ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Guide to the Best Expatriate Countries

Updated on September 27, 2011

Finding the Best Country for You

What is the best expatriate country for you? There are a lot of web sites that claim certain countries are the best. But some countries just won't mesh with some people. One person's paradise might very well be another person's purgatory.

When selecting a country you need to consider your own requirements and preferences. Here are some of the important ones:

  • Health Care: If you have health problems, then you will want to choose countries with good inexpensive health care. The Baja peninsula of Mexico has excellent doctors (often trained in the USA) that only charge about 25% of what American doctors charge (this is due to the fact that malpractice insurance in the USA can absorb up to 75% of a doctor's wages). Another advantage of Mexico is that medicine costs less and you won't have to spend money to constantly renew prescriptions. Living in Mexico also allows quick travel to the USA for anything not covered in Mexico or if you want to use your medicare or medicaid benefits. Most countries in Europe, Great Britain, Canada, Iceland, and Australia offer free universal health care, but expatriates aren't supposed to receive it. However, many hospitals don't differentiate between foreigners and citizens when accepting patients. I know several Americans who live in Australia and have received free emergency health care at their local hospital.
  • Climate: Are you a descendant of Frosty the Snowman? If you love cold weather, consider a place like Canada or Iceland. For hot dry weather, try Australia, Morocco, or Baja area of Mexico. If you need warm humid air due to asthma or chronic bronchitis, try the Philippines, Thailand, or an island in the Caribbean.
  • Companionship: Are you looking for romance? If you are tall and charismatic, you can probably find a companion anywhere. But if you are short and slender like me, then you might want to consider an Asian country like Thailand or the Philippines. I couldn't walk the street in either of those countries without a girl trying to hit on me. Short, squat and tough looking? Then you might want to try Mexico.
  • Job Opportunities: Will you need to work? Many countries like Thailand and China hire a large amount of English teachers. If you can do internet related work, you just need to have a decent internet connection (and be sure to keep quiet about your occupation, it is still considered to be illegal employment in most countries unless you have a work permit).
  • Language: Are you terrible at learning new languages? There are many places where English is the main language. Canada, Great Britain, Belize, Jamaica, Dominica, and many other Caribbean islands. In the Philippines, English is mandatory in school and about half of the TV stations and magazines are in English.
  • Acceptance of Foreigners: Some countries are just not safe for foreigners or Americans. Some are seriously poor like Nigeria, but many middle east countries should be avoided too.
  • Ease of Visa Renewals: This is a hassle that can greatly vary from country to country. For instance, if you live in Thailand, you may need to make a visa run every 90 days. There are actually companies that specialize in this type of thing for expatriates. Other companies specialize in low hassle thai language classes for the main purpose of using the one year visas available to thai language students. Some countries will allow you to buy citizenship or emigrate for investing in a business, putting money in one of their banks, or marrying a citizen. Living in a nearby country will allow you to make a run home across the border and quickly return. European union countries allow easy travel between them making visa renewals cheap and easy. Chile has inexpensive long term visas. Many of the Caribbean countries are linked together allowing another quick and easy way to renew.
  • Proximity to Home Country: Do you have family that you will be frequently returning to your home country to visit? If so, you may want to consider a country with a short air flight.
  • Are you an ex-felon?: Your passport has a secret code that lets other countries know that you are an ex-felon. Many countries including Canada, Australia, Great Britain, Japan, South Korea will not allow felons to enter. Thailand has a policy against felons, but they have generally ignored it. As the living standards of a country improves, they often select an anti-felon policy on visitors and expatriates. If you are an ex-felon, you may want to select Philippines, Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, Chile or one of the Caribbean Islands. I am not currently aware of any country that will allow an ex-felon to gain citizenship.

Remember, there is no one country that is right for everyone. Another important thing to know is that a particular country may seem like a great idea until you live there a while. You may want to choose 2 or 3 counties initially to check out. Check out each country for a few months or even a year before making your final choice. This could save you a lot of heartache and money in the long run.

Live long and prosper

One View of Heaven on Earth

Another View of Heaven on Earth


Submit a Comment

No comments yet.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)