What are the easiest countries for immigration? The idea of living in another country can be very enticing, more so depending on where you currently live. Perhaps 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. Most countries not only have pretty strict guidelines for admittance, but they also charge a great deal for the privilege. The financial costs of immigration 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, certain countries make the immigration process easier than average. Peruse to see ten possibilities that you might just be able to swing.
Below is a list of 10 easiest countries for immigration:
Austria is a choice with a steep cost of living. It offers about 10 different types of residence permits. If it’s within your means, you will likely qualify for at least one. It is one of the easiest countries for immigration.
Austria features incredible scenic beauty in the form of the snow-capped Alps, wild valleys, and sparkling blue ice caves. Its residents are reportedly very content, and why wouldn’t they be, living a “perpetual resort” lifestyle? It is a lovely little country that serves as a gateway for many of Europe’s capital cities.
The catch in immigrating to Austria is that you must apply from your home country, not from temporary digs within Austria, which makes the job (or spouse) hunting a bit trickier. Although there is an exception for residents of the United States and European Union, who are eligible for a D-visa that allows a 6-months residence in Austria before applying for a residence permit.
It is one of the smallest countries in northern Europe. It has many quaint towns full of breathtaking architecture, stunning natural beauty, and some of the best-tasting beer and chocolate around. In a thriving arts and music scene and diverse community amenities, and Belgium is a very attractive choice.
It ranks among the easiest countries for immigration. To have a permanent residency in Belgium, you will need a job, which can be tricky, as most countries much prefer to hire locals over outsiders. Belgium is a bit laxer in this regard. It’s possible to apply for jobs from your home country, and once you land a gig, you will be offered a residency permit after holding it for just two weeks. Although it’s 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? And it’s also an English-speaking country with an incredibly low cost of living? Guess what – that place exists. This country 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.
It allows foreigners to apply for permanent residency after only a year of life there. You could start with 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.
Be attentive to the conditions on your visitor visa, however. Some of its 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 what you plan to do, it may be best to engage a lawyer in Belize right away to help you navigate the process. If you intend to work in Belize, you will also need a work permit, at least until you’re granted permanent residency. After about 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 an 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
This also ranks among the easiest countries for immigration. 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 quite 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 to get on the path to permanent residency and eventually, citizenship. Which makes it not the easiest country on our list for migration, but also not impossible. If you possess the 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. Its comes alive there through old pastel-colored colonial towns and even older Mayan ruins. Which can all 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 fulfill 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 is referred to as a pensioner’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.
Some parts of this country are embroiled in the deadly drug trade, but not all! There exist some safe places to enjoy the stunning scenery, including clean beaches, historic colonial towns, mountain vistas, and upscale cities. They also have incredible varieties of native cuisine, as well. It is definitely among the easiest countries for immigration.
One of the best ways to start your life in Mexico is an FMM visa. You could buy these at any airport or border location. It’ll cost you, though, a whopping $21. This particular visa will be good for six months, after which you can renew it again and again, without end. The interesting part is that you won’t be able to work on an FMM visa. Although, there are a lot of choices for temporary residency visas that you can upgrade to without a huge financial outlay. Regardless of your professional niche, you should be able to find one that works. You could be forced to leave the country temporarily to apply.
This country is known for having been troubled by leftist coups, civil wars, and rightwing Contras in the 1980s. It is also 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. If you could live in the United States, Nicaragua can also very reasonably be on your list. As it also ranks among the list of easiest countries for immigration.
Additionally, Nicaragua is a gorgeous country situated between two pristine coastlines. Nicaragua also conveniently 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 do not need to be entirely retired to qualify. Nicaragua’s government defines work quite loosely. Restaurant owners or small hotels are not considered workers. If you are a freelancer for a non-Nicaraguan company, that also is not considered work.
It is a great choice if you’re American (or appreciate American landscapes) and wants 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. This country also ranks among the easiest countries for immigration.
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. In the case of younger people, a $5,000 deposit in a Panamanian bank opens the door to permanent residency. If you 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 this country is easy to achieve, largely because the landlocked South American country is so obscure. It shares borders with Argentina to the south and Brazil to the east, the history of Paraguay is bloody, to say the least. Although these days, the fully independent country can be enjoyed for its friendly people, open scenic vistas, and low cost of living.
Since the demand for immigration is pretty low, it’s easy to be accepted. You would have to deposit an amount of money into a Paraguayan bank that equals roughly 35x the monthly minimum wage. It costs about only about $4,500-$5,500 USD, after which you will be allowed to move to and live in Paraguay, but you can’t apply for citizenship until you’ve lived there for three years. The bureaucratic system in Paraguay is extremely slow, too, so be prepared to wait for final approval. It tops our list of easiest countries for immigration.