How much does it cost to become a United States citizen? Now that may be a weird question to hear from us because a lot of our audience already are US citizens. Those that aren’t often don’t want to become a US Citizen and some people have already given up US citizenship. But this question has a broader implication than just the specific answer. I’m going to give you the answer and tell you why it matters in this post.
How Much Does It Really Cost?
Now, let me talk about the cost to obtain US citizenship because if you look all around the internet people are asking this question and there’s a very technical answer as of today when I’m filming this it cost six hundred and forty dollars plus an $85 biometric fee seven hundred and twenty-five dollars in total. That’s the cost to Naturalized as a United States citizen now the Trump Administration s I’m talking about this has recently put out a proposal saying let’s increase the cost by 80% They also want to reduce fee waivers and fee reduction.
So in certain cases right now, you can pay nothing in certain cases. You can pay less if you have certain circumstances, I think if you’re disabled that kind of stuff, but they want to race to eleven seventy plus the biometric fee get rid of the exemptions and that would be the Now in the grand scheme of things you’d say well, hey, you know a thousand one hundred seventy dollars is not a bad deal. I recently was sitting here in Bogotá. I had a hamburger and guy came up to me and said your answer from The Nomad Kapla said, yeah, and he said, you know, you may not like me because my goals for my family. I’d like to get either a European Union citizenship, which I know you’re against or brace yourself.
We kind of would like to get US citizenship and for us that’s kind of a good thing. I’ve never said don’t become an EU citizen. I think there’s things to be aware of if you are a nomad capless. You’ve got a high-income. Certainly the European Union is not really gung-ho for high-income earners. They’re not really on your team, the US.
Being Aware Of The Consequences
In different ways is the same. I’ve never said don’t get a US citizenship. I’ve said be aware of the consequences and so eleven or twelve hundred bucks. It is a lot of money for some people who want to go to the United States. A lot of people have a hard time paying the fees to get in but you know, it’s a small price to pay. For one of the world’s best passports, here’s the macro picture though. And here’s what people don’t understand. When you become a citizen of a country like the United States, you don’t just walk in and here’s your passport people in the media wrongly talk about the United States citizenship by investment program.
What they’re actually talking about is the eb-5 program or other Green Card programs where you make an investment and you just get to move ahead of the line a little faster than someone who may be looking for a job or who has a family member in the US. You get to jump the line a bit in some cases if you’re Chinese and then you can but you still have to live in the United States and being in weight the same amount of time to be naturalized. You better spend years in the United States. You get to meet all the other criteria and so set aside the need to speak English set aside the need to understand, you know, Betsy Ross and The Star-Spangled Banner and all that.
You know, how many branches of government living United States is going to have a severe financial effect on anyone who goes there? Because the United States not only has very high tax rates if you live there which is a requirement to become a citizen. You can’t just go in and get your permanent residence card. Come back one day a year and not pay tax. You’ve got to be there almost all the time. And that means you’re going to pay a high level of tax. If you live in Columbia and you’ve got a large collection of properties that you’re renting out the United States is going to tax your income on that subject to certain credits and treaties and things like that. You’re going to be taxed on your worldwide income. And so I’ve seen situations where I’ve seen you know Americans who are marrying people from overseas. They want to bring their spouse to the United States. We had one gentleman. His Asian wife had like a 100 million dollar property Empire now in her case, there was some pretty, you know, Advance tax planning that we could do with our with our attorneys, but in her case, one of the biggest challenges was just all the paperwork it was going to cost her maybe close to $100,000 a year just to handle the Boards, so that may not be a lot of money for her but it’s something to consider.
Okay, once you become a US Citizen once you pay that $640 or whatever, they turn it into now you have the only citizenship for Effective purposes in the world that not only has the legal right but also the legal ability to collect taxes on your income and your assets extraterritorially. Now, there is no wealth tax in the United States right now, who knows if they added One of the future for me the big price of US citizenship is you’re signing up for a lifetime of tax obligations.
And if you’re a Westerner think you understand what I’m talking about. If you’re from other countries that are more emerging where you know, maybe you can kind of skirt around the taxman or you know, the government says things but no one really listens that is not how the United States Works they have the power to collect money and they do if you owe them more than 50 Grand they will turn off that Passport that you just paid for and so I bring this up to open up a broader conversation about the cost of obtaining citizenship.
Looking At The Cost
Everything has a cost. There’s a time cost. There’s an opportunity cost. There’s a money cost. I constantly see people ignoring these costs right now is US citizenship always going to be available for immigrants. Yeah. I think they’re going to continue to raise the price of admission. Just as a lot of other countries do okay. So there’s a certain need to hurry if you want to get any passport but understand that there’s an opportunity cost to obtain any citizenship.
If you do not wish to spend 10 or 11 months a year living United States, you’re not going to like the process of getting US citizenship because that’s what it takes. If you don’t like the idea of paying progressive income tax rates to go up to 36 or 37 percent on your ordinary income. You don’t want to pay on your capital gains. You don’t want to pay on your worldwide assets and other Businesses or incomes you have overseas. You’re not going to like becoming a US Citizen.
And so the United States is somewhat unique in that when you become a citizen, even if you leave you’ve got to pay but also understand that, you know, people say I like to become a citizen of France. I’d like to become a citizen of the Netherlands or you know, whatever now there are ways that we’ve helped people where okay, you’re married to it someone who’s French and so you don’t have to live there and there’s no tax obligation. There’s a certain way to do it. But you know in general if you want a passport in a western country you can They’re making investment through up like a golden Visa program or something like the US EB-5 program that puts you the front of the line in some countries. You have to live there and they’ll give you your passport. It can be tax-advantaged.
But the point is there’s a cost of 10 every citizenship in time money and opportunity in the US. In particular those costs are quite high for some it’s worth it and I wouldn’t want to talk someone out of it if their goal was to live and work in the United States and the price was worth it for them. As long as you’re aware of it. So my point is when it comes to getting any citizenship be aware of all the costs associated that’s monetary and non-monetary.