Green cards lose value as Taiwanese head home

More and more overseas Taiwanese are giving up their green cards as waves of them return to Taiwan. Many older immigrants want to return to their roots before passing away, while others who are qualified for American citizenship are not applying. Some are even giving up their US citizenship entirely, according to the World Journal, one of the largest Chinese-language newspapers in the United States. This change can be attributed to the increased expense of flights, heavy taxation, and difficulties in clearing immigration.

For the past eight years, Mrs. Wu has tried to keep her US green card with frequent short stays in the US. Increasingly, she has watched as her friends lose interest in becoming American citizens, with some giving up their green cards entirely. Her friends advised her to go back to Taiwan, but she felt it would be a waste to “to throw it all away” after expending so much effort towards retaining her green card.

However, last month, she finally decided to return to Taiwan with her children, mainly because of the hefty US tax burden. Faced with the continuing global financial squeeze, the government in Washington keeps imposing higher taxes while cutting services and programs. Wu was doubtful that she would qualify for social security benefits once she reached retirement age, so why remain in the US.

Andy a certified public accountant, told the World Journal that many immigrants feel an enormous burden in getting their American citizenship since they then need to file global taxes and declare all their financial assets in Taiwan, including cars, houses, insurance and so forth.

Miss. Kuo who lives in Pasadena, California, said her original purpose in applying for an investment immigrant visa was to petition for her brother and sister, so that their children could come to the US for a better education. There is still some cachet in having an American degree, but now the price is too high. Besides, her siblings’ children prefer to come to the United States as international students or to study at private schools.

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