Americans should consider moving abroad for a fresh perspective, cultural immersion, and diverse experiences. Living in another country broadens horizons, fosters personal growth, and offers a chance to appreciate alternative lifestyles. Embracing international living can enhance one’s worldview and provide unique opportunities for career and personal development.
Why move abroad to begin with?
People choose to move abroad for myriad reasons, each shaped by personal dreams, professional ambitions, and a yearning for change. A key driver is often career advancement, with individuals venturing across borders to seize job opportunities that promise growth, competitive salaries, or specialization in niche fields. This is particularly magnetic in globally-operating industries, where working abroad not only means achieving professional milestones but also acquiring unique skills and experiences.
Another reason for relocation is cultural enrichment. Moving abroad provides the opportunity to immerse oneself in a different culture, learn new languages, and gain a broader perspective on life. Exposure to diverse traditions, customs, and social norms fosters adaptability and a more open-minded worldview. Many find this cultural exchange to be a transformative and enriching experience, broadening their understanding of humanity.
Education serves as a powerful catalyst for relocation, as students endeavor to attain academic distinction at prestigious international institutions. The lure of specialized programs, distinguished faculty, and an expansive network of global peers draws individuals in pursuit of superior educational experiences. Moreover, the journey of studying abroad fosters personal development, nurtures independence, and cultivates a broad worldview. This holistic educational journey not only enriches students intellectually but also significantly enhances their competitiveness in the increasingly interconnected global job market.
Some are drawn to the prospect of a better quality of life. Factors such as healthcare, safety, and overall well-being influence the decision to move abroad. Countries with robust social systems, efficient healthcare, and a strong sense of community often attract individuals seeking a more balanced and fulfilling lifestyle.
Political and economic stability play a pivotal role. Individuals may seek refuge in countries with more stable political climates or better economic prospects. Economic migrants, for instance, move to places with stronger job markets and economic opportunities, aiming to secure a more prosperous future for themselves and their families.
Ultimately, the desire for personal growth, diverse experiences, improved career prospects, and a higher quality of life drive individuals to consider moving abroad. The allure of exploring the unknown and embracing the challenges of a new environment can be a powerful catalyst for this life-altering decision.
People emigrate from the USA for various reasons, including:
Cultural Enrichment: Living in a foreign country provides a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in a new culture. Exposure to different traditions, languages, and perspectives can broaden one’s horizons and foster personal growth. It encourages tolerance and adaptability while expanding one’s worldview.
Career Opportunities: Many Americans find lucrative job prospects overseas, particularly in industries like technology, finance, and education. Working abroad can enhance your professional skills, boost your resume, and open doors to global networking opportunities.
Education: International education is often highly regarded and can be more affordable in some countries. Sending your children to schools abroad can provide them with a well-rounded education and exposure to diverse perspectives.
Healthcare: Some countries offer excellent and affordable healthcare systems, relieving the financial burden of medical expenses that can be challenging in the United States.
Quality of Life: Different countries may offer a higher quality of life in terms of work-life balance, safety, healthcare, and social services. Access to beautiful natural landscapes, diverse cuisines, and unique experiences can significantly enhance your day-to-day life.
Adventure and Exploration: Moving abroad can be an exciting adventure. Exploring new landscapes, trying new foods, and embarking on cultural adventures can be incredibly enriching and fulfilling.
Personal Growth: Living abroad often necessitates stepping out of one’s comfort zone, which can lead to personal growth, increased self-confidence, and resilience. You’ll learn to adapt to new challenges, become more independent, and gain a broader perspective on life.
Escape from Political or Social Issues: Some Americans may choose to move abroad to escape political instability, social unrest, or other issues affecting their homeland. A change of environment can provide a fresh start and peace of mind.
Top countries for American citizens for relocation
Moving to a foreign country is challenging, whether it is from Central America or Southeast Asia. That’s why many people prefer to do it only once in their lives, ensuring that they thoroughly explore their options before deciding on the best and easiest countries to move to.
For digital nomads, this isn’t too much of a concern, as they can freely move from one country to the next. But when you decide to put down roots in a new country, you must pick livable cities that won’t you long for home. Luckily, there are a few excellent options that should tick all your boxes, which include countries with great food, universal healthcare and affordable living expenses.
While most of the countries don’t have English as their official language, many expats in these regions are more than willing to lend a hand. Whether you need help with deciphering housing prices, are concerned about personal safety or are unsure how you’ll handle the culture shock, fellow expats are only a call away.
Here is a selection of some of the best countries to move to from the USA, particularly if you are looking for a laid-back lifestyle, excellent quality of life and low crime rates.
One of the safest countries in the world (Global Peace Index 2021 – Fourth Safest Country), Portugal also boasts of a thriving economy, great standards of living, top class healthcare, welcoming and warm people and great work and business opportunities.
The country is also affordable in comparison to other European countries. The cost of living in Portugal is around 30% less when compared with the United States of America. All these factors make Portugal one of the best countries for Americans to live in.
If you are an American citizen, it is quite easy to move to Portugal via the D7 Visa program or the Portugal Golden Visa Scheme. The country offers tax-free crypto regulations, making Portugal a popular destination among US based crypto currency traders.
Benefits of living in Portugal
- Through the Portugal Golden Visa Program, American expats can obtain a five year residency visa in Portugal in return for an economic investment. Therefore, it is convenient for Americans to move to Portugal.
- The country has great weather throughout the year
- World class education and healthcare system
- Low cost of living and comparatively more affordable than many other western countries when it comes to real-estate costs. In addition to this, the expenditure on rent is around 50% lower than that of the United States.
- Portugal is relatively safe and has lower crime rates than the United States
- The cost of food, especially in terms of restaurant prices, is around 42% lower in comparison to the United States.
If you are in the capital city of Lisbon or in another popular tourist destination, you will easily come across English speakers. So if you are an American expat living in Portugal, you can easily communicate with people around you. If you are travelling to the interior parts of the country, finding English speakers might be a little difficult, so understanding and learning a little bit of Portuguese might come in very handy.
Be it the picturesque topography, rich history and culture, mind-blowing food scenes, excellent international schools, economic opportunities, relaxed lifestyle, and welcoming people, Spain has it all.
With the introduction of the Spain Golden Visa scheme, the country has emerged as a favourite among international expats.
As per the Spanish Golden Visa program, international expats can obtain Spanish residency in return of an economic investment in the country, which can ultimately lead to Spanish citizenship.
Since the Spanish passport is among one of the strongest passport in the world, it has emerged as one of the most suitable countries for relocation.
Benefits of living in Spain
- High standard of living and quality of life
- You can obtain Spanish citizenship in exchange of an economic investment
- Diverse investment opportunities
- Access to visa-free travel across the Schengen area
- The rent prices in Spain are almost 50% less than in the United States
- Restaurants prices in Spain are around 24% lower cost than in the United States
More than half of the population in Spain doesn’t speak English. However, if you are travelling across popular tourist spots or important cities in the country, you will definitely come across English speakers in Spain.
However, the main language of Catalonia (where Barcelona is), an autonomous community in Spain, is Catalan. While Spanish is also widely spoken, Catalan is the region’s distinct language, deeply ingrained in its cultural and social identity.
Nestled between Greece and Turkey, Cyprus is a small Mediterranean country. From its beautiful coastal landscape, pleasant climate, exquisite beach lifestyle, low cost of living, to tax benefits and political stability, Cyprus offers its citizens a high quality of life.
This is why the county is gaining enormous popularity among international expats, especially US citizens, and is certainly amongst the best country to move to.
Expats must note that Cyprus no longer offers the Citizenship by Investment program.
Benefits of living in Cyprus
- Amazing climate all year long
- Thriving economy and exciting business opportunities
- Numerous international schools and top class healthcare infrastructure
- Access to quality lifestyle
- Has one of the lowest income tax rates in comparison to other countries in the European Union
- Low crime rates
English is widely spoken in the country. So if you are an American citizen, you will find it easy to communicate in the country.
This island country in the European Union has world famous diving spots, a rich cultural legacy, beautiful climate, delectable cuisines, excellent healthcare, a large expat community and more.
Also, the Malta Citizenship By Naturalization For Exceptional Service By Direct Investment program makes it one of the easiest countries for US citizens to move to.
Benefits of living in Malta
- The country has a politically stable environment
- A booming economy with numerous investment opportunities
- Economical cost of living but high quality of life
- Amazing weather and culture
In addition to all these, English is the official language of Malta and the majority of the population in the country is well-versed in English, making it highly suitable for American expats and often considered the easiest European country to move to from USA.
Dominica, officially the Commonwealth of Dominica, is an island nation in the Caribbean Sea.
Not to be confused with the Dominican Republic, Dominica is known for its lush natural beauty, including rainforests, waterfalls, and rare plant and animal life.
It’s often called the “Nature Isle of the Caribbean” due to its unspoiled environment. The capital, Roseau, is a blend of modern and colonial architecture. The island has a rich cultural heritage influenced by African, European, and indigenous Carib peoples.
Its economy primarily depends on agriculture and tourism, and the official language is English, reflecting its history as a former British colony.
Benefits of living in Dominica
- Safe and secure country with very low crime rates
- Low cost of living in comparison to the United States
- Welcoming population
- Access to a healthy and calm lifestyle
- You don’t have to pay any global income, wealth and inheritance tax
- You can avail expat health insurance schemes in this country
- As Dominica is located very near to the United States, relocation for American expats is comparatively easier
- You can obtain the Dominica passport through the Dominica Citizenship by Investment program.
As English is the official language of the country, it is widely spoken across Dominica. So, if you are an American citizen, you will hardly have any problem exploring Dominica.
Antigua and Barbuda
Famous for its gorgeous white sand beaches, beautiful sunny weather and natural wonders, the island country of Antigua and Barbuda is a peaceful haven for Americans looking to relocate.
If you obtain a passport in this country, you can also travel visa-free to around 130 countries across the world.
Through the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment program, you can acquire a passport within a very short period of time and enjoy many benefits.
These include the fact that – there are no travel requirements that you need to fulfill, you can include your family members in the passport application process, and you can obtain citizenship in return for a minimum investment of $100,000.
Benefits of living in Antigua and Barbuda
- Beautiful beaches, stunning landscapes and mesmerizing views across the country
- The citizens of the country are friendly and warm
- The country reports less crimes compared to the US
- You can obtain a passport in this country easily through the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship By Investment Program
- Tax-friendly country
English is the official language in this country, making it extremely easy for American expats to navigate the island.
St Kitts and Nevis
Located in the Caribbean region, this beautiful dual-island nation of St Kitts and Nevis has stunning beaches, an amazing tropical climate and spectacular topography.
The small country offers a good life to its citizens and the culmination of nature and modern infrastructure in the country ensures a perfect work-life balance for its residents.
Through the St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Program, a US citizen and citizens from other international countries can obtain dual citizenship and become a permanent resident in St Kitts and Nevis.
The citizenship by investment program offered by the country has various advantages, such as:-
- You don’t have to stay for a particular period of time to seek permanent residency.
- You can include your entire family in this process.
- You can obtain the passport for St Kitts and Nevis in exchange for a minimum investment of $150,000.
- You can obtain a Caribbean passport within a very short period of time – around two months.
Benefits of living in St Kitts and Nevis
- With a St Kitts and Nevis passport, you can travel to more than 156 countries in the world.
- If you are a citizen of St Kitts and Nevis, future generations can obtain citizenship by descent.
- As one of the member nations of the Commonwealth, St Kitts and Nevis offers certain benefits to its citizens which is applicable in the UK and other countries that are members of the Commonwealth.
- St Kitts and Nevis allows dual citizenship. Therefore, US citizens can choose to not renounce their US passport if they become a citizen of this country.
- Thriving economic opportunities in the country.
English is the official language of the island nation and is therefore commonly spoken across the country. You will very easily find English speakers in the country who can help you in your day to day life.
Grenada, an island country in the Caribbean, is part of the Grenadines in the southeastern Caribbean Sea.
Known as the “Island of Spice,” Grenada is one of the world’s largest exporters of nutmeg and mace. Its capital, St. George’s, is famed for its colorful homes, Georgian buildings, and early-18th-century Fort George.
The island’s landscape includes beautiful beaches, fragrant spice plantations, and lush rainforests. Grenada’s culture is a vibrant blend of African, East Indian, and European influences, evident in its music, festivals, and cuisine.
The economy is primarily based on agriculture, tourism, and manufacturing.
Moreover, the Grenada Citizenship by Investment program has numerous benefits:
- You don’t have to fulfill any residency requirement
- You can obtain Grenada citizenship in exchange for a qualifying economic investment of $150,000.
- You can include your entire family in the citizenship application process.
- The turnaround time is very quick for the citizenship process. You can obtain Caribbean citizenship within a very short period of two months. All these factors make Grenada one of the best countries to move to for US citizens
Benefits of living in Grenada
- Beautiful and safe Caribbean nation
- Like most countries in the Caribbean region, Grenada also has a loving and welcoming population
- US citizens can avail direct flights to Grenada
- High standards of living
- Have various tax exemptions for American expats
- Day to day expenses are lower in comparison to the United States of America
- Thriving economy and real-estate market
These important elements make Grenada one of the best countries for Americans to retire to.
If you are living abroad, the language barrier can make it hard to integrate into the culture of the country. Therefore, if you are an American citizen Grenada is one of the best countries to move to as English is the official language in the country. If you are interested in learning more about Grenada, you can read this article: Moving to Grenada From US Guide.
Saint Lucia is a sovereign island country in the eastern Caribbean Sea, known for its dramatic landscape of mountains, rainforests, and golden beaches.
It’s particularly famous for the Pitons, two striking volcanic peaks and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The capital, Castries, is a popular cruise ship port with vibrant markets and colonial architecture.
Saint Lucia’s rich cultural heritage is a blend of African, French, and British influences, evident in its Creole cuisine, music, and festivals like the annual Saint Lucia Jazz Festival. The economy relies heavily on tourism, banana production, and light manufacturing.
All these make St Lucia’s fairly newly introduced Citizenship by Investment program one of the most popular schemes among international citizens, including American expats.
The citizenship by investment program by St Lucia has numerous benefits, such as:
- There are no residency requirements
- You can obtain St Lucia citizenship in exchange for an economic investment of $100,000.
- You can also include your whole family in the application. But do note that additional family members will require additional fees.
- You can get a permanent residence and obtain Caribbean citizenship within a time frame of just four months.
Benefits of living in St Lucia
- The country is close to the United States and is well connected
- There are various tax exemptions for American expats
- The cost of living is low in comparison to the United States
- Access to high quality of life
- Access to private health insurance
After obtaining residency in the country, you will need to wait for two years to apply for St Lucia citizenship.
The official language of the country is English, making St Lucia one of the best countries for expats to retire, especially if they are Americans. For more details on St Lucia for American expats, you can read our article: Americans relocating to St Lucia.
Frequently Asked Questions About The Best Country To Move To
Which is the best country to move to from USA with family?
In terms of safety, standard of living, cost of living, world class education and healthcare, economic opportunities, and more, the major cities in Portugal are definitely suitable for American expats to relocate and live.
What are the best European countries to move to from USA?
Owing to its safety, political stability and thriving economy, Portugal, Spain, Finland and Ireland are some of the best European countries to move to from the United States of America.
Which are the easiest countries to immigrate to from the US?
Portugal, Malta and Spain are some of the easiest countries to relocate to from the United States. American citizens can either gain permanent residency or apply for citizenships via each country’s Citizenship by Invest programs.
Which are some of the best countries for expats to retire?
Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Canada, and New Zealand are some of the best countries that you can move to for your retirement.
Which countries are most US citizens moving to?
As per the Association of American Residents Overseas (AARO), around 40% of US citizens are moving to the western hemisphere — Canada, Central and South America. 26% of Americans are moving to EU countries and around 14% of people are moving to East Asia and the Middle East.
If you are an American citizen planning to relocate to a different country, you should check out the following article: