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Edward Still:  Foreigners

Federal law prohibits foreign nationals from contributing, either directly or indirectly, to:

  • candidates for Federal, State, or local office;
  • national, state, or local political party committees;
  • independents expenditures in a federal election,
  • certain other communications shortly before a federal election.

Foreign nationals include businesses or associations organized under the laws of a foreign country or having a principal place of business there.

This prohibition is meant to exclude foreigners (except for lawful resident aliens) from any monetary participation in any federal election.  Such foreigners may still participate by volunteering for a campaign. Non-resident foreigners may not make contributions to state or local candidates or political committees, but federal and Alabama law allows them to make independent expenditures for or against state and local candidates and to make contributions to other groups that may make such independent expenditures.  (However, foreigners would be well advised to inform the recipient of their status in case the PAC is going to engage in any activities regulated by federal law.)


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