How to Live in Multiple Countries at Once

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How to live in Two Countries at Once

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Moving internationally is always complicated, but what if you only want to half-move? Perhaps you have a unique family or occupational situation that requires you to split time between two international homes. How is it possible to live in two countries at once?

Why live in two countries at once?

To the average person, the prospect of living between two homes in different countries seems preposterously expensive and complicated. It certainly isn't for those who are travel adverse or lacking funds. However, there are some reasons why this is more possible and common that you would think:.
  • You are in the process of moving overseas, but still live at home due to tax, financial, housing, educational, or visa restrictions.
  • You are employed by a multinational company that allows or requires frequent travel between two countries.
  • You are extremely wealthy and can afford to travel between homes frequently.
  • You are temporarily moving for work, but still wish to maintain residence in your old home.
  • You live with your parents or family at home who will take care of your things while you are in another country.

Legal issues

There are a few legal considerations you need to remember when attempting to live in multiple countries.
  • Usually you are a citizen in your home country and have an extended residency visa in the other country. Living in two countries may be difficult if the second country requires exit visas for non-native residents.
  • Report your foreign income to your home country's government. Taxation gets complicated when you live and work in multiple countries. This is simplified if you are simply getting paid by the same company wherever you are, but you may want to consult an accountant with some knowledge of international taxation.
  • Avoid travelling with too many items. Be aware of both countries' customs regulations.

Practical tips

If you have the visa and residency issues squared away, consider the physical challenges living in two homes in different cultures and climates.
  • Have separate location-specific clothing in each home. The climate may be different in each country so it makes no sense to bring all of your clothes to both places. Keep cultural values in mind when selecting clothing.
  • Keep location-specific items in their places. If your second country's home is mostly for work, keep your work things there when you travel home.
  • Invest in a frequent flyer program. This will obviously save you money since you will be travelling a lot.
  • Make sure your mail gets forwarded to you (or online) while you are in your second country. There are a few services available for this. Remember that they need to work internationally.
  • Get a phone that isn't region-locked. Your phone should travel with you while other electronics should stay in the country from which you purchased them. Phones can be unlocked but other electronics cannot.
  • Learn the language of the second country. This will make travel and daily life easier.
  • Pay all of your bills online, if possible. Never depend on physical mail for anything, even if you have a forwarding service.
  • If you do need to transport furniture, appliances, or any larger shipments, contact international movers and schedule and in-house estimate.
  • Don't neglect to fully experience your second country while you live there part time. You have a home there, so learn to be a true resident, even if you spend a lot of time in your native country.
  • Consider renting out out your home or using self storage if you will be away from one home for an extended period of time. You want to protect your belongings and have your home used and maintained.
  • Have a bank account in both countries. This will make conversion easier and provide access to more of your money in each location.
It takes some time and coordination, but living in two countries at once is possible. When living and moving internationally, you can truly be a citizen of the world.


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on December 1, 2014

TopMoving.ca - Moving Expert
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