Individuals who are currently living or working abroad in a different country than they hold citizenship in are called expatriates, or “expats.” While migrants also technically fall under this category, expatriates generally only relocate temporarily, usually to: 

  • Take up a job opportunity abroad
  • Marry a citizen of a different country
  • Learn a new language through immersion
  • Experience a new location and culture

If you plan to become an expat, you’ll need copies of your vital records to register as a resident. Most importantly, you’ll have to have your passport and a certified copy of your birth certificate.

If your birth certificate has been lost or destroyed, don’t worry. It’s easy to order a new certified copy of your birth certificate online. You’ll get an authentic, certified copy that will be valid to use to prove your identity and citizenship.

You should also be aware that, even as an expat, you will still need to submit a tax return to the IRS. The IRS requires you to file a tax return, even if your foreign-earned income is not taxable in the U.S., due to the IRS’s having a foreign earned income exclusion. 

This exclusion allows you to protect up to $107,000 of your foreign earnings from U.S. taxation. However, to qualify, you must have spent 330 days outside the United States within a 12 month period. 

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