Things You Cannot Do when You Become Non-Resident

Posted by on Feb 14, 2013 in live abroad, moving abroad, work abroad | 2 Comments

Moving abroad to work is a real adventure, and it is now more possible to do so than it ever has been. However, if you decide to move abroad and there is a chance that you may change your residential status to that of your new country, there are certain things that you will no longer be able to do. It is therefore important to make careful preparations and to know about effects your residency change will have, so that you can avoid any nasty shocks.

Here are some of the main things that you will not be able to do if you are a UK citizen and you change your residential status.

Deposit Money in an ISA

ISAs provide a tax-free way to save money. However, when you leave the UK and change your residential status you will no longer be able to place any more money into your ISA. You will still be able to keep your ISA and any money that you have in there, but you will not be able to make any further deposits.

However, when you are not resident in the UK you will probably be able to apply to receive net interest from your bank instead of gross interest, and to do this you will need to fill in Form R105 and take it into your bank (although be aware that not all banks will accept it).

Open a Bank Account

In general, you will not be able to open a bank account with a UK bank unless you are currently resident in the UK. However, if you already have a bank account and you move abroad then you may be able to keep your account open, but this often depends upon your bank and how long you have been a customer with them.

Another alternative that may be offered to you is to open an offshore account. There may be extra monthly payments for such a service, so it is a good idea to research all of your options before making a decision.

Use Your PayPal Account

PayPal states that you should only use your PayPal account with a UK bank account when you are resident in the UK. This means when you change your residency status, you should open a new bank account in your new country and open a new PayPal account at the same time.

Although it is not impossible to continue to use your UK PayPal account when you are living abroad, you may find that your account is closed if PayPal suspects that you are no longer resident.

Buy Travel Insurance from the UK

Most UK travel insurance providers can only provide you with travel insurance if you are a UK resident travelling from the UK to another country. This means if you are living abroad and want to travel somewhere else, you will not be able to buy travel insurance with a UK provider and you will have to go with a local provider.

There are alternatives, however: BUPA International and WorldNomads both provide travel insurance to residents of other countries, so if your local options are not great then these are two to look at.

Receive NHS Treatment

If you are living abroad for longer than a few months, you will often find that you are not covered for NHS treatment when you return home for a holiday. Many Brits think that they are automatically entitled to NHS treatment even when they are non-residents, but it is not as clear cut as this. For this reason, and to avoid any potentially costly accidents, if you are no longer resident in the UK then you may want to purchase travel insurance before returning on holiday.

Get Prepared Before You Leave Home

If you are from the UK and decide to move abroad, the above are just a few of the things that you need to be aware of. The key is to prepare carefully to avoid any shocks when you are either living abroad or return home for a holiday.


  1. Ian Colbert
    February 27, 2013

    Hi Phil
    I recently discovered your webpage. Good tips here!
    By any chance, do you have any knowledge about entitlement to UK Personal Allowances after becoming non-resident? (ie. for a certain number of tax years or indefinitely?)
    (Irish nomad, recently moved from Barcelona to Barranquilla)


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