Author Topic: Dual Citizen Benefits?  (Read 536 times)

ematicic

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Dual Citizen Benefits?
« on: June 19, 2018, 11:14:23 AM »
Greetings, I apologize first if I have missed a similar thread. I did a quick search and did not see anything close.

I am a US citizen, my wife is Austrian with a green card. My children are 4 and 5 and are Dual citizens until 18 when they have to declare. Does anyone have any tips or suggestions for investing, education that exist due to their dual citizen status. We live here in the US but my wife is keeping her Austrian citizenship. The children are more fluent in German than me, but I will get there one day.

As retired military we can fly pretty cheap on a Space A flight and look forward to doing that more often since the kids are old enough.

 Look forward to any tips or info. Thanks

salt cured

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Re: Dual Citizen Benefits?
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2018, 02:39:07 PM »
My children are 4 and 5 and are Dual citizens until 18 when they have to declare.

Is this an Austrian rule? There is no such rule imposed by the United States.

MrsWolfeRN

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Re: Dual Citizen Benefits?
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2018, 04:11:07 AM »
Yep, I have dual citizenship with the UK, never had to declare either one (born in UK with US mother and UK father, lived mostly in US since early childhood). I could even pass this on to my kids (just not their kids, unless they are born in the UK). If your children were born here I think you do have to register them with the Austrian embassy to claim their citizenship.

ematicic

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Re: Dual Citizen Benefits?
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2018, 04:40:26 AM »
My children are 4 and 5 and are Dual citizens until 18 when they have to declare.

Is this an Austrian rule? There is no such rule imposed by the United States.

America does not allow dual citizenship with Austria. At least to my knowledge. My wife was told she could not be dual during the immigration process when we got her a green card back in 2007. My limited knowledge on the matter is why I am asking here! I would love to be wrong on this.

Hirondelle

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Re: Dual Citizen Benefits?
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2018, 05:30:51 AM »
Letting them keep their citizenship post-18 would drastically reduce your education expenses as they could study all over Europe, which is way cheaper than the US. Universities in Austria are basically free (I think it's about $20/semester).

reeshau

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Re: Dual Citizen Benefits?
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2018, 05:34:29 AM »
According to Mr. Google, it's not the US, but Austria that drove this for your wife:

Dual Citizenship Information: In general, the Austrian Nationality Act does not allow dual citizenship except for persons who obtain two citizenships at the time they were born (e.g. a person born to Austrians living in the US acquires both Austrian and US citizenships at the time of birth).

From http://www.austria.org/citizenship/

ematicic

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Re: Dual Citizen Benefits?
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2018, 06:47:48 AM »
According to Mr. Google, it's not the US, but Austria that drove this for your wife:

Dual Citizenship Information: In general, the Austrian Nationality Act does not allow dual citizenship except for persons who obtain two citizenships at the time they were born (e.g. a person born to Austrians living in the US acquires both Austrian and US citizenships at the time of birth).

From http://www.austria.org/citizenship/

Very helpful! Thank you. Had it completely backwards.

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Dual Citizen Benefits?
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2018, 08:16:29 AM »
If having both post 18 becomes an option, one downside to consider is the limit on federal employment.  Dual citizens cannot get certain levels of security clearances unless they renounce the non-US citizenship.  I know some exceptions can be made.  Someone I went to law school with was able to get an internship at the US Attorney's office, after a lot of red tape, even though he is Canadian.  Other jobs, particularly in law enforcement, are flat out barred.

salt cured

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Re: Dual Citizen Benefits?
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2018, 09:19:29 AM »
According to Mr. Google, it's not the US, but Austria that drove this for your wife:

Dual Citizenship Information: In general, the Austrian Nationality Act does not allow dual citizenship except for persons who obtain two citizenships at the time they were born (e.g. a person born to Austrians living in the US acquires both Austrian and US citizenships at the time of birth).

From http://www.austria.org/citizenship/

Very helpful! Thank you. Had it completely backwards.

Right. It seems to be a fairly commonly held myth that the US disallows dual citizenship (I was born with dual US-Canada and was told I'd have to choose at 18, which was false). According to Wikipedia (admittedly not an infallible source), your kids are fine to keep both citizenships. It's kind of annoying if you don't live in the US, but the pros outweigh the cons for most people, I'd say. Your wife would lose her Austrian citizenship if she took another citizenship however.

If you do end up living outside the states, make sure to register your male kids for Selective Service by the cutoff age if you want them to be eligible for federal benefits (e.g., student loans). They can get exceptions on a case-by-case basis if they don't register, but it's a hassle (believe me).
« Last Edit: June 20, 2018, 09:23:07 AM by salt cured »

ematicic

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Re: Dual Citizen Benefits?
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2018, 09:57:05 AM »
Awesome information all! Greatly appreciate any and all advice.

GuitarStv

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Re: Dual Citizen Benefits?
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2018, 11:19:49 AM »
Just remember that the US requires you to file US taxes every year . . . even if you haven't set foot in the country.  If you're Canadian (and I'd expect for most other countries) this means that you're going to be taxed twice for some things, you have to hand over private financial information regularly, and you lose access to some common financial planning instruments (tax free savings accounts, registered retirement savings plans, etc.).  There's a good summary here:

http://www.citizenshipsolutions.ca/2017/08/04/the-biggest-cost-of-being-a-dual-canadau-s-tax-filer-is-the-lost-opportunity-available-to-pure-canadians/
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salt cured

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Re: Dual Citizen Benefits?
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2018, 12:02:34 PM »
Just remember that the US requires you to file US taxes every year . . . even if you haven't set foot in the country.  If you're Canadian (and I'd expect for most other countries) this means that you're going to be taxed twice for some things, you have to hand over private financial information regularly, and you lose access to some common financial planning instruments (tax free savings accounts, registered retirement savings plans, etc.).  There's a good summary here:

http://www.citizenshipsolutions.ca/2017/08/04/the-biggest-cost-of-being-a-dual-canadau-s-tax-filer-is-the-lost-opportunity-available-to-pure-canadians/

Good points here, though income earned by an American abroad, up to about $100k, will not be subject to US income tax and RRSP tax shelters are recognized by the US (i.e., they are not subject to tax until withdrawal). This is not a defense of US tax policy concerning expat citizens, just more information.

Turning back to OPs question about how to benefit his kids, dual citizenship from the US and another country can be great for FIRE, especially if that other country has universal healthcare. I live and work in the US, earning 2x to 3x what I would in Canada (my home country) with a lower cost of living, but I'll be heading back north for FIRE.