Microsoft now allows Xbox Live account country migration

After many years without such a service, Microsoft is finally allowing users to migrate their Xbox Live accounts to a different country, enabling users who move across country lines to access the services specific to their new country. The request process is not simple, and can take up to 6 weeks to migrate during which you will not be able to use your account.

Also worthy of noting is that there is a significant chance that you will lose access to content you have purchased and downloaded through Xbox Live. Anyone who migrates their account should also be aware that not all the content available in the previous country will be available in the new content, with geofencing affecting some content that is available due to specific Microsoft content licenses.

Here is the full slab of info from the Microsoft Support Forums:

You have chosen to migrate your Xbox LIVE account to a new country. You should be aware that certain Xbox LIVE content, features and functions may vary depending on your location, due to licensing limitations provided by specific providers. In order to proceed, you must confirm that you have been informed of and fully understand the consequences of the migration of your Xbox Live account:

Microsoft reminds you that the migration of your Xbox Live account will have the following consequences:

Some of the services and content that you are currently benefiting from in the country originally registered may not also be available in the country you are willing to migrate to.

All of your current subscriptions, except for Xbox Live Gold if you had any, will be cancelled.
You may lose the ability to re-download some, if not all, of the content in your download history.

Any content that you will subsequently download after the account is migrated will be subject to any applicable geofencing rules of your new location.

Note on Geofencing: If you bought something in the country you originally registered in that wasn't geofenced, it could be that it will be if bought again, in your new location. These geofencing constraints depend on the license to distribute that Microsoft was granted by the content providers.

Please note that the migration process can take up to 6 weeks. During this time your account will not be available. No refunds will be given for any content that is lost during the migration.

If you are interested in migrating your Xbox Live account to a new country you'll need to choose a contact method on this page. Note that you can only migrate your account to a country that supports Xbox Live.

Via: LiveSide
Source: Xbox Support Forums

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16 Comments

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Had mine transferred today, seems it only takes one week not six. Also got given a months free Gold. Very happy

this would have been helpful months ago. I created a Live Canadian account but when I created my Xbox Gamertag, it was created like I was from the US. now I have another gamertag that is Canadian. bah

ah, welcome to the 21th century Microsoft, where people can cross borders pretty easily and even get on enchanted metal birds called airplanes...

really, i admit i am a hopeless MS-fanboy but there's literally NADA other company with a more irritating and frustrating location-based restriction policy than theirs... if MS is serious about the whole ecosystem business with win8, wp8, xbox and the cross-platform services than steps MUST be taken and this is just the first one of many

morden said,
really, i admit i am a hopeless MS-fanboy but there's literally NADA other company with a more irritating and frustrating location-based restriction policy than theirs... if MS is serious about the whole ecosystem business with win8, wp8, xbox and the cross-platform services than steps MUST be taken and this is just the first one of many

Agreed.

I had to 'migrate' my billing acount (which was set to USA) to a different LIVE ID using an xbox last year, to free up my main account to create a new billing association / gamertag etc etc

Spot on. I had to register my UK account in the US because I had a Zune from launch day. They only allowed device registration to US based addresses! I had to raise a Premier Support call to get my account switched to the UK, even then it took a lengthy call to the head of Windows Live Accounts Team to get the issue sorted. People move country all the time - particularly around the EU where free passage is permitted. Microsoft needs to get with the plot!

LOL. Who at Microsoft (or it's providers) come up with this stuff? With each day, i'm more getting frustrated on how Microsoft limits things based on location, and the amount of diffeculty they make around it just for the sake of it.

Peter van Dam said,
LOL. Who at Microsoft (or it's providers) come up with this stuff? With each day, i'm more getting frustrated on how Microsoft limits things based on location, and the amount of diffeculty they make around it just for the sake of it.

They have to do things based on location due to country based copyrights etc. I don't think it's their choice.

erikpienk said,
so there is no great benefit from migrating, what happiness would this bring to consumers?
Yep, I agree: no benefit but you may lose your purchased games and other services. If I ever would move to another country, I simply would keep my original account and create a second one in the country I moved to.

erikpienk said,
so there is no great benefit from migrating, what happiness would this bring to consumers?

The happiness of actually being able to use their Xbox Live account?

Case study:
A co-worker of mine a few years ago had this exact problem. Originally from the UK, he had bought an Xbox 360 over there and subscribed to Xbox Live Gold. Some time later he had moved over here to Australia to live. Eventually his Gold subscription expired, but when he went to re-subscribe he wasn't able to use his Australian physical address on a UK-based Xbox Live account. It made his account basically useless.

SixFootJockey said,

The happiness of actually being able to use their Xbox Live account?

Case study:
A co-worker of mine a few years ago had this exact problem. Originally from the UK, he had bought an Xbox 360 over there and subscribed to Xbox Live Gold. Some time later he had moved over here to Australia to live. Eventually his Gold subscription expired, but when he went to re-subscribe he wasn't able to use his Australian physical address on a UK-based Xbox Live account. It made his account basically useless.

This is the exact same situation I am in, however I've just used my parents address in the UK as my billing address and my AU debit card for payments. It seems to work fine. The benefit is that I'm able to get the sky player app to work too

erikpienk said,
so there is no great benefit from migrating, what happiness would this bring to consumers?

The benefit is that we get to keep our Gamertag/handle and much of the data on that (Gamerscore, music listens etc.). Back when I got my Zune HD in 2009, I couldn't use the Zune account I'd been using for the previous 2 years that had more than 30,000 listens associated with it, because when I signed up for it in the UK, Microsoft made it a US account (as UK accounts weren't available at that point). That situation was very frustrating, as Microsoft couldn't do anything and I just had to start over again with a new, UK account.

(NOTE: I didn't have an Xbox at that point, and neither did any of the friends who lived near me, which is one reason I had so much trouble).

But Still its not very benneficial, i have a different country account cause my home country is not listed ad supported until WP8, but still then i wont change my account so i can lose purchased apps and not being able to use my account during 6 weeks, who ever created the option or is a troll o is telling you to GTFO!

erikpienk said,
so there is no great benefit from migrating, what happiness would this bring to consumers?

The flip side of possibly losing access to some content, is gaining access to other content.