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Ask P. Simmons Your Own Question
P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 32822
Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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Thank you for the quick reply, you answered my stated question

This answer was rated:

Thank you for the quick reply, you answered my stated question to my satisfaction. In trying the keep the question simple, I left out what I now see as a very important, factor; I own a home on Guam.

My next question is; Can I continue to keep Florida as my State of Legal Residence (with the intent to move back there) for voting purposes, and rent my home on Guam while I live the the Philippines on a semi-permanent basis? (Guam residents cannot vote for the President).
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years military law experience.

Ahh...but Guam is not a state. Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States. You can certainly be a US Citizen and claim residence in Guam. want to keep FL while you move to FL?

That gets more complex.

can you tell me why? What is the reason you want this for? Are you looking for some tax benefit from FL?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I want to keep Florida as my state of residence so I can continue to vote for the President.


I don't want to claim Guam as my residence, but know I will have to pay tax on my rental property.


And, I don't want to pay other income tax to Guam, but to Florida (that does not have an income tax).


I see it's 8 PM there, I didn't expect such a quick response.


By the way, I grew up in Phoenix! My dad still lives there. My mom now moved to Gold Canyon.

Ahh...I am away from the office...I want to do a bit of research in the state code

Gimme to tomorrow and I will get you an answer.
I wanted to start by explaining that the reason you are able to keep your state of residence, despite your transfers state to state, while in the military, is due to the SCRA (service members civil relief act)

This federal law protects residency. But it only operates while on active duty.

So up until the time you retired? No problem keeping FL as your state of residence. At all. That is why, for example, you could keep your FL drivers license and vote from FL, despite your living around the world

But once you retired? The SCRA no longer applies.

SO it is not automatic (as it was prior to leaving active duty) basically have to look to state law for residency requirements.

Now...all states have their own requirements for residency. Florida does not have rules for residency in general; residency in Florida is program specific. That is, it is attached to a specific purpose or
need, such as taxes, in-state tuition, etc. So you have to look to the FL rules for elections.

This law is not clear...that is, it does not clearly state requirements for residency for voting, other than to be a resident (silly...I know).

The applicable statute relating to qualifications to register to vote is s. 97.041, Florida Statutes, which in pertinent part currently reads as follows:

"(1) Any person at least 18 years of age who is a citizen of the United States and a permanent
resident of Florida and of the county where he wishes to register is eligible to register with the
supervisor when the registration books are open. Upon registration, such person shall be a
qualified elector of that county." (e.s.)

The year requirement was later modified so that the only residency requirement for voter registration eligibility is to be a "permanent resident." and 18 years of age or greater s. 97.041(1), F.S.

So that begs the question what is a "permanent resident"

There is actually quite a bit of case law on this I found...but the botXXXXX XXXXXne?

A person's residency for voting purposes is where he or she intends to maintain permanent domicile at
that time to the exclusion of any other location. Failure to have maintained residency in that
jurisdiction may be grounds to challenge the elector at the polling place

So if you continue to vote in FL (and no other state) you can continue to declare residence SO LONG AS YOU INTEND TO RETURN AND LIVE THERE FULL TIME AT SOME POINT IN THE FUTURE

P. Simmons and 2 other Military Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Great explanation! Thank you.


Now I see that SCRA was what I had a question about regarding my retiree status (although I didn't know the term SCRA, so thank you again).


I'll be sure to keep you on my short list of lawyers to contact when the need arises. I'm sure I'lll have questions when I start a business in the Philippines. Is this an area you'd like to field questions?


Maraming Salamat Po!






Hey sir, thank you!

I am happy try and address any questions you may have...if I can not, I will forward them to someone who can

Best of luck in the PI...I was on one of the last ARG's that went into Subic...back in about 92 or that was a long time ago....

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