…Not to be confused with the book The Accidental American…
An accidental American is a citizen of a country other than the United States who may also be considered a U.S. citizen under U.S. nationality law but is not aware of having U.S. status, or has only become aware of it recently during adulthood. Accidental Americans’ U.S. citizenship arises due to their parents’ ties to the United States rather than their own choices: they may be born in their own country but to one U.S. citizen parent who emigrated from the United States, or they may be born in the U.S. to parents residing in the country temporarily for work or study and then return to their own country in their early childhood, with few if any memories of the United States. The term may also sometimes be applied to people who definitely are not U.S. citizens but have some other sort of connection with the country, for example green card holders who moved back to their country of origin and let their green cards expire without formally cancelling their U.S. immigration status, or non-U.S. citizens married to Americans abroad. Such tenuous connections to the United States began to become a more salient issue in the late 2000s due to Internal Revenue Service crackdowns which were ostensibly aimed at tax evaders hiding assets in secrecy jurisdictions but ended up having much broader effects on people with U.S. citizenship who resided in other countries, as well as their families.
- 1 Nationality law
- 2 Awareness of U.S. citizenship
- 3 Tax consequences
- 4 Giving up U.S. citizenship
- 5 Proposed remedies
- 6 References
- 7 Further reading
I can see a few minor glitches, but whoever entered this subject into Wikipedia knew his or her stuff.
This Wikipedia article, though, makes no mention of http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/ OR any other blog (like http://maplesandbox.ca/) NOR does it have anything about Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty (ADCS-ADSC), the Canadian litigation on behalf of two Canadian Accidental Americans: http://www.adcs-adsc.ca/ OR http://citizenshipsolutions.ca/ — that site should be a first stop for anyone to determine whether or not he or she actually WOULD BE considered a US-defined US citizen subject to US citizenship-based taxation and FATCA laws in the countries they are resident.
“The Nuremberg test or the Harry Potter test”
Brock commenter, George, asked for a front page article so we can all contribute on who escapes the FATCA web and who does not in order to show how it is so DISCRIMINATORY.
This Wikipedia article touches on some of the ways this happens, how some are identifiable and how some are now (and may go under the scattered and thus unfair FATCA radar, *though I say good for them !for the consequences of such are dire!) …
Under a strict reading of U.S. nationality law, consular registration is not required in order for a child born outside of the U.S. to a qualifying parent to “become” a U.S. citizen; the child is a U.S. citizen from the moment of birth. However, for practical reasons, if a child’s birth is not reported to a U.S. consulate or United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, the child would not have any proof of U.S. citizenship and the U.S. government might remain unaware of the child’s citizenship status. Retired U.S. State Department official Andrew Grossman wrote in 2007 that in cases of “doubtful nationality” in which a child’s derivative U.S. citizenship remained undocumented and unreported to the U.S. government, the child was not regarded as a U.S. citizen either for tax or other purposes, and he expected that it would be quite difficult for tax authorities to make determinations of jus sanguinis citizenship on their own. Karen Christensen, also of the U.S. State Department (Deputy Assistant Secretary for Overseas Citizens Services, Bureau of Consular Affairs), stated that “it is the process of being documented as a U.S. citizen that would result in official government recognition of the child’s U.S. citizenship status”. This ambiguity has resulted in American emigrant parents, particularly those married to people of other nationalities, choosing not to report the births of their children born in other countries to U.S. consulates, in the hopes that this would allow the children to escape notice by the U.S. government. Mark Matthews of Caplin & Drysdale stated, “When clients who have lived abroad for years come in, concerned about whether they have an obligation under FATCA, they sometimes react to the suggestion that their kids might be American the way one might react to a horrible medical diagnosis.“