The Top 10 Easiest Countries To Immigrate To In 2020

Friday 24th April 2020

Fed up of living in the UK and considering moving abroad? Whether you’re thinking of moving for good or just want to spend a few years living overseas so you can tick it off your bucket list, there are many countries that provide you with the opportunity to immigrate with relatively little hassle.

As international removal specialists, Hackworthy & Sons has helped clients relocate to destinations all around the world and we do our best to provide as much support and guidance as we possibly can. To help those who want to emigrate but haven’t quite chosen to where yet, we have taken a look into the easiest countries to immigrate to and put together a list (in no particular order) of those countries that reoccurred during our research. 

  • UAE 

The first on our list of countries easiest to move to is the UAE. Immigrating to the UAE tends to be a fairly easy process for UK citizens due to the simple visa requirements. When visiting the country there is no need for any advanced arrangements for a trip less than 30 days, however, it is required that you have a sponsor in place should you wish to stay longer than this or move to the area.

A typical sponsorship would be in the form of an employer, so if you think that the UAE is a place you would like to live, make sure that you have an employment offer in place. You will then need to obtain a probationary 3-month work permit, which will allow you to start working immediately. 

It is important to note that if you have a family that you would like to join you in the United Arab Emirates, you must be earning a minimum monthly salary of 4,000 AED (approx £800), and if you would like your parents to join you the minimum monthly salary must be 10,000 AED (approx £2,000). Once you and your family have entered the UAE on an entry residence visa, a residence stamp must be applied for within 30 days of arrival. 

Another point that makes it easy to move to the UAE is that there are almost no taxes. The money that you earn in your job is yours to keep with no income tax, meaning that you are easily able to budget whether immigrating to the UAE is suitable for you. This benefit is only available to those who permanently move to the UAE, so please bear this in mind if you are only looking to move to the UAE temporarily, as you may still have to pay tax on your income if you are still a tax resident in the UK living in the UAE. 

  • Germany 

When moving to Germany, this requires little in the way of entry. There is no need to apply for a visa, however you must register within 14 days of arrival at the local Residence Registration office if you plan to stay in the country for more than 3 months. If you are looking to move to Germany before the 31st December 2020, you must apply for a residency permit before 30th June 2020, of which you will only need your passport to apply for this. 

For more information on how to apply for a residence permit, GOV.UK has some useful information to help you regarding the rules around brexit. 

  • Australia 

If you’re looking to move to Australia, the easiest way to do so is by applying for jobs that are listed in their official Skilled Occupations List. If you are qualified for any of the occupations found on the list, you ought to find getting a visa a lot more straightforward. Those who want to emigrate to Australia must also be under the age of 45 at the time they submit their visa application and will also have to pass a health assessment, character assessment, and skills assessment.

Like the NHS in the UK, Australia has its own healthcare system, called Medicare, and it is free for anybody who has permanent residency within the country. This makes Australia another easy country to immigrate to, as there is no need to budget for your healthcare when moving here as this is all taken care of as part of your permanent residency. 

  • Canada 

In order to apply for permanent residence you will be required to apply for a visa and maybe required to provide photos and fingerprints at an visa application centre and will need to prove on arrival that you have the funds to support yourself in Canada. 

For those looking to make a permanent move to Canada, the easiest way to do this is by economic immigration or family reunification. Immigrating with family reunification will require you to have a family member that is a permanent resident, citizen, or registered under the Canadian Indian Act, that is over 18 and can sponsor your move.

Economic immigration tends to be the main path people take when moving to Canada and involves you to move as a skilled worker or investor. Canada provides an express entry program, factoring in age, job, education and language skills to allow people to apply for residence based on the future employment success in the country. UK, Australian and US citizens gain an immediate advantage due to the English language being one of the main languages spoken in Canada. With French also being one of the main languages this same advantage applies to French citizens.

You may also gain residency through an independent visa in Canada, this involves a point based system similar to Australia’s. The points will be based on many of those involved in the previous visa options discussed before, being; age, education, training, skill set and whether you have family in Canada, to gain this visa 67 points are required on assessment. 

  • Switzerland 

Switzerland has been identified as an one of the easiest countries to immigrate to due to its UK Swiss-Citizen’s rights agreement, which will protect UK citizens living in Switzerland at the end of the transition period meaning that there will likely be no plans in place to make the overseas removal to Switzerland harder. To immigrate to Switzerland it couldn't be easier for British passport holders, all you need to do is register within 14 days of your arrival at your local office of resident services or alternatively register your new place of residence online. 

The only other step to take for residence of more than 3 months is to apply for a residence permit with the local cantonal authority. There is also no need to apply for a work permit in Switzerland if you are a UK citizen, making this another reason Switzerland is an easy place to immigrate to. 

  • Iceland

If you are looking to move to Iceland from the UK, again there is no need for a visa if you are staying for less than 3 months. However, if you wish to stay for longer than this you must register with Registers Iceland to receive your identification number which you will need to set up a bank account, get internet and telephone connection, receive Icelandic insurance and more.  

It is important in this process that you apply for full registration to ensure that you have the right to work in Iceland, as your employer may have applied for a System ID on your behalf for payment and tax purposes (of which this doesn’t include your right to residency). 

For anyone looking to move to Iceland within the next year, it is worth considering that the rules around obtaining continuous residency may change after the transition period. It may be worth making the move to Iceland forward and registering for residency before 31st December 2020, for more information on this we’d recommend visiting GOV.UK.

  • Portugal 

As well as moving to Portugal for the stunning beaches and warm weather, Portugal is also one of the easiest countries to move to, with members of the EU having the ability to move to Portugal for 3 months without registering residency. However, if you are looking to stay longer than 3 months, you have 4 months from the date of your arrival to register at your local Camara Municipal (Town Hall). You will be provided with a residency certificate for up to 5 years, this will allow you to access healthcare, education and social security. 

When the certificate expires you will be entitled to apply for a permanent residency from Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (Immigration).

With Portugal being a member of the European Union, this is another country that could be susceptible to a harder move after the 31st December 2020, so we’d recommend to keep an eye out on GOV.UK for updates on this. 

  • Sweden 

Similar to many of the other countries discussed, British citizens looking to live in Sweden for less than 3 months are not required to apply for a visa, however you must register with the Sweden Population Register if you plan to stay for longer than 1 year, and will be issued with an ID number. 

To register for right of residence you must have the right of residence for a year or more and comprehensive travel insurance. You will automatically be provided with the right or residency if you can prove that you are able to support yourself by having work or studying in place. If you are still looking for a job when moving to Sweden, you will only be provided with 6 months right of residence, meaning that you will be unable to register with the Sweden Population Register if you do not have a job. 

To ensure that you are protected as a resident, if you are looking to move to Sweden it is worth considering moving before the Brexit transition period on 31st December 2020, to be sure that you are protected by the withdrawal agreement. For more information and updates on this GOV.UK is the best place to start

  • Costa Rica 

Costa Rica is yet another country that allows British passport holders to enter the country without the need for a visa, you will be given a 90 day entry stamp, if staying longer than this you may be subject to penalties of $100 per month over your 90 day stay and could be restricted from re-entering the country at a later date. For those looking to permanently move overseas to Costa Rica, you must apply for temporary or permanent residence as well as the permission to work if you are looking to work in Costa Rica, it is recommended to seek professional help with these applications.

Costa Rica also has its own healthcare system, this can be easily accessed from British Nationals by becoming a member of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, where residents are required to pay monthly to be entitled to medical treatment if/ when needed. 

  • Montenegro

Montenegro could be one of the easiest countries to immigrate to for British citizens out of all those discussed, due to the flexibility around the duration of their stay. 

You will not be required to have a visa for visits of up to 90 days and will only be required to have a valid British passport for entry and exit from Montenegro.  In the course of 6 months British citizens have the right to go in and out of the country where they have days left in those 90 days, all that is required is that you register (within 24 hours of your arrival) and deregister with the local police, on each of these movements.

To move permanently, you must apply for a longer tourist visa or temporary residence permit before the end of your 90 days have finished. 

You can also access free emergency care in Montenegro as a British citizen as a result of the reciprocal healthcare agreement that they have with the UK, entitling you to necessary medical treatment during your time in Montenegro, as long as you have evidence of being insured in the UK and have a valid British passport.

These are just some of the easiest countries to immigrate to, there are many other benefits to moving to each of these countries in terms of culture, cost of living and more, however these are the countries that we have found to have the easiest immigration regulations. 

It is important to remember that on 1st January 2021 the withdrawal agreement will likely cause some changes to the regulations when moving abroad, and could result in a harder immigration process for countries within the European Union. 

If you are considering emigrating, Hackworthy & Sons have over 40 years of experience providing international & european removals and can help you through every step of the process wherever you are moving in the world.