How to change your country or nationality in your PayPal account

Wise
10.10.18
3 minute read

Millions of people use PayPal every day, to shop online, run their business, or send cash to friends and family. If you plan to move abroad, then you’ll likely want to keep using your PayPal account and retain the transaction history associated with it.

Unfortunately, because the laws which govern how PayPal operates are different in different countries, it’s not possible to simply change your country in PayPal when you move overseas. Here’s what you need to know.


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Now, back to what you came here to read.


How do I change my account details in PayPal?

Let’s start from the beginning. Some changes are easy to make in PayPal. For example, if you want to add a credit or debit card, or update your phone number. In the first case you need to log in first and then go to your Wallet. To update your contact information, head to Settings instead.¹

If you need to change your billing address, you first log in of course to your PayPal account, and the head to Wallet at the top of the page.² Choose the card you’re updating, and click through to edit and then save your new details.² Read on to find out what to do if you’re moving abroad.

Can I change my country or nationality in PayPal?

Unfortunately, you can’t change your country of residence or your billing address to a country different from the one you registered when you first opened the PayPal account.³ Here’s how PayPal explains this on the FAQ page of their website:

“The laws applicable to PayPal accounts differ by country, so you can't change your address to a country that is different from the country you used when you opened your account.”³

What are my options if I want to move my PayPal address to a different country?

So it’s not going to be simple to move your PayPal account address to another country. Here’s how PayPal suggest you deal with the situation if you plan on moving overseas:

“If you're moving abroad, you’ll need to close your existing account and open a new account. If you maintain residences in 2 countries, you can have 2 PayPal accounts as long as only one is a Business account.”

Yup. You read that right. You’ll have to close down your current PayPal account, and open a new one in the country you’re moving to. Or, if you’re planning on splitting your time between a couple of locations and only one account is a business account, just open a new PayPal account. Then you can keep your original account alongside the new one.³

How can I close my PayPal account? And what happens to my transaction history if I do?

If you want to follow the official PayPal advice, and close your original account with them, what’s next?⁴

  • Log into your PayPal account
  • Make sure you have zero balance - withdraw any money to your linked bank account, or request a check (for a fee)
  • Click Settings - next to Log out
  • Click Close your account under Account options
  • Enter your bank account number if requested.
  • Click Close account

Once your account is closed, the transaction history associated with it is gone, too.⁵ You’ll also lose any unused redemption codes or coupons, and any money requests sent from that PayPal account will be automatically cancelled.⁴

As mentioned previously, it’s not possible to simply update your details so that your existing PayPal account reflects your new home if you move abroad. Because the laws that apply to PayPal vary depending on the country you live in, you’ll need to close your old account and open a new one, listing your correct new location or country of residence. If that sounds like a hassle, it might be time to find a different way to send money to friends and family, when you move abroad. Check out Transferwise. Not only is it simple to arrange your international money transfers, most customers find that they can get a better deal with Wise, too.

Need more info? Check out these PayPal articles:


Sources: 1. https://www.paypal.com/au/selfhelp/article/how-do-i-view-or-edit-my-personal-or-financial-information-in-my-paypal-account-faq772 (Oct 10,2018) 2. https://www.paypal.com/bj/selfhelp/article/how-do-i-edit-the-billing-address-linked-to-my-credit-card-faq680 (Oct 10,2018) 3. https://www.paypal.com/us/smarthelp/article/can-i-change-my-paypal-address-to-another-country-faq1434 (Oct 10,2018) 4. https://www.paypal.com/us/smarthelp/article/how-do-i-close-my-paypal-account-faq1215 (Oct 10,2018) 5. https://www.paypal.com/sg/smarthelp/article/can-i-reopen-my-paypal-account-faq1091 (Oct 10,2018)

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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