I have no serious political opinion regarding Trump’s recent ban on travelers from seven Muslim countries into the US (other than my usual stance that it won’t matter in the long-term for the future of the US or the West). What’s more important is the effect this action, and the precedent it sets, on those of us looking to live abroad and follow Five Flags.

In all the noise and screaming about this ban from both the left and the right (god I’m getting tired of this stuff), two sidelined facts are the ones that are most important to me. Those are:

1. The ban applies, at least in part, to people who are legal residents of the USA, i.e. those with green cards. In other words, if you’re a non-citizen but a legal resident of the USA, and you were out visiting family in your home country when this ban occurred, you’re either restricted from coming back into the USA, or you face a huge hassle of multiple interviews before you do so. Since I’m planning on essentially living just like this (living in my Country A but not being a citizen there), this is not bode well at all.

2. The ban applies, at least in part, to people who have dual citizenship (two passports), even if they don’t use their restricted passport when they enter the USA. This means that if you have a UK passport and an Iranian passport, and you use your UK passport to enter the US, if it says that you were born in Iran (for example), you can still be barred from entry into the country.

Jesus.

This all demonstrates how sweeping changes in your ability to be a free citizen and travel as you wish can be severely hampered by the stroke of a pen of a president who’s trying to score points with his base. The right-wing counterargument to this is that “if you’re a white guy and not a terrorist, you have nothing to worry about.” The corrected statement is that you have nothing to worry about today. Blogs like the very one you’re reading could be considered illegal, subversive or dangerous someday, particularly if we encounter Scenario 4 or 5, and you or I could be hassled at the border of entering countries that we actually live in.

In my move-out plan, I’ve always had the option of possibly renouncing my US citizenship to avoid the insane taxes the US places on Americans who don’t even live in the USA. I’ve been looking at making that a definite part of my plan, and this travel ban has now confirmed it. In the long term, once I get my second passport for my Country B, and I’m comfortably settled in my Country A, I will renounce my US citizenship, save a mountain of money on taxes, then work on getting a third passport so I’m not at the mercy of having just one.

What a huge pain in the ass, but it’s what’s required. I have now revised my plan to seek two country B’s, two more passports, not just one.

Strangely, renouncing my citizenship once I have my second passport might actually help me spend more time in the US. When you’re an American who doesn’t live in the US, the first $100,000 of income is exempted from most (but not all) US taxes. However, it’s possible to lose this exemption if you spend more than 35 days a year back in the US. I would like to spend most of my summers in the US visiting my family and friends, so this might be a problem (depending on how my residency with my Country A pans out).

However, if I’m no longer a US citizen, I can get a 90 day visa to stay in the US up to three months, and pay no US taxes. Sounds good to me.

Update: 2/1/17: About a week later it looks like they’ve backtracked, at least somewhat, on the green card thing. The reports I’m seeing are conflicting, and it still looks like you’re in for some hassle if you are a resident, but it appears the policy has softened. This entire thing clearly wasn’t very well thought-out (big shock).

24 thoughts on “Moving Out of the Country – How Trump’s Muslim Ban Changes Things

  1. Only “one” thing to do:
    1. Get your mindset in order (i.e. BD’s Alpha 2.0)
    2. Educate yourself & take care of your body
    3. Make sure you’re affluent enough

    You will need all three of the above to have options to cope with whatever the future brings.

  2. I feel like the decline is accelerating. Instead of feeling like things in the US will be irrecoverably bad in 5-7 years, I feel like it’s going to happen in more like 2-3.

    I’ve put some of my plans on more of a fast track. I really don’t like anything that’s happening.

  3. Absolutely no word on the measure being temporary (and short term). Truly fascinating the way in which we ignore reality in order to make our little universe more exciting.

  4. This is worst-case scenario thinking and probably falls inside your 2% rule, but is there any merit to giving a slight bonus to countries with land borders when choosing somewhere to live? For example if something crazy happened while living in Argentina you have the option of travelling by land to four different countries. On the other hand somewhere like the Philippines if you need to exit in a hurry then your only option is the airport, I don’t think they even have passenger boats to other countries.

    On another note, here in the UK it’s funny that every time Trump does something people are out protesting, but when our own government enacts stuff like the snoopers charter no-one gives a shit.

  5. Wow, I didn’t know that the US taxed non-residential citizens. Even my country doesn’t do that, and it’s far more left-wing. Interesting.
    I was actually planning on taking my Scandinavian salary in a couple of years (Which is a higher base-salary but with 50% taxation) and move to America on a Work VISA for a few years, because American taxes are so much lower. But with Trump at the table, I seriously doubt that to be a worthwhile possibility when he starts upping the taxes of foreign workers / closing the borders completely.

    I still think that getting a few years of qualifications here at home, then moving to another country while keeping (or raising) the base salary while lowering the taxation to a minimum is a worthwhile option, but I’ll have to look other places.

  6. Absolutely no word on the measure being temporary (and short term).

    1. How do you know it’s temporary? Just because they said it?

    2. How does a 90 day time limit (for example) make this better? So in the future it’s “okay” if can’t fly back to my home for 90 days? Would you be okay with that?

    3. How does this not set a precedent for future actions like this?

    Truly fascinating the way in which we ignore reality in order to make our little universe more exciting.

    And it’s truly fascinating how people defend the horrible actions of the powerful at the expense of the common citizen. But sure, keep on defending the actions of the US government. I’m sure it will all work out fine.

    This is worst-case scenario thinking and probably falls inside your 2% rule, but is there any merit to giving a slight bonus to countries with land borders when choosing somewhere to live? For example if something crazy happened while living in Argentina you have the option of travelling by land to four different countries. On the other hand somewhere like the Philippines if you need to exit in a hurry then your only option is the airport, I don’t think they even have passenger boats to other countries.

    I’ve never thought of that, and you make a valid point, but yeah, I consider that 2% Rule stuff, thus not to be worried about.

    On another note, here in the UK it’s funny that every time Trump does something people are out protesting, but when our own government enacts stuff like the snoopers charter no-one gives a shit.

    Yeah, I’ve noticed that.

    Irrationality rules the day, on both sides. (Just look at Shura’s comment above.)

    Wow, I didn’t know that the US taxed non-residential citizens. Even my country doesn’t do that, and it’s far more left-wing. Interesting.

    The US is the only country in the world that does this, outside of 2 or 3 African countries. It’s insane.

    The US has become more authoritarian than even more left-wing countries.

  7. A few thoughts:

    1. While not a national security expert by any stretch, I don’t agree with the ban of the 7 countries in most respects (and would be interested in what Elon Musk thought would be “a better way to handle things”*). Moreover, it begs the question of bigger questions, and might be just a diversion^.

    I also wasn’t surprised by it happening. Didn’t Trump say many times over the last year that he was going impose a temporary “ban” for 3-4 months**? I think we’ll better know for sure in about May 2017 where the cards lie. It is opening a Pandora’s box, just like all the surveillance stuff. I think Trump is testing the waters to see how much political power he has to bend the system to his will – he’ll just spin the results whichever ways suits him best.

    2. “US taxed non-residential citizens” – I always assumed that if someone works in a specific country, they would pay taxes to that specific country?

    3. “is there any merit to giving a slight bonus to countries with land borders when choosing somewhere to live?”

    I would say yes and no. It depends on the neighboring countries. The risk of good and bad things both rise and maybe sometimes cancel each other out. For example, France has a lot borders but then more possible pros and cons, both currently and historically. Swaziland has one neighbor and has different potential issues.

    4. The multi-flag lifestyle can help to maximize the reward/risk ratio. But, there’s only so much one can do to mitigate certain risks when one has personal ties to a certain country(ies). Not necessarily a bad thing, in my opinion, but it seems like part of the “game”.

    * https://www.inverse.com/article/27091-elon-musk-criticizes-muslim-ban and http://fortune.com/2017/01/30/mark-cuban-elon-musk-trump-immigration/

    ^ https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-01-25/trump-s-forever-war-of-diversion and and “Keep the adult public attention diverted away from the real social issues, and captivated by matters of no real importance.” (not sure about the quotes authenticity)

    ** for example = http://fortune.com/2016/06/28/donald-trump-muslim-ban/

  8. So Trump has been the president for a little over a week now and he has already made me super proud. He has already:

    1. Killed TPP. We should all rejoice that that Unconstitutional abomination is dead.
    2. Motivated fat feminists to get some exercise and march, thus taking the first step towards making America’s women beautiful again.
    3. Banned all immigration from 7 Muslim countries.
    4. Ordered Syrian refuges to go back home. Hell yeah!

    Now the third one disappointed me as well though, because there are 50 more Muslim countries in the world. The Muslim ban must be expanded to include all 57 Muslim nations. I’m also furious that Saudi Arabia isn’t on the list. The ban must also become permanent, not temporary. Additionally, all Muslim immigrants and refuges who are already here (both legal and illegal) must be immediately deported as well (not just the Syrians, but all Muslim non-citizens).

    He’s not nearly as tough as I would be, but he is more red pilled than any president before him since Kennedy. So, Thank you, Mr. President!

    Caleb – it doesn’t matter if some regressive Muslim degenerate has a British passport in addition to his Iranian passport. He has a passport from a Muslim country. Therefore, he should be banned. How does this affect you? You’re not planning on moving to any Muslim country. Don’t worry, you won’t be banned, as long as you don’t start shouting Allahu Akbar five times a day, lol.

  9. I always assumed that if someone works in a specific country, they would pay taxes to that specific country?

    Not if you’re an American! Then you pay taxes where you live AND America, the Land of the Free.

    The Muslim ban must be expanded to include all 57 Muslim nations.

    Or we could just stop bombing their countries and stop giving them free stuff when they move into ours. Then we wouldn’t have to ban anyone.

    Additionally, all Muslim immigrants and refuges who are already here (both legal and illegal) must be immediately deported as well (not just the Syrians, but all Muslim non-citizens).

    Oh yeah, that would work out very well, government being so effective at these things.

    And who’s going to pay for all that? You?

    How does this affect you?

    I specifically answered that in the blog article. Go back and re-read it.

    This “it doesn’t affect you” stuff is always how these things start.

  10. Most of the tax proposals by the Republicans/Trump propose moving the US Tax system to a territorial based plan, which is to say, you are taxed on what you earn in the USA. This is usually indicated under business taxes, but I imagine your business taxes and personal taxes can balance things out, and it isn’t clear what they plan to do in regards to personal taxes.

    https://taxfoundation.org/details-and-analysis-2016-house-republican-tax-reform-plan

    Whether they actually execute this plan or not, I don’t know. It is tied in with things about repatriation and anti offshoring, so is core to their message.

    So your message that it is all going to hell might be worth tempering. If anyone can radically change the direction of the country it is Trump and Ryan. Of course they might send it on a downward spiral, or punt the nuclear football, but at least they are not the same old same old fare. It is possible that things might change direction in a positive way. Good god, he just passed an EO that requires all federal agencies to cancel two regulations for every new one they pass (something that is definitely game-able, but surely pointing in the right direction.)

    As point of evidence in support of this I would offer the fact the the SJWs, elites and institutions are absolutely apoplectic. And that is surely a good sign.

  11. So your message that it is all going to hell might be worth tempering. If anyone can radically change the direction of the country it is Trump and Ryan.

    Ha! Are you fucking kidding? Paul Ryan is a corporatist, establishment Republican who was Mitt Romney’s running mate. He’s not going to turn anything around. Trump is a big government authoritarian who might cut your taxes while exploding government spending, just like George W. Bush did.

    If you want to put your faith in Republican politicians to save you, the very same Republicans who caused most of this problem in the first place, you go right ahead. I’ll be planning for the most likely outcome.

    It is possible that things might change direction in a positive way.

    I don’t base my plans on what’s possible, but what is most likely.

    As point of evidence in support of this I would offer the fact the the SJWs, elites and institutions are absolutely apoplectic. And that is surely a good sign.

    Indeed it is. That doesn’t mean the country can be turned around at this point. It can’t.

  12. I’m not a huge trump fan but the amount of misinformation about this is amazing. Trump did the same thing here that obama did a few years back. See this:

    http://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2017/01/29/news-bulletin-the-list-of-muslim-nations-in-trumps-socalled-muslim-ban-are-ones-obama-choose-n2278021

    His executive order doesn’t mention anything about religion. See the text of it here:

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/01/25/text-trump-executive-order-on-enhancing-public-safety-in-interior-united-states.html

    I’m surprised to see the bias that is in this article i get that you dont like trump. Neither do i. I think he has already broke his oath to defend the constitution just like the 10 or so presidents before him and most of them going back to Lincoln but he isn’t doing anything more extreme than our last president. In fact in this case he is doing almost the exact same thing.

    I agree we shouldn’t be bombing anybody but that apparently isn’t going to happen anytime soon. Hopefully he will do something about that at some point too.

    I don’t have any illusions about him fixing things but at least be accurate in your analysis. This is almost the exact same thing Obama did a few years ago and nobody protested that.

  13. Ha! Are you fucking kidding? Paul Ryan is a corporatist, establishment Republican

    Labeling people like this doesn’t help. What matters is what they do, and, right now, what they claim to plan to do. Significant tax cuts, dramatic spending cuts, dramatic reductions in regulation, distribution of authority to the states and further… these are the things that need to happen. I’m not saying they are Harry Browne, but these are all good things. An economy growing at 5% for 8 years with a balanced budget would certainly save us from ourselves, and Trump seems quite willing to attack the third rail issues that are at the core of our problem.

    I’m particularly interested to see what he can do about government spending, coming from a place where costs actually matter (which they don’t in government spending). Two of his first actions were attacking the outrageous cost of Air Force One, and the F-35. Of course those things aren’t the solution in themselves, but they bode well for an attitude to spending. I think we will see a lot more of that.

    That isn’t to say he has some truly dreadful ideas to go with.

    If you want to put your faith in Republican politicians to save you, the very same Republicans

    But Trump is not one of the Republicans who got us into the mess. He is a guy who runs things in the sane world of business, and his cabinet if full of similar people. Who knows how much change they can actually bring.

    I don’t base my plans on what’s possible, but what is most likely.

    Well I think that is a mistake. You should make different plans for different possible outcomes. And a dramatically better America is, in my humble opinion at least a realistic possibility, better than your usual floor of 2%.

  14. What matters is what they do, and, right now, what they claim to plan to do.

    Utterly wrong, and it’s very sad to see otherwise intelligent people say things like this. What someone SAYS does NOT matter, AT ALL. All that matters is what someone DOES. In terms of predicting what they will likely do in the future, you should only look at what they’ve DONE, not what they’ve SAID.

    Significant tax cuts, dramatic spending cuts, dramatic reductions in regulation, distribution of authority to the states and further… these are the things that need to happen.

    I agree, but NONE of those things have happened at the federal level. NOT ONE. Republican always TALK about this stuff, but they NEVER DO IT. They usually end up doing the opposite.

    Who knows how much change they can actually bring.

    Very little, since the problems Trump faces are global and systemic, and beyond one man’s ability to fix, even if that man is President of the US, as I’ve explained in detail many times.

    I don’t base my plans on what’s possible, but what is most likely.

    Well I think that is a mistake.

    Then keep spending time buying lottery tickets, never wearing your seat belt, and hoping Republicans will suddenly start making government smaller (something they haven’t done since the friggin 1950’s). I’ll be over here living a happy life no matter what happens to Western society. In 20 years, let’s see which of us is happier.

  15. dramatically better America is, in my humble opinion at least a realistic possibility, better than your usual floor of 2%.

    Even if such a thing was 10%, even 20%, I’m not going to base my long-term plans around it, and if you want to be long-term happy, neither should you.

  16. “This all demonstrates how sweeping changes in your ability to be a free citizen”

    There is no such thing as “free citizen” in the sense you mean it here. Your “free citizen” is not a citizen at all. A citizen has loyalty, a citizen would die for his country. A citizen, at the very least, pays taxes. You, by ‘citizen’, merely mean “a person who uses the legal fiction of citizenship to glom onto some of the benefits of citizenship while assuming none of the responsibilities”. Your “free citizen” is bullshit.

    Now, it’s ok to live like that. It might even be a sensible choice. But it’s entirely reasonable of countries to start with the “What the fuck?” when people who don’t live in their country, don’t vote in their country, don’t fight for their country, and don’t pay taxes to their country start pounding on the doors of the embassy when whichever shithole of a country they have chosen to live in descends into anarchy, demanding the army send a helicopter to airlift their treacherous asses the hell out of there.

    Although admittedly this is a pretty unlikely scenario if you decide on New Zealand.

    Point is: Trump is taking steps to enforce what we might fairly call ‘nationalism’. You know, the notion that nations should make their own laws and defend their borders with armed force. Yeah, it’s pretty shit for people who have decided that the gaps between countries might be a warm, moist, and safe place to live and possibly incubate some nest-eggs.

    It’s all part of a cycle. Just prior to WWI – almost exactly 100 years go, the world was about as mercantile and trans-national as it is right now. You could conduct a business in Borneo from your home in London, and the sun never set on the greatest empire the world had ever known. Things changed, then they slowly come back around.

  17. There is no such thing as “free citizen” in the sense you mean it here. Your “free citizen” is not a citizen at all. A citizen has loyalty, a citizen would die for his country. A citizen, at the very least, pays taxes. You, by ‘citizen’, merely mean “a person who uses the legal fiction of citizenship to glom onto some of the benefits of citizenship while assuming none of the responsibilities”. Your “free citizen” is bullshit.

    I’m talking about a free citizen of the world, not of a nation state.

    And I don’t mind paying taxes for things I directly benefit from, like roads and military defense. That shouldn’t be more than 5% of my income though.

    Now, it’s ok to live like that. It might even be a sensible choice.

    It is the most sensible choice if your goal is long-term happiness in this modern, screwed-up world. Though I understand most people will never take this path because of the work involved.

    But it’s entirely reasonable of countries to start with the “What the fuck?” when people who don’t live in their country, don’t vote in their country, don’t fight for their country, and don’t pay taxes to their country start pounding on the doors of the embassy when whichever shithole of a country they have chosen to live in descends into anarchy, demanding the army send a helicopter to airlift their treacherous asses the hell out of there.

    I have no idea what the hell you’re talking about and never intend on doing such a thing, or even being in a scenario where such a crazy thing is likely.

    Trump is taking steps to enforce what we might fairly call ‘nationalism’. You know, the notion that nations should make their own laws and defend their borders with armed force.

    That is what nationalists SAY nationalism is, but what nationalism REALLY is, is something very different. Read this:

    http://calebjonesblog.com/nationalism/

    Too many of you commenters today are hung up on what the fucking politicians SAY or PROMISE, and not enough on what they DO or HAVE DONE.

  18. I’m not a huge trump fan but the amount of misinformation about this is amazing. Trump did the same thing here that obama did a few years back. See this:

    You didn’t even read your own linked article. Obama picked the seven countries, but that’s all he did. He didn’t impose a 90-day ban on immigrants from those countries (except for Iraq for a little bit), including those with green cards and dual passports.

    You are the one with the bias.

    His executive order doesn’t mention anything about religion.

    Correct, and irrelevant to me. He’s blocking people with green cards and dual passports, that’s my issue here, not Muslims or religion.

    I don’t have any illusions about him fixing things but at least be accurate in your analysis.

    I am accurate. You the one who isn’t. You’re mistaking me for some left-wing website.

    This is almost the exact same thing Obama did a few years ago

    No its not, it’s nothing like it at all, and if you just took a deep breath and slowly re-read the article you linked to, you’d see that.

    And by the way, I have been screaming at the top of my lungs about how horrible Obama has been for the last eight years.

  19. 1. How do you know it’s temporary? Just because they said it?

    2. How does a 90 day time limit (for example) make this better? So in the future it’s “okay” if can’t fly back to my home for 90 days? Would you be okay with that?

    3. How does this not set a precedent for future actions like this?

    The EO, including its temporary character and its limited scope, was promised more than a year ago, on December 7th 2015. This is, I grant you that, THE one time a politician has done what he promised, exactly as he promised. It looks to me like you can’t fathom that for once you’ve been wrong on your cynicism. 🙂

  20. It looks to me like you can’t fathom that for once you’ve been wrong on your cynicism.

    How exactly was I wrong? I’ve never said Trump wouldn’t do what he promised. I’m actually pleased with some of his executive orders.

    I said that in 4-8 years, the USA will still be headed for collapse, because it’s beyond anyone’s ability to fix at this point, including Trump. I said he won’t be the savior the right thinks he is, and I said the right will likely be disappointed with him when he leaves office.

    And I’ll be right. Just watch.

  21. Caleb,

    Can you send link to article about your top 5 places your looking at for citizenship?

    Btw, I was in Beirut, Lebanon back in July and is where my father is from. I was born in OKC (mother from here) and finally got a chance to meet all my dad’s family. Was awesome.

    But they have a program that allows kids of citizens to get dual citizenship their as well. And quicker.

    Additionally, did you know they have had no President for 4 years? Lol.

    I’ve also heard that the Government there is horrible at collecting taxes and are behind like 40 years! Lol. My kind of place maybe.

    Plus the ladies are very hot and fun.

    Have you ever looked at this place before and do you see any issues making this my # 1 option before I decide to renounce my us citizenship?

    Thanks, Curtis

  22. Can you send link to article about your top 5 places your looking at for citizenship?

    I don’t have 5 places for citizenship, I have 3. Uruguay, Argentina, and Comoros are what I have at the moment.

    Have you ever looked at this place before and do you see any issues making this my # 1 option before I decide to renounce my us citizenship?

    Never looked at Lebanon and probably won’t, but if you can get easy citizenship there because of blood relations, then do it.

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