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Time Magazine: Why U.S. Expats Are Turning in Their Passports

April 27, 2010

Helena Bachmann files from Geneva:

According to government records, 502 expatriates renounced U.S. citizenship or permanent residency in the fourth quarter of 2009 — more than double the number of expatriations in all of 2008. And these figures don’t include the hundreds — some experts say thousands — of applications languishing in various U.S. consulates and embassies around the world, waiting to be processed. While a small number of Americans hand in their passports each year for political reasons, the new surge in permanent expatriations is mainly because of taxes…

“Cutting my ties with America hasn’t been easy,” says Ben, who as a foreigner can now spend only 90 days a year in the U.S. “My family and friends think I am a traitor. But the financial burden was killing me.”

We previously covered the rising costs of leaving the U.S. here.

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One Comment
  1. April 27, 2010 8:07 pm

    The trick is where to go. Singapore has consciption, HK seems to have a precarious relationship with its parents. Europe is worse than the US, Canada, Oz and NZ seem not much better. Most of LA, Africa, Asia too unstable (cf Red Shirts in Thailand, Indo flirts with disaster now n’ again) or too dangerous (cf kidnapping in Mexico, Philippines, crime in SA).

    Footloose, rich Americans seem an excellent market opportunity for enterprising countries – Malaysia, Chile, maybe some podunk islands. So far they seem to want to keep expats at arms length (cf Malaysia’s MM2H program), but citizenship would be a sweetener.

    I think Austria and some cantons in Switz have passport-for-sale programs. Anywhere else?

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