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Hi, I'm a Canadian in the process of getting a job in abu dhabi with one of their government agencies. As I do my research I am having quite a bit of trouble understanding the tax rules and being deemed a non-resident.

I understand I have to cut ties here, but what happens to certain ties that I cannot easily cut? Such as outstanding debt: mortgage, personal loans, CC balances. I don't have the money to close all of those down, the mort. I was going to rent my place out through a property management company but the rest I just can't afford to pay off all at once, thus I will need to continue paying them through my existing bank account which would be leaving a 'tie' to Canada open. Does anyone have any experience with this situation and was able to be deemed a non-resident?

In addition, I have a good, well paying fed. gov. salary here, I could try to take a sabbatical/leave without pay type deal for 5 years and they hold my substantive level in the public service but again I'm stuck with this being a tie to Canada. I don't think it would be a good idea to quit my job outright as it would be very difficult to get hired at the same level when I come back given the nature of the current government and intention to keep trimming the public service.

Any advice would be useful. I have additional questions about salary etc. but I will leave that aside for now.
 

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Hi. My wife is Canadian and is deemed to be a non-resident for taxation purposes even though she owns property in Victoria, retains a bank account and various pension plans. In fact she bought the property while she was living overseas and she is classed as a foreign investor which means a different set of rules will apply to her if and when she wants to sell the property. My understanding is that it is based on the proportion of time that you spend outside of Canada but I don't know the exact time periods required to qualify. For Australians it is more than 50% away.

Re the government job, I think it is worth considering a sabbatical. I think you should get some good financial advice before making a decision and be realistic about the cost of living in AD, return travel to home, costs while visiting (e.g. accommodation, car hire, etc). What if the job in AD does not turn out to be all it is purported to be? On the other hand you could do the sabbatical for just one year and then resign if it looks like AD is going to work out for you. Any loss in total earnings for the first year may be offset by the enhanced peace of mind. Maybe the AD job will be a career changer and the lure of a secure government job may evaporate.
 
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