I was thankfully reunited with my passport today after having to relinquish it for a visa application for China. While perusing the interwebs, I found this interesting article about ex-pats converting to ex’s.
For U.S. citizens, cutting ties with their native land is a drastic and irrevocable step. But as Overseas American Week, a lobbying effort by expatriate-advocacy groups, convenes in Washington this week, it’s one that an increasing number of American expats are willing to take. According to government records, 502 expatriates renounced U.S. citizenship or permanent residency in the fourth quarter of 2009 — more than double the number of expatriations in all of 2008. And these figures don’t include the hundreds — some experts say thousands — of applications languishing in various U.S. consulates and embassies around the world, waiting to be processed. While a small number of Americans hand in their passports each year for political reasons, the new surge in permanent expatriations is mainly because of taxes.
– Time Magazine, HELENA BACHMANN / GENEVA
I’m certainly not close to giving up my US passport, especially since I would be without a country if I did that. I’m lucky that I don’t have to worry about my taxes as part of my ex-pat package. But if I was in a country for 10 or 20 years, and had gone “local hire” and planned to retire in that country, what would I do?