law to protect it from the rest of the world and expected Sealand law to protect it from Sealand itself."

We can discuss and agree that people have fundamental rights, but having that discussion only makes sense in the context of establishing a way of enforcing those rights. The day you hold 'no' citizenship is the day that nobody is going to help protect your rights and you become someone else's slave. That isn't a day I would look forward too.

[1] http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/03/sealand-and-...

The belligerence of the state doesn't hold a candle to the belligerence of unfettered individuals.

you want to live in a "free state" but yet you are acquiring just another citizenship? it feels to me like a meat lover giving a presentation on a vegan conference how beautiful world would be if we all eat veggies only, lol!

btw: how is the custom board patrol treating you when you cross? some countries like in US while pulling up your name they can see all nationalities you have. I would assume they are hostile towards you in some way, right?

> some countries like in US while pulling up your name they can see all nationalities you have

How does a third world tell US which are its citizens. Doubt there is a global citizenship database? Is there?

I would imagine by now there are some treaties between most nations that exchange such information. There is also passporting system. You gave them any sort of passport (at least here in US) and they will look it up in the computer. They have to be looking up some sort of database, right?)

I could imagine someone holding so many citizenships would be very valuable asset to government agency that hire spies.

Indeed there are! This one is just for signals intelligence, but you can be sure that they share a lot more than that.


"The United Kingdom – United States of America Agreement (UKUSA, /juːkuːˈsɑː/ ew-koo-sah)[1][2] is a multilateral agreement for cooperation in signals intelligence among the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand."

I think you would be required to disclose your other citizenships when obtaining the U.S. one.

They wouldn't necessarily know about others if you got the American one by birth, though if you were born abroad you can be sure that's going to be in the profile.

Mind sharing which one you're pursuing or which ones you think are worthy nationalities to hold?

Personally I think a combo of one of EU countries and Australia or Canada is nice. You get pretty much all of the first world benefits, can live anywhere in the EU while it's still together with minimal hassles, have Australia/Canada when you're missing an environment a little more the U.S., without the crazy that's U.S. citizenship and corresponding tax laws. (But of course I'd think so as a dual CA/EU citizen.)

Normally these are collected along the way while "moving on up in the world". Start in some poor country. Get citizenship in another slight better country and so on. Now "better" is subjective and defined by the individuals. For example, most people would consider Belize better than South Sudan.

Some just optimize based on the most travel permissive citizenships. Like, say the British passports let you in quite a few countries without a visa, so does an US passport but the countries are different.

Be a U.S. citizen but don't live there. That is the best option of them all, and one I took.

What? This is most certainly not the best option.

As a U.S. citizen you are required to pay taxes on income earned worldwide and from my understanding you can only deduct up to ~95k in 2012.

From what I've read, being a US citizen and working abroad is expensive and one of the main motivations for people to renounce their US citizenship.

I can't afford not to be a U.S. citizen. I'm a non-millionaire atheist black man with a Muslim name and an American accent. My kind don't last long in the wilderness, I will be traded by intel agencies like a baseball card.

Why not be Canadian and not live in the USA?

If you aren't a permanent resident you are almost always tied to your current job, and can technically be required to leave within two weeks if you are laid off or fired. (Getting a new job that would accommodate your visa requirements on a two-week notice might not be trivial.) If you are a permanent resident, you are subject to many of the annoyances discussed (i.e., IRS) without the benefits of citizenship...

He was talking about not living in the USA specifically, so your not tied to your job like that, and you don't have any US tax requirements unless the income comes from the USA.

Wow, sorry, I completely missed the "not" in your post. My bad.

But then you still have to pay taxes on worldwide income right?

The tax system for overseas income is complicated, especially if you hold foreign assets (bank accounts or corporate interest), but the short version is that any income earned as an employee up to ~$95,000 can be excluded. It's called the foreign earned income exclusion.

Don't forget that if you live in a country that has a tax treaty with the US, any taxes paid to your home gov't counts towards any taxes you would pay to the US.

So if you live in a higher tax jurisdiction (i.e. the majority of the countries in the world), your US tax bill ends up being $0. However, you still have the hassle of filing your US tax return each year.

I didn't think it was that complicated at all. I held assets in Canada while working in the US and all I had to do was declare what they were and how much.

i.e. Mutual fund account - $32K

To add to this, you legally have to declare to the U.S. government all foreign cash in excess of $10k. You may not pay tax but you definitely have to file regardless.

Not sure if he reason is tax related, but I will say this...I'm not starting a company abroad without renouncing my US citizenship. I've been living in and out of the US for the last 4 years now and the fact that we get taxed when we are outside of the country is ludicrous to say the least. Are we really that arrogant?

I wonder it if it stems from entities like corporations and individuals being treated in a similar fashion by some law. So they don't want to all of the sudden to have every single US company to end up headquartered in the Cayman Islands.

Also if they don't do this. It pretty much guarantees that any wealthy individual will leave the country for a tax haven. Say you reach a $10M/year income if your tax rate is 30% in US, given your financial status, it would be very easy for you to move to Mexico or another country and just say "Well, I am not in US anymore, can't tax me".

Now in actuality this is already happening. They are just making it harder. They are trying to plug the holes in hunk of Swiss cheese.

Even if we accept that this is undesirable, surely it is within the ken of mankind to devise a system that hits these wealthy tax evaders without placing unreasonable burdens on every single overseas national, regardless of their circumstances.

Don't be hasty - there are a lot of ways to hide your foreign income from the IRS. Find them and do it...

Is anyone else slightly surprised that:

(a) this is public info online, and; (b) it's apparently public because, of all things, HIPPA?

Sort of, but this kind of hypocrisy in US legislation is common. I've turned up only a few articles/links on this matter.

Apparently this falls under IRC 6039G, which appears to have nothing to do with HIPPA?

    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, not later than 30 days
    after the close of each calendar quarter, the Secretary shall
    publish in the Federal Register the name of each individual losing
    United States citizenship (within the meaning of section 877(a))
    with respect to whom the Secretary receives information under the
    preceding sentence during such quarter.

The US practices 'name and shame' for people who renounce their citizenship.

This doesn't make sense until you consider they're probably just bitter about lost taxes.

It's not that uncommon for citizenship changes, in either direction, to be public record. In some countries they're even pro-forma passed as laws through parliament, which of course then becomes public record. (In Denmark, at least, only the parliament has the right to grant or revoke Danish citizenship for any reason, an old restriction intended as a protection against the King arbitrarily doing so. In practice the immigration authorities draw up lists of people, and Parliament rubber-stamps the lists a few times a year, reading them into the legislative record.)

Another reason to make them public is that otherwise there's no way to determine if someone is actually a U.S. citizen, since there's no central register. For example, someone with a birth certificate showing they were born in the U.S. is a U.S. citizen by birth... unless they've renounced it. So to determine if someone is a citizen you need: 1) a copy of their birth certificate; and 2) a list of renunciations so you can check that they aren't on it. Sort of like how key revocation works in crypto— you can't actually haul back the original documents, so you have to publish a revocation list.

It's a revenue offset for the actual HIPAA-y part of HIPAA.

IE HIPAA will cost the govt money, which will be offset by such and such provisions for raising revenue, including changes to the rules for taxing expatriates who renounced their citizenship for tax avoidance purposes.

Looking at the law [1] it seems to be part of Section V, entitled "Revenue Offsets".

According to sources I could find online [2], it looks like prior to the law, people who gave up their citizenship were not required to report it to the IRS, even if they were doing so in order to avoid taxes (which is illegal [3]).

[1]: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-104publ191/html/PLAW-104pu...

[2]: http://www.accidentaluscitizen.com/category/citizenship-renu...

[3]: http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/international/article/0,...

I think it should be public information online.

As far as as HIPAA, I was slightly surprised too (although I must say, not very surprised). The long title of HIPAA is "An Act To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to [lots of stuff about health care] and for other purposes." This definitely falls into the "for other purposes."

HIPAA is not really about privacy. The name is a good bit of marketing. Don't take my word, check it out for yourself.

HIPAA stands for "Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act" there is nothing about privacy in the name.

I don't know about the wording of the law but in the actual implementations I've done it does provide a measure of privacy and accountability. HIPAA-compliant companies are required to keep your data from being seen by anybody you haven't allowed to see it and for like the programmers working on the HIPAA system who might be exposed to your data you're required to not provide raw access to the data and keep a auditing log of who saw it and when.

Anything beyond the exceptions listed in this link?


I'm not really sure what you're referring to but I am curious.

Eduardo Saverin (of Facebook fame) is also on that list. Also in Singapore, I think. I wonder -- what their reasons are other than the US tax burden?

A cursory glance at Wikipedia suggests his middle initial is P. The middle name listed on the register is Luis.


A cursory glance at Wikipedia also suggests that "Since 2010, Saverin has lived in Singapore."

Singapore is one of dwindling number of countries that rejects the idea of dual citizenship, so it could be that they just wanted to become Singaporean citizens, in which case they have no choice but to renounce their US citizenship as a condition of doing so.

I'm a little disappointed that this would be posted and not include a commentary about the number of reasons that he would have for doing this.

It seems rather useless to simply troll government websites for "revealing" data and make no other comment about it. We can add nothing to this data point beyond conjecture without understanding why a person makes this decision.

EDIT: So people have figured out that he's moved to Singapore and married a Singaporean, which makes perfect sense given their stance on citizenship in general.

I know a Singaporean - they don't like losing citizens. Namely, because of the extensive government involvement in their lives in the form of everything from social services to national ID cards to military service. The approach is a much different path of democracy than what we'd be used to in North America.

He didn't marry a Singaporean. His wife was born in India.

Good point, his wife is Tamil. I didn't delve into his personal details with great gusto. :-)

In that case though, given Singapore, it's a good middle ground between India and the US culture wise.

Does anyone know why?

Tax purposes, political protest, or what?

Also: it's funny that the government misspells the acronym of their own law, HIPAA.

I don't know DS but my guess is, Singapore doesn't recognize dual citizenship, hence you must renounce your US citizenship to get a Singapore passport.


That's correct. In fact Singapore is so against dual citizenship that even people who have dual citizenship by birth must choose one or the other once they become adults: by age 22 they must renounce all other citizenships, or lose their Singapore citizenship.

Denmark is another country with a similar law, which causes a reasonable amount of angst among Danes reaching that age. Particularly true of those with US/Danish citizenship, because once you renounce one or the other, it closes off a lot of options: being a US citizen can be quite good for a lot of career paths, while being an EU citizen can open up a lot of options in a different direction.

edit: Looking into a bit, one thing making Denmark's law somewhat less draconian is that former Danes who lose their citizenship via this process at age 22 still have some kind of special lifetime Danish work/residency permission. So they could opt for the U.S. citizenship while retaining the option to return to Denmark. They would lose the right to live/work in other EU countries under the freedom-of-movement agreement, though, since they'd no longer have an EU passport.

Are there any other EU countries that (1) a young Dane could reasonably obtain citizenship from, and that (2) do not require renouncing other citizenships? The idea is that a dual US/Danish citizen approaching the age where Denmark requires renouncing one or the other could obtain some other EU citizenship first, and let the Danish citizenship go. He'd still be able to live/work in Denmark as an EU citizen.

I can't seem to find discussion of it being done, so perhaps there's some barrier I'm not aware of, but I believe Sweden should be a plausible route for that. A Dane who lives in Sweden for at least two years is eligible for Swedish citizenship under a special citizens-of-other-Nordic-countries fast track, and, since 2001, Sweden permits dual citizenship. In addition, since 2000, the Øresund Bridge makes it possible to live in Malmö, Sweden, while working in Copenhagen across the strait, so you don't even have to fully move to Sweden, just sleep there.

Belgium, Finland, France, Ireland, Portugal, Sweden and the United Kingdom all permit naturalisation without requiring renunciation of previous nationality. This list is not exhaustive.

Same for Japan unfortunately. Although there is a growing trend of just ignoring the notifications and being careful with your passports... it's been fine for a number of people I've talked to, but I'm still curious as to how easy it would be for customs to find out.

I think the problem is in the tax law. Even if you live abroad, you have to produce a tax declaration of your worldwide income. Check this site: http://www.taxmeless.com/page4.html

So it seems the only way to not do this is renouncing citizenship.

We can only speculate about Sivers but generally speaking, for a US national residing overseas who will never go to the US, holding US citizenship is more trouble than it's worth.

Look at my daughter. She was born in Europe with three nationalities, including American. Say, for the sake of argument, she spends her entire life in Europe. She will nevertheless be expected to file a tax return with the IRS every year, to possibly pay US taxes, and to file an FBAR every year should she have more than US$10,000 in the bank.

(At the moment the requirement to pay US taxes generally only kicks in if your income exceeds certain thresholds, but given the lack of esteem Congress has for overseas US nationals I would not be surprised if the rules governing this became more onerous.)

These requirements are simply unconscionable for somebody who has never received and will never receive any services from the US government. And yet they will be imposed on her, unless she takes concrete action when she turns 18 to renounce her American citizenship - because she has US nationality, whether she likes it or not, along with the insane obligations that come with it.

There's been talk recently of wealthy americans fleeing the country for tax reasons. If Obama gets reelected, as is expected, he's gonna go all out in his second term (I'm an Obama supporter but I dislike the idea of taxing the entrepreneurs more to fund the lazy government workers).

...Obama has a propsal to tax entrepreneurs?

Rant time: I despise what political discourse in this country has become. Rather than talk about policy we've trained everyone (like marshallp here) to regurgitate sound bites about how this or that politician is "gonna go all out" to do whatever evil thing sounds fun this week. Look: tax policy is a bunch of boring laws. You can read them if you like. You can look at proposed laws and make suggestions, and argue with the specifics of what our government is doing or what it proposes to do.

But slinging around loaded terms like "taxing entrepreneurs" or "lazy government workers" is hurting us all, and helping no one but the spin doctors. Stop it. Try to be smarter than that.

Edit: more spin terms from the reply: "out of our wallets", "my money". Spin if you want, but if you try to argue about policy using language you got from cable news, you'll merely perpetuate the current policy situation (designed almost exclusively to cater to the attention spans of cable news viewers).

One of the pay-fors for the PPACA is a 3.8 additional tax on investment income above a certain level. Successful entrepreneurs looking to take some money out of their business have a good chance of hitting this tax.

Exactly! So a very broad increase in tax on all (!) investments by all (!) high income individuals becomes a "tax on entrepreneurs", because the specifics don't seem so scary unless you make it sound like it hurts something important.

Here's the snopes page on that very tax: http://www.snopes.com/politics/taxes/realestate.asp Amusingly, the spin it's trying to fight is that it's a tax on "home buyers". Apparently the "entrepreneurs" angle is a new one.

It's a tax. Is it a bad one? Dunno, I think on balance an increase in the capital gains rate (which is sort of what this is) gated on income level isn't a bad way to raise that revenue. You have a different suggestion?

You're now ranting at my sober and factual comment. My suggestion is to be the change you want to see: calm down and put more substance in your communications.

I said it was a rant when this subthread started. A "sober and factual" comment in support of ridiculous spin doesn't qualify, sorry; it simply means you're spinning well. And given that only one of us linked to an actual analysis of that law, let's just say I'm greatly amused at your demand for "substance".

Spare me. Everyone is in it to manipulate the government to their benefit. We need a tax policy and a government policy in general, that stays out of our lives and out of our wallets. That way, policy wonks like you have less of my money to spend on your pet peeves. Spend your own money on your hobbies.

> Rant time: I despise what political discourse in this country has become.

Maybe not being associated with that (or at least not as much) is another of Sivers' reasons for renouncing...

You think that "my money" is an inaccurate term in some way?

The beauty of good spin is that it can be "accurate" without being "complete" or "informative". So it can fool the weak-minded into emotional responses (in this case, that tax is "like theft" and thus evil [removed, see below]. So what if tax starts as "your" money? You still need to pay it. Don't like the current policy? Then state a new one; don't spin.

Edit: removed the "zero tax" bit as apparently it sounds like spin. I don't think it changes the point. (was: ", even though no one sane thinks a zero tax policy is possible")

No one has introduced the concept of zero tax policy until you did so just now.

There are many kinds of spin, that's one of them.

> I'm an Obama supporter but I dislike the idea of taxing the entrepreneurs more to fund the lazy government workers

So is that like a very mild dislike or something? Otherwise, that sentence makes zero sense.

Not really. Obama's foreign policy is better than the republicans and he genuinely cares about people so healthcare and welfare policies would be better, but his support base also consists of the unions, which I disagree with.

> but his support base also consists of the unions, which I disagree with

So it's OK for people to pool capital into companies and abuse workers, but it's not OK for workers to pool labor into unions to prevent it?

They're not the same. Unions are equivalent to crony capitalism (ie. regulations put in place to prevent competition), but most of what companies do is just free markets at work (which helps the consumer).

How is a union a regulation? A union is a contractual obligation between workers that they will only work under certain conditions.

> contractual obligation

In what country? In the US, most are mandated by law. All government jobs are union, regardless of the wishes of the worker.

Contracts are mutually consented to. If it's a union job, you have to be a part of the union. How is forcing workers to do something they do not want beneficial?

I'm all for unions where someone can join and leave freely without the threat of force or loss of work. Do we have that in the US? No.

I'm not sure that is correct. If you look here[1], at the federal level it's about 31%. I also know of several teachers who are not in a Union.

As far as Union jobs go, it depends. There are Union jobs that require it and don't require it. However, this has nothing to do with the worker, but is actually a contractual obligation that the employer agreed to.

[1] http://voices.washingtonpost.com/federal-eye/2011/01/federal...

> If you look here[1], at the federal level it's about 31%.

The devil is in the details. I wonder what that figure would look like if you excluded part-time workers like, say, the census workers who are collecting the very data you cite?

> However, this has nothing to do with the worker, but is actually a contractual obligation that the employer agreed to.

Nope. The last time an employer "agreed" to a union was probably a century ago. Federal law mandates how the process is handled and the employer doesn't agree to anything. It is forced on him.

Which is fine.

What isn't fine is that it is forced on the workers too, even if they don't want it. And every worker after them.

Not cool.

What law specifically are you talking about?

Federal unions have complained that their low union membership totals is due to the federal government being the largest ‘right-to-work’ employer. Right-to-work allows an employee to determine whether he or she wants to join a union. It also keeps employers from making union membership an employment prerequisite.

Via: http://ohmygov.com/blogs/general_news/archive/2009/02/02/a-l...

See also:

However, the most important aspect to having a federal union membership is the collective bargaining agreement. This agreement is a contract between an employer and the union which terms of employment are negotiated and adhered to by the employer and the union. These terms can be about the hiring process, salary, working conditions employment termination, work hours or employee grievances. A union represents the employee to ensure that the employer does not violate the collective bargaining agreement.

There is a long list of things up for negotiation. It seems to me that very little is being forced on anyone.


Also, federal unions cannot compel a non-union member to become a union member; to pay union fees or make union membership an employment precondition. As a result, federal union membership numbers are relatively small in comparison to the overall size of the federal civilian workforce.

Again, no one is being forced into anything again. They can't even establish union only jobs.

via the same link.

Obama is not your king... he doesn't make the laws (I know he can, but he'd be impeached faster than you can say "WTF"). You should broaden your view and... blame more people, I guess...

Thats it, Derek Sivers is renouncing his citizenship so his hard earned money doesn't go to lazy people like school teachers and firefighters.

And the F35!

A quick look at US federal records searches pull up at least 3 living "Derek Sivers". Is there any corroboration from "our" Derek Sivers that this is indeed him? Otherwise it seems disingenuous to post this on HN under the assumption.

OT, but I'm pretty impressed at that site's design, considering it's a .gov property.

Thanks--we appreciate it! More info about federalregister.gov (the site is fully open source, has a powerful API, etc) can be found on this thread: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2839137

The US Tax Code incents US citizens to drop their citizenship before they have 2M USD in net worth.


At best, you're referring only to US expatriates. The article you linked does not apply to people living in the US at all.

Also, political innuendo aside, Sivers doesn't mention tax avoidance in his reasons for moving to Singapore: http://sivers.org/singapore

IIRC, it is impossible to renounce citizenship (and have it be recognized by the US government) while in the US (being inside a US embassy is I believe not counted as being in the US, and is indeed required). Expatriation is assumed whenever you are talking about (American) citizenship renunciation.

The law in question defines things in such a way that it's assumed you are renouncing your citizenship for tax purposes if your income or net worth are over certain thresholds. It provides for exceptions under specific conditions and allows for govt officials to grant documented exceptions if you can convince them to do so.

The assumption, though, is probably correct far more often than not.

Assuming it's true that he's dodging taxes, why would he want to rub everyone's noses in it? I wouldn't expect it to be a particularly well received blog post for example, not to mention potentially endangering his ability to successfully expatriate - since I believe you are not 'officially' allowed to do so for tax reasons.

Because if he did he would be in trouble. Renouncing citizenship for the purpose of tax avoidance is not something US govt. likes very much.

US tax practice incents every permanent expatriate to drop their citizenship, regardless of net worth.

Every year around this time I stare at a stack of tax paperwork and contemplate the hours out of my life I'm about to lose to end up with a tax return that ends with "0" on the bottom line and I get sorely tempted.

Every year I also wonder if it's going to be the last with "0" on the bottom line. The foreign earned income exclusion this year is $95,100. My salary's higher than that. So far I'm always managed to make up the difference on the foreign housing exclusion, but sooner or later I'm probably going to end up being expected to cut a check to Uncle Sam.

Renouncing costs $450. Once my American tax bill hits that amount, that's probably me making an appointment at the embassy.

Let's be clear: I haven't set foot in the United States for ten years, and I will never move back. I hold an EU passport. I receive absolutely nothing from the United States. Being forced to file intrusive, time-consuming paperwork every year is bad enough, but having to actually pay taxes would be simply unacceptable.

So, looks like he's in Singapore now: http://sivers.org/singapore

For those wondering about the Tax issue, I doubt that is the case because of: http://sivers.org/trust

He put the company into a charitable trust, which isn't ever taxed except for on what he receives from the trust, which is set to the lowest amount possible.

~20M dollar exit; in the US, trusts have to pay out 5% per year; he has a ~1M income provided the trust invests well.

My understanding is that ~1M a year isn't enough to justify most people loosing their US citizenship over. However, Derek isn't exactly most people.

My general sense on the issue is that money, in particular taxes, is something Derek worries about.

just noticed this. I wanted to say, "Not something he cares about"

I'm pretty sure I'd not pick that country to live in: http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne+News/Singapore/Story/A1S...

Short link: http://goo.gl/0vEQj

To be fair, the guy in the story you're linking to overstayed his visa by over 6 mos. This cannot be seriously considered an "oversight", and Singapore is not known for leniency to lawbreakers, which he clearly is. He rolled the dice, and lost.

I agree they were enforcing their laws but to me they seem a bit harsh. I'm glad that in the US you don't get harsh punishment for being here illegally.

...yet. Will be interesting to see what happens after the next presidential election.

I think the US will never create a law stating to cane people who are caught here illegally; regardless who occupies the White House.

I agree, but there are other ways to do "harsh punishment". Still, I get your point; the US will probably never be as harsh as many other places.

I find it more interesting that this publication of names is part of HIPPA. I really wish each piece of legislation was restricted to small units of scope.

This is a consequence of attempting to make every piece of new legislation revenue neutral. If the main purpose of the bill will cost money, Congress will look elsewhere to find new revenue. That is how a bill about patient data portability ends up having tax implications for expats.

It would certainly be within the rules for Congress to just pass spending and revenue bills separately, but it would be politically difficult.

Anything significant requires a lot of compromises in the legislature. It makes sense to put all the compromises in one bill so they can all be passed at once. Otherwise after a few pieces had been passed, the other legislators could reneg on their parts.

I could be wrong, but I believe a Schulze method would solve that. The compromises could remain independent pieces which pass or don't pass depending on a preference matrix.

OT: Anyone know of online resources regarding dual citizenship issues? (Specifically German-American.)


Germany has a very restrictive dual nationality policy. Though technically their rules do permit an immigrant to apply to be permitted to keep his original nationality, this is not something you can expect.

Thanks for replying, though I seem to have given the wrong impression. I am a former military wife. One of my children was born in Germany. I have told him it would be a bad idea to just show up in Germany. My understanding is he has dual citizenship and could potentially be drafted. The discussion here made me wonder if there might be more info online regarding potential repercussions of his status. I have no plans at this time to move outside the country, so I was not inquiring about pursuing dual citizenship.

Again, thanks for responding.

Ah, OK.

Germany has always been a "jus sanguinis" country, meaning that the basic principle of its nationality law is blood descent. This stands in contrast with "jus soli" countries like the United States where the basic principle is place of birth. A child born in Germany is not automatically a German national. It used to be that birth on German soil was completely irrelevant to questions of nationality, but children born in Germany since 2000 can acquire German nationality by birth if one of the parents was a long-term permanent resident. I question whether a military baby would qualify, as a soldier stationed in Germany would presumably not be there under a German permanent residence permit.

Assuming for the sake of argument that your son did have German nationality, he would certainly be subject to the draft - if it still existed. Germany ended compulsory service last year. But this does point to a larger issue: anybody with multiple nationalities is fully subject to all the legal obligations imposed on citizens of each country.

(I am not an immigration lawyer, but I've sent a lot of time researching nationality issues. I've also spent some time in German embassies: I have a German wife and a child who is therefore also German by virtue of jus sanguinis.)

Thank you very much. That makes me wonder if I qualify as a dual citizen. My mother is German and did not make her American citizenship until I was 18. My father is American and I was born in the U.S., so I definitely have American citizenship.

Also, I will note that the son in question is in his early twenties. So it sounds like he is not a dual citizen and does not need to worry about the draft..etc.

Again, thanks!

If you're older than 37 you're probably out of luck, since before 1975 Germany operated a lovely double standard: citizenship was transmitted based on the father, not the mother.

Have a look here: http://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/EN/Infoservice/FAQ/Staatsange...

Again: Thanks.


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