Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Citizens Abroad

The capstone of this July Fourth Paris season for me was a red-white-and-blue gathering sponsored by AARO, the Association of Americans Resident Overseas. All current or future American expatriates, whether in Paris or in some remote corner of the planet, should familiarize themselves with this organization, and join it.


Because AARO is an advocacy group for the 4-5 million Americans residing worldwide outside the borders of the United States. Astonished by that figure? So was I.

Perhaps AARO's earnest mission is not as sexy-sounding to you as, say, simply showing up at meetings where you listen to a speaker and have a Sancerre-soaked luncheon with other expats (which are fun, I admit. Tons of fun. Let me tell you about that last lunch... )

But listen, my friends. AARO attends to the nuts and bolts of what it means to be a U.S. citizen abroad. Taxes? Voting? Health Care? Driver's License? Representation? If you think those issues don't matter to you because you're living the life in a fabulous foreign country, think again. AARO is a watchdog group that meets at least annually with YOUR representatives in Washington to advocate for your continued rights as an otherwise "out-of-sight-out-of mind" U.S. citizen living abroad. They keep their members informed about issues that affect them directly. Non-partisan, intelligent, clear information. Plus access to reasonable expat health care plan. Need I say more?

Besides, they throw a really great party, too. We do live in Paris, after all.

34 avenue de New York
Paris 75116

tel. +33 (0)1 47 20 24 15

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