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U.S. Slumping, Dual Citizenship in EU Country is Attractive

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U.S. Slumping, Dual Citizenship in EU Country is Attractive

Postby Mr S » Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:59 am

Original Link: http://www.palmbeachpost.com/localnews/ ... _0608.html

For millions of Europeans who braved the Atlantic Ocean for a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty and dreams of a lavish life, there was little thought of ever emigrating back.

Yet for a new generation of Americans of European descent, the Old Country is becoming a new country full of promise and opportunity.

Dual citizenship criteria

Ireland: Automatically grants citizenship to the child of an Irish-born citizen. A person can also claim descent based on a grandparent or great-grandparent as long as a grandparent had also claimed descent on or before the date of the person's birth.

Italy: For those born after 1948, citizenship is granted if their father or mother was a citizen at the time of the applicant's birth. Citizenship is also granted under these conditions:

Father is an American and the paternal grandfather was a citizen at the time of the father's birth.

If born after 1948, when the mother is American and the maternal grandfather was an Italian citizen at the time of the mother's birth.

Paternal or maternal grandfather was born in America and the paternal great-grandfather was an Italian citizen at the time of the grandparent's birth.

United Kingdom: Descent based on a grandparent allowable only in exceptional cases.

Greece: Native-born parent or grandparent.

Latvia: Native-born parent.

Cyprus: Father was a citizen.

Holland, Finland, Germany and Norway: Applicant must have been born in wedlock with one parent a citizen, or he can claim descent based only on the mother.

All other European Union countries: A parent was a citizen of the given country. People who can't claim descent can apply after living in the country for a certain number of years.


The creation of the European Union and its thriving economy is very appealing for Americans in a global economy.

"With an EU passport, I can live and work in 27 countries," said Suzanne Mulvehill of Lake Worth. "With a U.S. passport, I can live and work in one."

Americans can claim citizenship in any of the 27 European countries that are in the EU based on the nationality of their parents, or in some cases, grandparents and great-grandparents. Citizenship in one of those countries allows you to live and work in any EU nation.

Since the United States doesn't keep statistics on dual citizens, it's impossible to know exactly how many people have applied for citizenship in Europe. But it's estimated that more than 40 million Americans are eligible for dual citizenship, and a growing number of Americans want to try their luck elsewhere.

"I have to say that over the past few years, calls I never would have received before have been made to the office," said Sam Levine, an immigration attorney in Palm Beach Gardens. "It's not like a tidal wave, but it's certainly more substantial, and it's remarkable."

He's receiving calls from people like Mulvehill, executive director of the Emotional Institute, a Lake Worth-based company that trains entrepreneurs.

Mulvehill's mother was born in Romania, which became a member of the European Union last year.

She's obtaining Romanian citizenship, which she estimates will have taken about three years, a ton of paperwork, $750 in fees and a trip to the Romanian consulate in Washington.

But once she receives the passport, probably early next year, she'll be able settle anywhere in the EU.

"I recognized for the first time in my life that being American had limits," Mulvehill said, "and that if I really wanted to become what I call a global citizen, then I needed to tap into all my resources to expand my ability to serve entrepreneurs not just in Lake Worth, which is one town, and not just in Florida or in America or North America, but on the globe."

Globalization is a word on the mind of Lauren Berg, a recent college graduate from Michigan who is obtaining Greek citizenship based on her grandfather. She plans to move to Paris, brush up on her French and engross herself in the European business world.

"It's definitely a really good thing to have on your résumé with business going so global," Berg said. "I probably never would have done it if it wasn't for the EU, but at the same time I've always been extremely proud of my Greek heritage."

Dual citizenship once viewed as unpatriotic

But not everyone is so excited about this increasing trend.

"I understand the impulse: You can get a better deal over there," said Stanley Renshon, a professor at the City University of New York and former president of the International Society of Political Psychology. "Whether it's good for the American national community is quite a different question."

Renshon belongs to a faction of immigration experts that believes dual citizenship diminishes the American identity.

"The devaluation of American citizenship for the sake of comparative advantage strikes me as fairly self-centered," Renshon said.

Dual citizenship became a major issue during the War of 1812, when the British military tried recruiting, and in some cases forcing, British-born American citizens to fight on Britain's side.

For years, being a dual citizen was seen as unpatriotic, and until 1967 it was possible for the United States to revoke American citizenship for people who voted in foreign elections.

But in the 1967 Afroyim vs. Rusk decision, Supreme Court justices ruled 5-4 that it was unconstitutional to bar dual citizenship.

"It was the high point of the 1960s and individual rights," said Noah Pickus, the associate director of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University. "So the notion that you could take a citizenship away from somebody would seem to violate the basic notion of individual choice."

Today, immigrants who become American citizens have to swear that they renounce their previous citizenship, but it's more of a symbolic gesture, and Renshon said it's actually difficult to renounce a citizenship.

One of the biggest advocates of dual citizenship is Temple University professor and author Peter Spiro, who believes that defining one's identity by his citizenship is a thing of the past.

"There are really no harms caused by individuals having additional citizenship these days," Spiro said. "It's the wave of the future, because more and more people are going to have it. It's going to multiply on an exponential basis going forward."

And as the value of the euro - the currency shared by 15 EU countries - rises and America's economy slumps, it's an attractive alternative for Amber Alfano, a recent University of Florida graduate who is becoming an Italian citizen like her father.

"I'm doing it as an exit strategy of sorts," Alfano said. "I like knowing that I have another place to go if things get even worse here, or if I just get tired of running on the American mouse wheel.

"My dad was actually the one who put a bug in my ear about the whole citizenship thing. He said that Europeans are more interested in the quality of life than the quantity, and that it was a good place to have and raise children because of the way their social systems work. I don't care much about the child-rearing part, but I would gladly trade in some of my material possessions for a little flat, a scooter and more vacation."

The grass might be greener ... for now

Levine, the Palm Beach Gardens immigration attorney, was born in Canada and has received calls from people also interested in obtaining Canadian citizenship. He also understands the European appeal. He said he's proud to be an American and proud of what the U.S. has accomplished on a global scale in the last century but that there are some advantages to living elsewhere.

"You have to look at things like how hard people work here and how little vacation time people get here," Levine said. "A lot of people who live in Europe might not make same amount of money as Americans, but in some senses it's a kinder, more gentle lifestyle."

When Alfano went to fill out her paperwork at the Italian consulate in Coral Gables, she said "the waiting room was full of second- and third-generation Americans (of Italian descent) picking up passports."

Pickus said he's heard stories of parents getting their children European citizenship as an 18th birthday present - "We didn't get you a car, but we got you an Italian citizenship."

Some, like seasonal Vero Beach resident Tony Monaco, who has been trying to get Italian citizenship based on his grandfather, bought property in Italy and learned that taxes would be much lower if he was a citizen.

For those who are moving for the EU economic boom, Hudson Institute senior fellow John Fonte - one of the nation's leading immigration experts and critics of dual citizenship - warns that it might not last.

"I think it's a short-term phenomenon," Fonte said. "I don't think the European economy in the long run will do that well because it's a heavy socialist welfare state in most of the countries."

Mulvehill, the Lake Worth entrepreneur trainer, taught a course at Lynn University and encouraged her students to obtain dual citizenship if they were eligible.

"Expand your possibilities. If you can get citizenship, why not?" she said. "The world is a bigger place than America. Look at what technology has done, creating a global economy. That, in my opinion, is what has created this phenomenon."

Every country has its own process for obtaining citizenship.

Ireland, Italy and Greece are among the most lenient in terms of letting an individual claim citizenship not just from a parent but from a grandparent or possibly a great-grandparent.

Even in countries that allow an individual only to claim descent based on a parent, in many cases the new citizen can pass the citizenship on to his child.

Eric Hammerle, a Vero Beach resident whose father was born in Germany, said it was easy for him and his 16-year-old son Nick to become German citizens.

They acquired the necessary documents - birth, marriage and death certificates - and took them to the German consulate in Miami.

"The whole process took about 20 minutes," Hammerle said. "They read over the documents, came back and said, 'Congratulations, Germany has two new citizens.' It was a fee of $85."
"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and stoic philosopher, 121-180 A.D.
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Postby Grunt » Wed Jun 18, 2008 2:00 am

My wife and I plan to have Canadian "landed immigrant" (green card holder, basically) status before the end of 2009. We are mere months away from escaping America.

The powers that be are holding American together with spit and bailing wire and will do so till the November elections. Well be long gone by then.
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The New Pilgrimage

Postby Shokkers » Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:22 pm

Odd, isn't it, how the first batch of immigrants to America--The Pilgrims--came here looking for tolerance and freedom...the 'pursuit of happiness', among other things.

Now, a bunch of us are going BACK to Europe for the same reason.

I still love America and think there are great things about it, but I've never been so blind as to chant "We're #1!!!" We ARE number one in the amount of citizens we have in PRISON. Meanwhile, we're #45 or whatever in Healthcare and #33 or worse in global education standards...

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getting EU citizenship

Postby ErthernetGuy » Thu Jun 19, 2008 1:14 pm

You all want to become EU citizens... :roll:

I live in France and I am French. Most people here dream of getting out of the country... out of sight of the Sarkozy's police, out of sight of surveillance cameras. They want to evade the heavy taxes, the ISF (Impot de Solidarité sur la Fortune = you pay that tax when you have more than 770.000 EUR), their dull wifes, their boring jobs, their bosses, the bad weather, their shitty life. The grass is always greener elsewhere.... :twisted:

Life is not any better in France. If you have got money you can reside in Bulgaria whithout working. Life is cheaper in this country which is a member of the EU. But the Police and justice is not that efficient and swindles are not rare. Bulgaria is a nice place for a holiday. The sea resorts around the black sea have nice beaches and nice cheap young bitches. :) :wink:

France and UK are not tolerant countries. Here in France we have already implemented censorship on the internet (some web sites can not be accessed due to their political content - not porn content) and other niceties. Logs of ISP have to be kept for TWO years. The same applies to logs of phone (date, time, caller number, called number, location of call for GSM phones). The police can ask for them at any time. There are video suveillance cam everywhere in the tube (Metropolitain) and some new ones are planted every day in Paris. UK is also plaged by surveillance cams and anti-terrorist laws. Who wants to live in such a place???? :evil:

What is the point of living in the EU? We have also got many problems. One of our main problem is that US$ vs EUR is making the EUR too strong. This is bad for business but good when we buy petrol. Our other problems are:
- European Union is going nowhere without a real leader and no central governement.
- we have got no european army (may be that is also a good point)
- we have got no fiscal harmony inside EU (taxes vary from one state to the other)
- there is no real feeling of "EU citizenship" amoug the Europeans
etc...
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Postby Winston » Thu Jun 19, 2008 6:20 pm

ErthernetGuy,
Maybe you should live in the US for a while first, and then compare as to which you think is "better" or more free.

If most French people wanted to go abroad, then why aren't there massive waves of French immigrants? I heard French people are very proud of their culture, too proud, and arrogant as well.

Even if the EU does have all those problems, still, many guys report far better results with the ladies there, which makes them feel more free. The women are also sophisticated and have an inner life. Just look at Spanish women for example, so many interests, like a Renaissance woman. That's hard to find in the US. Plus Europe is more tolerant about certain things, such as drugs and sex. And socially it's more inclusive too. A lot of people talk to you like they already know you.

I have too many testimonials from people attesting to this. See the other thread in this board from the Indian American guy, for example.
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Postby ErthernetGuy » Fri Jun 20, 2008 6:29 am

Europe is more tolerant about certain things, such as drugs and sex.


France is not tolerant about drugs. Smoking marijuana can get you into trouble. You can end up in jail if you carry too much on you or if you are caught too often carrying small quantities.

France is tolerant about sex but not about prostitution. Prostitutes can now be fined or sent to jail. For the time beeing, customers are not sent to prison but it could happen if Segolene Royale is elected...

Holland is tolerant to some drugs and open to gay marriage and to prostitution. EU is a union of countries that have many different laws and rules. What is allowed in one country can get you in jail in another country. :twisted:
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Postby ErthernetGuy » Fri Jun 20, 2008 6:34 am

Maybe you should live in the US for a while first


I have got no intention of living the USA. I would not even take a flight that stops on any US territory. The USA is a terrorist state.
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Postby Winston » Fri Jun 20, 2008 6:43 pm

ErthernetGuy wrote:
Maybe you should live in the US for a while first


I have got no intention of living the USA. I would not even take a flight that stops on any US territory. The USA is a terrorist state.


W: But my point is, if you find the US a terrorist state, then if you try living there, maybe you might find France to be more "free" in comparison?

By the way, the US is a relatively safe and efficient place, especially in the airport. When you are there, you feel very safe, as if everything is organized logically and pragmatically, and risks are controlled. Germany is like that too.

It's just that it's a boring country that is lifeless and sexless, that's the problem. And where social interaction is kept to an "as needed" basis.

Another thing you find in the US is that people respond logically to obstacles and problems, using great problem solving skills. And communication tends to be very assertive.
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Postby Jackal » Mon Jun 23, 2008 2:49 am

Fantastic article!! I couldn't agree more! I would also add that people could also simply get citizenship in an EU country and renounce their US citizenship if they don't qualify for dual-citizenship, although this usually requires being a resident there for at least 5 years and becoming proficient in the local language. I think one day I might like to do this--especially if I marry a woman from an EU country. I'm hoping to teach English in Europe this coming school year, so I can begin the process of escaping from the US and all its bullshit. The US isn't good at anything except marketing and fighting conventional wars.
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Postby CHUNG » Tue Oct 14, 2008 4:09 am

I agree with ethernet with america, but disagree about usa being safe in the airports. the airport security in usa is pretty bad. they frequently haras the passengers and many people miss their flights. many people are also harased going into the u.s. by homeland security being treated like a criminal. theyve made a comedy about this, but actually its not funny when it is hapening to you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7AWw7t5zj0
http://www.truveo.com/Soldier-beaten-at ... /294221152
it actually hapens alot more than you hear.
there may be some truth to the fact that european girls are better than americans, and maybe even europeans are better than americans, but there are many problems here. people usually cant just move to another country. there are many issues at hand here. first off, is having a visa that entitles you to work. that is very hard. the eu has a policy of forcing employers to look within the eu first. it has to prove that it has actively seeked employees from within the eu before hiring someone outside. finding a job is another issue. there simply arent that many jobs in the eu. if you look at businesses in the eu, they close much earlier than usa. most things are closed by 18:00. banks closed at 17:00. you wont see any banks open til 19:00 like in usa. even if you were able to find a job, you still have to face the issue of a language barrier, whether you are in france or belarus. its true that france has a lot of immigrants, but most of them already speak french. theyre from places like senegal and algeria. therefore they dont have to deal with a language barrier. its nice to be able to enjoy france and its people, but unfortunately, you cant enjoy anything if you have no immigration status, job, or language skills.
another thing youre forgeting is europeans are not as friendly as americans. they dont do the whole, how are you and have a nice day thing. its takes longer to crack a european, although once you get to know them, they are very caring people, but before you enter that social circle, it can be tough. without the language, it may be even harder to crack that. europe is also much harder to settle in. its not like the u.s. its much harder to get things like a driving licence, rent a flat, or even something as simple as open a bank account. go to any redneck town in america, and you can open an account with a ssn, and id. in europe, the requirements are much more strict. you need proof of this and proof of that. same thing with driving licence. you need 40hrs+ of lessons. getting a flat will require things such as reference, credit check, proof of employment. in usa, all that is required is credit check.
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Postby jamesbond » Tue Oct 14, 2008 12:22 pm

I am wondering what life is like in the Ukraine? It may be hard to get a good job there but I heard the social atmosphere is far more inclusive than in America. The women in the Ukraine I heard are very friendly and welcoming (unlike American women). That is one country I would love to visit someday! I also would like to check out Romania. I have seen shows on the history channel about Romania and it seems like a great place to visit (especially Dracula's castle, his real name was Vlad the Impaler, he was the inspiration for the Dracula horror movies.) :o
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Postby Grunt » Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:14 pm

Youll be up shits creek faster then you can say "WTF?!".

We are headed into a global financial collapse of intergalactic proportions. If you get stuck in Ukraine without vast mountains of cash, YOU will live like a Ukrainian.

Poor, hungry, pissed off, and no hope whatsoever. If you want to pick a foreign nation, go with Japan or the Netherlands that have a net financial surplus...not debt in the quadrillions like America, UK, Spain, or Ukraine.

If our bid on Canada flops, were shooting for Japan next.
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japan also with problems

Postby barronz » Tue Mar 24, 2009 3:27 am

Japan may be more polite, safe and exotic sexual practices, but it also is vindictive for social transgressions, like U.S. no second chances after 18. On guy failed a college class from tardiness (In Japan the lowest grade given in college is normally a C) and could not get salaried work, which must be procured soon after graduation or else. The economy hasn't grown in years and there is massive temp work.
Though the U.S. has the crappiest working conditions, Japan is probably equal but in different ways, the size of the U.S. economy probably offers more opportunity. The main reason to relocate abroad is for the social life. But that's the conundrum. How does one do that without abrogating career?
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Postby ladislav » Tue Mar 24, 2009 3:29 pm

I am wondering what life is like in Ukraine?


Depends on how much money you have. If you have money, it is girls , wine, songs and endless parties. If you are poor, you get jack sh*t.

It may be hard to get a good job there but I heard the social atmosphere is far more inclusive than in America.


Depends where. The South people are like Greeks or Italians or French- very inclusive and nice. The Western Ukrainians are like Germans. Norther ones are like Russians. I would try living in Odessa. It is nice.


The women in the Ukraine I heard are very friendly and welcoming (unlike American women).


To those whom they perceive to be rich foreigners or important locals. American men will qualify. They are not that welcoming to local guys who have little to offer. Or to poor foreigners. A poor African or a Gypsy can go suck egg.

That is one country I would love to visit someday!


Well, think Slavic France. That is what Ukraine is.

Here is what it would feel like walking there:

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_t ... +tour&aq=f

Please click on Odessa walking tour part 1-4.

This is nightlife:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIM-OpYT ... re=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kzLhAjr ... re=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uKc6m7J ... re=related

This is a slide show

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxjxakt-zHE

I also would like to check out Romania.


You may want to go to Moldova first. Lots of girls there.


I have seen shows on the history channel about Romania and it seems like a great place to visit (especially Dracula's castle, his real name was Vlad the Impaler, he was the inspiration for the Dracula horror movies.)


Oh, yeah, that is different. It is a big tourist spot, by the way. Lots of people visit.

Trying to combine career and social life is a dychotomy that can only be solved either by having a great job in a poorer country or making money online or by living in a place where one can have long, long vacations. Or by marrying the girl and taking her back to wherever you have a good job...
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