You've Traveled Too Much

by chrismar

My naturalization application was just denied.

Apparently I’ve traveled too much.

True story.

Last year I was out of the country 12 days longer than I was allowed. The government doesn’t like it. Apparently that meant I haven’t demonstrated physical presence and continuous residence requirements to be a US citizen. Which is kind of funny considering that I’ve been physically present in the US for most of the last 12 years.

One has to laugh at the irony of it all. There are many reasons why I was considering a US citizenship. One of them is the perk that all US citizens get to have: to travel with a US passport.

Having a US passport makes the world easier to explore. Right now it’s really hard for me to visit certain countries. Next to impossible really (in case you’re wondering why we don’t have plans to go to Western Europe). On the other hand, all Jack has to do is show up. In some cases maybe pay some reciprocity fees and he’s in. Some people like to complain about them. I wish all I had to do is pay some darn fees.

(Of course when I become a citizen, like a true American, I’ll be complaining about these fees.)

It costs $700 to apply, and about 20 hours of work involved (going to interviews, preparing paperwork, research, etc, etc). Can’t say I was excited to do this all over again.

But at the same time part of me was relieved.

I’ll have to abandon my birth citizenship if I adopt another since my birth country doesn’t allow dual citizenships. It feels a bit like turning my back on my roots and I’m not ready to do that just yet.

I’m glad I get to postpone that decision for another year.

18 Replies to “You've Traveled Too Much”

  1. Imagine there were no borders, countries or passports? People of the earth could just roam freely. Too far from reality and too close to utopia I suppose. 🙂

  2. Wow I am really surprised at that. I am hoping to one day get European citizenship. Not sure if it will be possible, but hoping for the best. Here's to our luck with obtaining global citizenship!

  3. Thanks! I have this list of countries that I can travel easily with no visa requirement for Indonesian passport holders. Every time it's time to plan a strip, I grab it to figure out where we can go without a headache. As you've probably experienced, traveling with 2 different passports can add 'spice' to a multi-country trip.

  4. that sucks! well for malaysians, although the only country we're not permitted to enter is israel, getting visas for some western nations seem hard, or would face lots of questionings at the airport, such as UK or the US. such is the disadvantage of being a citizen of a third-world, and majority muslim country. sigh!

    1. I feel you. Although, I did meet someone from Lebanon. Talking about bureaucracy nightmare when traveling. It made my 'green' passport seems awesome by comparison.

  5. I am so sorry to hear that, Jill! I've been following your blog for a while. My husband and I are currently traveling around the world on Bulgarian and Indian passport (and we have green cards in the US) and I have to say that the deal with the Indian passport really sucks. I wonder how it compares to Indonesian? The good part is that despite the constant visa problems that we encounter, we are making it. I hope you continue traveling and postpone the citizenship. Good luck!

  6. I'm the opposite…I'm actually on a quest to get rid of my U.S. passport 🙂 I find it actually makes my travel and business opportunities more challenging.

    Sorry to hear it got denied, though…lot of money wasted on an application =/

  7. That sucks. All of my friends and family can't understand why Susan can't just automatically become and Australian citizen and live with me together in Australia. Everyone just assumes it's easy to become a citizen of the country of the person you marry, but it's not like that. The paperwork we have to fill out is enormous for Susan to just get some temporary residency plus a $2000 application fee. After that, it's a multiple year process to finally have the ability to become a citizen.

    So we're in the same boat in regard to Europe. We desperately want to go, but it's not practical given the visa requirements for Indonesians.

    At least you get to stay in the US for as long as you want, right?

  8. i have been thinking of moving to SF for a while now. Are there any sites that might help me or make the move easier?
    Thanks kay

  9. Sorry to hear the news but I understand your relief.
    I'm still having a hard time thinking if I should give up my Malaysian passport for another country's which has better travel perks.

    1. just don't tell malaysia. i have plenty of friends who do this, and the malaysian authorities never find out. just have to be careful with passport stamps. i think all this non-dual citizenship stuff is rubbish anyway!

  10. 12 days! How silly!
    Great to see you have a silver lining view of it. I don't like the idea of giving up your home citizenship to become American! That's a bit strange!

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