Country – Canada

3. Canada


Registration of Canadians Abroad:

Registering with a Canadian Government Office Abroad

We offer a registration service for all Canadians travelling or living abroad. This service is provided so that we can contact and assist you in an emergency. Registration is voluntary, and personal information provided on the registration form is used in accordance with the Privacy Act. You can register on-line.

Registration of Canadians Abroad is a free service offered by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada that keeps you connected to Canada in case of an emergency abroad, such as an earthquake or civil unrest, or an emergency at home.

Whether you’re planning a vacation or living abroad, sign up in a few minutes or less.


Why register?

  1. It is quick, confidential and simple.
  2. We will notify you if there is an emergency in your travel region
  3. You can access consular services.
  4. Mobile friendly.


Canadian citizen’s information for nationals living abroad:

Living/Travelling in the Philippines

Preparation is the key to successful travel. By doing your homework before you leave, you minimize the chances of something going wrong. Below you will find a broad range of information to help you prepare for a safe and enjoyable journey.

The Consulate of Canada in Cebu also provide limited consular services to Canadians living and travelling in the region.

Safe Travel Publications:


Once you have decided to leave Canada and have chosen a destination, make sure your passport, any visas you require and other travel documents are in order, including those concerning your status in your new country.


A valid Canadian passport is essential. It will expedite immigration procedures and is useful for other purposes, such as opening bank accounts and cashing traveller’s cheques. If your passport will expire while you are abroad, make plans to renew it on time. Check with your host country’s embassy or consulate accredited to Canada for its rules and restrictions regarding passport validity and expiration.

You should also prepare a passport emergency kit in case your passport is lost or stolen. This should include:

  • a photocopy of the identification page in your passport;
  • the original of your birth or citizenship certificate;
  • a copy of at least one current supplementary document to support your identity and the name to appear in the passport;
  • the address and telephone number of the Canadian government office abroad in the country in which you plan to retire; and
  • two recent photos meeting Passport Canada specifications.

Keeping this information in a safe place separate from your passport will save you time and money should you lose the originals. For added security, you may also want to leave a kit with a friend or relative at home.

If your passport is lost or stolen while you are outside Canada, report the loss or theft to the local police, obtain a copy of the police report, and immediately contact the nearest Canadian government office for a replacement. Make sure you get a copy of the police report or the report number. Before a new passport can be issued, you must complete an application form, produce written evidence of your Canadian citizenship (a birth or citizenship certificate and at least one current supplementary document to support your identity), present two recent photos, pay the required fee, and complete a “Statutory Declaration Concerning a Lost, Stolen, Damaged, Destroyed or Inaccessible Canadian Passport or Travel Document” (Form PPT 203).

If you have any questions about passports, consult the Passport Canada website or call 1-800-567-6868.

Staying in Touch

No matter how attractive a foreign destination may seem at first, most expatriates find that they are more dependent than ever on contact with family and friends. Others find that news from home is a stabilizing influence, at least while they are becoming accustomed to being foreigners in another country. However, you should not assume that telecommunications and mail systems will be as efficient as they are in Canada.
Maintain contact with family and friends back home. Sharing your experiences and problems can help you adapt to the local environment.

Crime and Safety

Your Canadian citizenship does not exempt you from local laws and regulations. When you are staying in a foreign country, familiarize yourself with the way of life there. If you do find yourself in trouble, contact the nearest Canadian government office immediately. However, keep in mind that Canadian officials may not be able to help you at all if you have acquired local status, such as citizenship.

The following safety tips can maximize your chances of having a safe journey abroad:

  • Watch your luggage and make sure it’s locked.
  • Never take anything, even an envelope, across a border for someone else.
  • Choose your travelling companions wisely. Do not pick up hitchhikers. Though you may not be carrying anything illegal, your companions might be and you could be implicated.
  • Know where you are and where you are going at all times. Carefully plan road trips in advance.
  • Keep valuables out of sight, and never leave them in a parked vehicle or in your room. Use the safety deposit box at your hotel.
  • Do not display large amounts of cash or wear expensive jewellery. Use a money belt or a case with hidden sections to conceal them.
  • Do not carry your passport, tickets, identification documents, cash, credit cards and insurance papers together. Keep them separate so that in the event of theft or loss you do not lose everything.
  • Make copies of your credit card and ATM numbers so they can be cancelled quickly.
  • If you use an ATM, do so during business hours at a location inside a bank, supermarket or large commercial building.

Valuable Items

Before going abroad with valuable items, you can take advantage of a free identification procedure at any office of the Canada Border Services Agency. This service is available for items that have serial numbers or other unique markings. Alternatively, in certain circumstances customs officers may apply a sticker to an item, giving it a special number.

Jewellery often has significant value and can be difficult to identify. To make it easier to re-enter the country with jewellery, contact your nearest customs office to find out the steps to take before your departure

Retiring Abroad:

Thousands of Canadians have decided to live their retirement years in another country, perhaps with a more moderate climate or proximity to family and friends. Many do so year-round, while others, including snowbirds, spend a few months abroad at a time.

Whatever your reason for wanting to retire outside Canada, the basic rule is to make careful preparations. Tax laws, medical care and security quickly become a preoccupation once you live in another country or wish to return home to Canada after an extended stay.

Related links


Service Canada – Canadians Abroad

The Government of Canada offers Canadians living abroad assistance as well as important information on taxation, customs and other topics.

Service Canada delivers pension benefits to eligible Canadians living abroad according to Canada’s social security agreements with other countries.

Receiving Canadian Public Pensions Abroad

Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) and Old Age Security (OAS) benefits can be paid to you when you are living outside the country, subject to certain conditions.

CPP/QPP benefits are paid outside Canada as long as all conditions of eligibility continue to be met. OAS is paid outside Canada if the pensioner lived in Canada for at least 20 years after age 18. Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) and Spouse’s Allowance (SPA) benefits are paid for six months plus the month of departure. Canada’s OAS system is intended to guarantee a minimum income to retirees, and benefits are subject to an income test. You can receive OAS benefits outside Canada, but generally you must file an annual return reporting your worldwide income. For detailed information, consult

Other resources

Almost all of today’s seniors receive income from Canada’s public pensions: the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS). Together, the CPP and OAS provide a modest base upon which Canadians can build their retirement income. Basic financial support is also available to survivors and to people who become too disabled to work and their children.

Qualifying for Canadian and Philippine benefits

Agreement on Social Security between Canada and the Philippines

The Agreement

The Agreement on Social Security between Canada and the Philippines came into force on March 1, 1997. A Supplementary Agreement amending that Agreement came into force on July 1, 2001.

The Agreement may help you qualify for Canadian and Philippine old age and disability benefits if you contributed to both the Canada Pension Plan and the Philippine Social Security System (SSS) and/or the Philippine Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), or if you resided in Canada and in the Philippines.

The Agreement may also help you qualify for Canadian and Philippine survivor benefits if you are the widow, widower or child of a person who contributed to the pension programs of the two countries.

Social security legislation and agreements are complex. This sheet contains only general information and may not describe all the provisions that apply to your situation.

Qualifying for a Canadian benefit

The Canadian pension programs included in the Agreement are the Canada Pension Plan and the Old Age Security program.

Under the Canada Pension Plan, you can receive a benefit when you retire or if you become disabled. The Plan may also pay benefits to your survivors after you die. To qualify for a benefit, you normally must have contributed to the Plan for a minimum period.

If you do not qualify for a Canada Pension Plan benefit, Canada will consider periods credited under the Philippine pension program as periods of contribution to the Canada Pension Plan.

The Old Age Security program covers most persons who live or have lived in Canada. The pension is payable at the age of 65 to persons who meet certain residence conditions. To qualify for a Canadian Old Age Security pension in Canada, you normally must have lived in this country for at least 10 years after the age of 18. You normally need 20 years of residence in Canada after the same age to receive an Old Age Security pension outside Canada.

What happens if you do not qualify for a Canadian Old Age Security pension because you have not lived in Canada for the minimum number of years? Under the Agreement, Canada will consider periods credited under the Philippine pension program after the age of 18 as periods of residence in Canada.

Qualifying for a Philippine benefit

The Philippine pension program consists of the Social Security System (SSS) and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS). The SSS provides benefits to all private employees and self-employed persons. The GSIS provides benefits to all employees in the public sector.

To qualify for a benefit under the Philippine pension program, you normally must have resided in the Philippines or contributed to the SSS and/or the GSIS for a minimum number of years. For example, to qualify for a Philippine old age benefit under the SSS, you normally must have been credited with contributions to the System for at least 120 months. To qualify for an old age benefit under the GSIS, you normally must have accumulated at least 15 years of service.

If you have not contributed to the SSS and/or the GSIS for the minimum period, you may not qualify for a Philippine benefit. However, under the Agreement, the Philippines will consider periods of contribution to the Canada Pension Plan and periods of residence in Canada after the age of 18 as credited periods under the SSS and/or the GSIS.

Payment of your benefits

You may qualify for a Canadian or Philippine benefit, or both. Under the Agreement, each country will pay a benefit based solely on your periods of contribution or periods of residence under its pension program.

For more information

You can find more information on the Social Security Agreement between Canada and the Philippines on the Philippine International Benefits page.

How to apply for benefits

If you want to apply for a Philippine or Canadian benefit under the Agreement, or if you have questions, please call or write us.

From Canada or the United States, you can contact us, free of charge, at:

  • 1 800 277-9914
  • 1 800 255-4786 (TTY)

From other countries, please call:

  • 1 613 957-1954 (collect calls accepted)

You can also write to us at:

  • Income Security Programs
    Human Resources Development Canada
    Ottawa, ON K1A 0L4
  • Fax: 1 613 952-8901

Medical Advice

It is a good idea to have a medical checkup before you go. You also need to plan carefully for your health needs once you have left Canada. Many nations have health care systems that most Canadians would consider inadequate. The cost of medical care outside Canada can be extremely high. Arrange for adequate private health care coverage before you leave Canada. Take copies of your prescriptions and an initial supply of non-prescription medicines.

The Public Health Agency of Canada strongly recommends that you contact a travel medicine clinic or your physician six to eight weeks before departure. Based on an individual risk assessment, a health care provider can determine your need for immunizations and any special precautions that will help you avoid disease while abroad.

For more information or to obtain a list of travel clinics in your area, contact the Public Health Agency of Canada or 613-957-8739. A list of travel clinics may also be obtained from the Canadian Society for International Health or 613-241-5785.

Find out well in advance of your departure date if you need any special vaccinations or preventive medications for such illnesses as yellow fever, typhoid, meningitis, Japanese encephalitis, hepatitis or malaria. An International Certificate of Vaccination may be a legal requirement to enter certain countries. You can obtain this information from your doctor, the Canadian Society for International Health, or the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Travel Health Program. You may need to start receiving your vaccination shots or taking medication six to eight weeks before you leave.

Infectious diseases that aren’t frequently seen in Canada occur and may even be widespread in other countries. Ensure that your immunizations—diphtheria, whooping cough (pertussis), tetanus, polio, measles, mumps and rubella—are up-to-date.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition that could present a problem while you are outside Canada, it is wise to wear a MedicAlert® bracelet. Through the MedicAlert® Foundation, your vital medical facts become part of a database that can be accessed 24 hours a day from anywhere in the world.

People with a Disability

Many countries do not provide access for people in wheelchairs or make allowances for those with special hearing, sight or other physical requirements. You may have to make special arrangements to obtain amenities that you expect as a matter of course in Canada. For more information, refer to Travelling With Special Needs.

Canadians with disabilities who hold a valid parking permit in Canada may take their permit with them for use in any of the member and associate member countries of the International Transport Forum. Be sure to check with local authorities there to determine entitlement. For more information, consult the International Transport Forum or Transport Canada website.

Health Care Issues

Canadian health care is mainly a provincial matter, and each province’s health care plan has its own residency requirements. A typical requirement is that you are physically present in the province for at least six months a year. These requirements are not related to residency for tax purposes. You can lose your entitlement to provincial health care and still be liable for both federal and provincial income taxes.

If you lose your provincial health care coverage, you may have to wait three months to requalify for coverage after your return. Check with provincial health care authorities to find out the specific conditions that will apply to you. Ask for information on the length of time you can be out of the country without losing your health care coverage.

Canadian Provincial Health Care Programs

Canadian provincial health care programs provide limited coverage during temporary periods of absence from Canada. Typically, the coverage extends for three months. The level of benefits, however, may be inadequate to cover costs in some locations, especially the United States. The reason for this is that the payments allowed for out-of-country treatment are comparable to the fees paid by the provincial plans to health care providers in Canada. These fees reflect the resources of Canada’s public health care system. In some cases, a foreign hospital may charge several times more than your provincial program will allow. It is therefore essential that you arrange for private health care insurance for when you are residing abroad.

Provincial health care programs terminate eligibility after periods of prolonged absence from Canada, typically six months. In most cases, you must be physically present in your Canadian province of residence for 183 days of each calendar year to maintain your health care coverage. The rationale for this requirement is that, when you are out of the country, you are not paying provincial sales tax or the Goods and Services Tax, both of which help to pay for medical care.

If you lose your provincial health care coverage, there may be a waiting period before it is reinstated when you return to Canada following an extended stay abroad. Certain insurance plans for Canadians travelling abroad automatically include coverage for this waiting period. If your “out of Canada” plan does not include this coverage, there are plans available for visitors to Canada that may be purchased to provide coverage during the waiting period. In general, these plans must be purchased immediately on your return to Canada. It is important to note that most “visitor” plans purchased following a return to Canada will exclude any pre-existing medical condition.

Arrange Health-Care Coverage

What will you do if you have an accident or become ill while abroad? Are you prepared for emergency repatriation? Have you checked the provisions of your provincial health care plan?
In some provinces, you can avoid the requalification period by waiving your right to coverage while you are out of the country. This way, you will be covered immediately upon your return, even though you were out of the country for more than six months. Before leaving Canada, check with provincial health care authorities to make sure you fully understand how your health care coverage will be affected.

Private Health Care Insurance

There are two types of private health care insurance. Supplementary insurance provides supplementary benefits for people who are covered by a Canadian provincial health care plan (see the Supplementary Insurance section below). Replacement insurance provides coverage for those who are ineligible for provincial plans.

Supplementary Insurance

Even if you plan to return to Canada soon enough to avoid losing your provincial health care coverage, it is still advisable to have private health care insurance, mainly to cover the extra cost of medical services received abroad.

Supplementary insurance offers benefits for people covered by a Canadian provincial health care plan. This type of insurance is relatively inexpensive since it covers only unexpected short-term health problems. You are expected to return to Canada for treatment of pre-existing medical conditions or long-term health problems. Most of these policies include coverage for emergency evacuation to Canada; in many cases, evacuation is mandatory for serious problems. You can claim the cost of foreign medical expenses, including insurance premiums, as an income tax deduction.

You should obtain supplementary insurance before you leave Canada. Check the following points when purchasing such health care insurance:

  • Does the insurer require that your government health insurance plan remain in effect?
  • Does the insurer have an in-house worldwide emergency hotline you can call if you are in trouble? Is this hotline open 24 hours a day, seven days a week? Is the operator multilingual? Does the insurer have nurses or physicians on staff?
  • Are foreign hospital and related medical costs paid directly or are you required to pay up-front and seek reimbursement later?
  • Will the insurer provide a cash deposit in advance if a hospital requires it?
  • Does the insurance cover medical evacuation to the nearest place with proper medical care or to Canada, along with any required medical escorts?
  • Does the plan offer fully insured evacuation and assistance services, or will you be required to absorb these costs?
  • Are pre-existing medical conditions covered? If such conditions exist, notify the insurer and get an agreement in writing that you are covered for these conditions. Otherwise, you could find your claim “null and void.” If pre-existing medical conditions are not covered, carefully consider the cost and availability of services related to your condition in the destination country.
  • Does the insurance cover costs associated with a death abroad, including the return of remains to Canada?
  • Does the policy cover return visits to Canada or other travel during your stay abroad? Would supplemental coverage be required?
  • If you return to Canada, will the policy cover any necessary waiting period before your government plan is renewed, or will a separate plan be required?

Keep a supply of insurance claim forms handy. Always carry a copy of your insurance policy with you, along with the telephone numbers of the insurer’s service centre. This information should also be left with a friend or relative at home and a friend or relative in the country where you will be retiring. If you pay for medical attention out of your own pocket, obtain a detailed invoice from the doctor or hospital. Most insurance companies will not accept copies or faxes. Keep a copy of the submitted documents for your files.

When you arrive in the destination country, make a point of locating the nearest reputable clinic or hospital. Don’t wait for an emergency—it may be too late! The local Canadian government office will be able to provide information on clinics and hospitals (for a Directory of Canadian Government Offices Abroad, consult or the publication Bon Voyage, But…).

Replacement Insurance

If you will be living outside Canada for long enough to lose your provincial health care coverage, you will need full replacement coverage and not just supplementary benefits. When purchasing replacement coverage, make sure the provider understands that you will no longer be covered by your provincial plan.

Full replacement insurance is less readily available than supplementary insurance. A number of companies provide insurance specifically designed for expatriates. An Internet search will generally produce a number of options. Enter keywords such as “expatriate health insurance,” “worldwide insurance,” or “medical insurance abroad.” You should arrange for replacement insurance before leaving Canada. Check that the policy is valid in the country where you intend to stay.

Most policies place some limitations on pre-existing medical conditions and have age restrictions. Further, many insurers reserve the right to repatriate you to your home country in the event of a major ailment. If you are no longer covered by your provincial plan, ensure that the replacement plan you are considering either does not require repatriation back to Canada or will guarantee that if you are repatriated, full coverage will apply in Canada during the waiting period for reinstatement of provincial benefits.

Some plans do not require repatriation in the event of a major ailment, offer limited coverage for pre-existing conditions, are available to persons over 75, or offer a combination of these features. However, costs can be high—US $10,000 a year for each covered person is not unusual at the higher end of the age scale.

When considering replacement insurance, carefully assess your own situation, taking into account your age, any pre-existing medical conditions and your intentions in the event of a major or long-term illness.


Taxation Issues:

People who spend part of the year in another country but maintain their residence in Canada pay Canadian income taxes as if they had never left. Nonetheless, taxation issues arise if the other country imposes its own taxes. If you spend your winters in a country that has a tax treaty with Canada, such as the United States or Mexico, you are protected from double taxation, even though you may have to file tax returns in both countries. If you are spending part of each year in a non-treaty country, you should do your own research to find out what your tax situation is.

The principal question for you, as a retiree, is whether your Canadian-source pension and investment income will be taxed. Some countries impose taxes on income from the rental of your home in the off-season.

Canada has tax conventions with many countries. For more information, visit the CRA website. A helpful pamphlet for Canadian snowbirds in the United States, publication P151 entitled Canadian Residents Going Down South, is also available from the Canada Revenue Agency.

Maintaining Canadian Residency

The concept of Canadian residency is a taxation issue and not an immigration matter. If you live outside Canada for part of the year and keep residential ties with Canada, you will be considered a factual resident of Canada. Once you have established a home and have been employed in Canada, you cannot lose this residency status simply by leaving the country. You must permanently and overtly sever your Canadian connections and declare your departure on your income tax return. Snowbirds, therefore, do not have to worry about accidentally forfeiting their Canadian residency, regardless of their immigration status.

Plan Your Finances

Have you allowed for Canadian withholding taxes on your pension income? Will you be subject to double taxation in your country of destination? Have you arranged to file required tax returns in Canada? Have you made allowances for additional communications and travel costs, as well as import duties?

If you choose to, you can submit Form NR73, “Determination of Residency Status (Leaving Canada),” to the CRA for their opinion of your residency status. Further information is available from the Agency’s Interpretation Bulletin IT-221R3, Determination of an Individual’s Residence Status.

Canadian Non-Resident Withholding Taxes

Canada imposes a withholding tax on “passive” income paid to nonresidents from Canadian sources. Canadian-source income subject to non-resident withholding tax includes interest, dividends, rental income, registered retirement savings plan income, registered retirement income fund income, and pension income.

The rate of non-resident withholding tax is 25 percent. This tax may be reduced according to the terms of tax treaties between Canada and other countries.

Non-Resident Tax Returns

Once you have become a non-resident of Canada as defined by the Canada Revenue Agency, you have to file a return only if you receive certain types of Canadian-source income, such as income from employment earned in Canada, from a business carried on in Canada, or from the sale of taxable Canadian property. Certain income you receive as a non-resident is subject to non-resident withholding tax. Non-resident withholding tax is generally considered a final tax liability to Canada. However, on rental income and pension-type incomes, you may be entitled to a refund if you file a return and your taxable income is low enough.

Tax Treaties

The tax situation of Canadians living abroad is complicated to some extent by the fact that each country bases its income tax system on different principles. Canada and the United States both tax “factual residents” on their worldwide income and also tax non-residents on some types of domestic income. Many other countries tax only income from local sources, partly because they lack the resources to assess worldwide income. A few countries do not tax income at all, relying instead on consumption taxes and import duties.

Fortunately, the situation is simplified if you move to a country with which Canada has a tax agreement. Canada has tax conventions or agreements (commonly referred to as tax treaties) with more than 75 countries. These tax treaties often eliminate double taxation for those who would otherwise have to pay tax on the same income in two countries. Generally, tax treaties determine how much each country can tax income such as salaries, wages, pensions and accrued interest. For further information, visit the CRA site.

If you move to a country that does not have a tax treaty with Canada, you may be subject to double taxation. Carefully research the tax laws of the country where you intend to retire. If you will be taxed on your Canadian-source income, find out if the withholding taxes you pay in Canada will be credited against your tax liability in that country.

Permanent Retirement Abroad

Retiring permanently to another country is an option for Canadians who are seeking a lower tax jurisdiction, do not intend to return regularly to Canada and can obtain adequate health care protection. If you are thinking of leaving Canada and taking up permanent residence in another country, you should be aware that this involves establishing a legal status within the other country that goes well beyond that of an annual tourist. You may seek either permanent residency or citizenship status, or both. Either may impose a variety of conditions and requirements, and you should be very clear about their implications. Among other consequences, Canadian consular officials in your country of destination may not be able to help you if you run into difficulties.

Severing Canadian Residency

You cannot terminate your Canadian citizenship or residency simply by living in another country. To terminate your residency, you have to leave Canada on a permanent basis, sever your residential ties with Canada and establish residential ties in the country you are moving to.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) determines non-resident status on a case-by-case basis, so consult a tax advisor about the necessary steps you should take. Retaining Canadian residency does not necessarily put you at a disadvantage. Depending on your situation, your actual tax liability could be lower than the non-resident withholding taxes imposed on your Canadian pensions and investment income.

If you live outside Canada and have severed your residential ties with Canada, you will be considered a non-resident of Canada for taxation purposes. Residential ties are the connections that you may have with Canada while you are living abroad. Examples of these are:

  • residence such as your principal residence or house rented on a short-term basis;
  • spouse and/or dependent children who remain in Canada; and
  • personal property such as furniture, automobiles, bank accounts, credit cards, driver’s licences and health plan memberships, and social ties such as club or professional memberships.

A regular pattern of visits to Canada can be regarded as evidence of continued residency, especially if you have family connections in the country. If you retain ownership of your home, you should lease it on a non-revocable basis; if you have ongoing access to it, it may still be regarded as your residence.

Canadian Departure Taxes

Taxpayers who emigrate from Canada are generally deemed to have disposed of almost all of their property at fair market value on the date they leave. Capital gains taxes, if any, are assessed at this time. Assets affected by this provision include shares in Canadian corporations, but not Canadian real estate. Deemed disposition is triggered by your declaration that you have left the country, which you make on your final income tax return, filed by April 30 of the year following your departure. Those with assets valued at more than $25,000 must file a special form with their return.

Taxation for Canadians Travelling, Living or Working Outside Canada:

The amount of income tax you pay in Canada depends on whether you are a resident or non-resident of Canada. This depends on why and how long you stay outside Canada, the ties you establish in your new country, how long and how often you return to Canada and your residential ties to Canada.

Your residency status will determine if you are a factual resident, a deemed resident, a non-resident, or a deemed non-resident of Canada for income tax purposes.

For more information about residency status, see Interpretation Bulletin IT-221, “Determination of an Individual’s Residence Status”.

If you are not sure of your residency status, you can complete Form NR73, “Determination of Residency Status (Leaving Canada)”.

Canadians leaving Canada to travel or live abroad

If you spend part of the year travelling and you maintain residential ties to Canada, you will usually be considered a factual resident of Canada for income tax purposes.

For more information about the income tax rules that apply to you while outside Canada, see Pamphlet T4131, Canadian Residents Abroad.

Non-residents of Canada for income tax purposes

You are a non-resident for tax purposes if you:

  • normally, customarily, or routinely live in another country and are not considered a resident of Canada, or
  • do not have significant residential ties to Canada, and
    • you live outside Canada throughout the tax year, or
    • you stay in Canada for less than 183 days in the tax year.

Generally, when you leave Canada to settle in another country (emigrate), you become a non-resident of Canada for income tax purposes. For more information about the tax rules that apply for the year you become an emigrant from Canada, see Leaving Canada (emigrants).

For more information on your tax obligations, see Non-Residents of Canada.

Deemed non-residents of Canada for income tax purposes

If you are a factual resident of Canada and a resident of another country with which Canada has a tax treaty, you may be considered a deemed non-resident of Canada for tax purposes.

You become a deemed non-resident of Canada when your ties with the other country become such that you would be considered a resident of that other country under the tax treaty that Canada has with the other country.

If you are a deemed non-resident, you must follow the same rules as a non-resident of Canada.

For more information please visit the Canada Revenue Agency Individuals – International and non-resident taxes web page.

Elections (Voting from Abroad):

Canadians who are temporarily living or travelling outside Canada can, under certain conditions, vote by special ballot in federal elections, by-elections and referendums.

You may vote by special mail-in ballot if you are a Canadian citizen 18 years of age or older on polling day and if you:

  • usually live in Canada, but are away from your electoral district during the electoral period, or
  • have been living outside Canada for less than five consecutive years (or longer if you meet certain employment-based criteria for exemption from the five-year limit) and meet certain criteria.

Living abroad

If you are living abroad, you may apply to be added to Elections Canada’s International Register of Electors at any time. You must submit a completed Application for Registration and Special Ballot for Canadian citizens residing outside Canada and provide copies of supporting documents that prove your identity. This form is available at any Canadian government office abroad, on theElections Canada website or by calling Elections Canada at 613-993-2975. Completed applications and copies of supporting documents should be mailed or faxed to Elections Canada in Ottawa. Once your application has been approved, your name is added to the International Register of Electors. A special voting ballot is mailed to you when an election is called.

If an election has been called and you are not in the International Register of Electors, you may still apply. Applications must reach Elections Canada in Ottawa by 6:00 EST on the Tuesday before election day to qualify you to vote by special ballot in that election.

Deadlines for voting while abroad

If you intend to vote by special ballot and are not in the International Register of Electors, register as soon as you can after an election is called. You are responsible for allowing enough time for Elections Canada to send you a special ballot voting kit and for you to return it before the deadline. If you cast your ballot outside your electoral district, your vote must be received in Ottawa no later than 6:00 p.m. EST on polling day.

According to the Canada Elections Act, your vote cannot be counted if it is received late.

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