Moving To Another Country
There are many fantastic destinations for you to migrate to if you are an American citizen and you have a passport that is still valid. The fact that your passport is ranked seventh in the world will prove to be very beneficial if you want to move. You'll find that it increases your options as far as the easiest countries to move to are concerned.
You want to travel to a beautiful place with good living standards to fully appreciate your time away from home. Unfortunately, moving to a new country is more complicated than some may think. You should be aware of any necessary visa requirements prior to your trip. Simply put, you must ascertain whether you need a visa to enter the country you wish to move to. In most cases, you must have a specific amount of money in your bank account to get a visa.
To make this process easier, you should research which countries you can migrate to as a citizen of the US, which also makes your travel more fun. Read on to uncover more about some of the countries that you can go to and enjoy yourself as a tourist or even live as an American expat in this article.
Easy Countries For Americans To Move To
One of the simplest countries to move to for Americans is South Korea. For US citizens, entering South Korea only requires an updated passport. You can visit the Republic of Korea without a visa if you are a tourist or traveling on business for a stay of up to 90 days. However, applying for one in advance can make the procedure easier. Additionally, you can easily migrate to South Korea to work as an English teacher.
A bachelor's degree is often the minimum required; however additional criteria may be created based on where you work. Moving to South Korea and living there as an English teacher might prove to be a memorable experience for you. You will get the opportunity to learn about a whole new culture, see some of the most significant historic sites, sample a wide range of delectable Korean cuisine, and meet new friends.
It is, however, vital to remember that you can only stay there on this visa for up to a year; if you wish to extend your stay, you must apply for a further long-term visa. Apart from teaching English in South Korea, there are a few basic requirements for obtaining residence. To get South Korean residency, you can launch a business or become a digital nomad, make an investment, purchase real estate, participate in a government fund, or contribute to a development initiative.
If you keep a physical home in South Korea, you can naturalize as a Korean citizen. There are three initial ways to become a citizen through naturalization. However, "universal naturalization" is the most common route foreigners take to become citizens. To be eligible for this procedure, you must have spent over 183 days per year living in South Korea for five straight years. Additionally, you must take and pass an exam on Korean history and culture. You must also demonstrate your Korean language skills in the exam.
You can relocate from the US to Australia as an American citizen. However, this is only possible if you are eligible for one of Australia's visa categories. These categories include visas for employment, travel on a working holiday, families, and students. Moving to Australia temporarily is fairly straightforward through the working holiday visa program.
Since the other visa is a result of an accord between Australia and other nations, Americans will be required to apply for the working holiday visa 462. With this visa, you can live in Australia for up to a year and carry out various jobs in Australia. Once it lapses, you could also apply for a 2nd year working holiday visa and even a third-year visa if you decide you wish to go back.
However, you cannot use a working holiday visa to relocate permanently to Australia. For that, you must obtain either a work visa or a family visa. Additionally, you could apply for a student visa if you simply intend to reside in Australia for a short period while you travel or study there.
However, as is the case with a working holiday visa, you won't be able to stay in the nation permanently with a student visa. If you are a skilled worker nominated by an employer, you may apply for the employer nomination program visa. Your employer is encouraging you to live and also work permanently in Australia with the help of this visa.
Two different visas are also available for self-employed people, falling under Business Talent visas. Therefore, if you have a successful business history and wish to work as a digital nomad or establish a business in Australia, you can apply for a Significant Business History Stream visa.
Moreover, suppose you have found and secured venture funding from a prominent Australian Investment company of around AUD 1 million. In that regard, you may be eligible to apply for a Venture Capital Entrepreneur Stream. With such a visa, you must intend to run an existing or brand-new business when you move to Australia.
Portugal appears to be another well-liked destination for Americans, primarily because of the beautiful weather and the Golden visa program launched in 2012. If you have a Golden visa and have been in Portugal for at least 35 days in total, you can become a citizen of Portugal five years from the date your visa was issued.
There are various methods to obtain a Golden visa for Portugal, but the most popular one is through the acquirement of real estate in Portugal. Therefore, you must invest at least €500,000 (with a reduced option of €280,000 or €350,000) in real estate. If you stay in the nation for two weeks each two years, you may renew the golden visa every two years. However, urban locations like Porto, Lisbon, or the Algarve coast do not offer this option.
If you want to stay in Portugal for more than three months as an American, you must get a residence permit from the Portuguese government. You can apply for citizenship or permanent residency in Portugal if you have lived there with the correct documentation for five years. Living in Portugal offers numerous benefits, including a pleasant temperature, breath-taking scenery and the ocean just outside your door, etc.
There are considerable tax benefits for citizens, a low crime rate, and excellent healthcare and education systems. Even though Portuguese people typically speak exceptionally fluent English, it is also advisable to learn the fundamentals of Portuguese if you plan to settle down there. Additionally, as a drawback, not all establishments accept credit or debit cards; therefore, it is advisable to have cash with you.
Portugal's cost of living
Living in Portugal is also quite affordable, which is one of its most alluring features. You'll be pleased by the reasonable prices, whether you are simply purchasing a coffee from a traditional Portuguese bakery or riding a train from Lisbon to Porto. Suppose you avoid purchasing many pricey imported items and instead consume fresh produce from local markets and buy local wine.
In that case, your food expenditure will be significantly reduced (of which there are many great varieties). You will also realize that living standards are lower the further you travel from major cities. The cost of living in Lisbon will always be higher than in almost every other place in Portugal. There are also affordable and effective public transportation choices outside of cities.
Spain is among the most straightforward European nations to relocate to for Americans moving abroad. Since you are from an English-speaking nation, the North American Language and Cultural Assistant program make getting a temporary visa simple. Additionally, you will also be paid a monthly stipend and have the opportunity to teach English in schools for around 12 to 16 hours a week.
With this visa, you can remain in the nation indefinitely or look for employment and apply for another longer visa. The Spanish Golden Visa program simplifies the process of obtaining a two-year residency permit if you have enough money. After that, you may extend your permit every two years, and if you stay in Spain for five years straight, you can apply for permanent residence.
It's an excellent idea to consider whether you'll require health insurance while abroad before making your major move to Spain from the US. Approximately 99.7% of Spanish nationals in Spain and anybody else from the European Union have access to free healthcare under the Spanish National Health System or Sistema Nacional de Salud.
Moreover, anyone, who resides in the nation and works there is eligible. If your partner and children live in Spain, they may utilize the public healthcare system. However, this program only partially covers the cost of prescription medications and does not pay for additional medical services such as dental care.
The fact that the climate in Spain varies greatly from region to region will be apparent to Americans. Although it has the widest range of climates in all of Europe, it's still typically warm there. Even in the winter, temperatures very seldom drop below 40°F (4 degrees Celsius), while in the summer, they frequently reach 90°F (32 degrees Celsius), although rarely much higher.
You might anticipate a lot of rain if you live in or around places like Bilbao in the north or La Corua in the northwest, especially in the winter. However, other than that, you should have relatively dry weather throughout the year. Additionally, you should expect sunlight. Spanish cities receive between 2,500 and 3,000 hours of sunshine annually, comparable to New York City, Houston, and Atlanta worldwide.
Spain's work visa
What about working visas? Your new employer must apply for your work visa/permit from the Spanish Ministry of Labor after making an employment offer to you in Spain. The Ministry could take up to eight months to complete this application. Therefore, your potential employer should be aware of this and take measures to ensure that you acquire your work visa as soon as possible.
If you plan to work independently or as a freelancer, you must apply for a work visa at any one of the 35 Spanish embassies and consulates in the United States. If you still meet the requirements, you can extend these visas for an additional year.
Be prepared to provide the Spanish authorities with proof that you have:
- Enough cash to cover your needs.
- The necessary expertise and background.
- The required registrations or licenses for your selected industry.
- Business agreements or commissions.
- A business plan, if applicable.
With a current US passport, you may go to Canada without a visa or an eTA and stay there for roughly six months without worrying about getting a job. However, the Express Entry procedure is the simplest way to relocate permanently to Canada. This immigration program aims to bring in highly trained immigrants who can help boost Canada's three main economic sectors.
You must earn the necessary number of points to be eligible for a visa through the express entry program. The more points you acquire, the more likely you will be granted this visa. You can also apply for citizenship in Canada once you have been a permanent resident for at least three years or more, precisely for at least 1095 days throughout at least five years, before applying.
What about the family sponsorship way? Your spouse, conjugal partner or, common-law partner can sponsor your relocation to Canada if they are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. Your spouse must be above 18 years of age, have no criminal history, be capable of supporting you, not receiving social assistance, and demonstrate that they intend to stay in Canada when you relocate there to be eligible to sponsor you.
You must also demonstrate that you are in a marital relationship or that you have lived together for a predetermined period if you are not married. This might entail providing evidence that you live together, pay your bills together, and share a mailing address. Then, both you and your partner must submit a joint application for sponsorship and permanent residency in Canada.
Canada's start-up visa
The Canadian government can also give foreign entrepreneurs with creative ideas a Start-up visa. The start-up program will provide excellent prospects for US individuals attempting to come to Canada and launch a business. However, a Canadian start-up visa includes a set of prerequisites and eligibility standards, much like other visa categories. These are as follows:
- You must demonstrate that you have a qualified business if you are a US citizen attempting to relocate to Canada and start a business.
- You should have a letter of support from the named organization. Start-up companies in Canada are sponsored and supported by a specified organization.
- You should have enough money to meet your expenses while you wait for your firm to turn a profit.
If you meet all the requirements for a Canadian Start-up visa, you must submit all the necessary paperwork with your application.
Canada's provincial nominee program
The Provincial Nominee Program is another route for Americans wishing to move to Canada. Canada's provinces can use this program to recommend candidates they believe are qualified to relocate there.
The provinces of Canada taking part in the program are:
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Prince Edward Island
- Northwest Territories
- Nova Scotia
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
You can request a nomination from any of the above provinces if you are a citizen of the United States and want to immigrate there. Depending on the instructions provided on each province's website, you might accomplish this by contacting them directly or by submitting an interest form via the Express Entry program.
The Canadian government will almost always send you an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residence if a province nominates you. This program is open to US individuals who desire to come to Canada and who also have the training, education, and job experience necessary to boost the local economy.
Mexico appears to be the most popular choice for Americans looking to start a new life. The US State Department estimated in 2019 that there were approximately one million Americans residing in Mexico. There are copious reasons why expats choose Mexico. Still, there are four key advantages: the country's low cost of living, great weather, accessible healthcare for expats, and better work-life balance.
Living expenses in Mexico are significantly cheaper than those in the United States in many ways. As a result, many expats are tempted to alter their lifestyles by lower costs of living. It's inexpensive to hire gardeners, house cleaners, and pool cleaners. You could afford to dine out often a week, so it's not just a special pleasure. Because of this, many expats discover that their typical monthly expenses aren't very different from those in the USA.
But as a result, they're enjoying a considerably better quality of life. Individual monthly expenses in Mexico are typically between $780 and $900, much less than the average cost of living in the United States, which is between $2,000 and 2,500. This, together with the beautiful weather and shorter workweeks, make Mexico the perfect place to lead a more laid-back lifestyle.
You can initially go to Mexico visa-free for about 180 days before relocating there. Following that, you can request a temporary residency visa, which typically has a four-year validity. After that, you may seek permanent residency in Mexico if you wish to make it your permanent home. You can be eligible for citizenship once you reside in Mexico for five years straight.
For Americans, moving to Ecuador offers several advantages, including a low cost of living, closeness to the US, widespread usage of English, and the US dollar. The fantastic weather is, without a doubt, another reason why Americans choose to relocate to Ecuador.
There are two straightforward options for Americans to relocate to Ecuador. First, a valid passport is the only need for 90 days of visa-free travel to Ecuador. After that, you must have lived in Ecuador for 21 months while there on a temporary visa if you wish to relocate there permanently.
The investment visa as well as the retirement visa are the two most popular short-term visas for foreigners. When applying for an investor visa, you may frequently qualify by investing in real estate or bank certificates of deposit (CDs). Still, for a retirement visa, you must demonstrate that you have a reliable source of monthly income, such as a pension or even personal savings.
Make use of visa agents
If Spanish isn't your first language, you might want to seriously consider using a visa agent. Even if you speak Spanish well, you might still prefer to have the experts take care of everything. They also have connections with government workers to help the process run more smoothly, and they stay current on the laws, rules, and regulations governing visas, which are continuously changing.
You will need a statement from your private Ecuadorian insurance company or a foreign insurance company covering medical expenses in Ecuador before applying for your visa. Once you have your temporary visa AND cédula, you can register for the public IESS health insurance option.
Considerations Before Moving From The USA
Moving abroad from the US may sound glamorous and thrilling, but it's not always as easy as it appears. Before making this significant life shift, there are a few crucial things you should be aware of, including:
Contrary to common belief, not all nations make extensive use of English. English is spoken more frequently in official settings like consulates, embassy buildings, and government buildings than among the general populace, especially older generations.
This will also vary depending on the nation; while English is widely used as a second language in most European nations, it is less common elsewhere. Consequently, you might find it challenging to communicate with the locals regularly. For this reason, it's always a good idea to attempt learning some local lingo to ease your adjustment in your preferred country.
New traditions and practices are indicative of a new nation. You may occasionally view the typical behaviors you are accustomed to as impolite or unsuitable in your new nation or vice versa. Therefore, please research your new country's culture and the people's way of life before you relocate there.
Before you migrate to a new nation, you need to have saved enough money or have a reliable source of income. Additionally, it is recommended in expat communities to always have a work plan prepared before moving or have a job lined up for you in your new country.
Are You Ready To Make A Move From The US?
As you have read, there are a lot of good countries for Americans to immigrate to. However, before making any move, you should do a thorough background check to familiarize yourself with all the requirements. It is advisable to get reputable mail forwarders to handle any documentation between your original and destination country when abroad, as well as an excellent organization specializing in relocation if you need assistance moving to one of the countries mentioned above.