Moving Abroad – Legal Considerations

Now that you’ve decided to begin an exciting adventure, living in a foreign country, it would be in your best interest to understand how things work there from a legal point-of-view. Below we will offer some advice about specific legal concerns you may want to investigate:

Reputation of Law Enforcement – What percentage of violent crime cases are solved? Are the police known for their valor or instead for using excessive force or being complacent? It would be a good idea to get a feel for how crime is handled in your target country. Look for newspaper articles or other reliable sources that discuss the criminal justice system. If something bad happens, you surely want to have due recourse.

Sponsorship – Just about any place you could travel to ask you to prove that you’ll have enough money to support yourself. This usually comes hand in hand with some form of sponsorship by a citizen. Sometimes this individual is just named in the initial paperwork and that’s the end of the story. In other countries, the sponsor controls every single move you make. Find out, from your embassy or other government source, which it is before you go.

Labor law – If you are moving to your target country because of a job, all of the legal details will usually be handled through your employer. They will usually take full responsibility for the employee and their family members as well so it is important to know the limits of that authority. You may feel that the contract you negotiated was acceptable when you were back in your homeland, but once you spend some time there, you may change your mind. Read your contract carefully and examine the local laws to see what options you have if you find yourself in an adverse situation. This information may be accessible from expatriate groups, your embassy, or international law firms. ps5 for sale

Landlord-Tenant law – Major international employers typically provide housing in compounds for expatriate employees. But, you may choose, or be required to find a place to stay on your own. Because you are a foreigner, you are especially vulnerable and may be taken advantage of. It would be best to rely on the advice of a local contact when deciding on a specific location. Additionally, ask local contacts to inform you of the local practices and common concerns and find out as much as you can about the landlord-tenant laws. It is possible that most of the housing available has kitchens that do not provide built-in cabinets or appliances. What happens if you have plumbing problems? Is your security deposit refundable? These are just a few of the possible issues that could come up. It would be best to know the answers before you sign a lease.

Taxes – To make sure you stay in compliance with your home country’s tax regulations, you can check their web site directly, and search for income earned abroad. If there are a significant number of expatriates in the area, there are most likely accounting offices that can help you with the details. You should also consult your employer or other local contacts about possible tax obligations to the local government as well.

Although it may seem that these concerns will not apply to most people, having knowledge of the local laws and legal system will help you avoid possible problems. Being aware, and letting the people you are dealing with know that you are aware will boost your confidence and help you steer clear of problems. We hope that these details will help your transition to living abroad trouble-free. For more tips, check our other e-zine articles about moving abroad.

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