Author Topic: Benefits to Visas / Permits / Citizenships?  (Read 940 times)

conwy

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Benefits to Visas / Permits / Citizenships?
« on: April 18, 2019, 04:52:40 PM »
Hey everyone,

So I've been living in the UK for some time under a work visa (I'm originally from Australia). Been looking into the opportunities for getting a visa - here and in other countries. Also, the pathways from a visa to permanent residency / indefinite leave to remain, then onward to citizenship.

If I was able to stick it out in one country for 5-10 years, I could potentially gain citizenship in that country (US, UK or some other countries would allow this).

What are your thoughts? Have you ever acquired a visa and/or work permit in a foreign country? Have you worked there for a while, enjoyed it, and decided to go for that country's permanent residency option or even citizenship?

How (if at all) do you think having dual or multiple citizenships would benefit you?

How might this affect your FIRE goals? Would you find some countries easier or more desirable to retire in than others?

Do you think of more than one citizenship as a useful non-financial asset?

cloudsail

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Re: Benefits to Visas / Permits / Citizenships?
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2019, 05:36:38 PM »
We are dual Canadian and American citizens. The usefulness of citizenships is entirely dependent on whether you plan to live/work in that country. For example, my husband is also a Taiwanese citizen, and potentially we can apply for our children to be citizens as well (I, as the spouse, must live there for two years). But we haven't because we don't see the value in this. Also, our son would be up for mandatory military service, which means that every time he enters Taiwan after a certain age he must visit the appropriate government office to register as a Taiwanese living abroad. The only reason for having a Taiwanese citizenship would be if we wanted to use their free healthcare, but we already have Canada for that. I could probably also regain my Chinese citizenship by jumping through some hoops, but again, why would I?

Having a Canadian citizenship definitely affects our FIRE goals, because it makes me less concerned about the state of healthcare in the U.S. If everything goes to hell, we can always move back to Canada.

Basically, having more citizenships gives you more options, but some countries are not worth the trouble.

msministache

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Re: Benefits to Visas / Permits / Citizenships?
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2019, 06:21:19 PM »
I am a Russian citizen, living in America. Russia has kinda-sorta universal health care and cost of living is much lower overall. If I decide to move back there I can fire a lot faster. It is nice to have this option.

kristof

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Re: Benefits to Visas / Permits / Citizenships?
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2019, 06:46:23 AM »
I was born in an EU country and have citizenship there but have worked in the USA for the past ten years and have been on a work visa, then a permanent resident, and now a US citizen.

I feel lucky to have both citizenships and see it as a way to hedge risk in case something goes wrong somewhere or I just get bored of the country I'm in. EU and US citizenship are especially nice since you have the option of living in a number of very different regions in terms of weather, landscape, and culture.

There is a downside to being a US citizen which is FATCA and the citizenship-based tax system ( more at https://klasing-associates.com/how-u-s-tax-laws-like-fatca-can-cost-dual-citizens-thousands/ ). That's unique to the US though as (at least according to this article) no other country besides Eritrea has a similar setup.

The site Flag Theory ( https://flagtheory.com/second-passport/ ) has a lot of interesting and detailed information on the benefits of various combinations of citizenship and residency from a business, taxation, and lifestyle perspective.

jim555

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Re: Benefits to Visas / Permits / Citizenships?
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2019, 07:24:41 AM »
Having another citizenship opens up a whole country to you.  The downside with US citizenship is the US wants taxes from its citizens no matter where they reside in the world, unlike the 99% of the rest of the world.

expatartist

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Re: Benefits to Visas / Permits / Citizenships?
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2019, 07:26:12 AM »
Great info Kristof, thanks for posting that site.

I'm a US citizen, currently going for Hong Kong permanent residency (via 7 years of continual work permits) and afterwards will go for European residency/passport, possibly in Germany (Berlin, artists visa) or Netherlands (Rotterdam, Dutch-American Friendship Treaty visa/business).

The benefits of a second residency/passport are entirely personal, but do tend to complicate and expand life options. For me it's important to have access to European and Asian opportunities and I much prefer living in these regions to the 'new world' where I'm from.