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Old 20.07.2020, 15:37
meloncollie meloncollie is offline
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Re: Options/Paths To Permanent Residency and Citizenship for a USA citizen

OfftoGeneve, what you have to realise that at present Switzerland has enacted strict limitations to immigration in response to public opinion. Many Swiss (and I'd say most in my part of the country) firmly feel that the boat is full, punkt fertig. Do not underestimate the anti-immigration views commonly held at present. Immigration is a political hot potato... just as it is in the US and many other countries.

Because of the FMOP, immigration from the EU cannot be restricted. Therefore to control the numbers as the Swiss voters have said they want, non-EU immigration bears the brunt of those restrictions.

In short, as a non-EU you are at the back of the line. Wanting to be here isn't enough. Being able to support yourself isn't enough. Contributing to the economy isn't enough. Those things are simply the starting line. No - Switzerland has to need you, as a non-EU you have to be able to offer something of significant value that cannot be found elsewhere.

My own uneducated guess is that this won't change anytime soon, in fact it will likely get even tougher given the the impact of the pandemic/world recession on the Swiss economy.

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That's not to crush your dream, but rather to inject a dose of reality.

And speaking of reality, at the levels of income you imply you do need to understand the impact of US taxes when resident overseas and in Switzerland.

You are likely in the bracket where you could feel the sting. Even with all the bits and bobs the IRS allows for overseas taxpayers, combining what we owe to the US and to Switzerland, we pay more tax as overseas residents than we would had we remained Stateside.

You will pay US tax (assuming a high income) or have filing obligations (assuming a lower income) for as long as you have US citizenship. Should you gain a foothold here, it will still be 10 years minimum before you can apply for Swiss citizenship - as Medea says you can't renounce until you have a second citizenship.

And as mentioned in my earlier post, citizenship is by no means a given. Even when you are a good tax payer, economic contributor, speak the language, and are by most lights well integrated, you still might not be judged fit. So you have to plan for the economic impact of the dual tax systems for quite some time yet.

If your goal is to get outta Dodge quickly, do look at the schemes Mullhollander and Urs Max mentions upthread. Other EU countries might be a better bet.


All the best.
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