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Citizenship and Social Security
Old 06-03-2015, 11:58 AM   #1
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Citizenship and Social Security

I've asked this on other fora, but this forum seems more focused on this topic.

Some recent discussion in the media of the ACA got me concerned, and prompted this thread.

I am a dual citizen: U.S. and Canada. Accordingly, one fallback option for obtaining health insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions is to move back to Canada and get access to that nation's national health care plan. However, moving incurs some major headaches (in terms of investment fees and taxes) for those retiring on a lump sum rather than a pension, which is my situation. By the way, I intend to live in SE Asia, not in either Canada or the U.S.

One way to address the complications of restoring Canadian residency is to relinquish U.S. citizenship. Here, the concern is whether U.S. social security benefits are affected, assuming that the relinquishment is done with all legal formalities being properly observed.

I've read some sources state that SS benefits should not be lost upon relinquishing U.S. citizenship. However, sometimes the implementation of policy in practice differs from the rules as printed on paper. Thus, I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who has either been through the process personally, or who has a close friend or relative who has (that is: has relinquished U.S. citizenship, resumed Canadian or other foreign residency, and received U.S. Social security benefits afterwards, while living outside of N. America, such as in SE Asia, as I intend to do.
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Old 06-03-2015, 12:40 PM   #2
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This doesn't address your question on US SS but that's not the only issue you should be considering.

I'm a bit confused by your intent to be a Canadian resident while living in SE Asia. How is this possible? Canadian residents live in Canada.

Health care is delivered by provincial (not federal) governments. Different provinces have different requirements for one to be eligible (ie Alberta requires you to be physically in Alberta for 183 days in a 12 month period).

Being a resident of Canada lets you access Canadian health care but obliges you to participate in Canadian taxation. Have you planned that part?
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Old 06-03-2015, 01:00 PM   #3
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A starting point would be the applicable treaty...

International Programs - Totalization Agreement with Canada
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Old 06-03-2015, 01:20 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Rick_Head View Post
This doesn't address your question on US SS but that's not the only issue you should be considering.

I'm a bit confused by your intent to be a Canadian resident while living in SE Asia. How is this possible? Canadian residents live in Canada.

Health care is delivered by provincial (not federal) governments. Different provinces have different requirements for one to be eligible (ie Alberta requires you to be physically in Alberta for 183 days in a 12 month period).

Being a resident of Canada lets you access Canadian health care but obliges you to participate in Canadian taxation. Have you planned that part?
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What he said
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Old 06-03-2015, 01:21 PM   #5
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This doesn't address your question on US SS but that's not the only issue you should be considering.

I'm a bit confused by your intent to be a Canadian resident while living in SE Asia. How is this possible? Canadian residents live in Canada.

Health care is delivered by provincial (not federal) governments. Different provinces have different requirements for one to be eligible (ie Alberta requires you to be physically in Alberta for 183 days in a 12 month period).

Being a resident of Canada lets you access Canadian health care but obliges you to participate in Canadian taxation. Have you planned that part?
If I were to proceed with the "Canadian return option" it would entail (a) returning to Canada; (b) renouncing U.S. citizenship; and then (c) retiring overseas, but having the ability to return to Canada in an emergency and treated for any health condition I might have (I read that Manitoba grants health insurance cards at the airport, whereas Ontario requires that returnees pay for their health insurance for three months before getting into OHIP).

I have a cousin who is Canadian (from Ontario) and retired in Thailand. He is a Canadian citizen, and could return to Canada at any moment and resume his health insurance (though as I stated, he would have to pay premiums for three months).
Tax-wise, Canadian pseudo-residency (or more accurately, lack of U.S. citizenship) adds another advantage. To my knowledge, Canadians do not pay taxes if they live overseas.

I suppose it's a matter of semantics whether one is a "resident" of Canada while having only Canadian citizenship and being retired overseas. My cousin can return to Canada at any time and not incur any consequences from any other nation.

In contrast, were I to go to Canada directly from SE Asia for an illness or any other purpose, things would get complicated. After residing in Canada beyond some threshold period, I would incur the need to move my investments around to be consistent with Canadian law. Moreover, I would then be eligible to be taxed by both Canada and the U.S. The two countries tax different aspects of investments located in Canada, which in some cases seems to override the notion that there's no dual taxation.

Otherwise stated, there are advantages to having Canadian citizenship, and not U.S. citizenship, that extend to Canadian citizens living outside of North America.
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Old 06-03-2015, 01:30 PM   #6
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I read that Manitoba grants health insurance cards at the airport......
Umm.....no. I think you need to do a little more research.

Are You Covered? | Manitoba Health, Healthy Living and Seniors | Province of Manitoba

You might also wish to take your Canadian questions over to the Financial Wisdom Forum. Financial Wisdom Forum - Index page
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Old 06-03-2015, 02:01 PM   #7
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I beleive you will lose all SS benefits if you renounce US citizenship. See "SPOTLIGHT ON SSI BENEFITS FOR ALIENS -- 2015 Edition"
SSI Spotlight on SSI Benefits for Aliens
To be eligible for SS you must be a qualified alien. To be a qualified alien you must fall in 1 of 7 tests. An ex-citizen would not meet any of them:
  1. Lawfully Admitted for Permanent Residence (LAPR) in the U.S., which includes "Amerasian immigrant" as defined in P.L. 100-202, with a class of admission AM-1 through AM-8;
  2. Granted conditional entry under Section 203(a)(7) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) as in effect before April 1, 1980;
  3. Paroled into the U.S. under Section 212(d)(5) of the INA for a period of at least one year;
  4. Refugee admitted to the U.S. under Section 207 of the INA;
  5. Granted asylum under Section 208 of the INA;
  6. Deportation is being withheld under Section 243(h) of the INA, as in effect before April 1, 1997; or removal is being withheld under Section 241(b)(3) of the INA;
  7. "Cuban and Haitian entrant" as defined in Section 501(e) of the Refugee Education Assistance Act of 1980 or in a status that is to be treated as a "Cuban/ Haitian entrant" for SSI purposes.
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Old 06-03-2015, 02:50 PM   #8
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Umm.....no. I think you need to do a little more research.

Are You Covered? | Manitoba Health, Healthy Living and Seniors | Province of Manitoba

You might also wish to take your Canadian questions over to the Financial Wisdom Forum. Financial Wisdom Forum - Index page
Ok; from the link your provided . . . (emphasis added):

Who is eligible for Manitoba Health, Healthy Living and Seniors coverage?
Returning Canadians

You are eligible for coverage the day you arrive in Manitoba when proof of your Canadian citizenship, arrival date and residence status are provided.
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Old 06-03-2015, 02:56 PM   #9
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Consult a tax advisor, accountant, or lawyer who's familiar with cross-border matters. If you're worried about a complicated financial future, you should be asking them for advice.
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Old 06-03-2015, 02:58 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by lawman3966 View Post
Ok; from the link your provided . . . (emphasis added):

Who is eligible for Manitoba Health, Healthy Living and Seniors coverage?
Returning Canadians

You are eligible for coverage the day you arrive in Manitoba when proof of your Canadian citizenship, arrival date and residence status are provided.
I'd think the tricky part would be establishing residency if you've been living outside the province.
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Old 06-03-2015, 02:59 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by fosterscik View Post
I beleive you will lose all SS benefits if you renounce US citizenship. See "SPOTLIGHT ON SSI BENEFITS FOR ALIENS -- 2015 Edition"
SSI Spotlight on SSI Benefits for Aliens
To be eligible for SS you must be a qualified alien. To be a qualified alien you must fall in 1 of 7 tests. An ex-citizen would not meet any of them:
  1. Lawfully Admitted for Permanent Residence (LAPR) in the U.S., which includes "Amerasian immigrant" as defined in P.L. 100-202, with a class of admission AM-1 through AM-8;
  2. Granted conditional entry under Section 203(a)(7) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) as in effect before April 1, 1980;
  3. Paroled into the U.S. under Section 212(d)(5) of the INA for a period of at least one year;
  4. Refugee admitted to the U.S. under Section 207 of the INA;
  5. Granted asylum under Section 208 of the INA;
  6. Deportation is being withheld under Section 243(h) of the INA, as in effect before April 1, 1997; or removal is being withheld under Section 241(b)(3) of the INA;
  7. "Cuban and Haitian entrant" as defined in Section 501(e) of the Refugee Education Assistance Act of 1980 or in a status that is to be treated as a "Cuban/ Haitian entrant" for SSI purposes.
Information below from the link that follows:
Can a Former US Citizen Receive Social Security Retirement Benefits? | Finance - Zacks

"The decision to give up citizenship involves a host of considerations, not least of which is whether you'll be able to receive your Social Security retirement benefits. In most cases, the answer is yes -- but you face several complicating factors."

"Social Security sends payments to non-resident aliens in most countries."

I don't plan to rely on the above for any rash decisions. I cited and quoted the above to indicate that there is uncertainty on this point, which is why I sought confirmation from someone who'd been through the process.
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Old 06-03-2015, 03:23 PM   #12
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Generally you should have no issue. Here is the SSA brochure for sending payments to beneficiaries abroad http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN-05-10137.pdf your greatest exposure results from living in one of these countries:
Quote:
Generally, Social Security cannot send payments to individuals in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. Also, we cannot send your payments to anyone else for you.
You will need to report regularly to the SSA. My guess, this is probably a measure to minimize paying to someone after they die.

Survivorship or dependents benefits are different and payment is subject to more rigorous requirements than in the US. If you have either you need to consult a professional.

I like this website for expat questions. https://americansabroad.org/issues/s...s-citizenship/
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Old 06-03-2015, 04:05 PM   #13
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To my knowledge, Canadians do not pay taxes if they live overseas.

I suppose it's a matter of semantics whether one is a "resident" of Canada while having only Canadian citizenship and being retired overseas.
From my own experience, which is admittedly dated, (I returned to Canada from Saudi in 1989), Canada Revenue Agency will grant you (or not), non-resident status, (the decision is wholly theirs and 'awarded' at their discretion), wherein money earned offshore, be it wages/investment income/whatever, is considered non-taxable from a Canadian perspective.

I'd check with them, but I wouldn't presume that, because you're physically living outside Canada, that you are automatically considered (by CRA) as a non-resident.
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Old 06-03-2015, 04:15 PM   #14
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I have not done a great deal of research recently but I am a recent Canadian citizen under the Lost Canadian act of 2008 Lost Canadians - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia . When I did my research, if I moved to Canada, I thought I was able to maintain both citizenship and once I meet the provincial residency requirements, I would qualify for Canadian health benefits.

Perhaps you have researched and found that giving up USA citizenship was required. But the 2008 Lost Canadian rule was put in place as a result of the USA and Canada forcing Canadians to give up their citizenship when they moved to the states. I guess I thought the need for single citizenship was changed.

I will follow the thread to learn if I would need to give up my USA citizenship if I move to Canada. Thanks
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Old 06-03-2015, 04:46 PM   #15
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I have not done a great deal of research recently but I am a recent Canadian citizen under the Lost Canadian act of 2008 Lost Canadians - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia . When I did my research, if I moved to Canada, I thought I was able to maintain both citizenship and once I meet the provincial residency requirements, I would qualify for Canadian health benefits.
Congratulations. Glad to see justice being done! You are correct. If you take up residency in Canada you will qualify for Canadian Medicare in your Province of Territory of residence. To maintain coverage, you will need to maintain residency. Healthcare is portable between Provinces and Territories. So if you live in Ontario and get sick while on vacation in Alberta, you will be covered. However, if you move back to the U.S., you will lose Canadian healthcare coverage.

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I will follow the thread to learn if I would need to give up my USA citizenship if I move to Canada. Thanks
No, Canada recognizes dual citizenships. (I have two). The U.S. may be more complex.

As a resident of Canada you will have to submit an income tax return to Revenue Canada. As a U.S. Citizen, you will also have to submit an income tax return to the IRS.
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Old 06-03-2015, 05:00 PM   #16
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I'd think the tricky part would be establishing residency if you've been living outside the province.
I agree with this. You need to have residency to get health coverage and you have to "reside (physically) in Manitoba six months in a calendar year."
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Old 06-03-2015, 09:11 PM   #17
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I have not done a great deal of research recently but I am a recent Canadian citizen under the Lost Canadian act of 2008 Lost Canadians - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia . When I did my research, if I moved to Canada, I thought I was able to maintain both citizenship and once I meet the provincial residency requirements, I would qualify for Canadian health benefits.

Perhaps you have researched and found that giving up USA citizenship was required. But the 2008 Lost Canadian rule was put in place as a result of the USA and Canada forcing Canadians to give up their citizenship when they moved to the states. I guess I thought the need for single citizenship was changed.

I will follow the thread to learn if I would need to give up my USA citizenship if I move to Canada. Thanks
Congrats! It's great to have dual citizenship. I'm curious which category of lost Canadians you belong to? I know someone who got her Canadian citizenship back after she was forced to renounce it many years ago after becoming a US citizen. Her son, born in the US but never having lived in Canada, recently became a citizen through her. He's very proud to be a Canadian.

Have you got your passport yet?


I became a dual citizen in 1999
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Old 06-03-2015, 09:25 PM   #18
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Congrats! It's great to have dual citizenship. I'm curious which category of lost Canadians you belong to? I know someone who got her Canadian citizenship back after she was forced to renounce it many years ago after becoming a US citizen. Her son, born in the US but never having lived in Canada, recently became a citizen through her. He's very proud to be a Canadian.

Have you got your passport yet?


I became a dual citizen in 1999
My parents were both Canadian and moved to the States after WWII. I learned about the Lost Canadian program and applied. Unless I move to Canada, which is not in the plans, I probably won't get my passport. It is fairly expensive. I have my ID card and used it for the first time last year when I bicycled to Canada through Vermont. Still have lots of relatives there, mostly Ontario, but not much contact really. Spent lots of visiting time there as a child/young adult and really do like everything about it!
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Old 06-03-2015, 09:51 PM   #19
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That's great, davef. Sounds like a wonderful cycling trip.

I don't use my Canadian passport, but I like to have it "just in case..."
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Old 06-04-2015, 12:35 AM   #20
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Ok; from the link your provided . . . (emphasis added):

Who is eligible for Manitoba Health, Healthy Living and Seniors coverage?
Returning Canadians

You are eligible for coverage the day you arrive in Manitoba when proof of your Canadian citizenship, arrival date and residence status are provided.
Want to show up in Winterpeg in critical condition expecting a freebee and get pointed to this condition listed on the page you reference: Are You Covered? | Manitoba Health, Healthy Living and Seniors | Province of Manitoba
Quote:
I'm new to Manitoba. How do I apply for coverage?

If you are eligible (i.e., legally entitled to be in Canada and intend on living in Manitoba for at least 183 days of the year), coverage will begin on the first day of the third month after your arrival in Manitoba. For example, if you arrive on April 29, April will count as the first month, with May and June as the following two. Therefore, in this case your coverage would begin July 1.
Now, I don't have a dog in this fight. If you think it will work for you, go for it. BUT, don't complain if something bad happens. You have been warned by two Canucks, one of them a retired physician who might have a clue about our health care system. I suggest you do a bit more research, even if you have to pay for the advice.
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