Are you an American looking to leave the United States behind this year? Then this mega post is for you.
We’ll talk about the best countries for Americans to move to in 2022, focusing on ease of getting a visa, cost of living, safety and climate – plus the potential to get second citizenship in the long-term.
The 15 Best Countries for Americans to Move To in 2022
The United States is a great country with many freedoms and opportunities, but it also has plenty of social and political problems.
The high cost of living, taxes, and crime rates are causing many Americans to want to leave the country. What’s more, the political polarization and gridlock in Washington D.C. are making it difficult for people to feel confident in the future of the country.
The number of Americans emigrating has skyrocketed in recent years, especially in the aftermath of the pandemic and in response to rising inflation and political uncertainty.
With that said, let’s dive in and look at the best countries for Americans to move to in 2022 and beyond.
In recent years, Portugal has become one of the most popular destinations for American expats, attracted by its political stability, growing economy, and high quality of life.
Portugal is also one of the most tolerant countries in Europe, with a long history of welcoming religious and ethnic minorities.
If you’re a remote worker or highly skilled professional, you’ll be pleased to know that Portugal offers various tax benefits for expats.
What’s more, it’s easy to get a visa to move there – especially if you’re financially independent, retired, working remotely, or in a position to invest for the Portugal Golden Visa.
Moving to Portugal also offers the potential for Americans to apply for Portuguese citizenship after 5 years – giving you the many benefits of being an EU citizen.
The island of Madeira deserves a special mention in the Portugal section, as we believe it’s one of the best destinations in the whole country. Madeira is part of Portugal, but it’s also an autonomous region, with the ability to set some of its own rules.
Madeira has year-round summer weather and a compelling outdoor lifestyle. With its lush green hillsides and stunning ocean views, Madeira is a paradise for nature lovers, and its mild climate makes it a great place to live.
What’s more, Madeira is also an exceptionally safe place to live, with almost zero crime, and plenty of friendly locals. It’s a fantastic destination for retirees, digital nomads, and those who wish to invest in real estate.
Spain is one of the most popular destinations for Americans looking to move abroad. This fascinating country has plenty to offer. For starters, Spain has a rich history and culture that’s unique in Europe.
From the stunning architecture of Madrid and Barcelona to the vibrant nightlife of Ibiza, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. What’s more, Spain’s Mediterranean climate is perfect for those who love sunny weather.
And for US expats, there’s no shortage of communities from all over the world to connect with and build networks, both personal and professional.
However, if you’re looking for an EU passport, Spain’s not the best choice because it typically doesn’t recognize dual citizenship. Portugal is the best alternative if citizenship is your main goal.
Another great European hotspot for American immigrants is Greece. The country has a temperate climate, with mild winters and hot summers.
It also has a rich history and culture, which is evident in the many ancient sites and monuments found throughout the country.
Property prices are some of the most affordable in Europe, making Greece a great option for those looking to buy a home.
There’s also the Greek Golden Visa program, in which you can apply for residency after spending just €250,000 on Greek real estate – Europe’s cheapest real estate residency pathway!
For those seeking EU citizenship as a long-term strategy, keep in mind that Greece recognizes dual citizenship. \
You can apply for citizenship after seven years of residency in Greece, plus you’ll need B1 level in Greek language. Not easy perhaps, but doable!
#4. The Netherlands
Despite its small size, the Netherlands punches above its weight when it comes to quality of life and progressive politics. In fact, it’s regularly ranked as one of the best countries in the world for Americans to move to. Here’s why:
The Dutch economy is advanced and diversified, with a strong focus on international trade. The Netherlands is also home to numerous multinational companies, making it a great place to advance your career and make promising connections.
If you’re looking for a high-quality lifestyle, you’ll find it in the Netherlands. The country boasts excellent infrastructure, efficient public transportation, and top-notch healthcare. It’s also known for its tolerant attitude towards different cultures and lifestyles.
The Dutch government also offers tax benefits for certain professions, including expat entrepreneurs and highly skilled workers.
The Netherlands isn’t an easy countries for Americans to get residency, but it does offer a special program called DAFT (The Dutch American Friendship Treaty). This comes from a special agreement between the United States and the Netherlands.
The DAFT allows US investors and entrepreneurs to get residency in the Netherlands in return for an investment of at least €4500. Residency with DAFT is renewable and valid for two years. After five years, you can apply for permanent residency.
#5. Czech Republic
Prague, the Czech Republic’s capital, was recently named the sixth most popular city for expats to live in. That’s unsurprising, as Prague’s affordability, convenient location for European travels, and rich cultural heritage make it a top choice.
With its medieval castle, world-famous clock tower, and stunning Gothic architecture, Prague is a must-see for anyone interested in history or culture. There’s truly something for everyone in this unique city.
In general, one of the biggest draws of the Czech Republic is its low cost of living. Prague is far cheaper than many other European capitals, including Paris, Rome, and London.
Outside of the capital, costs are even lower. This makes the Czech Republic a great place to live if you’re on a budget. Check out smaller cities like Brno or Ostrava, where you can save even more money while soaking up traditional Czech culture.
The Czech Republic is also conveniently located for travels within Europe. It’s easy to get around the entire continent by train or bus, and there are plenty of cheap flights available to major European cities. The Czech Republic makes a great base for exploring everything that Europe has to offer.
To get residency in the Czech Republic, US nationals can use the zivno visa route, which is well-suited to freelancers and remote workers.
Malta is a Mediterranean hotspot that’s perfect for Americans – including retirees, remote workers and investors. This stunning country enjoys year-round sunshine, making it ideal for those who love to enjoy the outdoors.
Malta’s beaches are among the best in Europe, and its relaxed lifestyle is perfect for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. English is also one of the country’s official languages, making it easy for Americans to get by.
With its strong economy and growing number of high-tech industries, Malta is fast becoming one of the most desirable countries in Europe for American expats.
What’s more, Malta has a range of visas well suited for remote workers, including the Nomad Residence Permit, the Global Residence Program, and a residency permit for the self-sufficient (i.e. those with income from outside Malta).
There’s also the Malta Golden Visa, which is Europe’s only true citizenship by investment program. You and your family can benefit from the fastest available pathway to an EU passport – in just 12 months.
Americans looking for an affordable place to live that has great weather and stunning scenery should consider Montenegro.
Not only is the cost of living much lower than in the US, but there’s also a variety of residency options, including the brand-new Montenegro digital nomad visa.
Although Montenegro is located in Europe, it’s not yet a member of the European Union. However, it’s currently involved in the membership process and is expected to join within the next five years.
Montenegro has an affordable citizenship by investment program, with minimum threshold of just €350,000. Getting citizenship of Montenegro early on could put you in a good position to become an EU citizen in the future.
Another big benefit of Montenegro for daily life is that English is widely spoken throughout the country, making it easy for Americans to get by.
With its rugged coastlines, towering mountains and pristine lakes, Montenegro is truly a nature lover’s paradise.
Whether you’re looking for a place to retire or just hoping to escape the hustle and bustle of American life, Montenegro is definitely worth considering.
With its low cost of living, affordable property prices, incredible climate and landscapes, friendly locals, and easy residency visa options, Turkey is an ideal place for Americans to move to.
The cost of living in Turkey is significantly lower than in the United States, with groceries, transportation, and utilities being much less expensive.
What’s more, theTurkish lira is currently weak against the US dollar, giving Americans even greater purchasing power in Turkey.
Property prices are also very reasonable, making it possible to own a home or get a good return on investment when renting out property.
The climate in Turkey is amazing, with warm summers and mild winters. The scenery is stunning, from snow-capped mountains to the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Plus, don’t forget the stunning skyline of Istanbul.
Istanbul is one of Turkey’s most exciting destinations for expats. This sprawling metropolis is Turkey’s largest and most cosmopolitan city.
Having lived there for almost three years, I can safely say it’s an excellent destination for foreigners wishing to move abroad, including Americans keen to escape the US.
With its rich culture and history, excellent food, great variety of activities, and affordable prices, it’s no wonder that Istanbul is a popular destination for American expats.
As the largest city in Turkey, Istanbul offers a wide range of experiences for its visitors. From its vibrant nightlife to its many historical sites, there’s something for everyone in Istanbul.
You can immerse yourself in history at the Blue Mosque or Hagia Sophia, or work alongside Istanbul’s burgeoning international tech community at one of the city’s ultramodern co-working spaces.
And don’t forget the food! Istanbul is home to some of the best Turkish cuisine, as well as a variety of international restaurants.
Try an iskender kebab, kedayife, or one of the famous Turkish breakfasts. Or just sip on a Turkish coffee with a side order of fresh baklava.
If you want to move to Turkey, you can get a Turkish residence permit with proof that you own a property or run a business in the country. This permit is renewable, and issued for two years at a time. You can apply for Turkish citizenship after just five years of legal residency.
If you’re looking for a place to move to that’s slightly off the beaten track, Georgia is definitely worth a look.
Although it’s not part of the European Union, Georgia lies within easy reach of Europe and is centrally located for a wide range of onward travels.
What’s more, Georgia offers one of the world’s most accessible residency programs. Foreigners from many countries can get a one year temporary residence permit to live, work, or do business in Georgia with no restrictions.
Georgia has a long and rich cultural history. It was once part of the Soviet Union, and its capital, Tbilisi, was founded in the 5th century.
The country is home to many different ethnic groups, including Georgians, Armenians, Azerbaijanis, Russians, and Turks. This diversity is reflected in the country’s cuisine, which features dishes from all over the Caucasus region. Georgian food is hearty and flavorful, with lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, along with amazing cheeses and soups.
The economy of Georgia has been growing rapidly in recent years, thanks to foreign investment and reforms. Tourism is also a major contributor to the economy. Georgia is a popular destination for both leisure and business travelers.
There are plenty of things to do in Georgia, from exploring the capital city of Tbilisi to hiking in the mountains. Best of all, Georgia is super affordable. As an American expat, you can live comfortably on a modest budget.
Mexico is a popular destination for Americans looking to relocate abroad, and it’s easy to see why.
The country is rich in culture and history, and its food is delicious and inexpensive. There are also a ton of different activities to keep you busy, from exploring ancient ruins to lounging on the beach.
Mexican residency visas are relatively easy for Americans to obtain. If you’re thinking of moving to Mexico, here are just a few of the many reasons why you should do it.
First, the country has a rich culture and history that stretches back millennia. You can explore ancient ruins like the pyramids at Chichen Itza or the once-bustling city of Teotihuacan.
Or, if you’re more interested in modern history, you can visit museums dedicated to topics like the Mexican Revolution or 20th-century art.
In addition to exploring the country’s numerous archaeological sites, you can also go hiking in the Sierra Madre Mountains, scuba diving off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, or relax on one of Mexico’s many beautiful beaches.
Mexico also has excellent food. From simple but delicious street food like tacos and tamales to gourmet seafood and regional specialties like mole poblano, there’s something for everyone.
What’s more, living in Mexico is incredibly affordable. Rent prices are low, and your dollars will go a long way.
If you’re looking for a place to relocate that has beautiful beaches, a growing number of tech hubs, relatively low cost of living, and tropical weather, Thailand is an excellent choice.
The country is home to numerous beaches, including the famous Koh Samui and Phuket, plus lesser known islands such as Ko Chang or Ko Tao.
The Thai capital, Bangkok, is full of intriguing temples and exciting nightlife.
But on the downside, Bangkok is becoming increasingly polluted. What’s more, its nightlife scene also has a more sordid side, which may be off-putting for some.
Many expats are moving to other cities in Thailand instead of Bangkok. In particular, the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai has become extremely popular.
Chiang Mai is one of the world’s top digital nomad hotspots, where tech workers from around the world run online businesses in the midst of the city’s quirky, artistic vibe.
Chiang Mai has cooler weather and quieter streets compared to Bangkok, and it’s also much less polluted.
The cost of living in Thailand is relatively low when compared to other countries, and its tropical climate means you can enjoy warm weather all year round.
US citizens can initially visit Thailand as tourists for 30 days stays, without applying for a visa in advance. For longer stays (up to 60 days), you’ll need a Thailand tourist visa.
For those who want to live in Thailand, the country offers a range of residence visas, with categories for both retirees and investors.
#12. Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a Central American country about the size of West Virginia, and one of the most popular destinations for American expats. The main reasons for this are its political stability, English-speaking locals, simple lifestyle, excellent climate and easy access to nature.
Costa Rica has been a democracy since 1949 and peaceful for even longer. It’s also one of the few countries in the world without an army. This makes it very attractive to Americans looking for a safe place to live.
The Costa Rican government is also stable and efficient, which is another plus. And while Spanish is the official language, English is widely spoken in Costa Rica, making it easy for Americans to communicate with locals.
Life in Costa Rica is simple and laid-back. There’s no hustle and bustle, and people enjoy a slower pace of life.
The climate is another big selling point. Costa Rica has two coastlines (the Pacific and the Caribbean) and a variety of microclimates, so you can choose the perfect place to live based on your temperature preferences. Plus, there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, birdwatching and surfing.
Costa Ricans love nature, and they have worked hard to protect their environment. In fact, the right to enjoy a healthy natural environment is enshrined in the Costa Rican constitution.
You can get residency in Costa Rica via the ‘rentista’ category for persons of independent means. You’ll need proof of a regular monthly income of at least US$2,500.
With this residency permit, you can set up a business or work remotely, but you can’t work for a local company until you have permanent residency (possible after three years).
Canada is a great country for American expats to move to. For one, it offers a high quality of life. Canadians enjoy access to universal healthcare, excellent education and world-class infrastructure.
Additionally, Canada is a welcoming place for people from all backgrounds. In recent years, the country has become increasingly multicultural, with cities like Toronto and Vancouver known for their diverse populations.
This makes Canada an ideal place for American expats who are looking for a new home. Additionally, Canada is located just north of the United States, making it easy to stay connected with friends and family back home.
With its beautiful scenery and abundance of outdoor activities, Canada is the perfect place to enjoy a new way of life.
But compared to many of the other options in this article, Canada isn’t the easiest destination for getting residency. The first step is usually to apply to Canada’s Express Entry program for assessment.
Belize is often hailed as one of the best countries for Americans to move to, and it’s not hard to see why. This small Central American nation offers a laid-back way of life, stunning natural beauty, and a friendly attitude towards foreigners.
Belize is also one of the most affordable countries in the region, making it a great choice for retirees or those looking to purchase a second home.
In addition, English is the official language in Belize, which makes communication easy for Americans. So whether you’re looking for a relaxed lifestyle or an exciting adventure, Belize is definitely worth considering as your next home.
US expats who want to live in Belize can apply for permanent residence after living in the country for 50 consecutive weeks. You can achieve this by entering Belize on a tourist visa, then renewing it every 30 days until you reach the 50 week mark.
Belize also offers the Qualified Retirement Program (QRP), which you can qualify for either with a pension or sufficient savings in an IRA, 401(k) or similar. You must be aged at least 45 and you can bring your dependents (spouse and children) with you.
#15. United Arab Emirates
The UAE might not be the most obvious choice as one of the best countries for Americans to move to, but it’s becoming increasingly popular, especially for high net worth individuals.
The main advantage of living in the Emirates is its tax-free status for income, property, and capital gains.
What’s more, the country is politically stable, has low crime rates, and is well-located for travels around the world. Emirates Airlines, the national carrier, is one of the world’s most highly rated airlines.
The UAE also has sunny weather all year round, so you can live a high-quality lifestyle with many opportunities for work and leisure.
US citizens have two main routes to get residency in the UAE. The first is to buy property, worth at least 1 million dirhams (approximately US$272,000). This grants you a residency visa that’s valid for two years, but without the right to work in-country.
The second route is to register a company in the UAE is free trade zone. Shareholders and employees of this company can then apply for residency in the UAE.
This is a better option than real estate, because you don’t need to invest anything, and your visa will be valid for three years instead of two. You can also take advantage of exciting business opportunities in the UAE.
Finally, although the UAE offers many benefits for residents, those seeking second citizenship should look elsewhere. The UAE is one of the world’s hardest countries to get citizenship.
We’ve now examined the 15 best countries for Americans to move to in 2022.
From rich European history and culture, to tax-free living in the sun – there’s something here for everyone.
If your goal is to get an EU passport, then Portugal or Malta will be your best options (depending on your individual situation and finances).
But if you simply want to retire and enjoy life in the sun, then Costa Rica, Belize and Thailand are all great choices.