Balloon busted!

Had it all planned out. As a Canadian we are not allowed to live abroad for more than 182 days without returning. Unless, you change your resident status. Which allows the Canadian govt to tax you at a flat rate of 25%. Or you can renounce your citizenship. Or you can change your residency status which comes with whole host of other problems. As I was just planning on living and not working in Cambodia I am extremely frustrated by this information. I currently have two pensions one through work and a disability pension. Both require that I be a resident of Canada. It could take me up to 10 years to regain my citizenship. 
Are there any retired Canadian expats living in Cambodia permanently? If so maybe you could shed more light on this.  Damn, I've been selling off my stuff. I've been so excited at the opportunity to experience a new culture. Only to get smacked upside the head with a 2X4!  Canada please do expound one more time on Freedom?
Cheers people

Hello jodi.

I'm not Canadian but I'm sure someone will show up to gives his/her experience.

I just would like to make a few comments.

You talk about losing your citizenship. I think that is wrong. You will always stay a Canadian citizen with a Canadian passport. If you would lose your citizenship and not have received another country's citizenship, it would make you a stateless person? Don't think so.

I guess it's about social security. I know from many Germans living here that they lose the right to social security if they leave their country for more than ..... They have still an address in Germany and for social security they live in Germany. It's cheating in my eyes, but ok. I myself signed out of my country Netherlands 11 years ago, when I headed to Thailand first. That way I can get a new passport at the Dutch consulate, if I would have not signed out I would be forced to go back to my country for a new passport. I got two pension and a small one, the money is sent to my Cambodia bank account, no problem whatsoever. Once a year I have to provide a proof of being alive, signed by in my case the MD of the local international clinic.
I think they cannot take away your pension because you live abroad. I guess many Canadian retirees live outside their country. A way to make it easier is to state and prove that medically speaking you are better off in warm countries, such as Cambodia, just a tip.

Anyway, I hope one of your countrymen will react soon, I hope it's all a big misunderstanding.

Good luck.

Cambodia expat-advisor team

I've never heard anything like this.  I just simply left Australia and now live here.  I'm self funded retiree, so don't need their money.  I pay tax in Australia on my pension but it's minimal, and will be 0 when I'm 60.  I plan to go back and get the Australian Aged Pension at 67 or thereabouts if I am still entitled to it.  By that I mean if I don't have too much money such that I no longer qualify for the pension, which could happen if this grand bull market continues (well one can only hope).

Hi Joe,
Cant relinquish citizenship until I have acquired another country's residency. In Canada they will not let you relinquish until then. As you stated "stateless ".  I took early retirement from work through a disability policy. Second early retirement took a hit on my Canadian Pension Plan which we pay into while working.  I do like your info on a warmer climate regarding my health. I will check into that further. Spending only six months there is almost doable but returning back to Canada and finding accommodation for a further 6 months is not only difficult but hugely expensive. Canada ain't cheap! I currently fork out $1100 for my one bedroom before utilities.   And that isn't the worst of it. Have you seen our Prime minister ?  Nice to know you can be a Prime minister with qualifications like; camp counsellor and bungee jumper! Thanks again Joe for weighing in!

Interesting , both being Commomwealth countries. Although my  British and Scottish expat friend here in Canada also have very different rules regarding pensions as well. My pensions aren't tied to govt social security programs. Our CPP is mandatory during your working years as I'm sure yours are. I already took a hit being forced to take early retirement. Then as I said a further 25% cuts a bit deeper. Then my company pension requires residency.  Ok , now it looks like I'm requiring a spouse from another country!! Lmao!  Cheers to working a way around this quagmire!

Thanks guys!


For your info. Cambodia does not have permanent residency.
You can renew your retirement extension of stay each year, but there is no such thing as a permanent residency. The only option is Cambodian citizenship, which takes years and years and has specific requirements.

Can't you keep an address in Canada? At relatives, family, friends? That would solve the pension requirement of residency.

Get info on the health-related warm weather for your medical condition.




Just this morning I had a conversation with my friend and neighbour Bob, a retired Canadian and living here for quite some years. He gave me clear answers so here you go.

You will NOT lose your citizenship when you move to live in Cambodia.
You will have to end your residency in Canada which you do when you declare your last tax form.
If you are resident of Canada you cannot go away for more than 6 months as you would be punished. Many Canadian expats living in Florida return within 6 months.
You will lose your medicare once you leave the country.

So finish your residency, fly to Cambodia and keep a bank account in Canada for your pension money. In Cambodia you get a retirement extension of stay for a year each time, as long as you want.

My friend Bob has a state pension and a private pension, and both are still valid, he does not go back to Canada more often than once in 4 years, he has no problems with being no resident, neither with the pension institutes nor with renewing his passport at a Canadian embassy/consulate.

I think things are clearer now for you. Another question is have you been to Cambodia and are you sure you can live here? If not, come over first for a few months and see if you like it.



Thanks again Joe for the info you have found. Waiting an answer on my private pension. Going forward I will lose 25% on my incomes being a non- resident. No way around it. 
I have not been to Cambodia but did spent a couple of months both in Indonesia and China(HK). Indonesia I think bares similarities. I'm fairly good at navigating around the differences in culture and am quite resourceful. Goal: avoid sleeping on a bench due to inadequate research! Ha.  If it works out drinks are on me when I arrive!
Thanks again!

You're welcome Missjodi, hope everything works out well.

Keep us updated?


I'm a retired Canadian, so perhaps I can help you out.

The 25% is because Cambodia does not have a tax treaty with Canada. If you went to Vietnam for example, it would be different, as they have a treaty. However, the 25% tax is held until you file your taxes, and then you will be taxed at the appropriate rate, and any over payment will be returned to you.

As for your corporate pensions, you can have them transferred to a "Locked-In RRSP". Once you have been outside of Canada for two years, you can apply to have them released. At which point you can spend the money or transfer it to another savings vehicle such as a regular RRSP. 

The Non-resident status does not revoke your citizenship, it is for tax purposes only. You will retain your passport, and what have you, without a problem.

What is a problem though, is banking. Some banks can be a real hassle to deal with overseas. So open bank accounts at a number of different banks, and use the address of a relative in Canada. Do not tell them you are moving out of Canada, as some of them will lock your account. As for a brokerage to hold your retirement funds, use Questrade. You can let Questrade know you are in Cambodia, and they will adjust your taxes for Canadian and Foreign holdings, and they will transfer funds to your bank in either country.

I hope this helps you out.  I vividly remember throwing my winter boots in the trash bin at the Calgary airport, and have never looked back.

Hi A Name, nice handle!
Thank you for your info. Wasn't aware of the bank locking up accounts. Will check on that. Am aware of the tax treaty info. I figure the loss is balanced out by the cost of living etc.  On the other hand, if I lived in Calgary I'd be running too. Never mind the state of their hockey team........ again thank you so much for weighing in with great info!

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