• Home
  • /
  • Category Archives: Expat Life

  • These articles chronicle my journey from finding out about FATCA and the problems I would have if I kept my US citizenship, to considering renouncing my US citizenship and then actually doing it, to further thoughts and events after I renounced.

    It’s probably best to read these in chronological order, and the first article is this one: Giving up US citizenship?

Ted Cruz: photo courtesy of Jamelle Boule

Citizen of a Parallel World

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

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

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 not 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:…

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

The Irony of Renouncing Under Duress

The following post is one of a series about American values related to 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 individual…

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

The American Dream

The following post is one 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 material…

The US consulate in Amsterdam

Equality? Competition? Not Overseas!

This is one of a series of posts about American values inspired by my renunciation of American citizenship. I wrote last week about a book I’ve used for teaching, American Ways, and the six values it emphasizes. Last week I discussed individual freedom and self-reliance. This week I’d like to address two more: equality of…

American Flag

Individual Freedom, Self-Reliance and Renunciation

I teach American Studies at a teacher-training college here in the Netherlands. The eight-week courses—two for the younger, full-time students, and one for the adult, part-time students—are not in-depth studies. They are introductory courses for students training to become English teachers. One of my goals is to prepare them for the sorts of questions their…

a lithograph of the Boston Tea Party

FATCA, the Tea Party and Me

“No taxation without representation,” a slogan going back to colonial America, is commonly cited by overseas Americans like me in discussions of FATCA. It’s also the basis of the Tea Party’s name: a reference to the Boston Tea Party, an act of rebellion against the taxation of the American colonists by the British government. FATCA…

123