Exciting News!

citizen

So this just arrived today. In less than four weeks we will be Canadian citizens. We’re so excited! So how does this work? From what I understand, there will be a few speakers and guests and then we take the Oath of Citizenship. What is the Oath of Citizenship? Here it is:

I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen.

Yes, that Queen Elizabeth. We are a constitutional monarchy after all.

After that only a few things change:

First off, we’ll need Canadian passports. While we can travel outside of Canada using our US one if we like, we will need it to get back in. It will do a few things our American one won’t like get us in to a few countries without a visa that the US one doesn’t. It will also look really cool under a black light.

Canadian-Passport-Under-UV-Light

When we do get visas, for example, for our trip to India in January we can choose which passport we want them to be in. That will be the one we present when we go. For a few countries one might be better than the other as you can see below:

visa

We get to vote in elections here after August first. We’re a little too late for our provincial one but we have a municipal one coming up in October. And there’s a federal one in October of 2019. Or sooner if the government decides to call one sooner.

Of course the question we’re always asked is “Do you have to give up your US citizenship?” The answer to this is no. We will be dual citizens sharing the rights and responsibilities of both countries. We will vote in the Canadian election in 2019 and you can bet your bottom dollar we’ll be voting in the US elections this November and again in 2020. We file taxes in both countries though we haven’t had to pay US taxes. If we’re ever lucky enough to win the lottery that would change because lottery winnings aren’t taxable here but they are in the US – and the basic idea behind our tax treaties is that we don’t pay double taxes. What we pay in one country is credited in the other.

The other similar question that I’m asked, usually by people with a similar, if maybe a little more radical, political bent to us is “Will you renounce your citizenship?” Right now that doesn’t make sense. I do enough work in the US that it would make no sense for me to effectively ban myself from working there. Being able to freely cross the border and work without a visa is a big benefit. If, however, the tax laws significantly changed so that I did have to pay double taxes or things went from bad to horrendous I could give up my US citizenship. Likewise, I wouldn’t be surprised if Daegan were to consider that as an option if there were another draft.

But in the end, mostly our day to day life doesn’t change from what it was like as a permanent resident. Except that we can call ourselves Canadians. This will come in very handy in avoiding having to account for a certain president when travelling abroad.

21 thoughts on “Exciting News!

    1. Thanks! That would be the same smile I have on my face, I think.

      It’s going to be an interesting ceremony. I read the oath aloud to Sage across the room and started to tear up just sitting here. In a room with a bunch of other New Canadians it’s going to be pretty much impossible to keep my eyes dry. But hey, if you can’t cry when you’re being adopted in to a new family, when *can* you?

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    1. Thanks! I know! Some countries, like Germany, have that rule that you can’t have a second passport. And the US has a rule that you can’t have a passport from a hostile country – so likely there are not any folks with both a valid North Korean passport and a US one but for now two are allowed. I even met one woman several years back who had US, Canadian, and British passports. I guess if nothing else, she’d never run out of pages in her passports – she could just pick another one!

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    1. Exactly – and US customs officers are grumpy enough as a general rule. I suspect if I gave up my US citizenship my chances of ever getting a work permit if I needed one would be less than zero.

      There’s no good reason to get rid of it at this point. Maybe when I retire I’ll do it if only to stop having to file US taxes (citizens are required to file taxes for life even if they don’t owe anything). But that’s a *long* way off yet.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Right. So essentially my taxes say “Made this much in Canada, paid this much tax in Canada, US taxes would be less than I paid here and I don’t live there so I don’t owe anything.” When Daegan was younger it was really weird because it would also include child tax credits so I’d get a cheque from the US government every year despite paying no taxes. And when W did the stimulus package we got that as well (or would have had we not filed our taxes too late). So literally over the course of several years, the government sent us thousands of dollars. Multiply that by the total number of expats worldwide and it seems like there’s a bit of money that could be saved.

        Liked by 1 person

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