Published
May 15, 2024
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13 Easiest Countries to Move to From the USA in 2024

Moving abroad is a prudent choice that people make after careful consideration. Not everyone has the right to move to any dot on the globe, but those who are granted that privilege can leverage it to secure a safer and more stable environment for themselves and their families. 

The ones who have come to a decision to open up the doors of a new country for the rest of their lives need to do thorough research, taking into consideration many factors, which include possible ways to move there, quality of life, tax implications, public services, and more. 

This article will provide information on factors to consider when moving abroad, a list of the easiest countries to move to from the USA, and another list of countries where English is widely spoken.

Key Takeaways

  • The number of American expats worldwide continuously increases due to several factors, including new career opportunities, the desire to retire abroad, and the heavy tax burden. 
  • Our list of the best and easiest countries to move to from the USA comprises countries from different angles of the world to cater to various tastes and needs. While enlisting the countries, we’ve taken into consideration the ease of living, investment options, and the quality of public services.
  • If you have decided to move abroad and want to acquire citizenship in those countries, the best and quickest option is to choose from the provided investment options. Mirabello Consultancy can assist with any of the questions related to investment programs.

Factors to Consider When Moving Abroad

Before jumping to our main topic, let’s first understand why Americans don’t stick to the shores of the American dream and set sail in search of a better life. Amanda Klekowski von Koppenfels, a leading authority on the American diaspora, and Helen B. Marrow of Tufts University have conducted research to understand the reason behind American emigration. They’ve found out that the majority of Americans leave the USA for adventure, new work opportunities, and the desire to retire abroad. These are coupled with recently popped-up factors such as increased real estate prices and high tax rates.

Once the decision to relocate has been finalized, the next step is researching and gathering data on the pertinent factors that warrant consideration. One really useful resource is the Expat Insider survey, conducted annually by Internations. It’s an expat community of 5,2 million members from 420 cities worldwide. Another resource is Expatica which offers a range of information for expats. 

Here is our humble list of key things to consider when moving abroad from the USA.

  • Destination research: A thorough research of potential destinations should be conducted considering factors like cost of living, job opportunities, and public services. 
  • Hassle-free travel: Despite the common belief that a US passport opens all doors, it does not actually provide entry to every country in the world. Some countries, including Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, Japan, and Brazil, allow US citizens visa-free or visa-on-arrival access. Countries such as China, Turkey, India, and Russia require Americans to obtain a visa before entry. The ease of obtaining a visa depends on factors like having a job offer, sufficient funds, or qualifying for a specific program in a destination country. 
  • Cost of living: A comparison of living costs in the destination country versus the USA, including housing, food, utilities, and other expenses, should be made.
  • Tax obligations: The US tax system is indeed quite complicated for those citizens who want to move abroad, with various reporting requirements, credits, and obligations that must be navigated. All American citizens living abroad should know they need to pay US taxes on their worldwide income. However, the USA has tax treaties with 66 foreign countries to ease the tax burden. The ones who don’t want dual tax obligations can renounce their US citizenship.
  • Employment opportunities: If a US citizen does not have a work invitation from another country, it’s necessary to assess how easy securing employment will be. 
  • Relocation with family: The best option for US citizens to relocate with their families is to consider citizenship through investment programs. The spouse, children under a certain age, and financially dependent parents can relocate together with the investor. To better prepare their families for a successful relocation, US citizens should consider several factors, such as anticipating potential challenges, maintaining work-life balance, ensuring children's safety, overcoming language barriers, and more.     
  • Safety: This is paramount, and US citizens should prioritize their and their family's safety in the new destination. The low crime rate, environmental quality, and overall well-being are essential. Iceland, Denmark, and Japan are the safest countries to move to from the USA. 

13 Easiest Countries to Move to from the USA

The US government exercises caution when disclosing the number of its citizens opting to live abroad. However, the results state that in 2018, the Federal Voting Assistance Program estimated a total of 4.8 million American civilians living abroad, including 3.9 million civilians and 1.2 million service members and other government-affiliated Americans. According to the Gallup poll in 2019, 16% of Americans, including 40% of women under 30, would like to leave the United States. 

So, let’s now understand where Americans go and what the best countries to move to from the USA are. Our selection is based on expat preferences, investment programs that lead to citizenship, and other factors, including proficiency in English, economic stability, quality of life, and cultural compatibility. 

The Caribbean

We’ll open up the list with the countries in close proximity to the USA. The reasons why Americans choose to reside in one of the Caribbean countries are uncountable. From pleasant weather and stunning natural landscapes to a relaxed pace of life and business opportunities. 

The visa requirements for US citizens moving to Caribbean countries vary depending on the specific country. Generally, US citizens do not need a visa to enter most countries. Additionally, while visas may not be required for short stays in many Caribbean countries, US citizens should ensure they have a valid passport and comply with any entry requirements set by the destination country. 

Many Americans with sufficient funds prefer to move to one of the Caribbean countries that offer citizenship through investment programs. Why? Because it’s the easiest and quickest way to obtain citizenship. 

Citizenship by investment program is offered in five Caribbean countries, including:

St. Lucia 

A lovely small country which is known for its pristine waters and sun-kissed beaches. So, it’s a small heaven on earth attracting more and more expats from the USA. The country especially draws the attention of retirees and investors who can enjoy a relaxed lifestyle with access to diverse activities, including hiking and golfing. An affordable cost of living, favorable tax policies, and a private healthcare system are other advantages.

St. Lucia launched its citizenship through an investment program in 2015 to attract more expats. A minimum of $100,000 should be donated to the National Economic Fund. The process of applying for citizenship through an investment program is very straightforward, providing benefits such as enhanced global mobility and favorable tax conditions.

Antigua and Barbuda 

Antigua and Barbuda stands out as a perfect destination with a warm climate and outstanding landscapes. Like most Caribbean countries, Antigua and Barbuda offers a high standard of living, affordable living costs, and favorable tax policies. The country’s diverse economy, wealth, variable public services, and safety play a key role in attracting American expats. The country offers very favorable citizenship through an investment program. Let’s jot down some details about it here. 

The program offers various investment options, including a minimum non-refundable contribution to the National Development Fund (NDF) of at least $100,000. It provides visa-free travel to 150 countries, including the Schengen area, Japan, and Hong Kong, making it the best choice for those seeking global mobility.

Grenada 

Caribbean countries were among those that first introduced citizenship through investment programs after noticing the increase in global mobility. And Grenada is not an exception. It’s a beautiful country that boasts one of the top healthcare systems among Caribbean countries. Grenada has become an appealing destination for investors and retirees with its laid-back lifestyle, low crime rates, and safe environment. 

The Citizenship through investment program in Grenada allows the applicants to obtain citizenship by contributing $150,000 to the country. The successful applicants and their families are granted ample opportunities, such as visa-free travel to 145 countries.

Dominica 

It’s meaningless to talk about Dominica's natural beauty and mild climate. Nature generously granted the Caribbean countries all the necessary resources and natural wonders that make them perfect places to reside. Dominica has also introduced its citizenship through an investment program to attract more expats.

The program is very affordable, with a minimum investment of around $100,000. The program offers dual citizenship and visa-free access to 150 countries. There is no residency requirement, so the entire application process, which takes 3 to 6 months, can be completed remotely. 

St. Kitts and Nevis

St Kitts and Nevis was the first country in the world to introduce citizenship through an investment program, allowing migration for many potential investors who can contribute to the country’s economy. So, the program significantly attracted American expats to continue their lives in a picturesque country with more to offer. 

The St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment program offers at least a $250,000 contribution to the Sustainable Island State Contribution (SISC) fund. 

Europe

Greece

Settled in the heart of Europe, Greece is a beautiful country with a mild climate, healthy cuisine, picturesque cities and landscapes, not talking about cultural and historical marvels. However, the laid-back lifestyle, low crime rates, excellent healthcare, and favorable living conditions attract American expats the most. It appears in the top rankings globally for tourism, healthcare, physicians, environmental performance, and more. So, Greece has all the potential to become Europe’s number-one destination for American expats. 

Greece launched its Golden Visa through an investment program in 2013 to attract more high-net-worth individuals. With a minimum investment amount of €250,000, Americans can earn such benefits as a pathway to Greek citizenship, a family reunification option, profitable rental prospects to earn passive income and more. 

Spain

Spain is home to a large community of Americans. Approximately 58,000 American expats live in Spain. It’s a popular destination among digital nomads and retirees seeking high-quality life, new job opportunities, and a favorable living environment.  

There are many reasons to love Spain: its education, healthcare, and other public services are at the European level; the climate is mild and pleasant; and the people are warm and friendly, just to name a few. It topped the annual index by Live and Invest Overseas for 2024 and is generally known for its high living standards.

Several options exist for American expats planning to relocate to Spain. Student and work visas are widespread, and many people can afford them. Those with sufficient funds can take into consideration the Golden Visa through Investment program, which is a magnífico pathway to Spanish citizenship. There are several investment options. The most favorable is purchasing real estate worth no less than €500,000. The citizenship is granted after 10 years of residing in the country. 

Portugal

Portugal is one of the easiest countries for Americans to move to from the USA. Its popularity among expats has significantly increased after the country launched its Golden Visa program in 2012. It was very successful and became an inspiration for other countries to introduce programs of the same kind. Though Portugal made major changes in its program in 2023, it’s still an alluring option for potential investors.

Let’s talk about the key benefits of the country as an expat destination. Portugal boasts of being one of the most affordable European countries. The cost of living is approximately 40% lower than in the USA, with rent, groceries, dining out, and other expenses. Another advantage is the favorable tax policies. Programs like the Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) tax regime offer tax incentives. Most importantly, Portugal is the 7th most secure country in the world. More? Portugal has various visa and residency programs, such as the D7 visa, making obtaining Portuguese residency and citizenship relatively straightforward. Applicants must prove a passive income of €820 a month outside of Portugal. For digital nomads, there is a separate visa type. This option requires applicants to earn at least €3,040 per month working for a foreign company. 

Malta

Why is Malta considered a better country to reside in than the USA? Let’s figure out. 

Malta offers a significantly cheaper cost of living than the USA. There is no property tax, which is a huge financial advantage. The healthcare system ranks high as Malta provides universal health insurance, which is seen as a cost-saving benefit for residents. 

Instead of investing through a citizenship program, Malta has introduced a naturalization program, which includes investment. There are different types of residence programs catering to different needs and circumstances. The most well-known one is Maltese Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment, which grants a certificate of naturalization as a citizen of Malta to any individual eager to contribute to Malta's economic development fund. The investment amount ranges from €600,000 to €750,000.

Americas

Mexico

Mexico is considered one of the easiest countries to move to from the USA. It has been a longtime retirement destination for many Americans. Mexico hosts the largest American expat community in the world, with over 1.6 million Americans living there. This is why it continues to be the most desired destination for Americans seeking to live abroad. The country’s diverse attractions range from rich culture and natural beauty to affordability and ease of living. 

Canada

Canada is a highly appealing expat destination for Americans. Let’s enumerate several key factors that make Canada an alluring country. First of all, Canada is considered one of the safest countries in the world, with low crime rates, trusted police forces, and a quick response to emergencies. It ranks high on all safety standards and is known for its strong social safety net. The universal healthcare system is worth mentioning, too. Expats in Canada have access to quality medical services without the financial burden.

The Canadian passport is considered one of the most powerful passports in the world, offering visa-free access to a large number of countries. 

One of the easiest paths to citizenship is through The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP). The program was launched on January 1st, 2024. The requirements for the program are the following:

  • Minimum of CAD 2,000,000 net worth
  • CAD 1,000,000 non-refundable contribution

This ensures the investor will be eligible for Canadian citizenship in three years.

Asia

Thailand

An enchanting country situated in Southeast Asia, it has become a famous expat destination. Its capital, Bangkok, was ranked the 2nd best place in the world for digital nomads in 2023. It’s also a very popular tourist destination hosting visitors from all over the world. 

The Thailand Elite Visa program, also known as the Thailand Privilege Visa, is a long-term one. It aims to attract investors and rich expats to stay in Thailand and have access to exclusive benefits. The program offers different membership packages from 5 to 15 years. The minimum investment for 5 years is $25,000, while the one for 15 years is $71,000.

United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates has a favorable geolocation connecting Europe, Asia, and Africa, thus making it a hub for international trade and travel. Cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi offer abundant job opportunities across various fields. Many international companies have set up headquarters there. Also, the UAE provides a high standard of living. In particular, major cities are equipped with excellent infrastructure, healthcare, and education. Plus, it is known for its low crime rate and well-respected law enforcement, providing a safe environment for its residents. So, the number of American expats seeking to live in the UAE is growing daily. 

The most well-known residency option in the UAE is the Golden Visa through investment. The program is not old, being launched in 2019. It offers a minimum investment of AED 700,000, equal to USD 190,600, which is a pathway to citizenship in one of the most flourishing countries in the world.

6 Best Countries to Move to from the USA that Speak English

The best English-speaking countries for Americans to move to from the USA are:

  1. Canada - Canada is ranked high in the easiest countries to move to from the USA because of proximity and cultural similarities. English and French are the official languages, so 98.1% of Canadians know English.
  2. The Caribbean countries - Many Caribbean countries have English as their official language, making them an appealing destination for American expats.
  3. United Kingdom - It’s a popular choice among Americans due to the shared language and cultural ties.
  4. Singapore - A very developed country known for its business-friendly environment and widespread use of English.
  5. Australia - As English is an official language in Australia, the vast majority of its population speaks English. 
  6. United Arab Emirates - Though Arabic is the international language, English is widely spoken in urban areas and in the business sector. 

Conclusion

The decision to move abroad is a significant one, often made after careful consideration. While many people don’t have the freedom to move freely, those who do can find a safer and more stable life for themselves and their families. Researching and understanding the key factors before moving to another country is essential. This article has explored some of those factors and provided a list of the easiest countries to move to from the USA based on factors such as expat preferences, investment options, and proficiency in English.

From the scenic Caribbean islands to diverse European countries, American expats choose their destinations based on their individual needs and preferences. Whether it is the warmth of the locals, affordability, or the prospect of new job opportunities. So, after careful planning and consideration, many Americans decide to continue their lives in one of the easiest countries to move to from the USA. 

FAQ

  • What countries are most Americans moving to?

Although the US government doesn’t share specific details or numbers, most Americans tend to move to Mexico, Canada, and Portugal. The reasons are the proximity, favorable environment for retirement, and affordability.

  • Which countries can US citizens live in without a visa?

US citizens can visit 169 countries without a visa. If they need to stay longer than the designated days, they should follow the requirements of the country they are staying in. Due to a Compact of Free Association with the Marshall Islands, Palau, and Micronesia, US citizens can reside there for an indefinite period of time without a visa.

  • What is the easiest country for an American to move to?

The easiest countries for US citizens to move to from the USA are the Caribbean countries, Malta, Spain, Portugal, Mexico, and Canada.

  • What is the best European country to immigrate to from the US?

Malta ranks high in many factors compared to the USA, including healthcare. Spain and Portugal are considered popular expat destinations thanks to their high standards of life and affordability.  

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