letter is a bit early – I’m running out soon to meet up
with several subscribers at the Clarendon
lounge in Notting Hill. Feel free to drop by if you’re
in the area tonight between 6pm and 7pm.
On to this
week’s questions, which are ironically all about citizenship:
comments, “Simon, I am a South Korean citizen living in the
U.S. as a permanent resident (green card). I am qualified to become
a US Citizen and was considering doing so. After discovering your
website and others, now I am not so sure. What are the pluses and
minuses of my options?”
A US passport
used to be the holy grail of citizenship and envy of the world.
Now, this is not the case. I believe the most valuable passport
in the world now is Singapore, but there are dozens of others that
are also great options.
The most important
question to answer when looking for a second passport is, “will
I be better off with this document?” As a South Korean citizen,
you already enjoy excellent visa-free travel around the world…
South Korea is even on the US visa waiver program.
As such, I
don’t think that obtaining a US passport will be of much benefit
for you, travel-wise.
In terms of
rights and privileges, as a permanent resident you already have
nearly the same liberties as a US citizen. Aside from voting and
a few other exceptions, you’re nearly one and the same.
The major difference
is that you can always walk away from US residency, and hence the
US tax net. Raising your right hand and taking the oath of citizenship
signs you up for painful worldwide taxation, and undoing this can
issues when making your final decision – as a South Korean
resident in the US, will you be better off with a US passport? I
don’t think so.