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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by TAHbKA View Post
    If am not mistaken (and I could be) Copely had to give up the USA citizenship in order to obtain the Lithuanian and she had different goals. Or was it an `estonian' skater skating with Rand?
    Quote Originally Posted by ioana View Post
    I thought it was Mallory and Rand that had the dual citizenship issue.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/28/sp...airs.html?_r=0
    Yes. I found this pre-2010 Olympics post in the FSU Archives:
    Caitlin Mallory has decided to keep her US citizenship and Mallory/Rand won't be at the Olympics. Kristjan's younger brother Taavi and his partner Irina Shtork will be taking their place.

    Yes, they should be both at the Europeans and at the Words. Caitlin's decision, at least the public reason given for it, had to do with her wanting to maintain her financial aid. She could have only re-applied for her US citizenship in 5 years time (The Estonian government was ready to grant her special citizenship).
    Excerpt from the NY Times article re. Mallory: http://www.annarbor.com/sports/unive...-olympic-team/
    Last edited by Sylvia; 01-07-2013 at 05:21 PM.
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    I'm not sure about Canada, but the U.S. doesn't award citizenship based on special abilities.
    They have been known to speed up the naturalization process, like they did for Tanith Belbin, however and do away with the 5 year (or is it 6 now) requirement. Basically, you need to have a green card for at least 5 years before you could apply for citizenship.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ioana View Post
    They have been known to speed up the naturalization process, like they did for Tanith Belbin, however and do away with the 5 year (or is it 6 now) requirement. Basically, you need to have a green card for at least 5 years before you could apply for citizenship.
    For the billionth time, Tanith's naturalization was not sped up. In fact, her process was longer because of 9/11. People who applied after her became citizens before her.

  4. #24
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    This Lithuanian article from last month includes a clip of Tobias/Stagniunas' Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto no. 2 free dance: http://www.balsas.lt/m/naujiena/705695

    Tobias/Stagniunas performed in the Flaming Christmas Ice show in Vilnius on Dec. 27:

    Rach. FD: http://youtube.com/watch?v=v_BGO7xyEhM

    Parts of their last season's FD: http://youtube.com/watch?v=0GakjpC0dRk

    ETA practice video of their "Oklahoma" Short Dance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UreXM9cM5k4
    Last edited by Sylvia; 01-07-2013 at 05:50 PM. Reason: to add SD video clip
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  5. #25
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    Deleted because my memory is obviously lacking.

    But to the point of this thread, I'm glad Lithuania doesn't have its citizenship for sale. If Tobias can't even be bothered to live in the country and learn the language, then she doesn't deserve citizenship IMO.
    "I miss footwork that has any kind of a discernible pattern. The goal of a step sequence should not be for a skater to show the same ice coverage as a Zamboni and take about as much time as an ice resurface. " ~ Zemgirl, reflecting on a pre-IJS straight line sequence

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tesla View Post
    For the billionth time, Tanith's naturalization was not sped up. In fact, her process was longer because of 9/11. People who applied after her became citizens before her.
    I definitely remember an act of congress to get her to the 2006 Olympics. From what I understand, the requirements changed in between the time she applied and the Olympic year (which is why other people got their citizenship faster), but some special dispensation was still required to ensure she got hers on time. Doesn't that still count as speeding things up? I assume there were other people without special abilities who applied at the same time as Tanith who had to wait even longer. I'm not saying this is wrong --far from it, actually. Just pointing out gov't does get involved in certain cases, even in the US.
    Last edited by ioana; 01-07-2013 at 05:58 PM.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by BittyBug View Post
    Deleted because my memory is obviously lacking.

    But to the point of this thread, I'm glad Lithuania doesn't have its citizenship for sale. If Tobias can't even be bothered to live in the country and learn the language, then she doesn't deserve citizenship IMO.
    She's been studying the language. She spoke it in a recent interview she and Deividas did when they visited Lithuania.
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  8. #28
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    Talking to the brick wall again, are we, Tesla?

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frau Muller View Post
    I hope that the Tobias & Copely families can recover the money spent on this sham. I bet they've spent a pretty penny. Sad.
    Spending money on skating does not give you the right to change national laws.

    Copely and Tobias were consenting adults who knew very well what they were getting into.

    Lithuanian citizenship laws are not secretive and there's also a case history you can look at (which shows Lithuania does not give citizenship to promising athletes just because they have decent results).

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by ioana View Post
    I definitely remember an act of congress to get her to the 2006 Olympics. From what I understand, the requirements changed in between the time she applied and the Olympic year (which is why other people got their citizenship faster), but some special dispensation was still required to ensure she got hers on time. Doesn't that still count as speeding things up? I assume there were other people without special abilities who applied at the same time as Tanith who had to wait even longer. I'm not saying this is wrong --far from it, actually. Just pointing out gov't does get involved in certain cases, even in the US.
    The legislation actually covered more then just her.

    Google is your friend

    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sport...-citizen_x.htm

  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tesla View Post
    For the billionth time, Tanith's naturalization was not sped up. In fact, her process was longer because of 9/11. People who applied after her became citizens before her.
    It covered more than just her, but it was instigated to benefit her. And David Mitchell's family famously tried to block it

    http://www.levin.senate.gov/newsroom...ction=alltypes

  12. #32
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    Maxim Zavozin also benefited from the Tanith legislation. I remember some posters at the time saying he was actually the only other person who did, but I'm not sure if I'm misremembering and/or if those posters were characterizing it correctly.

    I definitely remember an act of congress to get her to the 2006 Olympics. From what I understand, the requirements changed in between the time she applied and the Olympic year (which is why other people got their citizenship faster), but some special dispensation was still required to ensure she got hers on time. Doesn't that still count as speeding things up? I assume there were other people without special abilities who applied at the same time as Tanith who had to wait even longer. I'm not saying this is wrong --far from it, actually. Just pointing out gov't does get involved in certain cases, even in the US.
    I agree with you. Her citizenship was sped up - she received it earlier than she otherwise would have, because an amendment was added to a budget appropriation authorizing it. That's a fact with no positive or negative attached to it. The issue to me is whether it was fair that it was sped up, and there's plenty of different arguments: Yes, it was fair because she applied in 2000. Yes, it was fair because she was on track to receive it by 2006 had 9/11 not happened. Yes, it was fair because people who applied after her got it before her. Yes, it was fair because it was just correcting a quirk in the law and was written to apply to others similarly situated. No, it was not fair because others who did not have "extraordinary abilities" were not included. No, it was not fair because she's just an ice dancer and such an amendment should only be enacted for scientists. No, it was not fair because the reason she got it is because she had a big law firm and figure skating fans lobbying for her. Etc etc.

  13. #33

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    Thank you for all the additional links on Belbin's citizenship. There are plenty of good points for either side of the debate when it comes to granting/speeding up citizenship...Not sure if there is such a thing as a right answer.

    eta: UMBS, you weren't kidding about the extensive discussions http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/show...28NY%29-Needed
    Last edited by ioana; 01-08-2013 at 12:19 AM.

  14. #34
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    Tanith also lived and trained in the US full-time or pretty close to full-time and, as other posters have mentioned, ought to have gotten her citizenship anyway via normal processes, but was delayed because of red tape.

    The Tanith issue was covered here in '05-'06 ad nauseum - search the archives for it; one poster (hi! ) was personally involved - and helped spark the creation of this smiley -->

    Without knowing more about Tobias and her situation, it's still obvious she doesn't live and train full-time in Lithuania like Tanith did in the US.

  15. #35
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    It's unusual for a country to grant citizenship to a non-resident; the Putin/Depardieu love dance is an exception. The typical path for citizenship starts with an application for permanent residency, and, as far as I know, Tobias never applied for residency status in Lithuania. Belbin was a long-time US resident, from her teens, and in Canada, Kaitlyn Weaver was a Canadian Permanent Resident. Canada grants PR status to athletes and people in the arts through the "Self-Employed" economic class, and the US has "Self Petition" for "Individuals of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics, (E11)." I've never seen the equivalent in documentation about Lithuanian citizenship. It is possible that if Tobias/Stagniunas trained in Lithuania, and Tobias was a resident of Lithuania, that the Lithuanian government might have ruled under different reasoning and expedited her citizenship request, had she met all but the length of residency qualifications; it might also have required her to renounce her US citizenship, since dual citizenship seems to be allowed only for people who left during Communist rule.

    The original legislation that Levin proposed would have allowed everyone in Belbin's residency class who applied before 2002 to expedite their citizenship, but the final version was so restrictive, it applied only athletes like Belbin, Zavozin, and maybe a speedskater? because it was the only way the legislation was going to be passed in time for her and Agosto to compete in Torino. It was short-sighted for the change in legislation that issued concurrent immigrant visa and green cards not to have reduced the waiting time for people who applied under the old rules, so that they were on par, and I think it was a shame that Levin's original amendment wasn't ratified. I don't see any problem in using a high profile case to publicize and push through legislation that ensures parity, and while the legislation technically expedited her citizenship, it granted her a timeline to which others of her class were entitled.

    Weaver's case was different: the legislature made an exception to the physical residency requirements for citizenship (which are very different than the residency requirements to maintain Permanent Residency) that everyone else who applies for citizenship must meet. Of course, Canada had every right to expedited it though the established process and did.
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  16. #36
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    Tobias' mother probably thought that with all that money they have, she could easily buy her daughter's citizenship.. Nope! Sorry! You can't have your way with everything!

  17. #37
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    Not sure why it's only fair for scientists to receive expedited American citizenship, but not fair for figure skaters?

    Kaitlyn was barely a "resident" of Canada for three years, even though she lives and trains in Michigan, and she did NOT have to give up her American citizenship. She did not obtain a world medal before then, either, and was banking on the "future merits" of getting 2nd at nationals to become an Olympian. Is that fair?

    Quote Originally Posted by apatinar View Post
    Tobias' mother probably thought that with all that money they have, she could easily buy her daughter's citizenship.. Nope! Sorry! You can't have your way with everything!
    Those are some wild assumptions.

  18. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanfan1818 View Post
    It's unusual for a country to grant citizenship to a non-resident; the Putin/Depardieu love dance is an exception. The typical path for citizenship starts with an application for permanent residency
    It took Vanessa James about two years to get French citizenship after she paired up with Yannick Bonheur, though I do believe they trained in France in order to facilitate the naturalization process.

    It wasn't very hard for Allison Reed to get Georgian citizenship a few years ago... it'll be interesting to see if she can get Israeli citizenship as easily, if it looks like she and Rogov can qualify for Sochi. Israel does not require residency if you're Jewish, but I don't believe Reed has any Jewish heritage. And while some non-Jewish athletes have become Israeli citizens, it's usually footballers and basketball players who play in Israeli leagues, or people who marry Israeli citizens, not figure skaters who live in New Jersey.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by leafygreens View Post
    Not sure why it's only fair for scientists to receive expedited American citizenship, but not fair for figure skaters?
    I was just throwing out arguments that could be made on either side. Tanith's citizenship took an act of congress to expedite. There must be people who would find it ridiculous that would be done on behalf of an Olympic ice dancer, believing that such a measure should only be introduced on behalf of someone like a scientist who would theoretically be more valuable to society as a whole, even though both are considered to have extraordinary abilities. I'm not saying I agree. I think ice dancing is very important!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post
    It took Vanessa James about two years to get French citizenship after she paired up with Yannick Bonheur, though I do believe they trained in France in order to facilitate the naturalization process.
    Didn't Vanessa James have some French connections and possibly lived in France before as well?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post
    It wasn't very hard for Allison Reed to get Georgian citizenship a few years ago... it'll be interesting to see if she can get Israeli citizenship as easily, if it looks like she and Rogov can qualify for Sochi. Israel does not require residency if you're Jewish, but I don't believe Reed has any Jewish heritage. And while some non-Jewish athletes have become Israeli citizens, it's usually footballers and basketball players who play in Israeli leagues, or people who marry Israeli citizens, not figure skaters who live in New Jersey.
    I think Papa Boria wouldn't have paired Reed and Rogov up if the citizenship couldn't be sorted.

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