8 Signs That the US Government is Making It Harder for You to Become an Expat

Thursday, September 1, 2011
By Paul Martin

by Susan Beverley
Escape From America Magazine

One of the most common reasons for wanting to expatriate from the United States is the concern about government overreach. Many feel that the expansion of government in recent years has been chipping away at the freedom and liberty that the country was founded upon. What with more and more agencies, regulations, surveillance, and mandates, the right to privacy and self-determination is steadily shrinking right along with financial outlooks.

So, are you among the increasing number of people who feel that the only real solution is to get out of the country? Well, using the exact same tactics that are driving you away, the government appears intent on preventing you from leaving. Changes that have recently been put in place as well as proposals for future changes in rules and regulations might be intended to discourage. But they might also drive your resolve to take your destiny into your own hands and do whatever it takes to make your move overseas.

1. Escalating Cost of Passports

From $35 a few years ago the fee for a US passport has ballooned to today’s $135 for adults (16 and older) and $105 for minors. Renewals cost $110. If you need it in a hurry, there is another $60 expediting fee, and you have to provide a preaddressed prepaid express mail envelope, if you want it back in less than the 6-8 weeks required. The Passport Agency of the Department of State in 2010 issued 13,883,129 passports as well as 1,596,485 items of a new product called the “passport card,” which is good for reentry from anywhere within the Western Hemisphere. This product, which costs $55 for adults, $30 for previous adult passport holders, and $40 for all minors, was created at the behest of heavy lobbying by the cruise industry.

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