1 in 4 Expats renouncing U.S. citizenship

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The UAE has issued more than 150,000 golden visas since 2019. Many expats, including HNWI (High-net-worth-individuals), are renouncing U.S. citizenship. A recent report suggested that in the first three quarters of this year, 2022, approximately 2872 high-net-worth-individual expats have renounced their U.S. citizenship. That number exceeds 2421 last year.

About 1 in 4 U.S. expatriates in UAE are considering and planning to renounce their citizenship, according to a recent survey from GETS (Greenback Expat Tax Services). The main reason the expats are trying to renounce their U.S. citizenship is the filing taxes in the U.S. The survey also suggests that approximately 77% of expats think that if they live abroad, they do not have to pay taxes.

U.S. expats faces high tax filling demands

U.S. expats must pay annual income taxes in the U.S. on their worldwide earnings, inclusive of their salaries, all their business profits, investment income, and more. Although U.S. officials have measures to prevent double taxation, including foreign income exclusion and the tax credit, most U.S. expats still oppose these measures due to the dual filing requirements because that requires more time and all the expenditures that come with preparing returns.

There are better options for living especially if you can move to Dubai or any other economy-stable country with low tax rates than the United States. If you are a U.S. citizen, it’s easy to get caught up in the U.S. tax net. You can guarantee the U.S. will tax you if you are a U.S. person (a U.S. citizen or green card holder).

What are the ways to exempt from taxes as U.S. citizen?

The U.S. is one of the countries that require taxes on American citizenship. So, if you are a citizen of the U.S., then you must pay taxes even if you are residing here within U.S. or not. But there are possible ways to eliminate high taxes based on American citizenship, including the trifecta method. This method gives you a solution to avoid tax residency in the U.S. Still, it could be better and will only work if you plan accordingly for your tax structure.

About 183 rules and the trifecta method

The thing is, if you are spending more than half a year in a country, then you become a tax resident of that country. Now, most citizens use this as a rule and think that spending less than 183 days in the country will exclude the taxes. If you spend more than 183 days in a country, the country’s tax net will automatically exclude you. However, spending less than that does not guarantee exemption from paying taxes. Also, not all western countries operate under this rule; as for U.S. citizens, there is a trifecta method that is one step further than the 183 rules. But still, that is not as perfect as this method will work for you if you plan your tax structures and not work out if your tiers are in one place or country as failing the center of life test.

The trifecta method suggests that you only spend one-third of the year in a country. This method may lead you to live a zero-tax life if you successfully pass these tests. Although, it is impossible for U.S. citizens most of the time. Another way to avoid taxes from the U.S. is to pay taxes somewhere else, like paying taxes to a different country can save you from U.S. high tax rates. In that case, most countries will not be able to charge you for double taxation. So, that is why Americans are renouncing U.S. citizenship and relocating to other countries, especially to GCC nations, including UAE. Americans are setting up businesses here in Dubai and moving with their whole families on family residence visas to Dubai.

Let’s discuss the opportunities Dubai brings for U.S. citizens and expats!

Real estate investment for high-net-worth individuals

The uncertain economic situation and increased inflation have caused a noticeable decrease in the number of millionaires in developed countries. It results in increased interest in investments on the way to GCC (Gulf Co-operation Council) nations, especially towards the UAE. It is because the UAE real estate market is growing so fast. The market brings you more opportunities for investment especially for foreign investors to invest in properties for sale in Dubai.

The population in UAE consists of approximately more than 88% of expats. Out of 10.08 million people who live in the UAE, almost 8.92 million are expats. The UAE’s expansive inflow of high-net-worth individuals has made it an attractive destination for all.

Predictions suggest that four thousand millionaires will relocate this year to UAE. The relocation to Dubai usually is from the UK, U.S., and other European citizens. The forecast showed that in 2022, the UAE’s financial wealth would reach $1 trillion with an annual rate of approximately 6.7%.

Business setup in UAE

The international community of HNWI (high-net-worth individuals) wants to relocate to UAE because of the latest business and economic incentives launched to promote FDIs (Foreign Direct Investments).

On an international level, it is found that high technology and sustainable investments reaching maximum height with Expo 2020. However, Ministry of Economy have introduced initiatives to attract the world’s top entrepreneurs by offering them a quick new business setup in Dubai with flexible leases and low tax rates. These economic and progressive approaches attract top digital asset entrepreneurs, highly skilled talents, and wealthy foreign investors.

Also, the growth of investment funds will be 8.8 % more annually by 2026. UAE is the only country catering to luxurious lifestyles for all the HNWI compared to other affirmed cities such as Tokyo, New York, and many others.

UAE golden visa scheme

The UAE updated its new visa policies and residency permits, which are gaining more popularity worldwide. These updates attract more high-net-worth individuals and high-end investors, making it the preferred destination for their investments.

In 2019, the golden visa scheme was launched in UAE to encourage foreign entrepreneurs, investors, and highly skilled professionals to root their residency here in the UAE. Golden visa offers a 10-years residency permit that is available with automatic renewal. Also, there is a green visa that offers a 5-year residency permit. Entrepreneurs are also eligible for a business visa after starting a business in the UAE.

With quality and luxurious lifestyle, the best healthcare system, and a stable economy Dubai attracts all high-net-worth individuals. Here HNWI will continue to explore more about the high standards of living, legally protected wealth preservation, and agile approach to promoting investment migration.


In summary, with one in four expats thinking about giving up their U.S. citizenship, it’s clear there’s a significant trend at play. This decision is due to complex tax rules and the hassle of staying compliant, pushing people to move. While renouncing U.S. citizenship might offer relief from these challenges, it’s a big step. People need to weigh the benefits against potential drawbacks like limitations on travel and investment options. Ultimately, the choice to renounce citizenship is personal and requires careful thought. Expats should stay informed and consider seeking advice to make the best decision for their future plans and financial well-being. If the decision is to move to Dubai, then surely you can build your own empire here. For further assistance, you can contact us or read more at www.emiratesbusinesssetup.com.


Why are Americans renouncing US citizenship?

Americans renouncing U.S. citizenship for various reasons, including complex tax regulations, citizenship-based taxation, and the desire for financial flexibility. Some expatriates find it challenging to comply with U.S. tax laws while living abroad, leading them to consider renunciation as a means of simplifying their financial affairs.

Why are Americans moving to Dubai?

Americans are drawn to Dubai for several reasons, including career opportunities, business prospects, lifestyle amenities, and tax benefits. Dubai offers stable economy, modern infrastructure, and a strategic location. It attracts professionals from around the world not only from the U.S.

Is Dubai tax free?

While Dubai does not impose personal income taxes on residents, it is not entirely tax-free. However, Dubai offers very low corporate tax rates.

How to do business setup in UAE?

Setting up a business in the UAE involves several steps. It includes choosing a business activity, selecting a legal structure, obtaining necessary business licenses and permits, and registering with the relevant authorities. The specific process may vary depending on the emirate and the type of business activity.

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