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at a voting station in Florida

Vote … as a Non-Citizen? Really?

This entry is part 16 of 23 in the series US citizenship

On my return from a short vacation with my family, I was surprised to find a letter from the Department of Elections of the City of San Francisco waiting for me, offering me the opportunity to vote in the Democratic primary. Before I moved to the Netherlands back in 1997, I lived in San Francisco, so San…

Renunciations in the News

This entry is part 15 of 23 in the series US citizenship

Last week new numbers were published about how many overseas Americans renounced citizenship in the fourth quarter of 2015, and they show, as expected, an increase in 2015: a record year for renunciations. Each quarter a “name and shame” list is published by the US Treasury Department based on IRS figures of those renouncing, and in…

Ted Cruz: photo courtesy of Jamelle Boule

Citizen of a Parallel World

This entry is part 14 of 23 in the series US citizenship

This week the Board of Elections of Illinois decided that Ted Cruz is indeed a natural-born citizen as required by the US Constitution to be eligible to be President. Ted Cruz was already identified as a US citizen because his mother was a US citizen. His birthplace, however, is in Canada, hence the question of…

a snippet from the Constitution mentioning that a person has to be a "natural born Citizen" to be President of the US.

Citizenship Matters

This entry is part 13 of 23 in the series US citizenship

I am, legally speaking, a citizen of the Netherlands. If you asked the US Foreign Service, they’d probably say I have US citizenship too, at least until I get my Certificate of Loss of Nationality. If you asked the IRS, on the other hand, they would say I’m no longer a US citizen. What does it mean…

photo courtesy of Just Go Places

7 Reasons NOT to Renounce

This entry is part 12 of 23 in the series US citizenship

When I was considering renouncing US citizenship, and then once I had decided to do so, I heard several arguments for why I shouldn’t renounce. Reason to renounce #1 But what if something happens where you are—an invasion or a natural disaster or something? The US would come and get you out! Answer #1: They…

more of the form, showing where I check off whether I am adding a written statement

The Irony of Renouncing Under Duress

This entry is part 10 of 23 in the series US citizenship

The following post is the fifth of a series about American values sparked by my renunciation of US citizenship in November 2015. In my journey through the wilds of US law as it applies to overseas Americans, I’ve joined a few Facebook groups where people in this situation share information about tax law, FATCA, and…

Ruminating on Rachel’s Ruminations

I identify Rachel’s Ruminations as a travel blog, and I call myself a travel blogger. A few days ago, I posted a list of my top 10 travel posts of 2015. The truth is that most of my actual top posts were not about travel at all. They were about other topics, particularly issues surrounding expatriate Americans…

close-up of the American flag, representing the American Dream

The American Dream

This entry is part 9 of 23 in the series US citizenship

The following post is the fourth of a series about American values sparked by my renunciation of US citizenship in November 2015. In my last two posts, I discussed four of the six key American values emphasized in the textbook American Ways: individual freedom and self-reliance, and then equality and competition. The last two are…