Is there any way to change one's nationality in a PayPal account without having to open a new one?
As far as I know, this is completely impossible.
I have just run into the same issue, and browsed by PayPal account's settings thoroughly. I found not even a trace of something that would all changing nationality (you can, of course change currency, but this is not the case here).
You may try to contact PayPal's support, but I fear, that you've already answered yourself and that closing current account and opening new one, under new nationality is the only option.
The answer from Paypal's Customer Support:
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Paypal support
Subject: RE: Re: Questions About Address Changes
Dear Franck Dernoncourt,
Thank you for contacting PayPal. My name is Charles and I can understand the urgency and importance of this matter. Allow me to help you on this.
Please note that in order to change the nationality, you’ll have to close the existing PayPal account and then create a new one and selecting the nationality during the sign-up process.
Before you close your account please remove your financial details. Here's how to remove your financial details:
Go to 'Profile' and select 'My Money'. Depending on what information you want to remove, click 'Update' in the relevant section. On the next page, select the information you want removed and click 'Remove'.
Here’s how to close your old PayPal account:
Log into your PayPal account at www.paypal.com Click 'Profile' near the top of the page. Select 'My Settings'. In the 'Account Type' section, click 'Close account' and follow the instructions.
After you close your account, any transactions that are in progress are cancelled.
Here’s how to create a new PayPal account:
Go to www.paypal.com Click ‘Sign Up’ at the top of the page. Select your country or region and your language. Select the type of account you want to create, and then click ‘Get Started.’ Enter your information, and then click ‘Agree and Create Account.’
After you have confirmed your email address, you can use your new account.
We recommend that you add a credit card that was issued by a bank in the same country as the country on your PayPal account.
Yours sincerely, Charles PayPal
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I closed my Paypal account and now use http://venmo.com, which is much easier to exchange money with friends.