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  #41  
Old 24.09.2012, 13:55
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Re: US Greencard - giveup or not

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Travelling within Schengen still requires an acceptable form of identification (if not a passport then a biometric national ID card which serves the same purpose as a passport), even if such identification is not required immediately at designated border posts (it can be requested after border crossings in airports and train stations).

In any event, I have never met Europeans who have not travelled outside their countries within a given calendar year.

I know tons of Americans who haven't.

Well, I would introduce you to my husband, but actually, he DOES go shopping with me in Germany at times. Plenty easy to do when the border is 10min away - unlike EVERY place I ever lived in the US.

I think the nearest I ever lived to a foreign border was when I lived in Chicago area, and it would have taken hours and hours to drive the length of Wisconsin (and some of Minnesota) to get up to Canada.

Hmm... no, maybe it was when I lived in the desert of California. I bet it was probably less than 4hrs to get to the border of Mexico then.


So, as others have said - there really isn't much point for most Americans to get passports. There really wasn't much point up until the past few years, because going to neighboring countries didn't require them.

Why in the world are you complaining about the ignorance and lack of worldliness of Americans in this thread anyhow? What does it have to do with the OP's question - jack. all. that's what.
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  #42  
Old 24.09.2012, 15:34
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Re: US Greencard - giveup or not

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Well, I would introduce you to my husband, but actually, he DOES go shopping with me in Germany at times. Plenty easy to do when the border is 10min away - unlike EVERY place I ever lived in the US.

I think the nearest I ever lived to a foreign border was when I lived in Chicago area, and it would have taken hours and hours to drive the length of Wisconsin (and some of Minnesota) to get up to Canada.

Hmm... no, maybe it was when I lived in the desert of California. I bet it was probably less than 4hrs to get to the border of Mexico then.


So, as others have said - there really isn't much point for most Americans to get passports. There really wasn't much point up until the past few years, because going to neighboring countries didn't require them.

Why in the world are you complaining about the ignorance and lack of worldliness of Americans in this thread anyhow? What does it have to do with the OP's question - jack. all. that's what.
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  #43  
Old 24.09.2012, 15:54
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Re: US Greencard - giveup or not

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it's probably not much of a burden aside from the hassle of filing.
... not a hassle now, but legislators are looking to try and do away with the foreign earned income tax credit... who knows if that will happen, but, paying taxes on that 94,500 will no longer zero people out, so that paperwork hassle turns into a nightmare
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  #44  
Old 24.09.2012, 16:01
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Re: US Greencard - giveup or not

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Travelling within Schengen still requires an acceptable form of identification (if not a passport then a biometric national ID card which serves the same purpose as a passport), even if such identification is not required immediately at designated border posts (it can be requested after border crossings in airports and train stations).

In any event, I have never met Europeans who have not travelled outside their countries within a given calendar year.

I know tons of Americans who haven't.

In case you aren't familiar, I made a graphic, 'cause I learn better by pictures. The little red -pink blob in the middle of the word "States" is the size equivalent to Switzerland. Even "little" states like Florida are deceiving - it takes my sister ~6 hours to drive from the Panhandle (Panama City) to where my mom lives near Daytona Beach. And she doesn't even have to cross any mountains to do so.
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  #45  
Old 24.09.2012, 18:35
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Re: US Greencard - giveup or not

While the map is telling, I would also note it is more of a cultural aspect as well. I have extended family 5 minutes from the Canadian border, and they never cross the border and have no idea of what Canada has to offer literally 5 minutes from them. When visiting, I showed them more of neighboring Canada in 5 days versus their 5 plus years of living there. I live about 5 minutes from the French border here and cross regularly. Of course other aspects like the ease of crossing also is a factor in my opinion. A massive customs installation with long lines and very indimidating customs officers asking your whole life history is very off-putting as well. Quite different from the French customs guys, even before Schengen, just waving you through.
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  #46  
Old 24.09.2012, 20:19
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Re: US Greencard - giveup or not

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Quite different from the French customs guys, even before Schengen, just waving you through.
What customs guys? I think we've only seen one French person in the whole 14 years we've been crossing the Swiss/French border at Vallorbe.

Drmom has a point though. I know when I was growing up in Oklahoma we rarely heard anything about Europe, Canada or Mexico. They were just too far away to merit any mention on news programmes unless there was a major catastrophe. Even now, I doubt much more European or foreign news gets through to them. When it's a thousand miles or more to reach any border is it really a surprise that they don't know a lot about other countries? Heck we didn't even hear much about what was happening in other States.
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  #47  
Old 24.09.2012, 21:04
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Re: US Greencard - giveup or not

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... not a hassle now, but legislators are looking to try and do away with the foreign earned income tax credit... who knows if that will happen, but, paying taxes on that 94,500 will no longer zero people out, so that paperwork hassle turns into a nightmare
If that happens, previous answers go out the window. The passport or GC at that point could legitimately become too expensive to maintain.

BTW, which specific legislators are trying to abolish the FEIT?
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Old 24.09.2012, 21:05
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Re: US Greencard - giveup or not

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A more importend question is .Is there a off ramp in Des Moines ,if I take the I 80 und is there a breakfast place in Des Moines
Really? I spotted a few tells here. First of all how many US cities have you driven through on an interstate which had no exit? UND, how many US cities have you been to without a breakfast place? Very IMPORTEND questions indeed.

To get back on point. Assuming South CA means southern California; I would keep this possibility open. I certainly am.
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  #49  
Old 24.09.2012, 21:12
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Re: US Greencard - giveup or not

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Chicago-Detroit-Windsor 4Hr
That's more like 5h.
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  #50  
Old 24.09.2012, 21:43
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Re: US Greencard - giveup or not

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Really? I spotted a few tells here. First of all how many US cities have you driven through on an interstate which had no exit? UND, how many US cities have you been to without a breakfast place? Very IMPORTEND questions indeed.

To get back on point. Assuming South CA means southern California; I would keep this possibility open. I certainly am.
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That's more like 5h.
Geee! You ruined it all on me
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  #51  
Old 24.09.2012, 23:04
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Re: US Greencard - give up or not

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The question is basically - where would you live and work - US or Switzerland.

I have been living in Switzerland (Zurich & Geneva) for 12 years and really consider it my second home (it is actually time to apply for a passport). About 4 years ago I have also won a Greencard via diversity lottery and until now maintained it by coming from time to time to the US, applying for "travel documents" and filing taxes. I was tempted to move at one point to South CA. Now maintaining GC becomes a real pain taxwise and I just almost at the point to give it up. What would you do? Any suggestions are very much appreciated.
You said Switzerland is your second home, and that is great. However, have you actually ever lived in the US? What I would do in your shoes, I would make sure I can always come back to CH whenever I want (through securing the Swiss passport) and then I would actually go and try to live in the US for a while, 1-2 years - maybe you love it, in which case that green card may come in handy, maybe you hate it, then the decision is simple. What is "the US" anyway? Living in Topeka, in San Francisco, in Chicago, in northern Wisconsin, may determine a very different answer to the question of whether you like "the US" or not.

As for your question, where would you live and work, US or CH, I personally think that they are both great places with pros and cons, but after trying both countries, I have chosen the US, where I am gladly moving back in a few months. Good luck!

P.S. If that helps, I am a foreigner in both US and CH, so my view, while greatly shaped by personal experiences, is somewhat unbiased, as neither country is my home country.
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  #52  
Old 24.09.2012, 23:10
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Re: US Greencard - give up or not

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You said Switzerland is your second home, and that is great. However, have you actually ever lived in the US? What I would do in your shoes, I would make sure I can always come back to CH whenever I want (through securing the Swiss passport) and then I would actually go and try to live in the US for a while, 1-2 years - maybe you love it, in which case that green card may come in handy, maybe you hate it, then the decision is simple. What is "the US" anyway? Living in Topeka, in San Francisco, in Chicago, in northern Wisconsin, may determine a very different answer to the question of whether you like "the US" or not.

As for your question, where would you live and work, US or CH, I personally think that they are both great places with pros and cons, but after trying both countries, I have chosen the US, where I am gladly moving back in a few months. Good luck!

P.S. If that helps, I am a foreigner in both US and CH, so my view, while greatly shaped by personal experiences, is somewhat unbiased, as neither country is my home country.
Awesome adivce! That is exactly why I value the EF so much; you get a little of everything and in the midst, there are one or two posts, which makes it totally worthwhile reading through the drivel.
If I were in the OP's shoes, I'd be on the next plane to Detroit or Memphis.
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  #53  
Old 25.09.2012, 11:02
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Re: US Greencard - giveup or not

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If that happens, previous answers go out the window. The passport or GC at that point could legitimately become too expensive to maintain.

BTW, which specific legislators are trying to abolish the FEIT?
This is from the ACA website via another website:

Another attack on the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE) is onthe way in Congress. According to H.R. 2495, the FEIE would be reduced to zero, subjecting all income earned abroad to US tax.

H.R. 2495 (“To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 toeliminate certain tax expenditures”) currently in the House Ways and Means Committee contains language (Sec. 402) that would entirely remove the FEIE which allows Americans working abroad to exclude part of their foreign earned income from their US taxable income. Ironically, the bill does not touch the foreign housing exclusion which allows Americans the possibility of excluding some foreign housing expenses from their US taxable income.

Actually, this particular paragraph in H.R.2495 could hardly be expected to increase tax revenue by the promised amount of 5.4billion dollars as US taxpayers living abroad would start using various tax credits such as foreign taxes paid in an effort to reduce their US tax bill. Filing US tax forms will become even more complicated for Americans abroad and tax revenue will not increase.

If anyone is from Massachusetts, please write to John F. Tierney immediately and tell him this is crazy. His bill would eliminate the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion for Americans living overseas and would not bring in very much extra tax money. We DO pay taxesoverseas. And the US is the only country in the world that taxes its citizens even if they live in another country and pay taxes to that country. Please write to Tierney and the bill’s cosponsors (Steve Cohen [D-TN9], Keith Ellison [D-MN5], Raul Grijalva [D-AZ7], Jesse Jackson [D-IL2], Betty McCollum [D-MN4]) to tell them to remove this paragraph from the bill.
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  #54  
Old 25.09.2012, 11:09
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Re: US Greencard - giveup or not

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What customs guys? I think we've only seen one French person in the whole 14 years we've been crossing the Swiss/French border at Vallorbe.
Vallorbe, that says it all, I think they have better things to do there. Around GVA, indeed they are still around at the major crossings, but were ever present before Schengen for sure.
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Old 25.09.2012, 11:23
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Re: US Greencard - giveup or not

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This is from the ACA website via another website:

Another attack on the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE) is onthe way in Congress. According to H.R. 2495, the FEIE would be reduced to zero, subjecting all income earned abroad to US tax.

H.R. 2495 (“To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 toeliminate certain tax expenditures”) currently in the House Ways and Means Committee contains language (Sec. 402) that would entirely remove the FEIE which allows Americans working abroad to exclude part of their foreign earned income from their US taxable income. Ironically, the bill does not touch the foreign housing exclusion which allows Americans the possibility of excluding some foreign housing expenses from their US taxable income.

Actually, this particular paragraph in H.R.2495 could hardly be expected to increase tax revenue by the promised amount of 5.4billion dollars as US taxpayers living abroad would start using various tax credits such as foreign taxes paid in an effort to reduce their US tax bill. Filing US tax forms will become even more complicated for Americans abroad and tax revenue will not increase.

If anyone is from Massachusetts, please write to John F. Tierney immediately and tell him this is crazy. His bill would eliminate the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion for Americans living overseas and would not bring in very much extra tax money. We DO pay taxesoverseas. And the US is the only country in the world that taxes its citizens even if they live in another country and pay taxes to that country. Please write to Tierney and the bill’s cosponsors (Steve Cohen [D-TN9], Keith Ellison [D-MN5], Raul Grijalva [D-AZ7], Jesse Jackson [D-IL2], Betty McCollum [D-MN4]) to tell them to remove this paragraph from the bill.
As far as I know, this challenge to the FEIE has been removed recently. As long as American defense contractors have work in zero-income tax Persian Gulf countries, this will be politically difficult to pass.

Last time the US removed the FEIE in the 1970s, the impact was huge on US multinationals and US exports that it was reinstituted again shortly after.

If it were to be removed, renunciations would go ballistic in certain countries.
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  #56  
Old 25.09.2012, 12:19
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Re: US Greencard - giveup or not

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As far as I know, this challenge to the FEIE has been removed recently. As long as American defense contractors have work in zero-income tax Persian Gulf countries, this will be politically difficult to pass.

Last time the US removed the FEIE in the 1970s, the impact was huge on US multinationals and US exports that it was reinstituted again shortly after.

If it were to be removed, renunciations would go ballistic in certain countries.
Well, that's good news. Can't see that it would do anything to increase US taxe revenue particularly, but that doesn't seem to occur to the people who make the laws in the first place.
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Old 25.09.2012, 12:20
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Re: US Greencard - giveup or not

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That's more like 5h.
I did it in 3:57 while playing cat and mouse with a mustang GT in my old Lexus GS400. We hit 140+ mph more than a few times

Really nasty roads coming into Detroit by the airport...scraped bottom a few times.
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Old 25.09.2012, 12:30
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Re: US Greencard - giveup or not

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I did it in 3:57 while playing cat and mouse with a mustang GT in my old Lexus GS400. We hit 140+ mph more than a few times

Really nasty roads coming into Detroit by the airport...scraped bottom a few times.
Pfff, you're telling me. I did Bowling Green, KY to Detroit in 6h 27min in a 96 Caprice Classic.
But that is not the point here, we're talking about regular folks who don't have a disproportionally heavy right foot.
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Old 26.09.2012, 22:17
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Re: US Greencard - giveup or not

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Crazy how things have changed in just a few years. People used to be willing to do anything for a green card....

Not sure about your financial situation but if your tax bill is not dramatically higher by retaining the green card, i would keep it for a few years longer to see which way the wind blows in the US. I am still hesitant to write the US off.
It is indeed a turnaround from a few years ago when people were desperate to get US citizenship and now even the permanent residence is a question mark to keep or not. The US will always have jobs I think.
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Old 26.09.2012, 22:22
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Let's put it like this:

US is the best place in the world to live in if you are in the 1%

If you are in the 99%, Switzerland is the best place in the world to live in.
Possibly but not entirely true. The cost of living in CH is a monster to live with.
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