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If you're not American and plan to move to the US to be with your sweetheart...

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#1 Ayita

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    Posted 29 May 2009 - 03:03 PM

    All right, not too sure where to put that thread but I figured the "to do" is OK. If not, mods feel free too move it.

    I just wanted to mention a law that is fairly new (dating from last year, and entered into force on June 17, 200 and that concern all "foreign aliens" that have a green card.

    According to this new law, if :
    - you surrender your green card, or lose your green card status (more than 6 months out of the country without coming back), or just move to another country (for instance, your home country...) and declare yourself a "tax resident" there (usually after 6 months of residency, or because you know you're going to stay there for a while)
    - you had a green card for any 8 years in the 15 years that precede you giving back your green card or becoming a tax resident in another country,

    you're going to have to pay an "exit tax ".

    Basically, you will be considered as virtually selling all of your worldwide assets the day before your "expatriation" out from the US, and if your gains/appreciation are more than 626K$ (index on inflation), you pay tax on it.

    Now, this amount can seem a lot. Well, it's not. Inside the assets that are considered sold / or early cashed out, there are your retirement plans.

    This law is pretty nasty. Basically, if you stay in the US for like 20 or 30 years with a green card, and you decide to go back to your home country - or to retire in your home country - you will have to pay taxes upfront on your pension plan appreciation, your home appreciation, etc etc

    Originally, it's targetted against US citizens that flee the country to say, Monaco or the Bahamas, and relinquish their US nationality in order to avoid US taxes on their deferred coompensation and other gains. Now, all the foreign people that are expats in the US and have a green card are concerned.

    If you have plans to go back to your homeland in the future - even in the long term - think twice before asking your green card. I'm going to try and stay on the non-immigrant visa I currently have...

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