Postscript: Citizenship Granted.

I am pleased to say that I have been granted NZ citizenship. I need to do the ceremony for things to be official, but the application was a success. I now join my son as a dual NZ-US citizen.

To be fair, very little will change other than the fact that I can now run for political office, apply for a government security clearance or for a public sector job requiring one, and will need to get a passport so that I can travel unencumbered to places where my US passport is viewed with distrust or hostility. I do not plan to run for office but given the nature of my work the eligibility for clearances and a passport could be of great benefit.

And for those who still wonder how I can swear loyalty to the Queen, that is easy. The oath is to declare loyalty to the “Queen of New Zealand” and since she lives in my house, I am doing it anyway. :-0

A good moment for one Kiwi family.

24 thoughts on “Postscript: Citizenship Granted.

  1. Sanctuary

    Welcome aboard! Now you must past the ultimate loyalty test – the Kobayashi Maru test as it were – vegemite or marmite?

  2. Pablo Post author

    Ha Ha, I got that covered. Marmite it is (I used to have to take jars of it to the US when visiting my now wife during her graduate studies over there). in fact, there is some sitting in the pantry as I write this.

  3. Geoff Fischer

    “I, [full name], swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her (or His) Majesty [specify the name of the reigning Sovereign, as thus: Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of New Zealand,] Her (or His) heirs and successors, according to law, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of New Zealand and fulfil my duties as a New Zealand citizen.”

  4. Pablo Post author

    Thanks Vet.

    Do you know why drinking Budweiser is like having sex in a canoe? Because it is f***ing close to water.

  5. EDWARD MAIN

    Que buena noticia! Felicitaciones!

    You are welcome to have some of my home brew to celebrate

  6. Pablo Post author

    Gracias Eduardo.

    A ver si nos juntamos para una cervecita hecho en tu casa. Confío que sera bien sabroso!

  7. Psycho Milt

    That’s great to hear. You were already an asset to this country, but now at least we’ve done something to make it look like we appreciate it.

  8. Pablo Post author

    Cheers Milt.

    Just doing my bit to contribute to public debate in the country I now call home.

  9. Pablo Post author

    Thanks Peter.

    I will use the NZ passport for travel to OZ because it avoids the visa requirement. Although some disagree, I have found that the US passport is a hindrance in many places, whereas the NZ passport is viewed as benign pretty much everywhere.

  10. Phil S

    Congrats Pablo. It’s a tough decision to take. But at least now that you are no longer a full US citizen you won’t feel compelled to be quite so effusive in your praise of current US leadership

  11. Pablo Post author

    Phil:

    That was funny. Good news is that I get to keep my US citizenship so I now join my young son as a dual national. I find that having the US citizenship helps in US airports and when seeking to renew US voting and car license registrations. It also helps with US security requirements when necessary (past clearance levels etc.). But otherwise I believe that NZ citizenship will be a blessing.

  12. Rodrigo Álvarez V

    Great Pablo…however a small thought when you talk about Queen loyalty…for me this (your) statement only make clear your latin-american “DNA”, which must be in some place of your hard-disk memory…CONGRATULATION!!!! Ja,ja,ja…in the latin-american´ sense of humor.

  13. Tom Hunter

    Dear god, we’re letting in all sorts of riff raff nowadays…..

    :)

    Congrats Pablo. As you say, nothing will change – and yet I think something inside of you will, subtly at first but more as time goes on.

  14. Pablo Post author

    Thanks Tom.

    That is what my father-in-law said. And I think that the change you mention has already happened. After spending 5 months in the US in 2017 I realised that although I was from that place I was no longer of that place. Home is here.

  15. Sanctuary

    “…Good news is that I get to keep my US citizenship so I now join my young son as a dual national…”

    How does that work for the IRS though – if you are a US citizen are you not meant to still pay tax in the USA on NZ income for some crazy reason?

  16. Pablo Post author

    Sanctuary:

    The first USD$80K of earned income in NZ is non-taxable in the US. Above that, getting taxed by the IRS depends on one’s tax status in the US, i.e., whether one is earning income in the US (e.g. be it by salary, dividend, contract, sales or rental income). If one earns no US-based income and keeps foreign earnings below the USD$80K threshold, then there is zero tax liability in the US. Above the threshold, NZ tax liabilities factor into the US equation. If one is paying full NZ tax on income generated in NZ and has no US based income (as per above) to declare, then it is unlikely that the IRS will come after the residual after-tax NZ income, especially if one has no tangible ties to the US (say, a holiday residence on which property taxes are paid to local authorities).

    When living in Singapore I was able to take advantage of a NZ-SG bilateral tax agreement where I was only taxed in one place or the other, not both. That was good because I was earning the bulk of my income in SG at a 12% personal income tax rate, so declared that I chose to be taxed in SG rather than NZ even though my income in NZ was low (rental income from letting out our house during our time abroad). The US and NZ do not have such a clear and tight arrangement but the arrangement I described above is not that dissimilar in practice. What is onerous is that the Obama administration tightened tax laws that forced me to sign bank account transparency declarations, which basically allows the US government to monitor my back accounts to see if I am hiding or laundering US-derived funds. Non-signature would have meant trouble at US ports of entry, so I signed even if I am not the type of millionaire tax cheat that the US is trying to catch.

    It will be interesting to see what happens when my US social security pension kicks in. They way I understand it, my NZ superannuation will be adjusted depending on what I receive from the US once I reach the 66 year old payout age. Not sure what that will mean in practice but I will cross that bridge when the time comes.

  17. Paul McMahon

    Great news, I hope you celebrate with dog trials and some bland sauce on tasteless sausages.

  18. Pablo Post author

    Cheers Paul.

    I kind of like dog trials and the quality of sausage has improved in the 22 years since I arrived, so I am good to go. Now if I can just find my singlet, shorts and gum boots….

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