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Please help me decide where I should get paid

Please help me decide where I should get paid

Old Jan 25th 2021, 10:24 pm
  #1  
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Default Please help me decide where I should get paid

Hello gentlefolks

I have signed a contract for employment in KSA. Initially I am going on a Business Visa and the employer will try to convert it into an Iqama once I get there but it's not guaranteed they'll get it.

In order to get paid somewhere close to Saudi (and especially for me to have some employee rights in the region) we discussed a bridging option of obtaining a residency in UAE (original plan was to get me to UAE on a visit visa, then convert it into UAE residency, and then get a KSA Business Visa in UAE before I make my onwards journey to my final destination). But given the urgency of the role and the apparently longer timelines of obtaining KSA visas in UAE due to Covid, we decided to obtain KSA Business Visa at home in Canada while the UAE residency option is still on the table.

Generally, this employer pays expats who are on Business Visa in their home country (in local currencies) but I am trying to avoid that option since I am considering to declare myself as non-resident in Canada after I leave the country to avoid having to declare foreign income.

Now since getting paid in Saudi is not an option since I can't open a bank account in the country on a Business Visa, and ideally I don't want to share my out of country earnings with the Canadian taxman once I become non-resident, which country would be best to get paid in my situation especially if UAE residency also doesn't work out (for whatever reason).

I also happen to have a bank account in the UK (I am neither a UK tax resident nor have I lived there close to a decade). Would it be a good idea to get paid in the UK and will there be tax or big exchange repercussions of this? Down the line end goal is to transfer everything eventually back to Canada anyway.

Also, should I continue to push for a UAE residency since employer was the one who originally brought it up or is there no value in that?



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Old Jan 26th 2021, 4:10 am
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Default Re: Please help me decide where I should get paid

Where your bank account is and what currency you are paid in usually has nothing to do with your tax liabilities.

Open an offshore dollar account.
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Old Jan 26th 2021, 4:17 am
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Default Re: Please help me decide where I should get paid

How can you rights as an employee when you are on a business visa ? I think the path of getting residency in the UAE is a dead end.
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Old Jan 26th 2021, 5:50 am
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Default Re: Please help me decide where I should get paid

Originally Posted by Millhouse View Post
Where your bank account is and what currency you are paid in usually has nothing to do with your tax liabilities.

Open an offshore dollar account.
Noted, thank you. Would you recommend any particular bank for this purpose? And just so I make sure I understand, you meant USD right?
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Old Jan 26th 2021, 9:02 am
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Default Re: Please help me decide where I should get paid

If you don't want currency risk have your employer pay you in CAD, then at least you aren't subject to fluctuations if they make you nervous. Otherwise USD is probably your best bet, I don't see why depositing it in your home country makes any difference unless there are some strange non residential rules in Canada about remittances. it certainly shouldn't affect your tax status.
Most of the Canadian Lebanese I knew never took up residence in Canada to avoid these taxes so it seems quite common.
For day to day living, you could ask the company to give you local cash or perhaps if your spending is low just use your foreign credit or debit card and soak up the fees.
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Old Jan 26th 2021, 4:51 pm
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Default Re: Please help me decide where I should get paid

In all my years in KSA I never heard of a Saudi employer making salary payments in Canadian dollars. Maybe things have changed ?
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Old Jan 27th 2021, 12:21 am
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Default Re: Please help me decide where I should get paid

Originally Posted by weasel decentral View Post
If you don't want currency risk have your employer pay you in CAD, then at least you aren't subject to fluctuations if they make you nervous. Otherwise USD is probably your best bet, I don't see why depositing it in your home country makes any difference unless there are some strange non residential rules in Canada about remittances. it certainly shouldn't affect your tax status.
Most of the Canadian Lebanese I knew never took up residence in Canada to avoid these taxes so it seems quite common.
For day to day living, you could ask the company to give you local cash or perhaps if your spending is low just use your foreign credit or debit card and soak up the fees.
Thanks. They have offered to pay part of my salary in cash in SAR for day to day expenses and I am gonna take up that offer to avoid ATM/foreign credit card fees.

Getting paid into an off shore account in USD would be another option I should consider, but out of curiosity is it possible to have an off-shore account in CAD?
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Old Jan 27th 2021, 3:31 am
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Default Re: Please help me decide where I should get paid

Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
In all my years in KSA I never heard of a Saudi employer making salary payments in Canadian dollars. Maybe things have changed ?
In my time there people were paid in USD, sterling and Euros - never heard of anyone actually getting paid in SAR. We weren't working directly for a Saudi company but an international MNC
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Old Jan 27th 2021, 3:33 am
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Default Re: Please help me decide where I should get paid

Originally Posted by Edo View Post
Thanks. They have offered to pay part of my salary in cash in SAR for day to day expenses and I am gonna take up that offer to avoid ATM/foreign credit card fees.

Getting paid into an off shore account in USD would be another option I should consider, but out of curiosity is it possible to have an off-shore account in CAD?
I'm sure you can have an offshore account in any currency you need to speak to your bank and find out, plus find out if the company will actually pay you in CAD.
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Old Jan 27th 2021, 5:00 am
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Default Re: Please help me decide where I should get paid

Originally Posted by Edo View Post
Getting paid into an off shore account in USD would be another option I should consider, but out of curiosity is it possible to have an off-shore account in CAD?
Almost certainly possible, google for options. Failing that it will be USD.

The benefits of offshore accounts are not super high thesedays given where interest rates are, but if you are worried about some onshore tax issues then get one.
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Old Jan 27th 2021, 2:24 pm
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Default Re: Please help me decide where I should get paid

There is no longer a Business Visa option for KSA. You either mobilise on a Visit Visa that gives the purpose as "Businesses" but with "Not Permitted to Work" written on it and can't lead to an Iqama, or you come to KSA on a Work Visa which allows you to work until your Employer obtains an Iqama for you. If I were you, I'd ask your prospective employer if it has a Commercial Registration in KSA and its exact plans and timescale for getting you a Work Visa and Iqama. Life will be tough in KSA without an Iqama, for all sorts of reasons.
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Old Jan 27th 2021, 3:00 pm
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Default Re: Please help me decide where I should get paid

Originally Posted by Johnnyboy11 View Post
There is no longer a Business Visa option for KSA. You either mobilise on a Visit Visa that gives the purpose as "Businesses" but with "Not Permitted to Work" written on it and can't lead to an Iqama, or you come to KSA on a Work Visa which allows you to work until your Employer obtains an Iqama for you. If I were you, I'd ask your prospective employer if it has a Commercial Registration in KSA and its exact plans and timescale for getting you a Work Visa and Iqama. Life will be tough in KSA without an Iqama, for all sorts of reasons.
I have kind of established how tough things could be for an expat in KSA without an Iqama (like you can't even buy a car so wth!). But on the other hand most people in the team are there on Business Visas already including my boss and his boss. Which kinda limits what I can and can't ask for if you know what I mean.

Regarding Commercial Registration, yes they do have that and they sent me a copy of it which I included in my application pack to the High Commission of KSA.

Just out of curiosity, when I was filing the visa form there were also options for "Work Visit" and "Commercial" visas; so any idea how those are different to "Businessman" visa (the one that I ticked)?
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Old Jan 27th 2021, 3:10 pm
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Default Re: Please help me decide where I should get paid

Originally Posted by weasel decentral View Post
I'm sure you can have an offshore account in any currency you need to speak to your bank and find out, plus find out if the company will actually pay you in CAD.
I believe they will pay in any currency depending on the location country of the bank (in local currency)

Originally Posted by Millhouse View Post
Almost certainly possible, google for options. Failing that it will be USD.

The benefits of offshore accounts are not super high thesedays given where interest rates are, but if you are worried about some onshore tax issues then get one.
So I did some research but could not find many Canadian banks offering off-shore accounts. So HSBC's offering seems like one of the better options so far. But does it matter which country is the off-shore based in as HSBC offers them in multiple countries (UK, Hong Kong, Spain and Germany). Also, do you have to be a citizen in any of those countries to be eligible for an off-shore account?
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Old Jan 28th 2021, 9:43 pm
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Default Re: Please help me decide where I should get paid

Originally Posted by weasel decentral View Post
In my time there people were paid in USD, sterling and Euros - never heard of anyone actually getting paid in SAR. We weren't working directly for a Saudi company but an international MNC

The vast majority of workers in KSA are paid in SAR. It is after all "the coin of the realm" !
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Old Jan 29th 2021, 3:59 am
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Default Re: Please help me decide where I should get paid

Originally Posted by Edo View Post
I believe they will pay in any currency depending on the location country of the bank (in local currency)



So I did some research but could not find many Canadian banks offering off-shore accounts. So HSBC's offering seems like one of the better options so far. But does it matter which country is the off-shore based in as HSBC offers them in multiple countries (UK, Hong Kong, Spain and Germany). Also, do you have to be a citizen in any of those countries to be eligible for an off-shore account?
if you look on the HSBC expat site it lists location/residency of where you need to be based as ....
Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, China, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey (including Alderney and Sark), Hong Kong SAR, India, Isle of Man, Israel, Japan, Jersey, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Macau SAR, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Russian Federation, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela, Virgin Islands (British).

I think you also need a salary of £100k or £50k balance but could be wrong on that.



Last edited by UKMS; Jan 29th 2021 at 4:05 am.
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