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Old 30-10-2011, 20:57   #31
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Originally Posted by Still Hopefull
One of my colleagues and I somehow got onto this and it started us both thinking. (That's twice this week already I've had to think.) Due to the fact that some of the members on this forum travel the world on a somewhat permanent basis, maybe someone here can explain how it works.

Try to keep the answers simple. For some reason my brain just overloaded and fried while trying to come to it's own conclusion.

We all know it is possible to be a citizen of a country without being a resident in that country. What happens if you decide not to reside permanently in ANY country. So I hypothetically, (of course ) notify my country of residence that I intend to emigrate. I duly leave, climb on my yacht and proceed to travel the world, visiting various countries for short periods but never actually settling in any country permanently.

At the end of the day I would still be a citizen of a country, but not a resident in any one country.

The question we were asking ourselves is: Is this legal?
You're confusing residency and citizenship. Also, for US tax purposes, us citizens are considered to be "IN THE US" whenever not specifically resident in another country. And, as others have pointed out, you must file US tax returns regardless of residency as a US citizen.

You don't want to be a stateless person and renounce your citizenship either. Too many problems with that.
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Old 31-10-2011, 06:22   #32
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Re: Can You Have No Residency in Any Country ?

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Originally Posted by RicknSue View Post
. . . This topic is of great interest to us, as I am Canadian, Sue is American, we live in the US now, but take off is less than 5 years away, and we will both have different rules, if I decide to give my green card up...Also, establishing residency in a state with no State Income tax first might be a good idea, perhaps...
Yes, keeping your "green card" after departing on a world cruise will not work for you unless you become a citizen (naturalized) of the USA. Your "green card" has an expiration date on it. The "green card" is a merely a "long term visa" for the purpose of living and working in the USA.
- - If you leave the USA for more than 1 year without permission or more than 2 years with/without permission the "green card" visa automatically expires and you would have to go through the whole process again if you wished to return to living/working in the USA. There are exceptions for military service and a couple of other unique situations but definitely not for world cruising.
- - The underlying philosophy is if you do not intend to live/work in the USA you don't need a "green card". So you would revert to being purely Canadian and under whatever their rules are for taxes, etc.
- - Sue, as explained by others, would remain a USA citizen and subject to taxes, etc. in the USA. And moving her residency/domcile to a non-tax State like Florida would greatly simplify her obligations. If you have met many long term cruisers you will notice a lot of their boat cards list "Green Cove Springs, Florida" as their home address. The outfit "St Brendan's Isle" http://www.sbimailservice.com/ provides all the services needed to keep in contact and fulfill tax/bank requirements for a residence address inside the USA.
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Old 31-10-2011, 09:05   #33
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Originally Posted by osirissail

moving her residency/domcile to a non-tax State like Florida would greatly simplify her obligations. If you have met many long term cruisers you will notice a lot of their boat cards list "Green Cove Springs, Florida" as their home address. The outfit "St Brendan's Isle" http://www.sbimailservice.com/ provides all the services needed to keep in contact and fulfill tax/bank requirements for a residence address inside the USA.
US citizens, other than military and diplomatic personnel, can't simply choose a state for residency purposes when they live abroad but they they may choose no residency and there is no requirement to file state returns while living abroad. I'm not certain what this means when traveling permanently. It may be as I mentioned above. The US considers you a US resident when traveling. Only sustained residence in a foreign territory according to specific rules qualifies as non-US resident. Even then one must file US taxes.

Check with an international tax attorney. You may be disappointed.

Of course, by filing regular resident tax returns and not claim to have "left" the US, you "may" be able to retain your green card. Trust me, you don't want to go through the process again if you can help it. We did. Painful.
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Old 31-10-2011, 11:01   #34
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Re: Can You Have No Residency in Any Country ?

Yes. I believe one can. But this would make sailing / cruising a nightmare.

As long as you have nationality you will always be considered a resident of your native country, at least by other countries.

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Old 31-10-2011, 11:46   #35
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Re: Can You Have No Residency in Any Country ?

"and gain citizenship in a country like the Bahammas,"
Don't know about the Bahamas, but you can't gain Bermudian citizenship unless you're born there or marry one. Want to become Swiss? No so easy, you can't just marry one, the village you are living in gets to VOTE on whether to allow you in.

Haven't been in a US State for 20 years? No problem, in many of them you are still a "resident" if you have decalred your intent to return there and resume residency at a later date. You can sojourn in Egypt for 30 years, and still be a Florida resident.

The sovereigns get to make the rules, each to their own. Most don't give a damn what you declare as your residency, they want to see proof of citizenship when you hit their border. Or UN papers backing up your claim to be a "stateless person".

Then there are some US states where anyone residing in the state for 30 days becomes a state citizen--even though they aren't a US citizen.

Are we having fun yet?
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:38   #36
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Re: Can you have no residency in any country?

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Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
It never ceases to amaze me how Brits will bash their country, regardless of the facts.
A lot of Americans do the same thing. I think it is "the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence" syndrome.
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:58   #37
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Re: Can you have no residency in any country?

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
A lot of Americans do the same thing. I think it is "the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence" syndrome.
You mean its not???
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Old 01-11-2011, 08:10   #38
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Re: Can You Have No Residency in Any Country ?

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Originally Posted by emgersh View Post
US citizens, other than military and diplomatic personnel, can't simply choose a state for residency purposes when they live abroad but they they may choose no residency and there is no requirement to file state returns while living abroad. I'm not certain what this means when traveling permanently. . . .
Since this is a forum about Cruising Boats, Cruising People, Cruising Answers - I assume we are not talking about living on land in a foreign country. That belongs in an "Ex-pat" forum.

- - Yes, any US citizen can choose a State of the USA for residency purposes and a lot of cruisers do exactly that when they leave on extended or circumnavigation cruises in their boats. They are "living aboard" their boats full time and not living on land. They are not living overseas, but living "on" the seas.

- - As has been discussed in previous threads on CF the process of establishing a "resident/tax domicile" within any State of the USA is not difficult, it only involves coordinating your various financial and State/Federal tax declarations.
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:33   #39
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Re: Can You Have No Residency in Any Country ?

To answer the OPs question , the answer is basically NO. You cannot be renounce your citizenship to become stateless. Even if you could, it would effectively ban you from entry into virtually every country in the world.

You can find countries that give out citizenship for large amounts of money , either by way of legal investments ( ie starting businesses etc) or simply "buying" a passport. Ireland had a scheme that if you invested 1million in a business theyd give you a passport!!.

Residency per say, is a woolly concept, it can be broken down into two main types, physical residency and tax residency. Physical residency is the right to stay somewhere beyond the normal tourist rules. Tax residency is a set of rules that arbitarily determine what happens if you earn income in a country. ( The US being unique in applying universal tax residency).

in some case you can be a physical residence for a while , without becoming a tax resident , but only for a while, But you can become a Tax residence without necessarily having physical residence. It can also be difficult to loose tax residency, ( in the UK its not as simple as just leaving).

In most cases unless you have oodles of cash, it doesnt matter and if you have then you do as others and pay experts mucho dinero to sort it out.

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Old 01-11-2011, 13:03   #40
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Re: Can You Have No Residency in Any Country ?

Off topic no doubt but Osirissail mentions "cruisers.....leave on......circumnavigation cruises...."As a matter of interest how many of these citizens actually complete such a challenge?
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Old 01-11-2011, 15:09   #41
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Re: Can You Have No Residency in Any Country ?

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Off topic no doubt but Osirissail mentions "cruisers.....leave on......circumnavigation cruises...."As a matter of interest how many of these citizens actually complete such a challenge?
Yes, off-topic but quite a lot finish - ask MarkJ, for one. SSCA (Seven Seas Cruising Association) used to list members who completed circumnavigations and each year there was quite a list. And the SSCA really only represents a minority of all the cruisers from all parts of the world that do such things.
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