Residence, Citizenship and Relocation Checklist

A move of residence can provide opportunities to review your affairs and holding structures. There may well be potential to implement wealth preservation and inheritance provisions, and advantageous strategic investment structures.

Every jurisdiction is different. There will always be some specific items to consider before relocating and taking bespoke professional advice at an early stage will always be the right thing to do. Carefully considered pre-exit and pre-arrival planning is essential to ensure a smooth and efficient move.

Please see below a comprehensive checklist that every individual and their family need to consider before relocating.


Consider Practical Issues
  • Travel documents (visas)

  • Formal enrolment in country/jurisdiction of ‘arrival’, including communication with tax authorities, healthcare, schooling, etc.

  • Succession and Inheritance  
  • Confirm which laws govern succession and whether a choice of different jurisdiction law is available.

  • Confirm whether marital/family laws are affected and whether a choice of different jurisdiction law is available.

  • Review estate planning documents (wills, succession, and prenuptial documents) and consider the interaction of wills, appropriate for different jurisdictions.

  • Implications of Transferring Physical Wealth
  • Family heirlooms, jewellery and works of art (possible ban on export or right of first refusal, etc.). Are import duties applicable?

  • Before Exit  
  • Confirm arrangements that affect heirs and family that remain behind.

  • Optimal timing of loss of tax residence and exit charges.

  • Consider establishing new banking arrangements to segregate income and gains, if this is relevant to the new residence regime.

  • Before Arrival
  • Seek early tax advice from a professional advisor.

  • Take advantage of any special tax regimes that are available.

  • Review if there are any changes to controlled foreign company rules and what the effects may be.

  • Ensure that previously established companies, trusts, life insurance policies, etc. are compliant.

  • Gifts and Donations  
  • Confirm whether gifts or donations should be executed in advance of acquiring a new residency.

  • Annual review of estate planning documents (wills, succession, and prenuptial documents).

  • Annual review of trusts arrangements, structures, and bank accounts.

  • Annual review of any changes to tax laws and implications in relation to existing agreements and structures.

  • Residency versus Citizenship

    Residency and citizenship are not the same things. Individuals may seek alternative residency in another country and may still remain a citizen of their country of origin. Citizenship is the status of being a ‘citizen’ of a country. This will include the privilege of holding a passport for that country. Dual citizenship (nationality) may be an interesting option, but it is not always feasible, depending on an individual’s country of origin.

    Residence Programmes

    Residence programmes vary in what they offer and the criteria that need to be met. Depending on the country, there are differences regarding the time period that residence is valid for, how to apply, what the benefits are, tax obligations, and how to move on to apply for citizenship (and a passport), if the individual wishes to follow this route and it is permitted by the particular residence programme.

    There are many reasons why individuals and their families choose to take up residence in another country. They may wish to start a new life elsewhere, in a more attractive and relaxing environment, or they may find the greater political and economic stability that another country offers, of appeal.

    For individuals considering an alternative country of residence, the most important decision is where you and your family would like to live. It is critical that clients consider the long-term objectives for themselves and their family before applying for a particular residence (and/or citizenship programme), to help make sure that the decision is right for now and in the future.

    Citizenship – A Passport

    The benefit of gaining citizenship is the right to obtain a passport from a particular country. This may also make travel much easier, into and out of a considerable number of countries.

    A number of residence schemes can lead to citizenship and a passport. Countries where this is possible include: the Isle of Man, Malta, Portugal, St Kitts & Nevis, and the UK. If ease of travel and a relatively quick solution is required whilst plans are in progress to live elsewhere, a St Kitts & Nevis passport can offer a good interim solution.

    What else can Dixcart Domiciles help you achieve?

    Experts at Dixcart Domiciles will not only help you achieve your family goals but can assist further, by explaining the tax regimes that exist in different countries (a number of which are particularly attractive for new residents) and assist you to ensure that your affairs are structured in a tax efficient manner. The exit strategy from the country that you are moving from also needs to be planned for. We can also help on a practical level by organising visits to the country and helping you complete application forms and supply the right documentation. You may also need advice regarding the purchase of real estate – and even help with the move itself.

    If you would like to talk to one of our experts, please contact: Alternatively, please contact your usual Dixcart contact.

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