U.S. nationality, but not citizenship

Who can and cannot be a dual national, as well as the joys and frustrations accompanying that status. Includes ROC Passport and Military Conscription issues
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U.S. nationality, but not citizenship

Postby Screaming Jesus » 01 Feb 2010, 14:16

Other than being born in Puerto Rico, how might one acquire U.S. nationality, but not citizenship? Thereby enjoying the right to a U.S. passport, but not the obligation to pay federal income tax...?
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Re: U.S. nationality, but not citizenship

Postby tommy525 » 01 Feb 2010, 14:38

Dont the Guam-ians have something like that? US passport but no US taxes. What a concept !!
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Re: U.S. nationality, but not citizenship

Postby IceEagle » 01 Feb 2010, 20:13

Screaming Jesus wrote:Other than being born in Puerto Rico, how might one acquire U.S. nationality, but not citizenship? Thereby enjoying the right to a U.S. passport, but not the obligation to pay federal income tax...?


Actually:

Puero Ricans and those who belong to Guam are full U.S. citizens who are eligible to vote as soon as they set foot in a US state and establish domicile. And have to pay full taxes from that point on...

Any U.S. citizen from the States (or anywhere else) who establishes domicile on Puerto Rico or Guam loses the right to vote... and no longer has to pay federal income tax...

After two years, any U.S. citizen who has establied domicile on Puerto Rico is elgible for a Certificate of Puerto Rican nationality...

U.S. non-citizen nationality can only be obtained by birth in an area such as American Samoa or other US unincorporated territory. I am pretty sure that if one would be born a US citizen anyways, they get the full US citizenship and not just the U.S. non-citizen nationality. I don't know if it is possible to naturalise as such, and if it is whether or not US citizens are eligible.
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Re: U.S. nationality, but not citizenship

Postby Screaming Jesus » 02 Feb 2010, 08:38

I looked it up. Yes, Puerto Rico is a territory under U.S. sovereignty, and its people U.S. citizens, but there is also something called "Puerto Rican citizenship" which one can apply for based either on descent through either parent, or residency on Puerto Rico for at least one year. Here's the form, in Spanish:

http://www.estado.gobierno.pr/Ciudadania_PR_offline.htm

Now, taxes. Unlike Guam and the Virgin Islands--U.S. territories whose tax codes "mirror" that of the IRS--Puerto Rico has its own system. Furthermore, residents (defined as more than 183 days during the year) are not liable for (U.S.) federal income tax, though they do then become liable for Puerto Rican income tax. (Other U.S. federal taxes do apply.)

Okay, here are the points which remain unclear to me:

1. In order to be a "national" of the USA, rather than a citizen, must one be BORN in the overseas possession, or can one be naturalized as a national? (This would not apply to Puerto Rico, whose denizens received U.S. citizenship in 1917, but it would to American Samoa.)

2. If a Puerto Rican departs Puerto Rico for the USA, he becomes liable for U.S. federal income tax. But what if he goes to Taiwan instead? (Would it matter if his plane passed through LAX?)

Heh heh, all these people who are comparing Taiwan to Finland on the other thread, might want to look at the U.S./Puerto Rico relationship. (I know, I know--plebescites and poverty yadda yadda yadda). Otherwise, Trans-Dniestria.
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Re: U.S. nationality, but not citizenship

Postby IceEagle » 02 Feb 2010, 23:34

Screaming Jesus wrote:Okay, here are the points which remain unclear to me:

1. In order to be a "national" of the USA, rather than a citizen, must one be BORN in the overseas possession, or can one be naturalized as a national? (This would not apply to Puerto Rico, whose denizens received U.S. citizenship in 1917, but it would to American Samoa.)


I don't know. The relevant US code, http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/8/1408.html , only mentions non-citizen nationality by birth. I don't think it is possible to naturalise in Samoa... I tried looking for an office of USCIS in American Samoa but all I found was this:

https://egov.uscis.gov/crisgwi/go?actio ... de=Bangkok

Which is the USCIS office in Bangkok, Thailand that handles applications from Samoa (presumbly the non American version).

Screaming Jesus wrote:2. If a Puerto Rican departs Puerto Rico for the USA, he becomes liable for U.S. federal income tax. But what if he goes to Taiwan instead? (Would it matter if his plane passed through LAX?)


I think it goes by place of last domicile in the US. So, no, in that case the person is only liable for Puerto Rico taxes (and Taiwan's taxes of course) I think. This is obviously the case for a Puerto Rican who has never set foot in the US, though I am less sure of a person who was born in a U.S. state and then moved to Puerto Rico.
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Re: U.S. nationality, but not citizenship

Postby catfish13 » 09 Feb 2010, 00:53

So any US citizen can move to PR and get "reduced" to US national status to get out of paying federal taxes after a couple of years?
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Re: U.S. nationality, but not citizenship

Postby IceEagle » 09 Feb 2010, 03:20

catfish13 wrote:So any US citizen can move to PR and get "reduced" to US national status to get out of paying federal taxes after a couple of years?


No, remember that Puetro Ricans are full US citizens. They are more than just US nationals but have the full citizenship and can vote (and pay full US federal taxes) as soon as they move to a US state.

But yes, any US citizen can move to PR and get exempted from paying federal taxes (and lose the right to vote in federal elections).
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Re: U.S. nationality, but not citizenship

Postby Edgar Allen » 09 Feb 2010, 08:40

So you could naturalise in PR and then move overseas and not be liable for US taxes - ever - as long as you don't go back to the US?
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Re: U.S. nationality, but not citizenship

Postby IceEagle » 09 Feb 2010, 10:06

Edgar Allen wrote:So you could naturalise in PR and then move overseas and not be liable for US taxes - ever - as long as you don't go back to the US?


I don't know how Puerto Rico's tax system works. You may or may not have to pay PR taxes while overseas. But yes, you would in that case be exempted from US federal tax and all US state taxes. The same is true of any US citizen who has established legal domicile in Puerto Rico before moving abroad, so you don't have to naturalize in PR to get this benefit, just live in PR.

I'm not sure if you can naturalize in Puerto Rico, but they do have a USCIS office: https://egov.uscis.gov/crisgwi/go?actio ... atecode=PR and https://egov.uscis.gov/crisgwi/go?actio ... atecode=PR

So does Guam, https://egov.uscis.gov/crisgwi/go?actio ... atecode=GU

But Guam residents are US citizens. That office also serves the Commonwealth of Mariana Islands, but those are US citizens as well...

So naturalising there (if it is possible) makes you a full US citizen.

As far as I know, the only inhabited territories of the US which grants only US non-citizen nationality by birth are American Samoa and Swains Island. I can't find USCIS offices for them, however...
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Re: U.S. nationality, but not citizenship

Postby Edgar Allen » 09 Feb 2010, 15:40

IceEagle wrote:
As far as I know, the only inhabited territories of the US which grants only US non-citizen nationality by birth are American Samoa and Swains Island. I can't find USCIS offices for them, however...


If they are granted it by birth that would make them citizens - not non-citizens right? :oops:
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