Travel to US After Giving Up Citizenship or Green Card: 6 Facts

Travel to the US After Giving Up Citizenship or Green Card: 6 Facts

Travel to the United States After Giving Up Citizenship or Green Card

After a US Person who is either a US Citizen or a Long-Term Lawful Permanent Resident voluntarily relinquishes their green card or renounces their US citizenship — they are no longer considered a US person for tax purposes. Beyond the tax implications, the other part of the equation involves the immigration aspect of expatriation. After performing the expatriating act and formally relinquishing US person status — returning back to the United States to visit or even reside again is not necessarily difficult — depending on the facts and circumstances of the situation, and the purpose of the travels. But, one thing that becomes complicated for US citizens who are no longer US citizens is that there is a bit of discomfort with the idea that at one time, they were once able to travel the United States freely without any issue, and now simply returning to the United States — even for a brief visit – – can be time-consuming and frustrating endeavor from an administrative standpoint. Let’s go through five (5) important facts about traveling to the United States after giving up citizenship or a green card.

ESTA Visa VWP

If you reside in a country that is participating in the Visa Waiver Program, then you are able to obtain an ESTA visa — which allows you to travel to the United States for 90-days at a time. While there is no specific requirement as to the amount of time between visits, if a person travels to the United States too often, it could lead to significant questioning at the Port of Entry, which could also result in denial of entry into the U.S.

E-2 Treaty Investor Visa

The E-2 Visa is a type of treaty visa in which the United States allows streamlined visa requirements for taxpayers who qualify and reside in a treaty country (types of treaties may vary). By entering on a treaty visa, a person can typically stay for six months at a time instead of the 90-day limitation under the ESTA visa.

B1/B2 Travel Visa (10-Year)

The most common type of visas is the B1/B2 business/tourist visa. Otherwise known as a “tourist visa,” it can be issued for up to 10-years, and allow the taxpayer to reside in the US for up six months at a time, but not more than six months in the year.

EB-5 Investment Visa

The EB-5 is an investment type of visa in which a taxpayer makes a significant investment in the United States’ economy and gains the ability to travel to the United States and reside in the United States relatively freely. One key component of this visa is that it does require significant investment and is oftentimes considered a type of Golden Visa similar to other countries that allow taxpayers to acquire permanent resident status and then citizenship through investment.

F-1 Student Visa

The  F-1 visa is a “student visa.” One great benefit of the F-1 student visa is the taxpayers on this type of visa are generally not considered US persons for tax or reporting purposes for the first five years they were on the visa. Therefore, if a person expatriates and then will be returning to the United States on an F1 visa it is important to analyze prior-year residence to assess whether the substantial presence test is met. This is accomplished by analyzing the number of prior year days they resided in the U.S., in conjunction with the current year — in order to try to avoid becoming a US Person for Tax and Reporting Purposes.

Substantial Presence Test

The Substantial Presence Test is a test developed by the Internal Revenue Service which counts the number of days a taxpayer resides in the United States in the current year, along with the two prior years using a one-to-one, three-to-one, and six-to-one ratio. If the taxpayer remains in the United States for too long, then they will be considered a US person for taxing reporting purposes, which would defeat the reason why most people relinquish their green card or renounce their citizenship in the first place – so it is something to be very cognizant of for non-residents who are returning to the United States for an extended period of time.

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