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Italian/Canadian Citizenship
Old 11-03-2014, 01:59 PM   #1
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Italian/Canadian Citizenship

We live in Canada, and my DW has dual citizenship with Italy and Canada. I am 3/4 of the way to getting my Italian citizenship (allowed by marriage to italian citizen). We are approximately 5 years from retirement. My thought for going through the process of getting my Italian citizenship was mostly around "Hey, it can't hurt" I am curious whether it will help. Does anyone else have this type of dual citizenship and does it help? What are the advantages? Our hopes are to snowbird to europe in the winters, (Probably Italy, not sure) after retirement. Are there benefits to dual citizenship beyond not requiring a visa? I have read somewhere you should always travel with your primary(Canadian) passport otherwise you won't be helped by that consulate if you are in any trouble. Is this the case?
Thanks
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Old 11-03-2014, 02:11 PM   #2
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My husband and kids are dual citizens - Italy/USA.
The advantages:
- Can travel freely within the Schengen region without a 90 day restriction.
- Can work within the schengen region without acquiring a special visa.
- In Italy, purchasing a property is easier for citizens (though it's not impossible without this.)

Disadvantages
- If you live abroad you trigger FACTA reporting requirements.
- Depending on where you live in Italy - you might need to buy into the national health care - or be precluded from non-emergency free health care. (Southern Italy seems to be the area that allows buying into the socialized health care, Northern Italy not so much)

Since I have minor age children this one applies to our family:
- Many schengen region public universities are very low cost - and there is no visa issue barring attending them. (My kids will be completing I.B. programs so that they will have the option to pursue this if they choose.)

Caveat - these factoids may be out of date - I looked into it a lot a few years ago, but not so much in the past few years.

When you say you're 3/4's of the way through the process... Have you already done your consulate interview and are just in the 2 year waiting period? I'm looking at pursuing this - but have lived in several states - so getting the apostilled/certified/translated criminal records from every location, within the proper period of the consulate appointment has been something I haven't tackled yet. I know the records have an expiry date - so getting them all back within the window of your appt can be challenging.
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Old 11-03-2014, 02:31 PM   #3
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I am a dual citizen of Ireland and Canada, resident in Canada. I can live and work anywhere in the EU if I wish, and I can stay as long as I want to. I think you are correct that it is best to travel using your primary passport, and to use only one passport on any single trip. I would not be eligible for social benefits in the EU unless I was resident there, and would then be taxed there. Becoming nonresident in Canada has draconian tax consequences, as deemed disposition means you have to pay all the taxes due on your RRSPs in one fell swoop. There is good information on Revenue Canada's website.
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Old 11-03-2014, 02:57 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by rodi View Post
When you say you're 3/4's of the way through the process... Have you already done your consulate interview and are just in the 2 year waiting period? I'm looking at pursuing this - but have lived in several states - so getting the apostilled/certified/translated criminal records from every location, within the proper period of the consulate appointment has been something I haven't tackled yet. I know the records have an expiry date - so getting them all back within the window of your appt can be challenging.
Yes, I am in the 2 year waiting period. Only lived in one province in Canada, so it was easier for me. Still a pain with time limits, so yes, make sure you have everything else ready, appointment made, get the records checks then go for appointment.
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Old 11-03-2014, 03:02 PM   #5
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Becoming nonresident in Canada has draconian tax consequences, as deemed disposition means you have to pay all the taxes due on your RRSPs in one fell swoop. There is good information on Revenue Canada's website.
In our case, we have minimal RRSPs as DW will have a pension so RRSPs did not make financial sense. Good to know there may be tax consequences, I will check into that.
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Old 11-03-2014, 03:19 PM   #6
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- If you live abroad you trigger FACTA reporting requirements.
FATCA is a US law and does not apply to Canadian citizens.
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Old 11-03-2014, 03:44 PM   #7
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FATCA is a US law and does not apply to Canadian citizens.
Excellent point. My bad.
I need to work harder on not being as USA centric in my thinking. Thank you.
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Old 11-03-2014, 03:52 PM   #8
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No problem rodi!
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Old 11-03-2014, 03:56 PM   #9
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In our case, we have minimal RRSPs as DW will have a pension so RRSPs did not make financial sense. Good to know there may be tax consequences, I will check into that.
Canadian tax law is based on residency, not on citizenship. If you sever your residency ties, your taxation moves with you. This is completely different to the US, which taxes its citizens irrespective of their country of residence.

Leaving Canada (emigrants)
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Old 11-10-2014, 11:04 PM   #10
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....Becoming nonresident in Canada has draconian tax consequences, as deemed disposition means you have to pay all the taxes due on your RRSPs in one fell swoop. There is good information on Revenue Canada's website.
This might not be too bad, as I understand it, if you withdraw all your RRSP's at once as a non-resident, you will pay 25% withholding, and that is the end of your requirement for taxes.

If you have a small amount then its not too good, but with a large amount, its a VERY cheap tax rate.

Some fellow wrote a book on it, he lives about 4 months in Ireland, USA, Canada, and is resident in none.
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