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I hold dual Australian and UK citizenship and am looking to work in the USA

I was born in Australia however I left Australia 14 years ago and have since then been living in the UK. naturally, I have been non resident in Australia for taxation purposes. I am considered a non-domiciled, but resident tax payer in the UK.

My family and I are looking to move to the USA to work for a potential 3 year opportunity.

  1. When in the USA, am I considered a British citizen working in the USA or an Australian citizen working in the USA? Does this depend on which passport I use to get sponsored?

  2. Whilst working in the USA, how are my capital gains treated, in the USA and also other countries, where I have investments?

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When in the USA, am I considered a British citizen working in the USA or an Australian citizen working in the USA? Does this depend on which passport I use to get sponsored?

For what purpose? While I'd suggest you asking an immigration attorney and a US-licensed tax adviser (EA/CPA licensed in the State you'll be working in), it is my understanding that:

  1. Your immigration status depends on the passport you've used to enter the country (i.e.: you can enter under Australian E3 visa).

  2. Your tax status (treaties) depend on the country of your citizenship and tax residency (i.e.: if you're not tax resident in the US, you can claim both British and Australian tax treaty benefits).

Whilst working in the USA, how are my capital gains treated, in the USA and also other countries, where I have investments?

Once you become a US tax resident, all your gains worldwide are taxed by the US. You'll need to work with accountants in all countries to avoid double taxation, and you may not be able to avoid it completely. US Foreign Tax credit is a useful tool, but limited, and will not provide full relief. Once you're US tax resident - tax treaties are no longer helpful for most provisions (including capital gains).

You become US tax resident if you stay in the US for more than half a year, or if you become permanent resident. Most people on work visas end up being US tax residents if not in their first year in the US - then in their second.

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"Does this depend on which passport I use to get sponsored?"

Yes.

  • I'm not sure how you're supposed to provide a citation for that, but yes, it's correct. For immigration purposes, you're only a citizen of one country at a time, so if you apply to the US as an Australian, an Australian you shall be, even if you've got a UK passport as well. – lambshaanxy Dec 8 '14 at 4:09
  • @jpatokal well the sentence is a stock sentence, it's more addressing one-line answers being bad, I think. – Mark Mayo Dec 9 '14 at 12:48
  • This may be better asked as two different questions. Question 1 is much different than Question 2. You will get better quality answers if you treat the two questions separately. – lswank Dec 15 '14 at 0:12

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