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swiss-list: Dual citizenship

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swiss-list: Dual citizenship

From: Pierre Lavenex <click for textversion of email address >
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2004 10:46:06 -0800

[Please check the Dual Citizen FAQ here: http://www.richw.org/dualcit/
 it answers many questions. The Moderator]

Hi all,
Peter's suggestions is interesting, but dual citizenship might have
its drawbacks. It would be great to get some personal feedback from
Swiss people who became US citizens (or vice-versa), and who later
decided to stay in the US or went back to Switzerland to live
permanently (pros and cons of dual citizenship when living in one or
the other country would be good, from personal experience only,
As part of the US naturalization process you have to take the oath of
allegiance asking you to "... absolutely and entirely renounce and
abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate,
state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a
subject or citizen." In other words you have to give up Swiss
citizenship to become US citizen. As Switzerland will not recognize
it, however, you will become dual national.
Although by taking the oath you swear that you will renounce any
prior allegiance, the US State Dept does not seem to care about it
any more and will probably leave you alone (but see below). In fact,
the US government is well aware of the situation and they recommend
that you do not become dual citizen, mainly to avoid possible legal
problems in the future. Indeed, besides the benefits of having dual
citizenship and being able to travel free in and out of both the US
and Switzerland, you will have added responsibilities and
obligations. You will have to obey both Swiss and US laws regarding
their own citizens, wherever you live and for the rest of your life
(http://travel.state.gov/dualnationality.html). This means that as a
US citizen, for instance, you will have to fill out IRS forms and pay
US taxes wherever you live, including Switzerland. There is a tax
agreement between the two countries to avoid double taxation, but as
the two systems are different, this does not necessarily guarantee
that you will not be paying more taxes overall (any personal
experience to share?).
On top of that, there are a few restrictions that might end up
costing you your acquired US citizenship (some rather trivial, see
4b) (http://travel.state.gov/loss.html). U.S. citizens are subject
to loss of citizenship if they perform certain acts voluntarily and
with the intention to relinquish U.S. citizenship. These acts
include: (1) obtaining naturalization in a foreign state; (2) taking
an oath, affirmation or other formal declaration to a foreign state
or its political subdivisions; (3) entering or serving in the armed
forces of a foreign state engaged in hostilities against the U.S. or
serving as a commissioned or non-commissioned officer in the armed
forces of a foreign state; (4) accepting employment with a foreign
government if (a) one has the nationality of that foreign state or
(b) a declaration of allegiance is required in accepting the
position; (5) formally renouncing U.S. citizenship before a U.S.
consular officer outside the United States; (6) formally renouncing
U.S. citizenship within the U.S. (but only "in time of war"); (7)
conviction for an act of treason.
Taking a policy level position in a foreign state (not only federal
government but also its subdivisions) would also raise significant
suspicion and US consular offices will look carefully at your case to
determine if you intended to relinquish US citizenship. However,
based on the previous statement, it appears that if you can prove
(whatever that means) that you did not intend to relinquish US
citizenship, you should be able to keep it. Does it mean that you can
become Swiss president and keep your US citizenship? This case is
rather extreme, but I imagine that less prominent positions might
also question your dual citizenship status (any bad experience to
One last thing to remember is that even though the laws of a country
might seem rather positive at a particular time, they can always
change. More importantly, the policies and guidelines to implement
these laws are rather flexible and as Peter suggested, depending on
who is in charge things can get better or worse...
Best wishes,

>Date: Sun, 11 Jan 2004 00:08:48 -0500
>From: pbuerki_at_netscape.net (Peter Buerki)
>To: djberinger_at_bluewin.ch
>Cc: swiss-list_at_swiss-list.com
>Subject: RE: swiss-list: Cancelling an application for a reentry permit
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>Hi Dorothea,
>How long have you been living in the USA as a green card holder? How long do
>you plan to live here in the future?
>I was in a similar situation and that was one reason why I decided to become
>CH-US dual citizen. Now, I am free to leave and return to the USA whenever I
>want and do not need to worry about permits, etc. anymore. If you
>are eligible,
>I would suggest you to consider doing this step. If the current government
>stays in power, things only get worse for aliens living in the USA.
>The following link allows you to determine for yourself, whether you are or
>when you will be eligible for naturalization:
>Best regards,
>Peter Buerki
>Peter R. Buerki, Ph.D.
>R&D Engineer/Chemist
>Scripps Institution of Oceanography
>Geosciences Research Division, Dept. 0244
>University of California San Diego
>9500 Gilman Drive
>La Jolla, CA 92093-0244
>858 822-3310 (fax)
>Dorothea Beringer <djberinger_at_bluewin.ch> wrote:
>>About 15 months ago we applied for a reentry permit because we
>>temporarily went back to Europe and didn't know if we would be gone for
>>more than one year
>>(as a green card holder you need a reentry permit to get back into the
>>US if you remain abroad for more than one year). Our application has
>>still not been
>>processed (during last year, the processing time for reentry permits
>>increased from 3 to currently about 18 months...), but in the mean time
>>we returned to the US
>>and have no longer any need for a reentry permit. Now we think about
>>cancelling our application because one can only get one reentry permit
>>every five years. So because we don't need it now, we'd like to avoid
>>the 5 year period in case we need a reentry permit later.
>>Does anybody have any experience or knowledge about cancelling a pending
>>application for a reentry permit (or cancelling any other kind of
>>application that is pending at the department of homeland security)?
>>Does anybody know if trying to cancel a pending application can cause
>>any problems?
>>Dorothea Beringer
>>Swiss-list mailing list
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Pierre Lavenex, Ph.D.
Assistant Adjunct Professor
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
M.I.N.D. Institute
University of California, Davis			Phone: (916) 703-0377
2805 50th Street				Fax: (916) 703-0370
Sacramento, CA 95817			email: plavenex_at_ucdavis.edu
Swiss-list mailing list
Received on Mon Jan 12 2004 - 15:41:59 PST
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