Deciding to start a new chapter in your life in another country is not a decision that is taken lightly and there are many aspects of this major decision that need to be fully investigated and thought through before you go.
It may well be that you need the guidance of suitable family lawyers to help you sort out your domestic affairs so that your status is protected, where possible, and your rights as a citizen are properly explained in legal terms.
Here is a look at some of the legal aspects of living abroad that need to be understood so that you can be fully prepared for your new adventure and know how your decision impacts your rights.
How Does Living Abroad Affect Your Rights
The Subject Of Dual Nationality
If you plan to move to a destination where you are already considered a national or intend to apply for dual nationality it is advisable to gain an awareness of local laws in the country you will be settling in.
Many citizens enjoy having dual nationality but this status does also have its implications.
For instance, if you are considered a national that means you will be subject to local laws and that means any domestic issues you might have will probably be dealt with differently than they would be at home.
Driving A Car
It may well be the case that you have to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) to be able to drive a car in the country you have moved to.
An IDP is designed to provide evidence of your valid driver’s license and if you are going to be living abroad for any length of time you should verify with the authorities in your destination country about obtaining the right documentation to drive a car legally.
The subject of taxation is always a complex one and the amount of tax you will have to pay locally will often depend on your individual circumstances.
There may well be reciprocal agreements in place with the country you are moving to and a good starting point would be to check with their embassy or consulate as to what will happen regarding the income you earn in their country.
This is not something you should delay sorting as you could be subjected to double taxation if you don’t check the rules and regulations.
You may well change your relationship status when you are on foreign soil for an extended period of time and if you intend to get married, or divorced, it is essential that you clarify the foreign government laws regarding these two actions.
The local and national laws relating to getting married, for instance, will vary greatly depending on where you decide to settle.
It should also be understood that divorce laws can be vastly different from how they are in your home country. You could discover that rules relating to how assets are divided or who gets custody vary greatly depending on which country you are in.
A final note of caution on relationships. Same-sex relationships are not legal in some countries and the consequences of engaging in this activity could be very severe.
Your checklist of things to do and confirm before you go should be extensive and if you are unsure of any aspect of your legal status you should make sure that you get professional guidance on where you stand.