Renewing my US Passport

This blog suffers from lack of updating and lack of care due to the very fact that I travel a lot for work. When I’m not travelling I’m trying to keep up with my PhD research, a task that is difficult in the quietest of times, but very difficult when I’m in Brazil one week and Dubai the next. In the course of all of this travelling, however, I have to renew one of my two passports now – my US one. I admit that I don’t ever travel on my US passport unless it is to the US. Travelling on my UK passport to the US would cause me to be fined a great amount of money because, and only because, I was born in the US. Sad as this might sound, the airline and airport would be fined too. Though the ideological and political differences between the US and UK are slight, it is, quite frankly, cheaper and easier to travel on a UK passport. No visa required for Brazil, for example, and I could go to Cuba if I wanted. In any case, I need to renew my US passport, but with an interesting complication.

In renewing my US passport I must state if I’ve taken on another citizenship or if I intend to renounce my US citizenship. There are a great many things that would make my renounce US citizenship – increased dual taxation, increased US domestic socialism etc – but the fact of the matter is that I don’t want to cut off any future options. At least not now. However, I find it beyond insulting that the US insists on me telling them if and when I took another citizenship especially one that comes with its own unique label. The US and UK still share a ‘special relationship’ and in the work that I do, US and UK companies often work together on many policy issues. 

Why I find this so egregious, I’m not exactly sure, but the fact of the matter is that what I do and where I live is my choice and my choice alone. I’ve chosen to live in the UK and London because it is a fantastic place that has afforded me with incredible opportunities and experiences that I don’t think I would have found in the US. At least that is my experience. If I choose to become British and choose to live here full time for the long term that is something that I think the US doesn’t need to know. I pay my US taxes still and that should be enough.

Apparently it is not. The funny thing about applying for a US passport outside of the US is that the form doesn’t work with non-US addresses or phone numbers. Further proof that maybe, beyond paying taxes, the US doesn’t really acknowledge that US citizens living outside of the US exist.

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