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Old 05-04-2010, 10:54 AM   #41
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Actually if you want citizenship in Australia there really is no need to hire a lawyer as it is relatively simple process. One can do it themselves. Depends of course of age and assets as to what class of visa to apply for. Can download the forms off the immigration website and send in the app. If one feels it is a bit daunting best to use an immigration agent.
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Old 05-04-2010, 11:02 AM   #42
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Actually if you want citizenship in Australia there really is no need to hire a lawyer as it is relatively simple process. One can do it themselves. Depends of course of age and assets as to what class of visa to apply for. Can download the forms off the immigration website and send in the app. If one feels it is a bit daunting best to use an immigration agent.
Now that you mention it, the US Citizenship (N400) application is relatively easy and painless for most people. It is getting into the country and getting a green card that is tricky, time consuming, and expensive. But once you are in and a permanent resident, citizenship is fairly straight forward.
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Old 05-04-2010, 07:25 PM   #43
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Well, it looks pretty easy coming into the US. Naturalization Process at Work

So far I have determined the same thing FUEGO mentions. To get started I need to get permanent residency for "X" number of years depending on the country. One I'm looking at will give you a 1 year, then a 4 year, then a 5 year, after that, you can apply for citizenship, might take a couple of years. BUT, wait. HOLD on. NOT so quick.

How does a US citizen get permanent residency? Well, either:
1. Have a relative already living in that country to sponsor me for a Green Card equivalent.
2. Go to school full-time in the foreign country.
3. Get a full-time job in the foreign country.
4. Invest in the foreign country.
5. Retiree brings a few million into the foreign country and keeps it there.

Coming to the US appears to be a matter of much more ease. Sounds like about 1/4 the effort to come here. The fellow in the case above just lied and got rubber-stamped.
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Old 05-04-2010, 07:33 PM   #44
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Coming the the US appears to be a matter of much more ease. Sounds like about 1/4 the effort to come here. The fellow in the case above just lied and got rubber-stamped.
Reportedly, his wife was a US citizen. In that case it *is* fairly easy. But in normal circumstances, even getting a green card is far from straightforward. Others have pointed this out, Zero, but you seem determined to believe otherwise.

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Old 05-04-2010, 08:15 PM   #45
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Coming to the US appears to be a matter of much more ease. Sounds like about 1/4 the effort to come here. The fellow in the case above just lied and got rubber-stamped.
Hitting .300 in baseball is a heck of a lot easier than hitting .400.

That doesn't make it easy to hit .300.
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Old 05-04-2010, 08:22 PM   #46
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Zero,

I think you're asking the question on the wrong board. There must be forums for people looking to get citizenship in a particular country. I know there are forums that focus on people looking for guidance on navigating the very complex US immigration processes. Based on that, I think there will be similar ones for other countries.

Getting a permanent residency in most developed countries is only possible by marriage or a job. So, if you want to keep your ER status, look for a spouse. I hear that Canada allows residency if you invest a certain amount, but I have not verified it.
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:10 PM   #47
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Well, it looks pretty easy coming into the US. Naturalization Process at Work


Coming to the US appears to be a matter of much more ease. Sounds like about 1/4 the effort to come here. The fellow in the case above just lied and got rubber-stamped.
Getting into the US is probably one of the most difficult things you can do, if you are doing it legally. In our case this is what we have had to do. DH has a job with megacorp, we are on H1 visas. Now we are just starting the greencard process. Before we can get thru stage 1, his company has to advertise his position, possibly for up to a year to prove that no American do the job. After we get thru that stage, stages 2 and 3 of processing will take another 2-3 years before we get our temporary greencard. After we get our green cards it is another 5 years until we are even eligible for citizenship.

In the US it is virtually impossible to get the residency visas without the assistance of a lawyer.
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:50 PM   #48
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Reportedly, his wife was a US citizen. In that case it *is* fairly easy. But in normal circumstances, even getting a green card is far from straightforward. Others have pointed this out, Zero, but you seem determined to believe otherwise.

Peter
My question is how difficult is it for me to get a Green Card in France (first choice), Australia (second choice) and UK (third choice). I could care less about how easy it is to get one here, that was simply an aside based on some others comments. FUEGO points out how easy it was once he got the correct inside track. I know that is the case with most naturalized friends I have. Pretty easy but still some tough work.

So do you have any knowledge of how one might get the Green Card in those 3 countries. Would appreciate any constructive suggestion. Thanks.
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:58 PM   #49
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Zero,

I think you're asking the question on the wrong board. There must be forums for people looking to get citizenship in a particular country. I know there are forums that focus on people looking for guidance on navigating the very complex US immigration processes. Based on that, I think there will be similar ones for other countries.

Getting a permanent residency in most developed countries is only possible by marriage or a job. So, if you want to keep your ER status, look for a spouse. I hear that Canada allows residency if you invest a certain amount, but I have not verified it.
I do have it on a couple of expat boards/fourms and it's the same general answers that I am getting here and as you say. No one seems to have an example of anyone who actually achieved it. They all point to websites with rules. Fine, I already know the rules. I want to see if anyone got those rules to work.
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Old 05-04-2010, 10:10 PM   #50
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Getting into the US is probably one of the most difficult things you can do, if you are doing it legally. In our case this is what we have had to do. DH has a job with megacorp, we are on H1 visas. Now we are just starting the greencard process. Before we can get thru stage 1, his company has to advertise his position, possibly for up to a year to prove that no American do the job. After we get thru that stage, stages 2 and 3 of processing will take another 2-3 years before we get our temporary greencard. After we get our green cards it is another 5 years until we are even eligible for citizenship.

In the US it is virtually impossible to get the residency visas without the assistance of a lawyer.
Dangermouse, thanks for sharing an example. That helps greatly. I suspect that the process you are going thru was implemented after 9/11 and may be more stringent that when my naturalized friends/acquaintances applied in the 90s.
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Old 05-04-2010, 10:15 PM   #51
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So do you have any knowledge of how one might get the Green Card in those 3 countries
This is how to get a retiree visa for France (probably the easiest way for you to get your foot in the door). Straight from the horse's mouth:

Long stay visa for non professional purpose - Consulat Général de France * Washington

You get the "long term visa for non-professional purpose" for the first year. The visa can then be extended beyond the first year and you will get a "carte de sejour" (the French green card).
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Old 05-05-2010, 12:51 AM   #52
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Retirement Visa (Subclass 410)

This is the link for the retiree visa for Australia. However, it clearly says such a visa does not lead to citizenship.

Migrants - Visas & Immigration

The second link is for all other visas types you may qualify for that could lead to citizenship.
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Old 05-05-2010, 09:25 AM   #53
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This is how to get a retiree visa for France (probably the easiest way for you to get your foot in the door). Straight from the horse's mouth:

Long stay visa for non professional purpose - Consulat Général de France * Washington

You get the "long term visa for non-professional purpose" for the first year. The visa can then be extended beyond the first year and you will get a "carte de sejour" (the French green card).
Excellent!

The one thing that stikes me as I read that is that I have to have a lease in France "before" I can even apply for the 1 year residency. This looks easy on paper but I wonder if a French apartment/condo owner will give me a lease when I 'may or may not" be able to get the Green Card

This looks like the tiny first step.
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Old 05-05-2010, 09:56 AM   #54
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Excellent!

The one thing that stikes me as I read that is that I have to have a lease in France "before" I can even apply for the 1 year residency. This looks easy on paper but I wonder if a French apartment/condo owner will give me a lease when I 'may or may not" be able to get the Green Card

This looks like the tiny first step.
Immigrating to a new country is a long and arduous process. You have to start somewhere and take it one step a a time.

The need to have a place to live lined up before applying for a visa seems pretty universal. I had to do the same when I came to the US. They want to make sure that, based on the financial information you provide when you apply for the visa, you can afford to live in France. So they need to know how much you will pay in rent and verify that you can easily afford it and you won't become a burden to the state.

Getting a lease when you are not yet a resident can be a bit difficult (it was for me at least when I had to lease an apartment in the US before even setting foot here), but certainly not impossible. The difficulty for me wasn't so much finding someone willing to lease me an apartment, but rather the amount of paperwork required and the language barrier. Having someone on location who knows the language and the law can be a tremendous help, so perhaps you should look for one of the many realtors who catter to the thousands of British retirees moving to France each year.
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Old 05-05-2010, 10:58 AM   #55
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Firedreamer, my biggest worry (and probably the same for most folks) is that I get thru step 1, the 1 year residency, then step 2, the 4 year titre de sejour, and then find that citizenship is denied and no more residency is extended.

That is why my question of "Does anyone know a US citizen that was able to get French citizenship, or Australian or UK?". So far on the 3 forums that I have posted I have received about 100-150 replies but not ONE that confirms a success.
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Old 05-05-2010, 10:58 AM   #56
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Dangermouse, thanks for sharing an example. That helps greatly. I suspect that the process you are going thru was implemented after 9/11 and may be more stringent that when my naturalized friends/acquaintances applied in the 90s.
I did it in the USA in the 90's and it was extremely difficult even with a US company sponsoring me, the fact that I'd been here with them for 5 years in a profession that was on the INS list of desired immigrants. In the end my company's lawyers failed twice so the company hired a specialist lawyer to get through the process. It was really tough, 5 years on visa's, then applied for a green card which took 18 months, then 5 years later applied for citizenship which took 9 months for me, 14 months for DW even though we applied at the same time.

DM has given you plenty of excellent information on Australia and I can confirm I know several folks (friends and relatives) that moved to Australia doing jobs that were in demand and got their citizenship. My grandmother emigrated there as a retiree but that was on the strength of her daughter (my aunt) sponsoring her.

I only personally know of 2 folks who got citizenship in the UK based purely on their ability to support themselves and not because they had relatives. Again it was because they were in jobs that were in short supply.
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Old 05-05-2010, 11:18 AM   #57
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Firedreamer, my biggest worry (and probably the same for most folks) is that I get thru step 1, the 1 year residency, then step 2, the 4 year titre de sejour, and then find that citizenship is denied and no more residency is extended.
That's a risk you have to take. Immigrating to a new country is a process and there are no guarantees (no matter what that country might be). What I know for sure is that if you don't try, you'll never get the French citizenship. I personally have met few Americans who are willing to become French citizens (for a variety of financial and cultural reasons). Yes, I have met plenty of Francophiles but, even among those people, few would really consider taking it to the next level. So you may have a hard time finding Americans who have gone through this process. Consider that in 2003, less than 7,000 people out of the roughly $140,000 who became naturalized French citizens came from North and South America. The vast majority of immigrants came from poor, mostly African, countries. Out of roughly 3.5 million immigrants living in France, Americans have a contingent of only 31,000 (less than 1% of the total). Based on that number, it is possible that as few as 1,000 Americans become French citizens every year... So you might as well be looking at a needle in a haystack.
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Old 05-05-2010, 11:40 AM   #58
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Not sure if I am talking out of the correct orifice, but to get French citizenship don't you have to be able to speak fluent french? Somehow I have picked that up in my head from somewhere.
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Old 05-05-2010, 11:43 AM   #59
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Not sure if I am talking out of the correct orifice, but to get French citizenship don't you have to be able to speak fluent french? Somehow I have picked that up in my head from somewhere.
You do have to be able to communicate in French. I am not sure whether fluency is required.
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Old 05-05-2010, 11:43 AM   #60
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Introduction page and menu for residence

This is something I have had bookmarked for a while. Also Firedreamer can probably confirm, but taxes in France are quite high aren't they, so not sure you would want to volunteer. I can remember when DH worked in Paris, his payslip seemed to take a ream of paper to detail all the deductions.
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