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Old 20.10.2020, 17:24
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US born

Hey everyone, I know this forum is for Switzerland but maybe someone can lead me in the right direction. So my relative is a minor, born in the US but her dad was a diplomat in Washington DC at the time, the family left 3 months later. She is non-EU. The 14th amendment states : All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. Now unfortunately children of diplomats dont gain citizenship based on general practice because there is agreement that diplomats aren't subject to US jurisdiction (I'll spare you the technicalities). However this article explains how some do get citizenship.
For those that are interested : https://cis.org/Report/Birthright-Ci...eign-Diplomats

I know 2 people, both born in the US in the late 1990s, whose father was a diplomat at the time in NY and they have US citizenship. I don't know how and never got myself to ask how this is possible.

Now should my relative (well her family considering she's a minor) apply for a US passport from abroad ? She has a birth certificate and a Social Security Number (SSN). The family hasn't lived in the US since they left.

Any ideas, leads, insight etc...?

Again I hope I haven't broken any rules posting this here, this forum is my go to place.
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Old 20.10.2020, 17:33
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Re: US born

I would suggest that she not apply for a USA passport, green card or any sort of residence or work visa unless she wants to pay WORLDWIDE USA TAXES for the rest of her life, no matter where she resides or works.

If she returns to Switzerland, or leaves the USA, those few moments of USA residence or visa or passport application will subject her to taxation to the USA forever and on all income or investments forever, in any and all countries where she works or resides.

Should she become married or have corporate investments or want to sit on a board, whether in the USA or anywhere in the world, she will subject her spouse, company or investment vehicle proceeds to worldwide USA taxation.
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Old 20.10.2020, 17:47
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Re: US born

I'm sort of with Mehitabel on this, though not just for the taxation issues. This isn't something for the parents to decide for their child. It's the child's decision to make. As far as I know children have up to the age of 18 to claim US citizenship if they think they're entitled to it. I would wait, explain the situation to them when they're old enough to understand and then they can make an informed decision on whether they want to claim the citizenship or not - if they can claim it.

Who knows what the taxation, citizenship, world will be like in several years time. The law may also be clearer by that point.
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Old 20.10.2020, 17:57
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Re: US born

I agree with your point. I was not aware that children have up to the age of 18 to claim US citizenship. Would you have a link to this law/practice please ?

Indeed, who knows how the taxation system will be like in a few years. Is is that bad for Americans living abroad ?
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Old 20.10.2020, 18:14
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Re: US born

Not 100% sure on the age thing. Will see what I can find. It certainly applies to children born to a US citizen. However I found this which may help too.

https://www.uscis.gov/policy-manual/...rt-o-chapter-3

and a blog on the subject.

http://www.eia-llc.com/blog/i-am-bor...ow-can-this-be
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Old 20.10.2020, 18:20
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Re: US born

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Indeed, who knows how the taxation system will be like in a few years. Is is that bad for Americans living abroad ?
Yepp https://isaacbrocksociety.ca/
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Old 20.10.2020, 19:08
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Re: US born

My Grandfather was born in the US but left at an early age. He never claimed citizenship. My Uncle requested US nationality at 21 and was granted a waiver from the decide by 18 rule.
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Old 20.10.2020, 19:01
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Re: US born

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Indeed, who knows how the taxation system will be like in a few years. Is is that bad for Americans living abroad ?


well - for some people it's not that bad. There is a filing requirement - and you ALWAYS have to be aware of it. If you don't make alot of money, maybe you don't really notice... but if you start to earn what a standard EF'er makes (by law it's 120K ) you end up having to file taxes in the US.

I have a friend who was born in the US to German parents and lived there his entire life until after college (his parents are still there), now working in CH. He's in his late twenties and just gave up his US citizenship because of the taxes.
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Old 20.10.2020, 21:14
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Re: US born

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Indeed, who knows how the taxation system will be like in a few years. Is is that bad for Americans living abroad ?
The level of pain that goes with the US tax burden depends on one's individual circumstances. Our total tax burden, US and CH combined, is indeed higher than what we would have paid had we remained Stateside, enough so that we feel a twinge of pain.

The thing I find most painful, and expensive to boot, is the paperwork.

One thing you can assume in the near future, though: After this disastrous economic year and the challenging financial climate ahead, our US tax bill is not likely to go down any time soon.


Nonetheless, I wouldn't dream of giving up my US citizenship. YMMV.


I'm with the other posters: Wait until the child is older and let her make the choice.
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Old 20.10.2020, 23:00
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Re: US born

I never paid a cent to the US, and I filled out US tax returns for 23 years as an expat before renouncing.

I also got out the last year that doing so was FREE!

Thus, YMMV.

Tom
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Old 20.10.2020, 19:10
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Re: US born

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...Should she become married or have corporate investments or want to sit on a board, whether in the USA or anywhere in the world, she will subject her spouse, company or investment vehicle proceeds to worldwide USA taxation.
This isn't 100% true as a blanket statement. Just because one has to file tax forms doesn't mean they owe taxes. Being the spouse of an American doesn't automatically mean you're taxed. If the spouse is not a U.S. citizen, not a green card holder, doesn't have any U.S. income, and there are no shared accounts, then their income is irrelevant for the citizen's taxes. AFAIK having an American sitting on a board of a company doesn't mean the company has to pay taxes to the USA, but it does have to disclose certain financial information to the USA.

Back to OP - Agree with others. Wait and let the child decide.
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