The dream of living in another country can be very enticing, more so depending on where you currently live. Whether the political climate at home is getting hot or you simply crave new scenery, immigrating to another country represents a thrilling challenge that can offer innumerable life lessons and major personal growth.
Unfortunately, it’s not that easy to accomplish. Not only do most countries have pretty strict guidelines for admittance, they also charge a great deal for the privilege. The financial implications of immigration definitely don’t stop at the government fees, either – there is the cost of travel, moving your belongings, and getting established in a new home.
But before you lose hope, there are certain countries that make the immigration process easier than average. Read on for ten possibilities that you might just be able to swing. Even if you don’t achieve citizenship, several of these places are happy for you to live there indefinitely.
On the decidedly high end of the financial scale, Austria is a choice with a steep cost of living. But, it offers 10 different types of residence permit. If you can afford it, you will likely qualify for at least one.
Austria features incredible scenic beauty in the form of the snow-capped Alps, wild valleys, and sparkling blue ice caves. Residents are reportedly very content, and why wouldn’t they be, living a “perpetual resort” lifestyle? Austria is a lovely little country that serves as a gateway for many of Europe’s capital cities.
Lovely little Belgium is one of the smallest countries in northern Europe. It features many quaint towns full of breathtaking architecture, stunning natural beauty, and some of the best-tasting beer and chocolate around. Add in a thriving arts and music scene and diverse community amenities, and Belgium is a very attractive choice.
To gain permanent residency in Belgium, you will need a job. Obviously, that can be tricky, as most countries much prefer to hire locals over outsiders. Belgium is a bit more lax in this regard. You can apply for jobs from your home country, and once you land a gig, will be offered a residency permit after holding it for just two weeks. Though it is not initially an invitation for permanent residency, as long as you keep your job, you’ll be advancing toward that goal.
How do you like the sound of palm trees, soft sand beaches, and crystal clear water? What if it were also an English-speaking country with an incredibly low cost of living? Guess what – that place actually exists. Belize is sandwiched between Mexico and Guatemala, and is a small country about the size of Wales with a population less than that of Bakersfield, California.
Belize allows foreigners to apply for permanent residency after only a year of life there. Enter on a 30-day visitor visa and keep renewing it every month until you’ve been there for 50 weeks. A $1,000 fee and some bureaucratic red tape is all that’s left before getting the go ahead to stay forever.
Pay attention to the conditions on your visitor visa, however. Some districts will require you to leave the country for two weeks every six months, and doing so resets the clock on your 50-week requirement. If this is your plan of attack, it may be best to engage a lawyer in Belize right away to help you navigate the process. Note that if you intend to work in Belize, you will also need a work permit, at least until you’re granted permanent residency. After five years of permanent residency, you can apply for citizenship.
Canada has a reputation as one of the friendliest countries in the world, and it shows in its immigration policy. In contrast to the United States, Canada has recently opened its borders with compassion for refugees from war torn nations. But if you’re not afraid for your life, Canada looks very closely at your professional qualifications before inviting you.
If you do have a professional skill set or education that matches up with Canada’s current needs, you may be able to take advantage of an express entry program that can get you approval in no time flat. Simply fill out an online form that awards points for things like education level, industries you have worked in, and whether you can speak French. Other things like having family in Canada or having studied there can also help.
6. Costa Rica
Costa Rica has long been attracting ex-pats due to its gorgeous beaches, world-class healthcare, and friendly population. The way of life in Costa Rica is peaceful and easy-going – they don’t even have an army. The cost of living is reasonable, with couples needing about $2,500 per month to live comfortably.
Costa Rica has a retiree program that requires $1,000 per month in income to qualify. Otherwise, you will need a job in order to get on the path to permanent residency and eventually, citizenship. For that reason it is not the easiest country on our list for migration, but also not impossible. If you have skills that Costa Rica needs, you should be able to navigate the process.
If scenery is your thing, consider Ecuador. It features mountain peaks, volcanoes, beaches, and islands. The history comes alive there via old pastel colored colonial towns and even older Mayan ruins. All this can be enjoyed for a very low cost of living, and if you’re American, you’ll appreciate that the US dollar is the official currency.
To make your ex-pat dreams come true in Ecuador, all you have to do is prove that you will earn at least $800 per month in perpetuity. It’s called a pernsioner’s visa but there are no age requirements to receive one. So if you have any reliable royalties, compensation payouts, or other guaranteed non-work income, a move to Ecuador could be well within reach.
When was the last time $800 per month seemed like enough to support yourself? For that reason alone, Ecuador is well worth a look.
Some parts of Mexico are embroiled in a deadly drug trade, but not all! There are safe places to enjoy the stunning scenery, including clean beaches, historic colonial towns, mountain vistas, and upscale cities. Don’t forget the incredible varieties of native cuisine, as well.
A great way to start your life in Mexico is an FMM visa. You can buy these at any airport or border location. It’ll cost you, though, a whopping $21. The visa will be good for six months, after which you can renew it again and again, without end. The catch is that you won’t be able to work on an FMM visa. However, there are a lot of choices a for temporary residency visas that you can upgrade to without a huge financial outlay. No matter your professional niche, you should be able to find one that works. You may be forced to leave the country temporarily in order to apply.
Okay, so Nicaragua is known for having been troubled by leftist coups, civil wars, and rightwing Contras in the 1980s. And yeah, it is said to be experiencing the worst political crisis in its history right now, but let’s put that in perspective. At the moment the Nicaraguan people have lost faith in their government and are protesting in great numbers – some have died in the fight. The government is blaming the country’s young people for the chaos. So if you think you could stomach living in the United States, Nicaragua can also very reasonably be on your list.
And on the plus side, Nicaragua is an absolutely gorgeous country situated between two pristine coastlines. Conveniently, Nicaragua offers a retirement program similar to Ecuador’s. In this case you need only prove an income of $600 a month; theoretically you must be at least 45 years of age, but this requirement can be waived based on your provable income.
You also need not be entirely retired to qualify. Nicaragua’s government defines work quite loosely. Owners of a restaurant or small hotel are not considered workers. If you freelance for a non-Nicaraguan company, that also is not considered work.
Panama is a great choice if you’re American (or appreciate American landscapes) and want a change that’s not too drastic. While officially an independent nation in Central America, Panama has a landscape reminiscent of Florida, a lot of English speakers, and the US dollar as its currency. The country also has a reputation for being safe and well developed.
Again, a retiree visa is one of the most popular pathways that people use to live in Panama. It requires a monthly income of $1,000. For younger people, a $5,000 deposit in a Panamanian bank opens the door to permanent residency. If you happen to come from one of 50 “friendly” countries, all that’s left to make it official is to find a job. A few of the qualifying countries are the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand, and Austria – check out the full list to see if you could snag a Friendly Nations visa.
Residency in Paraguay in easy to achieve, largely because the landlocked South American country is so obscure. Bordered by Argentina to the south and Brazil to the east, the history of Paraguay is bloody to say the least. But nowadays, the fully independent country can be enjoyed for its friendly people, open scenic vistas, and low cost of living.
Because demand for immigration is pretty low, it’s easy to be accepted. You do have to deposit an amount of money into a Paraguayan bank that equals roughly 35x the monthly minimum wage. Before you freak out, that’s only about $4,500-$5,500 USD. After that, you will be allowed to move to and live in Paraguay, but you can’t apply for citizenship until you’ve lived there three years. The bureaucratic wheels in Paraguay turn extremely slowly, too, so be prepared for to wait for final approval.
Do any of these 10 intriguing options have you packing your bags? The great thing about each of them is that it is very easy to visit for an extended period of time, so that you have ample opportunity to experience the culture and see if your roots start to grow. Immigration is not exactly easy, but it may not be as hard as you think with proper preparation and the spirit of adventure. Go for it !
source : immigrationdo