easiest countries for Americans to move to

The 11 EASIEST Countries for Americans to Move to in 2023 (For Residency & Citizenship)

Moving to a new country is one of the biggest life decisions you’ll ever make.

To make the process feel less daunting, let’s discover the easiest countries for Americans to move to.

With the US dollar coming up strong against many world currencies, such as the euro, there’s never been a better time to make a move.

What’s more, the rise of digital nomad visas has made the process of moving abroad even easier.

In this blog post, I’ll guide you through the 11 easiest countries for Americans to move to, based on factors like visa requirements (including income and savings), potential for language barriers, and overall quality of life.

Why Move Abroad Anyway?

It may seem intimidating at first, but moving abroad will bring you immeasurable benefits.

On a practical level, taking up residency in another country could be a path to permanent residency rights, or even second citizenship. In an increasingly unstable world, those provide an essential Plan B for you and your family.

Moving abroad can also improve your language skills and broaden your horizons. Living in another country provides you with new and unique experiences that you’d never otherwise have.

Finally, making a move abroad is a great way to meet new people and make new friends. So whether you’re looking for adventure or simply want to learn more about the world, making a move abroad is definitely worth considering.

The 11 EASIEST Countries for Americans to Move to in 2023

#1. Mexico

Moving to Mexico as an American can be a hugely rewarding experience.

Not only will you get to immerse yourself in a new culture, but you can also learn Spanish and enjoy the country’s delicious food. You can eat tacos, tamales, and quesadillas every day!

Easiest countries for Americans to move to

Many Americans move to Mexico to access the country’s affordable healthcare, including dental treatment.

What’s more, with Mexico’s close proximity to the United States, it’s easy to stay connected with friends and family back home.

Of course, there are a few things to keep in mind before making the move. For starters, it’s important to learn as much as possible about the customs and culture of Mexico.

You’ll also need to get your paperwork in order, including a residency visa if you plan on staying for an extended period of time.

Fortunately, Mexico has several easy residency visa options for US citizens. In fact, it’s one of the world’s easiest countries for Americans to move to.

How to get residency in Mexico as a US citizen:

  • Visa de Residente Temporal (Temporary Resident Visa) – Best if you want a shorter stay in Mexico (up to four years)
  • Visa de Residente Permanente (Permanent Resident Visa) – Best if you want to stay in Mexico long-term and/or eventually apply for Mexican citizenship

More info on Mexican residency permits

#2. Portugal

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.

Easiest countries for Americans to move to

If you’re a remote worker or highly skilled professional, you’ll be pleased to know that Portugal offers various tax benefits for expats, such as the 10-year NHR program.

What’s more, Portugal is one of Europe’s easiest countries for Americans to move to – 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 – opening up the many benefits of being an EU citizen.

How to get residency in Portugal as an American:

#3. Spain

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.

Spain offers several accessible visa options for US citizens looking to relocate – such as the Spain Golden Visa for investors, and the Non-Lucrative Visa for those with passive income.

However, if you’re looking for an EU passport, Spain’s not the best choice because it typically doesn’t recognize dual citizenship.

How to get residency in Spain as an American:

#4. Greece

Another great European hotspot for Americans moving abroad is Greece. The country has a temperate climate, with mild winters and hot summers.

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!

How to get residency in Greece as an American:

  • Greece Golden Visa – Best for those with funds to invest in real estate
  • Residency by independent means – Best for pensioners or those with other forms of passive income
  • Greek Digital Nomad Visa – Best for salaried remote workers

#5. Turkey

Turkey is one of the world’s most visited destinations, thanks to its world-famous cuisine, exceptional climate and rich history.

The chance to take up residency in this beautiful country is an appealing opportunity for many Americans. Turkey offers a low cost of living, diverse scenery, and a thriving international community.

Property prices are also very reasonable, making it possible to own a home or get a good return on investment when renting out property.

Turkey has a number of routes to residency suitable for US citizens – including a citizenship by investment program.

Which one you choose depends on your goals, plus the type of income you have.

How to get residency in Turkey as an American:

#6. Malta

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 Malta’s official languages, making it easy for Americans to get by in daily life.

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.

How to get residency in Malta as an American:

#7. 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 certainly find it in the Netherlands. The country benefits from excellent infrastructure, efficient public transportation, and top-notch healthcare. The Dutch people are well-known for their tolerant attitudes towards different cultures and lifestyles.

The Dutch government also offers tax benefits for certain professions, including expat entrepreneurs and highly skilled workers.

For Americans to get residency, the Netherlands offers 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.

How to get residency in the Netherlands as an American:

#8. Thailand

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.

How to get residency in Thailand as an American:

#9. Belize

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.

How to get residency in Belize as an American:

  • Belize Permanent Residence Permit – Best for long-term tourists (available after 50 weeks in-country)
  • Qualified Retirement Program – For those aged 45 or over with a pension or sufficient savings

#10. Georgia

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.

How to get residency in Georgia as an American:

  • Temporary Residence Permit – for shorter stays up to 12 months
  • Work Residence Permit – if you have a job or run a business in Georgia
  • Short-term Residence Permit – for those who purchase property in Georgia

More information on getting residency in Georgia

#11. Canada

You might be wondering why Canada comes last on my list of easiest countries for Americans to move to. Surely it should be one of the most obvious options?

Canada does have several advantages, most importantly its close proximity to the United States. Shared language, similar cultures and customs make Canada a comfortable place for Americans to move to.

As a resident of Canada, you’ll also benefit from high quality education and access to state healthcare.

But Canada isn’t necessarily an easy place for Americans to move to long-term. US citizens can easily enter Canada without a visa – but only as tourists.

If you want to take up residency in Canada, that’s a whole different ball game. Canada doesn’t have passive income or investment residence routes, Instead, getting residence in Canada revolves around having, or finding, the right job.

How to get residency in Canada as an American:

  • NAFTA Permit (North American free trade agreement) – If you’re currently working at an American company who can transfer you to a Canadian branch
  • Employer specific work permit – If you have specialist skills (the employer must prove they tried to find a Canadian citizen/permanent resident to fill the role before you)
  • Spousal open work permit – If you have a spouse already working in Canada

Canada also has the Express Entry program, available to skilled workers with at least one year of experience.

Conclusion

In this article, we’ve explored 11 of the easiest countries for Americans to move to in 2023.

From rich European history and culture, to tax-free living in the sun – there’s something here for everyone.

One of your main concerns when moving abroad should be the ease of getting a residence permit.

Some countries, such as Canada, are easy for Americans to move to in terms of cultural and language similarity. But when it comes to getting a residence permit, they are more challenging.

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 Belize and Thailand are great choices.

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