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The Legal Aspects of Moving Abroad

legal-aspects-of-moving-abroadMoving abroad may seem like a good idea; however, you could waiver certain rights if you ever expect to move back to your home country in the future. According to Gulf Weekly, when an expat named Marc Steene moved back to England after a few years overseas to undertake a degree, he was denied a student loan as his parents had lived abroad for ‘too long.’ If you aren’t careful similar problems could occur in the future; therefore, you must be 100% sure that it’s in your best interest. Featured in this article are some other legal aspects of moving abroad that you should be aware of.

American Law 

To move to America you will need a residency visa to emigrate – known informally as a green card. This will give you official immigration benefits, such as the ability to start work. There are various categories of eligibility, such as family-sponsored, employment-based and political asylum. Each category has various conditions that must be met in order to qualify, in addition there is a annual quota and backlog which, depending on your method of application, could cause the approval process to span many years.

Read this post to find out more about how to get a green card in the US.

European Law

In Europe the process of moving abroad is fairly straightforward due to the Free Movement Treaty, which states that members of the European Union are entitled to emigrate freely – with the exception of Switzerland and Croatia.

If you’re planning on buying property abroad you may have to receive approval from the relevant governing body. For example, according to the Currency Index, in France all purchases must be administered by the government authority Notaire. In Scandinavian countries on the other hand there are no legal restrictions whatsoever. It’s important that you check the rules and regulations of your chosen country beforehand as they will significantly vary from state to state.

Income Tax

Generally speaking you will have to pay income tax in the country where you are living; however, if you are simply moving overseas, but still work remotely in your home country, you will probably have to report your earnings and pay taxes back to your home country’s tax authority.

In some circumstances you may have to pay part of your earnings to your home tax authority, and another part to your resident country’s government authority. It’s always best to contact the IRS, or HMRC in the UK, well in advance so you can prepare yourself and start making the correct accounting procedures.

For more information about UK law when moving abroad, visit this page Income Tax When Leaving the UK.

Applying for Residency

Even in countries that don’t require a visa, you will still have to apply for a residency permit. Sometimes legal issues – such as criminal records or outstanding debts – in your home country could prevent you from having the same privileges as others. Most European countries will allow you to remain in the country for up to three months without applying. The laws in the US may depend on what country you are a resident of, but getting US citizenship is a long and difficult process.

Notifying Companies

Before you move you are legally obliged to contact your bank, insurance companies, or any relevant financial organization that has your address on file and may need to contact you. Failure to take the necessary precautions could result in serious legal problems in the future. Take the necessary precautions and there’s no reason why your move won’t be a success.

Image Credit: Nossagente

About Aaron George

Visionary. Entrepreneur. Law school dropout. Working on bringing the legal industry online. And blogging about it.


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