Here’s where you’ll find the latest trending topics from AARO’s online networks. Taken from AARO’s Twitter feed and the “unofficial” AARO Facebook discussion forum, this is what’s trending among Americans overseas. *
One topic that had AARO Public Forum members talking this week is the European Parliament's resolution to revoke visa-free travel for Americans in the European Union. This resolution is not a law, but nevertheless, Americans living overseas are thinking about what this could mean for them.
One forum member pointed out, "The EU has no common visa policy: Schengen does (but that's a different thing entirely). Bulgaria, Romania and Cyprus are not part of Schengen (non-EU Norway and Iceland are). Those non Schengen countries are free to reciprocate Visa policies."
Another member responded, "They already have to use the same visa rules as Schengen because they are required to join it later, even though they are not part of it yet."
Others speculated about, "Why now?" The real consequences of this non-binding resolution remain to be seen.
See also AARO comments on the "EU visas for Americans" situation.
AARO representatives are currently in Washington, DC to discuss the concerns of Americans overseas on issues including FATCA, banking, voting, etc.
Here's what they were up to on their first day:
"We met with Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney's staffer to talk about the Americans Abroad Caucus, and followed that with a meeting with activist Keith Redmond on what he's been doing on the Hill, and off, with respect to the Republicans Overseas tax proposal, and more. Then we met with the American Banking Association on FATCA and issues with US accounts. After that, we walked over to the Tax Foundation for an excellent meeting on “territorial taxation”, among other things. We ended Day 1 with an informal chat with a member of the Election Assistance Commission about overseas voting issues."
Update on Day 2 of Overseas American Week, from our AARO team in Washington, DC:
"In spite of the snow, we managed to fit in several meetings, though some had to be moved to tomorrow. Particularly interesting today was a meeting in Representative Holding's (NC) office. He is personally very attuned to the situation of Americans overseas, FATCA, and tax obligations. He is committed to territorial taxation for individuals. We have learned that our term "residence-based taxation" seems outmoded; the buzzword today would appear to be "territorial taxation". It is still going to be an uphill battle to get bi-partisan support for what we feel is a non-partisan issue, though, and AARO will have to keep working at it."
*Please note that opinions expressed on or relayed from the AARO Public Forum do not necessarily reflect the policy positions of the Association of Americans Resident Overseas. For the latest news and updates from AARO, you can also visit our official Facebook page.