I am a Belgian citizen in my twenties. Next year, I'm planning to move to Singapore for work (as a postdoctoral researcher), with a one-year contract, which could possibly be extended afterwards.

I'm wondering if I should change my legal address to Singapore or keep the address of my parents in Belgium (which I intend to visit twice a year, say).

What is the most customary in this case, and beneficial (e.g. tax-wise)?

  • What do you mean by “changing your domicile”? Notifying the Belgian authorities that you will move to Singapore? Note that there is no unified international legal concept of main residence and typically you do not get to choose. – Relaxed Jun 29 '20 at 13:38
  • @Relaxed thanks, thought that such a concept existed. At least part of what I meant was asking to be removed from the population register of my home municipality, and registering at the Belgian consulate in Singapore instead. I know this has an influence for e.g. the elections, and possibly a number of other things. – Wouter Jun 29 '20 at 14:42
  • It's a bit more complicated, Belgium will have its rules (that I do not know very well) and other countries will have their own (which might require you to register somewhere and/or consider you a tax residence based on the length of time spent in the country or the nature of your stay or conversely forbid you from registering for some purposes depending on your visa type). – Relaxed Jun 29 '20 at 14:49
  • To make things even more confusing, some countries (e.g. France) do not have a unified concept of residence. For example, it's possible to be considered a resident for tax matters but not for citizenship applications. So it would be really useful to be more specific in your question. – Relaxed Jun 29 '20 at 14:51
  • Hm, okay. I'm even not really sure of which sense I mean (actually: it's about all senses since I don't even have a clear list of all important legal matters in my head yet). Perhaps I should just contact my municipality or the consulate for advice. Note also that the tag 'belgian-citizens' does not exist yet, and I don't have the reputation to introduce it. – Wouter Jun 29 '20 at 15:02

The Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs offers advice on this matter.

They, however, doge the question about tax consequences, but refer you to a site that deals with that matter.


  • 1
    (-1) This is begging the question and provides zero information on what counts as a main residence. It just explains what you are supposed to do if you move your main residence abroad, which might very well be the case here but would at the very least need to be stated clearly. You also provide no useful information on the concept of “temporary absence“ mentioned in these pages. – Relaxed Jun 29 '20 at 14:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.