After a recent trip to Australia to promote the iPhone 5, Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, announced that he would like to become an Australian citizen.
Wozniak is inspired by Australia’s new National Broadband Network that is expected to deliver high-speed Internet access throughout the country by 2021.
“It’s one of the reasons why I actually like this country and want to become a citizen,” Wozniak told The Australian Financial Review. “I live in a country where we don’t have any regulation of telecommunications.”
In beginning his application process for Australian citizenship, Wozniak said that he would also keep his U.S. citizenship. However, due to the strict laws in the United States, dual citizenship may not be an option. The U.S. Department of State allows dual citizenship, but only under certain circumstances.
“A U.S. citizen may acquire foreign citizenship by marriage, or a person naturalized as a U.S. citizen may not lose the citizenship of the country of birth,” the State Department’s website explained. “U.S. law does not mention dual nationality or require a person to choose one citizenship or another. However, a person who acquires a foreign citizenship by applying for it may lose U.S. citizenship. In order to lose U.S. citizenship, the law requires that the person must apply for the foreign citizenship voluntarily, by free choice, and with the intent to give up U.S. citizenship.”
Despite the law, it is unlikely that the State Department would actually revoke Wozniak’s citizenship because the United States still taxes overseas citizens. More than 6.4 million Americans lived overseas in 2011 and only 1,781 renounced their citizenship, Steven Bywater reported in his article for PolicyMic.
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