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I had a question relating to multiple citizenship and names. Assuming a person has citizenship with two or three different countries. Can the person have a different legal name in each country if they wanted to do that? Such as they change their name in one country but not the one of the others or all of the others? I don't think such a practice would be illegal or banned.
You know, I am not a lawyer but I think it shouldn't be against the law. Look at all the Chinese in the US and they all have English first names here, while in China, it's something else.
Depends on a country. If I lived in a Slavic country, I would not want to display some outlandish name. In some countries a name change is required to be a citizen.
A citizen cannot be deported easily for one. And he can own property.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
True but in some countries you can own property without being a citizen, just a resident.
Why would you need to change your name unless it was controversial in your adopted country? I have a normal Anglo name and last name, no issues here and like my name just fine.
Like I said adding layers of complication is not always the best thing. In other words I don't see any net benefit off either. I have been researching Five Flags intently for awhile now. Its mostly for tax purposes and the aforementioned buying property (for a business). It can prevent you from being detained against your will and I am far more concerned about that than being deported. To be deported, ummm you would had done something to cause this or it could be trumped up....
Dj is right, dont complicate things. Guys who get rich and stay rich kept it simple. NOONE in the history of the world got rich with multiple names.
BUT... Ladislav is right, you CAN do it. People do it. You'll need a lawyer to get this done.
100% of the time people do it to erase identity, never to operate with multiple names. NEVER. If you want multiple identities, that's fine. but smart people do it with corporations and other entities.
I don't know.
But that's how smart people do it.
"Well actually, she's not REALLY my daughter. But she does like to call me Daddy... at certain moments..."
1. Opening bank accounts overseas. A lot of banks have blacklisted USA citizens but don't always inquire into your other potential nationalities if you present an alternative passport/citizenship.
2. Having all the building blocks in place in case you ever need to quickly renounce US citizenship.
3. Having the right to stay in a country even if you get into trouble, perhaps by accident. Otherwise, your ass gets permanently deported right after your serve any jail/prison time you might owe. I know a guy who got deported from the country he grew up in but was just permanent resident cus he had a car accident which killed someone. PR status is very weak compared to citizenship. Don't be naive.
4. If you ever get sued in USA or even if IRS comes after you, that second citizenship and perhaps even a different name will be a huge deterrent. It's next to impossible for a private party to pursue you. If government came after you for tax debt or student debt, it would be a major pain in the ass for them and there's a good chance they would not bother pursuing it unless amount in question was millions of dollars.
OTOH, if you just have PR(s) in other countries, you can be forcibly repatriated by passport cancellation. So if the pursuing party can make that happen (and this will get easier in time), your country of residence will yank away your PR status as soon as you have no valid passport.
I have 2 citizenships, Rock is correct on everything he posted.
To the original poster, you cannot legally change names for each citizenship. It needs to be your legal name.
DJ when you're just a resident, theres a huge paper trail that follows you. After filling out all this paperwork, you're automatically in the system. Now that you have signed your life away, both the USA and the country you're resident in can track you as much as you want. And we all know how much the US likes to track and monitor people. You also will continually have to continue the upkeep of the visa which is costly and time consuming. If you break a rule/law say you started a company and your company broke a law, you can get deported pretty easily.
Residency is like a guest list at a club, while citizenship is like VIP status. If you're just a resident, in the government's eyes you're just a guest.
I'm sure that a person could technically have a legal name for each country. Changing a name in one country wouldn't do so in the others. International law doesn't require a person have the same name for every country and neither does national law. There could be some benefits to having different names for every country a person holds citizenship. It's more difficult for certain countries (ex. America) to track you and monitor you. It's more difficult to cross-reference your movements or your foreign property. Sometimes having a different name assimilates you into the given culture if it will work for them and they could pull off based on their looks. Assimilating is important.
Residency isn't good. Citizens have more benefits. American citizenship but permanent residency in other countries makes the permanent residency worthless. Citizenship in an EU country gives national healthcare, benefits, free-travel, the right to work in any of the EU countries, and other benefits. Citizenship in Canada gives national healthcare and the right to a tax-free savings account. Permanent residency gives nothing except maybe the limited rights to live there and start a business there.
Citizenship is also like the move of castling in chess. When you need to escape the opponent you can just castle to evade checkmate. In many ways it's the same with citizenship.
You can also make alot of other things more difficult with 2 names.
1) True most countries just require residency to get accounts, leases and such. Truth be told, if you keep your money in a international bank with branches in the country you are staying like Santander, you can do much of your banking without the extra fees if dealing with a different bank or out of network bank.
2) I see no reason to renounce your US citizenship, to be honest only White men talk like that or people that might be native Americans but are able to carry dual citizenship like being of Irish descent. As long as the US remains the military power it is and as long as it has the best State Dept/Liaison/Embassy Network there's no reason to consider having citizenship of some two bit country. I put before the court why Julian Assange who can't get out of the UK safely.
3) Johnny @Expat Wisdom told a similar story about some Brit who was rich and moved to Belize. He accidently hit a child, checked to see if the child was fine (he was on a bike) no external injuries anyway, but turns out the family filed charges and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
He had much of his wealth tied up in Belize. So he was able to get out of the country undetected but the majority of his wealth is stuck in Belize and he'll never get it.
The point here is carrying dual citizen, still being an American/US Citizen will prevent much of legal, trumped up shenanigans. Because countries fear not only the State Dept but the US Military.
However much longer the US still plays a dominate roll in Geo-Politics is up for debate I suppose but in the next 5-10 years I don't think its position will be diminished much.
4) Now why would the USA or IRS sue you? If you do your taxes right, there should be nothing to fear from the IRS. The problems comes from ignoring tax problems, not filing your taxes or some type of protest, which don't recommend because people have lost their homes fooling around with the IRS like that.
As I said my main concern is being detained, missing flights and that sort thing. Those are real, the other stuff is hyperbole unless you have six/seven digits behind your name.
IE cross those roads when you come to them.
Did I say anything about digital footprints or paper trails because overall its not important.
Don't be a fool into believing the US Military did not know where Bin Laden was. They knew the entire time. What makes you think you can get away from the US Government if you're running from them? The CIA will go into any country it feels like and kidnap you, not much you can do about it, even non-citizens if they deem you a threat to the country.
What do you think the No Fly List is really about?
The reason they haven't done it to Snowden yet is because the KGB is just as good as the CIA. They also spoof his IP address and they change locations offen. I don't envy him, he is on the run; not like in the movies but the threat from the US is real. They don't want an international incident either, so they have to really be careful.
I am not arguing the benefits or pros/cons of citizenship. If its fairly easy to get, then do it. In The Netherlands you have to be a fluent speaker of Dutch to get citizenship. There is a brother from Chicago who worked Dutch Public TV, he recently got his Dutch citizenship but as I said he had to become fluent in Dutch to get it.
Some countries don't make you jump through that hoop and frankly if you're going to spend 90% of the rest of your life in that country I guess you should learn the language.
I will do it via marriage and why not? Because I don't believe in perfect matches. Not that there is just one person perfect for you, because that makes no sense. Sort of like the Steven Martin movie The Man with Two Brians. He fell in love with the person who was just a brain another research doctor had in storage.
He thought he could put Anne's brain into Kathleen Turner's body. It turned out Anne was this BBW, so after he changed brains what he got was not hot Kathleen Turner but Chubby Kathleen Turner with Anne's personality....
My point being that if perfect matches existed, it could be another man that's perfect for you maybe he's gay, are you going to switch up just because you get along great with that person?
I don't think so.
So you get in where you fit in, you do the best that you can wherever you are. If one of your goals is to get citizenship via marriage, is that any worst that women marrying up on purpose? Its certainly easier than the other ways which many times include a income threshold as well as language proficiency.
There are many factories here. As I said before I picked Brazil for several reasons.
Even if I marry another foreign women Brazil, say a British woman. If we have our first child in Brazil, we automatically become citizens. Anchor babies if you will; while Americans are up in arms over this, Brazilians don't give two sh*ts and yes you could likely find a few idiots who have a problem with it, but that's not the point and they are in the minority.
I don't have to renounce anything to get it, neither does she, as a subject of the Crown she can carry dual citizenship. Just by having a child which I want and she would want anyway, everybody gets two passports. We do and the kid does too.
On top of that, because we're Brazilian citizens we have open access to Portugal, which is a EU member state. Getting residency in Portugal will get you an EU passport.
So that's one kid, three passports each. US Citizen, Brazilian Citizen, EU Resident (after five years). Which is quite convenient because I much rather have my oldest child go to school in Europe for free than pay for an expensive private school in Brazil which compared to paying for private usually Catholic or Christian school in the US is much cheaper to do.
Because we speak English at home, they will be multi-lingual as well.
The weather in Southern Brazil is similar to Southern California and of course Portugal is a Mediterranean country, again similar weather.
I see no negatives other than those expressed by others which are typically unfounded and of course the cost and it is somewhat complex.
But also means if I am unable to find a nice Brazilian woman, my dreamed are not crushed as long as we have children in Brazil. I will NOT under any circumstances marry a woman that can't have children and I don't have any health problems, so it won't come from my end.
I like Europe because it just works. The weather is crappy in the North but I can deal with that for a few years. I just don't believe I can find a woman under 30 in Western Europe.
Living in Eastern Europe is NOT AN OPTION and Brazil is a BRIC anyway (Russia being the "R").
You are looking at this from the perspective of a US citizen and resident who occasionally takes very short trips overseas. Your life is fully in the US.
But if you are a career expat who makes a living off investments in third countries (countries other than your citizenship or residency country) then US citizenship is a huge liability. Why? Because 1. you pay taxes on virtually all your incomes whereas without it, your income tax rate would be zero and b. a very high percentage of private/personal banks (those which give you access to liquid investments from around the world such as high yield bonds, structured products, and certain types of liquid hedge funds) will not take your business. I know this because I've been kicked out of three banks in the last 4 years just for being a US citizen. Being a US citizen has cost me a huge amount in terms of time, trouble, and financial cost. I would be much better off financially if it weren't for my US citizenship.
If my parents did not have illiquid assets tied up in the States, I would have renounced in order to naturalize in Taiwan. People like Julian Assange and Edward Snowden are huge fish. A regular guy who makes a living overseas is not. Enforcement resources are very limited, especially on the criminal side. Consider, even on US soil, only a handful of tax cheats ever get charged criminally. It's mostly about civil penalties, the money.
Over 30,000 US citizens with overseas accounts have been slapped with huge (oven confiscatory) fines since the US started aggressively attacking private banks who have US clients. That's why the banks don't want our business anymore. Many of these are unfortunate innocents.
Doing your taxes right is easy if you just punch a clock and work 9-5 in the US. But do you know how many tens of thousands of pages the US tax code has become. How do you account for forex gains and losses involving hundreds of transactions from arbitrage hedge funds with investments in 3 countries? What about if you are a Canadian resident and citizen who also happens to technically be American because you were born in Minnesota even though you've lived in Canada since childhood and never returned to the States. If you've had large financial accounts in your own name in Canada and didn't realize you were supposed to proactively report the details of each account to the US Treasury each year, you now owe the US Treasury and IRS a huge percentage of your financial wealth. Ignorance of the law does not excuse you. You assume the IRS and US income tax policy towards its non-resident citizens and other US persons is reasonable and fair. It's not!
Second citizenship and eventual renouncing of US citizenship is a real and practically viable solution for a significant number of middle class expats these days who wish to pursue a life offshore. But permanent residency status doesn't mean squat. Even if you live the rare country with no extradition or tax treaties with the US (eg Taiwan due to unique political situation vis-a-vis China), you are not shielded. All the US has to do is inform immigration policy of country you reside in that your passport has been revoked. In most cases, you will be arrested and quickly deported directly back to US.
Last edited by Rock on April 13th, 2014, 8:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Residency in Germany (or much of the EU for that matter) gives you access to health care and education. The only caveat is that you would also have to pay taxes in the country you are a resident. If I remember your MBA in Germany is like $600 a semester or something for being a student/resident, so its not free but its cheap.
Its more expensive to go to Jr. College here in the States!
What in the world are you escaping? You need to tackle one issue at a time. Finding a virgin to your liking will be hard enough.
There are some reasons for changing names and I think it is a touch and go. If you live in Belize and you are a John Smith, then it doesn't matter because you are surrounded by local John Smiths. Ditto for Argentina- a big melting pot. You just become a Juan Smith; at least socially.
But if you are in the US and have a long Arabic or Russian/Slavic name, it may be a problem outside of big cosmopolitan cities. Every time the US gets involved with some military campaign, and your name sounds like you are from the country America is against, you are screwed.
You may not get a job and you may be turned down for financing, and proving discrimination is hard. This was the reason many immigrants had changed names in the past and still do it now- it was a matter of survival: no job- you starve. No financing - can't start a business. Unless there's a large self sufficient community of people like you, you are an outcast. Changing a name does not eliminate discrimination altogether, but it significantly reduces it.
Other countries are the same. And again, it depends where you are. Brazil is quite cosmopolitan with all sorts of last names. Mexico is not. Gomez, Lopez, Rodriguez. You may choose to change it to fit in if you live there long term.
If you want to live in Russia but your last name is Levine or Rosenblum you will have a big problem. Same if it is some Muslim name.
Ditto if you want to work in Saudi.
So, anyway, my point is this: it really depends on what name you have and where your destiny has thrown you. If it causes you undue hardship, then, well, change it legally. It may complicate things on one hand but on the other hand it may not. Weigh the pros and cons of your own individual situation.
The examples of successful and confident, lucky people above are of those who really don't need a name change. They are ahead of the game. But then, there are others. My mother has a long Slavic name ending in a "ski" and in a Latin country you need to put your mother's last name on all docs. It raised eyebrows and caused embarrassment and even mockery. Not everyone wants his own mother to be mocked, and constantly battle ignorant officials making nasty comments. So, in this case, something can and should be done.
You also need to think about your kids. If you are at a US public school in Jackson, Mississippi, and your surname is Ahmedi, you may want to change it for your kids' sake. If you are in Dearborn, Michigan, then-- not.
It's all situation and location-dependent. You just play it by ear.
But just walking in and going through name changes right off the outset for no reason at all is not advisable. This does complicate matters.
The same goes for citizenship. Getting second one is a complicated process and do you really need it? If you are just a humble English teacher, then not. If you are a business mogul, you may want to. Again, touch and go and location- and individual circumstance- dependent.
Now called the FSB.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
DJ are you sure the parents get citizenship? Not just permanent residency?
Could you furnish us a link on this?
"Well actually, she's not REALLY my daughter. But she does like to call me Daddy... at certain moments..."