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StuckInTheMuck
03-04-2011, 07:27 AM
[I am an Indian, so what I say below is decidedly biased towards India, but anyone from another country who has a green card and will be eligible for US citizenship soon, and especially those whose home country does not allow dual citizenship, may find the topic relevant.]

Entering 3rd year of our PR-ship (we received green card on March 2, 2009), and being from India - a country that does not allow dual citizenship - I have been thinking of the pros and cons of applying for US citizenship in another 3 years time, which would force me to give up my Indian citizenship. (I am deliberately avoiding the word "passport" - you exchange more than a passport when you switch citizenship.)

No doubt USA offers better career opportunities and comfortable lifestyle today to most of us than in our home countries - indeed that is why we chose to come here in the first place - but what about the future? I thought yesterday's Times blog by Fareed Zakaria (http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2056610,00.html) makes a good case for concern on this issue, and I would like to have your informed thoughts.

Do not get me wrong, despite its flaws - and what country does not have flaws - I think America remains a great place to live and raise our children (I have not had a reason to think differently in the 11+ yrs I have been here, but others may disagree based on their experiences). But so is India. Had this not been so, my choice would have been easier.

Of course real differences exist. As Zakaria points out, if/when India's GDP becomes comparable to USA's, average income in India would still be one-fourth that of an average American (given that when this happens, population size in India will be about 4 times that in America). But the Indian greatness I am thinking of is more than whether you can get a starbucks from the street corner: I was born and brought up in that culture, and the connection is deeply personal.

On a practical level, the question boils down to the differences in having green card vs. having US citizenship. The green card gives a relative security and stability to our legal status in this country, and eases re-entry procedure across its borders. The US citizenship will make this security more permanent, not to mention giving us voting and other rights to help integrate more with the society. But these differences have little impact on our day-to-day living here. Are they enough to renounce my Indian citizenship?

To many, it does make sense to become a citizen of the country we plan to settle down in for a long time. This takes on a degree of urgency on the aftermath of events similar to 9/11, when even the legal PRs feel threatened that their rights and privacy may be limited or violated, and we saw a big surge in applications for US citizenship in the years immediately following 9/11.

Besides, Indian expats here may feel giving up Indian citizenship has merely a symbolic impact on our life in India. The most we do is stand in the "foreign passport holder" line at the Indian immigration checkposts, but nothing feels different once we step in on Indian soil. But is it that simple? What if I decide to go back and settle down in India in 20-30 yrs, say after retirement? What rights, in terms of owning property, investing, voting, or in any other way of actively involving with the Indian community around me, would I have as an OCI (Overseas Citizen of India)?

I understand all this is years in the future, and no one knows what will happen that far ahead. The whole issue will be moot anyway if by then India decides to allow dual citizenship. But we need to plan and act now, in my case in the next 3 yrs. So, please share your thoughts, whether you have recently obtained US citizenship, or you are like me and nearing citizenship eligibility, or you are continuing on PR-ship years after eligibility.

Thanks a bunch for reading this,
Stuck(no more)InTheMuck

mnkaushik
03-04-2011, 08:53 AM
My take is US Citizenship is better than GC for going back to India.


OCI gives you all the rights other than voting or owning farm lands. If you think being in India, you need to be part of the poilitical system and it is important for you to make your vote count then this will be an issue. I am guessing most of us have never owned a farm land and will not plan to do it in future.

I dont know whether you can invest in PPF, i am guessing not since an NRI cannot invest in PPF. If your kids get their education in India, i think it you might have to pay at par with NRI quota and they might not be able to get into Government colleges. It would affect only higher education. I have not really looked into it but I would suggest you should.

US Citizenship gives you the flexibility to be out of the country for however long you want and come back to US. Your kids may decided that they want to live in the US and it just makes it easier for you to move between India and US.

dingox100
03-04-2011, 09:15 AM
This what the problem with our way of thinking . read below

If a person comes on L1 , the thinks about how to get H1
once he/she gets H1 then he thinks how to find a company who can apply for GC. He/she gets a company who can sponser GC they join them and apply for GC.
Once GC is started we think whether Labour will be cleared or not
If labour cleared we rush to apply for 140 and think whether will it be cleard or not
then comes 485 fear.. check visa bulletin every month from 1st till 11 till we see the bulletin and get dejected
and when 485 fiasco that happend in july 2007 happens then we start worrying about EAD, AP etc.

and finally when GC comes we fear about Citizenship.. when we get Citizenship and we are alomost at the retirement age we think whether we shld be here or in India .. common guys dont do too much math.. life is short.. we never know whether you will be alive tommrrow. So chill out and enjoy today!!! ....this is my 2 cents

imh1b
03-04-2011, 10:25 AM
If you become US citizen and go back to India. Can you take social security retirement benefits in old age?

StuckInTheMuck
03-04-2011, 10:57 AM
Good point, mnkaushik. It is true that going back as a US citizen would keep the US border open to come and go whenever I please, and this is a big plus because our only daughter is US-born, and more likely to settle here than in India when she grows up (she turns 7 next week). So, score +1 for US citizenship. Thanks!

This still needs to be weighed against what I lose within India as an OCI vs "BCI" (Born Citizen of India). I do not know much about what the restrictions are about owning residential property (I am not interested in farmlands), and investing - any feedback is appreciated. I am pretty sure I do not get to vote, which is somewhat of a deal to me as an apolitical individual who is intellectually aware of major political issues. Besides these practical matters, there is the intangible "Indian-ness" - the personal connection to our motherland that tugs at our soul.

Thanks to imh1b for the question - I do not have the answer though, can anyone help?

To dingox100, thanks for your candid comments. I am not losing any sleep over it (nor did I lose any while waiting for my GC). At the same time, these are issues I believe we need to think about - it is not smart to live with head buried in the proverbial sand.

Cheers,
stuck

a_yaja
03-04-2011, 10:57 AM
If you become US citizen and go back to India. Can you take social security retirement benefits in old age?

Yes. You are a citizen of the US. You can live anywhere to collect SS benefits. Currently, if you have contributed 40 credits towards SSN, you can be anywhere in the world at 65 to collect benefits even if you are not a citizen (ofcourse, this is as of today - anything can change in the future).

kutra
03-04-2011, 12:17 PM
In my opinion, in another 20-30 years, India will start resembling US. The Western influence has always penetrated the fabric of the Indian society, so be sure that you aren't moving to India with a unrealistic expectation. The points below are not intended to judge the impact of Western influence on India; I am merely presenting evidence to support my theory.

50 years ago, there were no (or few) discotheques/bars in India, but then so many have mushroomed in the last 20-30 years.

30 years ago, most working professionals stayed at home with their parents, but in the last 10-15 years, children have started buying their own houses and starting nuclear families of their own.

30 years ago, most kids after graduation would take up a job in the same city where they grew up, but in the last 10-15 years, they have started moving to different cities and states for better opportunities.

20 years ago, people saved money to buy luxury items such as cars, TVs, washing machies, etc, but in the last 10 years, people have started buying things on credit.

20 years ago, only the well-to-do could afford eating out, wearing designer brands, sipping coffee for leisure, but in the last 10 years, even the lower middle-class has started indulging in these activities.

20 years ago, your dose of American culture was through Hollywood movies or reruns of American TV shows, but in the last 10 years, up-to-the-minute American culture is served on multitudes of cable channels.

10 years ago, very few people had cell phones, but in the last 5 years, the number of cell phones has just grown in millions.

10 years ago, very few people would consider vacations (or could afford one) as an important break, but in the last 5 years, several people now take regular vacations to touristy cities and countries.

10 years ago, everyone in India had a craze to go to the US, but in the last 5 years, US has come to India.

5 years ago, there were no cheer leaders in Indian sports, but in the last 3 years, you have cheer leaders keeping you entertained while watching cricket.


These are just a few examples that I can think of. There is nothing good or bad about how the Indian society has changed, but the shifts from being a collectivist society (like most Asian societies) to becoming an individualist society (like most Western societies) are becoming obvious.

It is up to every individual to decide what's good for him/her and the family when they shift to India. Know that the India of today is different from the India that you left when you came to the US, and the Indian daily life that you see on your 4-5 week vacation is different from the daily life you face once you move there.

So my message is "keep you eyes and ears open, be aware of the ongoing transition in this young, emerging economy, and account for some mismatch in your expectations" and make the decision.

Good luck!

eb2_immigrant
03-04-2011, 01:55 PM
I've asked myself this question several times; one of the reasons why I do not have answer yet is may be because I am considering too many intangible things into the equation or may be I lack decision making qualities.


With the vast socio economic cultural Uncertainty in the fray, I think a decision can not be made or judged. I think I have to make firm decisions, take chances and not whine about it if it is not a right move. That’s just me any way.

So my question to folks out there who are in limbo (like me)

If you have kids born and raised in US, I think the important thing to ask our self is "are we being selfish in thinking to settle down in India?”
I strongly feel that in most cases we are being selfish and we could argue until we turn blue.

PS -I may have answered the question.


Cheers
:)

In my opinion, in another 20-30 years, India will start resembling US. The Western influence has always penetrated the fabric of the Indian society, so be sure that you aren't moving to India with a unrealistic expectation. The points below are not intended to judge the impact of Western influence on India; I am merely presenting evidence to support my theory.

50 years ago, there were no (or few) discotheques/bars in India, but then so many have mushroomed in the last 20-30 years.

30 years ago, most working professionals stayed at home with their parents, but in the last 10-15 years, children have started buying their own houses and starting nuclear families of their own.

30 years ago, most kids after graduation would take up a job in the same city where they grew up, but in the last 10-15 years, they have started moving to different cities and states for better opportunities.

20 years ago, people saved money to buy luxury items such as cars, TVs, washing machies, etc, but in the last 10 years, people have started buying things on credit.

20 years ago, only the well-to-do could afford eating out, wearing designer brands, sipping coffee for leisure, but in the last 10 years, even the lower middle-class has started indulging in these activities.

20 years ago, your dose of American culture was through Hollywood movies or reruns of American TV shows, but in the last 10 years, up-to-the-minute American culture is served on multitudes of cable channels.

10 years ago, very few people has cell phones, but in the last 5 years, the number of cell phones have just grown in millions.

10 years ago, very few people would consider vacations (or afford one) as an important break, but in the last 5 years, several people now take regular vacations to touristy cities and countries.

10 years ago, everyone in India had a craze to go to the US, but in the last 5 years, US has come to India.

5 years ago, there were no cheer leaders in Indian sports, but in the last 3 years, you have cheer leaders keeping you entertained while watching cricket.


These are just a few examples that I can think of. There is nothing good or bad about how the Indian society has changed, but the shifts from being a collectivist society (like most Asian societies) to becoming an individualist society (like most Western societies) are becoming obvious.

It is up to every individual to decide what's good for him/her and the family when they shift to India. Know that the India of today is different from the India that you left when you came to the US, and the Indian daily life that you see on your 4-5 week vacations is different from the daily life you face once you move there.

So my message is "keep you eyes and ears open, be aware of the ongoing transition in this young, emerging economy, and account for some mismatch in your expectations" and make the decision.

Good luck!

Edison99
03-04-2011, 02:15 PM
Grant a green to you…
This what the problem with our way of thinking . read below

If a person comes on L1 , the thinks about how to get H1
once he/she gets H1 then he thinks how to find a company who can apply for GC. He/she gets a company who can sponser GC they join them and apply for GC.
Once GC is started we think whether Labour will be cleared or not
If labour cleared we rush to apply for 140 and think whether will it be cleard or not
then comes 485 fear.. check visa bulletin every month from 1st till 11 till we see the bulletin and get dejected
and when 485 fiasco that happend in july 2007 happens then we start worrying about EAD, AP etc.

and finally when GC comes we fear about Citizenship.. when we get Citizenship and we are alomost at the retirement age we think whether we shld be here or in India .. common guys dont do too much math.. life is short.. we never know whether you will be alive tommrrow. So chill out and enjoy today!!! ....this is my 2 cents

Edison99
03-04-2011, 02:21 PM
I strongly concur with kutra on this -> It is up to every individual to decide what's good for him/her and the family when they shift to India. Know that the India of today is different from the India that you left when you came to the US, and the Indian daily life that you see on your 4-5 week vacations is different from the daily life you face once you move there.

In my opinion, in another 20-30 years, India will start resembling US. The Western influence has always penetrated the fabric of the Indian society, so be sure that you aren't moving to India with a unrealistic expectation. The points below are not intended to judge the impact of Western influence on India; I am merely presenting evidence to support my theory.

50 years ago, there were no (or few) discotheques/bars in India, but then so many have mushroomed in the last 20-30 years.

30 years ago, most working professionals stayed at home with their parents, but in the last 10-15 years, children have started buying their own houses and starting nuclear families of their own.

30 years ago, most kids after graduation would take up a job in the same city where they grew up, but in the last 10-15 years, they have started moving to different cities and states for better opportunities.

20 years ago, people saved money to buy luxury items such as cars, TVs, washing machies, etc, but in the last 10 years, people have started buying things on credit.

20 years ago, only the well-to-do could afford eating out, wearing designer brands, sipping coffee for leisure, but in the last 10 years, even the lower middle-class has started indulging in these activities.

20 years ago, your dose of American culture was through Hollywood movies or reruns of American TV shows, but in the last 10 years, up-to-the-minute American culture is served on multitudes of cable channels.

10 years ago, very few people has cell phones, but in the last 5 years, the number of cell phones have just grown in millions.

10 years ago, very few people would consider vacations (or afford one) as an important break, but in the last 5 years, several people now take regular vacations to touristy cities and countries.

10 years ago, everyone in India had a craze to go to the US, but in the last 5 years, US has come to India.

5 years ago, there were no cheer leaders in Indian sports, but in the last 3 years, you have cheer leaders keeping you entertained while watching cricket.


These are just a few examples that I can think of. There is nothing good or bad about how the Indian society has changed, but the shifts from being a collectivist society (like most Asian societies) to becoming an individualist society (like most Western societies) are becoming obvious.

It is up to every individual to decide what's good for him/her and the family when they shift to India. Know that the India of today is different from the India that you left when you came to the US, and the Indian daily life that you see on your 4-5 week vacations is different from the daily life you face once you move there.

So my message is "keep you eyes and ears open, be aware of the ongoing transition in this young, emerging economy, and account for some mismatch in your expectations" and make the decision.

Good luck!

StuckInTheMuck
03-04-2011, 02:25 PM
Thanks to kutra & eb2_immigrant for sharing very perceptive thoughts. Like kutra, I do not judge a future India as being good or bad, just different. As for expectations, if I do move back after retirement (instead of making a career move), and with my daughter settled in USA, the most I would need is a peaceful life among my country folks, and not much else. Yes, the material comfort that we are accustomed to here in USA, especially quality healthcare at old age, likely won't be available in India. But as likely I won't be billed to death for visiting the doctor's office or hospitals.

To eb2_immigrant's point about being selfish in choosing to move back, if we do that after our kids have grown up and are happily settled in their own life, perhaps it ain't so bad?

Cheers,
stuck

spicy_guy
03-04-2011, 02:31 PM
I always thought sporting US Citizenship is better and gives you flexibility in moving in/out of Indian and US. Especially, if we have kids born and raised here, USC comes in handy. In future, if our kinds want to be here for various reasons education, jobs, etc, we can stay with them easily.

Or...Is it?

There are several things to consider:

1. Once you reach certain age, for various reasons, you cannot simply keep moving around.
2. If we have deep familial ties in India along with responsibilities, its hard to stay here in US for so long.
3. Once we retire, most of us want to stay close to family, friends and community, and lead Indian way of active social life, which is way different here in US.


On other other side of the coin:
1. Cost of living margin b/n India and US is thinning down
2. Obviously, Pollution, corrupt bureaucracy, etc.
3. As a guy pointed out above, we have to pay hefty fees as NRIs for our kids edu

And these pros and cons vary b/n individuals..

So we have to weigh in b/n pros and cons and this is a good time to start.

eastindia
03-04-2011, 02:49 PM
Just wait for 5 years. India will be a developed country and superpower.
Support Swami Ramdev. He is changing India

NELLAIKUMAR
03-04-2011, 03:00 PM
Just wait for 5 years. India will be a developed country and superpower.

I don't know whether India will be super power or not, but more voices are being raised against unbelievable level of corruption. Please join this group India Against Corruption | Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/IndiACor) and spread the word to all your frieds who care about India.

spicy_guy
03-04-2011, 03:08 PM
Recently San Jose Mercury News ran a column in the main page of business edition about how foreign investors are getting turned away by bureaucracy and corruption in India. Very sad to know that.

spicy_guy
03-04-2011, 03:18 PM
Thanks to kutra & eb2_immigrant for sharing very perceptive thoughts. Like kutra, I do not judge a future India as being good or bad, just different. As for expectations, if I do move back after retirement (instead of making a career move), and with my daughter settled in USA, the most I would need is a peaceful life among my country folks, and not much else. Yes, the material comfort that we are accustomed to here in USA, especially quality healthcare at old age, likely won't be available in India. But as likely I won't be billed to death for visiting the doctor's office or hospitals.

To eb2_immigrant's point about being selfish in choosing to move back, if we do that after our kids have grown up and are happily settled in their own life, perhaps it ain't so bad?

Cheers,
stuck

Excellent points!!!

StuckInTheMuck
03-04-2011, 03:23 PM
A country cannot become a superpower based on GDP alone, the standard of living of an average individual has to improve as well (in other words, for India the GDP map (http://www.worldmapper.org/images/largepng/169.png) and the poverty map (http://www.worldmapper.org/images/largepng/179.png) must first converge, and then go the other way as for America today). Bureaucracy and corruption are fallouts of this economic disparity, which cannot be easily overcome. But, things are looking up, and I am hopeful they will remain that way for the coming years, and perhaps even decades.

Cheers,
stuck

snathan
03-04-2011, 05:25 PM
Just wait for 5 years. India will be a developed country and superpower.
Support Swami Ramdev. He is changing India

May be super power in corruption...:D

snathan
03-04-2011, 05:26 PM
If you become US citizen and go back to India. Can you take social security retirement benefits in old age?

Yes..you can

gk_2000
03-04-2011, 05:36 PM
Besides, Indian expats here may feel giving up Indian citizenship has merely a symbolic impact on our life in India. The most we do is stand in the "foreign passport holder" line at the Indian immigration checkposts, but nothing feels different once we step in on Indian soil. But is it that simple? What if I decide to go back and settle down in India in 20-30 yrs, say after retirement? What rights, in terms of owning property, investing, voting, or in any other way of actively involving with the Indian community around me, would I have as an OCI (Overseas Citizen of India)?



OCI is like permanent green card. ie, everything except voting rights. So the question is (almost) a no-brainer. Get your citizenship, and enjoy life wherever you want in the world

Green_Always
03-04-2011, 05:37 PM
May be super power in corruption...:D

yeah yeah.. I hear you..

Everyone is in Race to make money in India, loosing Paitence.

If you are USC Kids can get more benifits in there higher education, I heard if you serve in US Military for some yrs you can write off college debts -- I heard this from some one need to check. Kids after good college, join forces so that they learn more of principles and with professional and there college expertise they can do good once you come out of that duration and always you have benifits as Veterns.

my 2 Paise ( still )

Again it all depends on each indivisual circustances and needs.

brad_sk2
03-04-2011, 06:06 PM
This what the problem with our way of thinking . read below

If a person comes on L1 , the thinks about how to get H1
once he/she gets H1 then he thinks how to find a company who can apply for GC. He/she gets a company who can sponser GC they join them and apply for GC.
Once GC is started we think whether Labour will be cleared or not
If labour cleared we rush to apply for 140 and think whether will it be cleard or not
then comes 485 fear.. check visa bulletin every month from 1st till 11 till we see the bulletin and get dejected
and when 485 fiasco that happend in july 2007 happens then we start worrying about EAD, AP etc.

and finally when GC comes we fear about Citizenship.. when we get Citizenship and we are alomost at the retirement age we think whether we shld be here or in India .. common guys dont do too much math.. life is short.. we never know whether you will be alive tommrrow. So chill out and enjoy today!!! ....this is my 2 cents


No...worrying is good. Too much worrying (like checking visa bulletin everyday even when chances are remote) is bad....but all other cases you mentioned are not bad. As humans, we worry to go higher and better. As educated folks we worry and aim for next goal and I see nothing wrong with it. Stagnation is more worse than worrying to get better results. Without proactive worrying and efforts, you are almost guaranteed a reactive one.


You can stop (or reduce) worrying once you are near retirement and then you can just enjoy the fruits of your previous worrying and struggles.

StuckInTheMuck
03-04-2011, 06:15 PM
No...worrying is good. Too much worrying (like checking visa bulletin everyday even when chances are remote) is bad....but all other cases you mentioned are not bad. As humans, we worry to go higher and better. As educated folks we worry and aim for next goal and I see nothing wrong with it. Stagnation is more worse than worrying to get better results. Without proactive worrying and efforts, you are almost guaranteed a reactive one.


You can stop (or reduce) worrying once you are near retirement and then you can just enjoy the fruits of your previous worrying and struggles.

Nice, and maybe we should say "striving" rather than "worrying" :)

GCVivek
03-04-2011, 08:23 PM
The question is where does the majority of the world want to immigrate to (if they had a chance), - USA.
Will it be easier to get US Citizenship (starting from scratch) or Indian Citizenship (back)? Again, since you think voting rights do not affect your day to day life, losing voting rights in India (with 3 times the population which dilutes it further) should not matter. As to whether you can or cannot buy property - why do you care about buying property in India? For whom is this property? Max you need is 6-feet. Plus, with social security you will get enough $ to live in a 5 star appt complex in India, for the rest of your life.
No one can predict if India will improve much or not but the scales tilt to "not much". So, there is no point speculating about the future. Plus, the world is becoming ONE village.

The decision is simple or no decision at all. You can keep renewing your GC forever and ever. So there you go: extend your time to think about it while you are standing in line applying for visas to go on vacation to other exotic destinations. :)

Did I make it simple?

pmpforgc
03-04-2011, 08:46 PM
This is a good discussion. Being PR from India I will choose to be USC as OCI give me all I need in India.

Also if You have INHERIT or CURRENTLY OWN Agricultural Land You can probably keep that Land and purchase more Agricultural Land if you need, which will be rare commodity in future in India with rising population. ( some one can double check this to be sure)

Also USC get you right to get FEDERAL GOVT job in US which is also hard to find and very desirable like indian govt job at old age !!!

If you are on OCI you can not get Govt job in India.

Being USC provide lot of benefit for Travel around world, when you are almost retired or even before that.
Most probably you can go back to INDIAN citizenship from OCI by completing certain requirements ( not sure)

StuckInTheMuck
03-04-2011, 08:55 PM
The question is where does the majority of the world want to immigrate to (if they had a chance), - USA.
Will it be easier to get US Citizenship (starting from scratch) or Indian Citizenship (back)? Again, since you think voting rights do not affect your day to day life, losing voting rights in India (with 3 times the population which dilutes it further) should not matter. As to whether you can or cannot buy property - why do you care about buying property in India? For whom is this property? Max you need is 6-feet. Plus, with social security you will get enough $ to live in a 5 star appt complex in India, for the rest of your life.
No one can predict if India will improve much or not but the scales tilt to "not much". So, there is no point speculating about the future. Plus, the world is becoming ONE village.

The decision is simple or no decision at all. You can keep renewing your GC forever and ever. So there you go: extend your time to think about it while you are standing in line applying for visas to go on vacation to other exotic destinations. :)

Did I make it simple?

Too simple, and misses the point. You are talking about material comfort of living (at least that is what I gather from your "5 star apt" comment), but if that is all I care for, why should I bother going back to India?

StuckInTheMuck
03-04-2011, 09:02 PM
This is a good discussion. Being PR from India I will choose to be USC as OCI give me all I need in India.

Also if You have INHERIT or CURRENTLY OWN Agricultural Land You can probably keep that Land and purchase more Agricultural Land if you need, which will be rare commodity in future in India with rising population. ( some one can double check this to be sure)

Also USC get you right to get FEDERAL GOVT job in US which is also hard to find and very desirable like indian govt job at old age !!!

If you are on OCI you can not get Govt job in India.

Being USC provide lot of benefit for Travel around world, when you are almost retired or even before that.
Most probably you can go back to INDIAN citizenship from OCI by completing certain requirements ( not sure)

You are correct, there is perhaps not much point in a career move, but I was mostly thinking of post-retirement options.

smuggymba
03-05-2011, 12:16 AM
It's not about the culture and development in India or US.

20 years from now, resources will be so less in India that you will need "recommendation" from the local MLA (aka local goon) to get fresh water in your colony. Currently there are 2 villages in UP right next to each other - one has more upper castes and the other has more lower castes.......the lower caste village gets 2 waters tanks a day whereas the upper caste village doesn't even get one (courtesy Mayawati) because they did not vote for her.

Get US Citizenship. Period.

You can always go to India as NRI and enjoy culture and rajma chawal or whatever you wanna do.

eastindia
03-05-2011, 09:05 AM
Yes. You are a citizen of the US. You can live anywhere to collect SS benefits. Currently, if you have contributed 40 credits towards SSN, you can be anywhere in the world at 65 to collect benefits even if you are not a citizen (ofcourse, this is as of today - anything can change in the future).

I do not think this is true.

Is there a link or official proof of this.

You need to personally visit SS office to collect/register. If you are retired in India, how will you do it. You will not spend 1.5 thousand dollars to collect 1 thousand dollars.

sargon
03-05-2011, 09:56 AM
Just wait for 5 years. India will be a developed country and superpower.
Support Swami Ramdev. He is changing India


India has been just short of 5 years from being a superpower for the past 64 years. :)

Indians' obsession to become a super power is hilarious.

sargon
03-05-2011, 10:03 AM
... Max you need is 6-feet....

If you are hinting at what I think you are, then let me correct you. Hindus don't need even those 6 feet. Only Christians and Muslims do. :D

abracadabra102
03-05-2011, 11:37 AM
You can stop (or reduce) worrying once you are near retirement and then you can just enjoy the fruits of your previous worrying and struggles.

We stop worrying when we are dead. Period. Retirement brings other worries like failing health, aging, monotony, depleting finances etc. We start becoming irrelevant as we age. If we have a family, one worry or the other is always round the corner.

lifestrikes
03-05-2011, 11:53 AM
I do not think this is true.

Is there a link or official proof of this.

You need to personally visit SS office to collect/register. If you are retired in India, how will you do it. You will not spend 1.5 thousand dollars to collect 1 thousand dollars.

Your Payments While You Are Outside The United States (http://ssa.gov/pubs/10137.html)

If you are a U.S. citizen, you may receive your Social Security payments outside the United States as long as you are eligible for them.

NIW
03-07-2011, 01:23 PM
It's a great topic of discussion for many of us, perhaps a podium to vent out the uncertainties, ups and downs and status quo of life.
Now, look at us? We are all over the map.
Like any big question in life, this one too has no right or wrong answer. Every person and situation is unique. So, whatever floats your boat!
As many stated, the world is constantly changing, some parts for better and some for worse. At this time and age, no physical boundary of a country can keep its folks immune to the chaos of neighbors. Like global economy and global warming things like terrorism, disease, poverty etc. too will be (are) things of global in nature. It’s just a matter of time!
Like Romans, British and Soviets, the mighty American empire may also find itself at the similar fate or it may defy the patterns of history?
If you pay close attention to any media outlet or political wing, you'll realize that everybody has a hidden agenda and certainly not the dream of Utopia.
Will they raise this nation above the challenges of twenty first century or take it to the cusp of collapse with their myopic decisions?
Will India become the super power despite its myriad of challenges?
Nobody knows. (Who foresaw 2008 financial collapse or Revolutions in the Middle East/ North Africa?)
May be we'll all be waiting at those familiar airport gates with two check-in and a carryon baggage in hand and tons of questions in mind heading to the east……
A friend of mine who fought in Kargil said “You don't feel the cold even when you are in the brutal, bone biting winds of Himalayans when you are facing the determined enemy trying to take you down"
I think life isn't bad for most of us. The day is getting longer, take your spouse or kids for a stroll.....

P.S: No offense intended at anybody, these are few of my random thoughts.

permfiling
03-07-2011, 02:42 PM
Thanks to kutra & eb2_immigrant for sharing very perceptive thoughts. Like kutra, I do not judge a future India as being good or bad, just different. As for expectations, if I do move back after retirement (instead of making a career move), and with my daughter settled in USA, the most I would need is a peaceful life among my country folks, and not much else. Yes, the material comfort that we are accustomed to here in USA, especially quality healthcare at old age, likely won't be available in India. But as likely I won't be billed to death for visiting the doctor's office or hospitals.

To eb2_immigrant's point about being selfish in choosing to move back, if we do that after our kids have grown up and are happily settled in their own life, perhaps it ain't so bad?

Cheers,
stuck

My perspective is that we spent first 25 yrs (roughly) in India prior to embarking on our journey to US. Looking back I see that our parents...forefathers were successful with the knowledge they had which is the foundation of our current India both good and bad. It is up to us to decide if we want to be part of this on going change or stay in US for life.
I think no matter where you live in this global economy, it is better to give back to our home country (knowledge, money etc) in what ever way to see it prosper, improve the efficiency, fix the political system etc as without our home country, none of us would be in US and always remember history as to how we were treated and persecuted prior to independence.

flaws are there in every country but it should always be compared to the country's growth. Folks come to US on education and go through the lengthy immigration process to settle whereas there are folks who immigrate to US via family, EB1 (managerial), asylum categories so where is the fairness in the system ?

If we think more , we might come up with more flaws in developed countries as well :-)

goel_ar
03-07-2011, 03:43 PM
Your Payments While You Are Outside The United States (http://ssa.gov/pubs/10137.html)

If you are a U.S. citizen, you may receive your Social Security payments outside the United States as long as you are eligible for them.
Good piece of information that social security taxes paid by me won't be wasted provided below doesn't change.

You are a citizen of one of the countries listed below, and the worker on whose record your benefits are based lived in the United States for at least 10 years or earned at least 40 credits under the U.S. Social Security system. If you are receiving benefits as a dependent or survivor, see additional requirements.

* Afghanistan
* Australia
* Bangladesh
* Bhutan
* Botswana
* Burma
* Burundi
* Cameroon
* Cape Verde
* Central African Republic
* Chad
* China
* Congo, Rep. of
* Ethiopia
* Fiji
* Gambia
* Ghana



* Haiti
* Honduras
* India
* Indonesia
* Kenya
* Laos
* Lebanon
* Lesotho
* Liberia
* Madagascar
* Malawi
* Malaysia
* Mali
* Mauritania
* Mauritius
* Morocco
* Nepal
* Nigeria
* Pakistan



* St. Vincent & Grenadines
* Senegal
* Sierra Leone
* Singapore
* Solomon Islands
* Somalia
* South Africa
* Sri Lanka
* Sudan
* Swaziland
* Taiwan
* Tanzania
* Thailand
* Togo
* Tonga
* Tunisia
* Uganda
* Yemen

unseenguy
03-07-2011, 08:26 PM
I came to US in 2000 and got my green card last year. My parents wanted me to become successful in life and did not place any restrictions on me. However, I was brought up in a very conservative, nationalistic family and my mother would never like me giving up citizenship, religion or walking out of marriage. For me these choices are simple. This is how my parents wanted me to live my life.

In addition to it, although I lived in US for so long, and with due respect to this good country that has given me so many opportunities, my love for India has never diminished. Not a day goes by when I have not thought of India or her future. I visit as often as possible and people back home love me, they love me in real sense.

In US, although I have money & there are great helpful people around and this is a great country, I ask myself a question: If I take US citizenship, will whites here really accept me as an american until I change my accent and gel my hair the way ABCDs do?

Probably not, they will still call me Indian. Now am I supposed to fight them at that point and get into a shouting match that I am American? Probably not?

What about a guy from europe? Will he call me american? Most probably not!

How is kalpana chawla remembered today elsewhere in the world? Indian or American?

After thinking through all of this, however imperfect is my motherland, it is still MY country & thats my identity. Emotionally its too much of a drain for me to give up my Indian citizenship. I think I will retain it as long as I can.

One disadvantage that no one talked about is , if you keep american citizenship, you need to file US income tax returns on your worldwide income.

After struggling so much, if I do go back to India, I am not coming back here.

lifestrikes
03-07-2011, 10:04 PM
@unseenguy

Very good thougths.

One disadvantage that no one talked about is , if you keep american citizenship, you need to file US income tax returns on your worldwide income.

>> You are incorrect on above statement. If you are considered as Resident Alien for Tax purpose, you have to show worldwide income in tax returns.

Since you are in US since 20000, most likely you will be considered as Resident Alien for Tax purpose (through Substantial Presence Test).

sands_14
03-07-2011, 10:10 PM
Hi,
I am far from filing for citizenship but I feel I dont want to give up Indian citizenship somehow;dont want to leave that; I hope we can push for Dual citizenship....till then GC will be fine I guess :-)

Pagal
03-08-2011, 05:00 AM
Hello,

Good discussion! Here is my experience/rant and the decision ... I came from India to US for education and career ... got both, thank you US of A! I am employed by a European MNC and hence spend most of my time in Europe ... here are my experiences!

In USA, everyone knows me as an Indian (a dot Indian, to be precise, as against the feather Indian) and my children and their children will be known by same identity (no matter how much they change their hair color or accents). In Europe, I am assumed American (except in UK, where many can even guess which part of India I come from) 'cause I come from US and work and live in USA (This is indeed a recognition for USA as a land for everyone!). The funniest part is when I travel with my European colleagues to other parts of the world in Asia, Africa and Latin America ... all those folks assume me to be European cause for them, I work for a European company, I have come with other Europeans and I speak a European language... Initially, I spent a fair amount of time explaining the intricacies of my wherabouts, but over time, I gave up ...

I have accepted that I no more have a single identity that can define me clearly. I have a hybrid identity that is impacted by at least two cultures (Indian and US) and I have to live with it. If I think about it, it is not a bad identity at all, and as the globalization takes firm roots, it is also becoming more common!

What does it mean for the decision on USC or IC? Here is my plan ... If India allows dual citizenship, then these points are moot...If India does not allow dual citizenship in a forseeable future (next 5-10 years), then in my family, I will keep one Indian citizenship (with GC) for all property etc in India and will have one USC for earthly belongings in US ... the kids may afterall opt for a Chinese or Brazilian green card (in which case, I will have to secure some long term visa and medical insurance in China or Brazil ... Ning Hao or Bom Dia to that!) :rolleyes:

unseenguy
03-08-2011, 02:46 PM
@unseenguy

Very good thougths.

One disadvantage that no one talked about is , if you keep american citizenship, you need to file US income tax returns on your worldwide income.

>> You are incorrect on above statement. If you are considered as Resident Alien for Tax purpose, you have to show worldwide income in tax returns.

Since you are in US since 20000, most likely you will be considered as Resident Alien for Tax purpose (through Substantial Presence Test).

Ofcourse, if you live in US you have to pay resident taxes regardless of the citizenship. Point I was making was, if you decide to go back to India, in that case you can simply walk away from green card and you owe nothing to US after that. But if you take or retain US citizenship & then go back to India, you will have to keep paying taxes. Don't distort or pick on what I was trying to say. I think you got the point even before.

Edison99
08-16-2011, 10:14 AM
First post for good cause, great!
Wait for few years but right now support Anna Hazare.....

Siddharta
08-17-2011, 01:21 AM
....... you can simply walk away from green card and you owe nothing to US after that.........

Looks like you haven't heard of the exit tax or expatriation tax - applies to GC holders and USC only.

Expatriation Tax - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expatriation_Tax)
Expatriate Tax Services LLC - Articles (http://www.expatriatetaxservices.com/articles/show.aspx?id=40)

Foreign nationals who become residents of the United States (green card holders) will now need to make a decision regarding their future, after they have been in the United States 7 years. If the intent is to return home at a point in the future, they will need to decide whether to do so before they have been in the United States for 8 years, or to continue to live in the United States knowing that when they do leave they may be considered a “covered expatriate’ and subject to immediate U.S. income tax on appreciated assets.