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Where Should I Immigrate?

Updated on March 15, 2010

Where Should I Immigrate To?


The question came up: "If you were forced (or fed up?) enough to leave your country, where would you move to? Well you can't answer this question without having a good idea of what your options are. There are 189-195 countries in the world depending on the source, so that's a lot of options of places to move to. Not every country is going to be an appropriate destination, but to give an idea of the many exotic destinations, and not so exotic, available, this hub will run through some of the possible countries to immigrate to. Since I live in the United States, all possible new homes are being compared to the U.S.A, although as anyone in Alaska (and based on comments, apparently also Maine) can tell you, there are places still technically belonging to the stars and stripes that feel like an entirely different world. Now onto the best places to immigrate:

Immigrate to Canada?


#1: Immigration to Canada. This seems like the first obvious choice. If you're looking at immigrating to Canada, you could be instantly be tempted by phrases such as "socialized medicine," "low crime rates," or "great fishing," let's look at both sides of the argument.

Positives of moving to Canada:

  • 1) Cheap/free health care
  • 2) Low crime rates
  • 3) Great fishing
  • 4) Much better beer (don't even try arguing against this one unless you're from Alaska)
  • 5) You get to say "You Hoser."

Negatives of emigrating to Canada:

  • 1) Curling is a serious sport
  • 2) Dollar coin nicknamed 'The Loon.'
  • 3) The football field looks funny, and the rules feel strange
  • 4) Two words: Bryan Adams
  • 5) Two more words: Metric System. Do you really know how far away 173 kilometers is?

The better beer could be a tipping point, but metric system and Bryan Adams and curling and a 100 meter football field? Hmm - jury might be out on this one.

Immigrate to Mexico?


#2: Immigration to Mexico. What's not to like? Dollars go a lot further, even nowadays, there are beautiful beaches you can live on fairly cheap, and if you're a criminal Mexico is non-extradition. So if you're planning a great bank heist before you go, this could be a top choice! So what are the pros and cons of the States' southern neighbor?

Positives of immigrating to Mexico:

  • 1) Dollars go a lot further
  • 2) Cheap beach property available (as long as you stay off the resorts)
  • 3) Great Mexican food
  • 4) You get to add fruit to your beer (fun)
  • 5) Home of the Margarita

Negatives of moving to Mexico:

  • 1) You need your money before you move, because it will be hard to make more
  • 2) It's really really hot
  • 3) The washed citrus you added to your beer will give you Montezuma's Revenge
  • 4) It's either margarita (girly drink) or tequila (worm & hangover)
  • 5) Hablas espanol muy bueno?

I know everyone expected not being able to drink water to be on the negative list, but the beer and margaritas negate that. I guess if you're a tropical minimalist this is a good stop, but if you're Irish and burn easy, this could be harsh.

Migrate to Australia Video

Montage of Scottish Pictures to Highland Music

Immigrate to Australia


#3: Immigrating to Australia. Based on my research, this is one of the places that gets the most curiosity, and it's not hard to see why. Amazing natural wonders, a very socially minded government, and you're nobody's target for nuclear annihilation during World War III. Except maybe jealous New Zealand. But where are they going to get the bomb?

Positives of moving to Australia:

  • 1) Swearing up a storm can be socially acceptable
  • 2) Diverse and incredible wildlife (only found on this continent)
  • 3) Raucous parties
  • 4) Tons and tons of cool slang
  • 5) Watching Aussie rules football is absolutely awesome

Negatives of moving to Australia:

  • 1) Swearing up a storm can be socially acceptable
  • 2) Diverse and incredible wildlife (tons of it extremely venomous or dangerous to human beings - it's like the continent designed to kill people)
  • 3) Raucous parties
  • 4) Is the following phrase good, bad, or embarrassing?: "I was hangin' with bastards when a battler cutting loose ate all the avos, drank all the coldies till he chundered all over at the cockie's barbie, leaving us all gobsmacked." Answer: embarrassing for the blue collared man barely getting by.
  • 5) Playing Aussie football hurts like bloody h**l.

If you're the adventurous type who doesn't mind all of nature trying to kill you, there's definitely something here. If you're more of a conservative homebody, it's time to keep looking. Also: Australia's popular enough that immigrating is getting harder and harder so get an early start.

Immigrate to Japan


#4: Immigrating to Japan. There's beer in vending machines, beautiful nature to the north, and great transportation. It's an industrialized nation much closer to many great Asian tourist destinations. So what's the good and bad?

Positives of immigrating to Japan:

  • 1) Developed economy, finding work shouldn't be hard
  • 2) Beer in vending machines
  • 3) Sake
  • 4) Many English speakers, makes transition easier
  • 5) Sumo wrestling is cool

Negatives of immigrating to Japan:

  • 1) Expected work ethic (many work themselves to death)
  • 2) If you're six foot tall with a big beard you'll get a lot of stares
  • 3) Sake
  • 4) If you mutter English profanities, they will understand you
  • 5) The "working to death" work ethic - better off back here in U.S.

On top of that, baseball is obsessive. I don't want to memorize 30 chants for the right team to get a beer on game night. I just want a beer and to be able to watch the game.

How About Moving to Russia, Comrade?


#5: Emigrate to Russia. We're assuming nice Russia, not Siberia former gulag Russia. Even in the western part of Russia there are positives and negatives, so let's run down the list.

Positives of immigration to Russia:

  • 1) Dollars still go a very long way
  • 2) Great for cold weather people
  • 3) Onion dome Orthodox cathedrals
  • 4) Great women's basketball
  • 5) Amazing vodka

Negatives of immigrating to Russia:

  • 1) "Democracy" fragile at best - dictatorship could still return
  • 2) Great for cold weather people
  • 3) "Economic Stability" is a very different term here
  • 4) (Do I dare alienate 60% of my readers by making a WNBA joke?)
  • 5) Still developing into the 21st century

Russia hits me as an intriguing place to visit, but coming back to the question of moving from America, can it really be considered a logical upgrade? Maybe we need to keep looking.

The Highlands?


#6: Move to Scotland? This is a popular potential destination, mostly for those who have Scottish ancestry.

Positives of emigrating to Scotland:

  • 1) British Pounds are kicking the dollar's butt - so working to get ahead can work out
  • 2) English is spoken, though you'll have to get use to Brogue
  • 3) Speaking from first hand experience: kilts are amazingly comfy
  • 4) Amazing scenery in the Highlands
  • 5) Everyone at your previous home will be jealous that you're living in Scotland
  • 6) Bonus: Amazing Whiskey

Negatives of moving to Scotland:

  • 1) You're part of the United Kingdom, so even as a "Scot" you're still "British." That can be weird.
  • 2) If you don't pick up on brogue, it's like being in an entirely foreign country
  • 3) There is a rainy/foggy season
  • 4) Long cold winters
  • 5) Kilts move in the wind
  • 6) Bonus Negative: Amazing Whiskey, i.e. the morning after effect

I assume Scotland is the personal favorite type of destination. If it's in your blood there's no place else, if not, then the rest of us look weird.

Moving to Europe Sounds Nice


#7: The Euro Area. Any nation that uses the Euro on the continent. France? Spain? Italy? Germany? A lot of positives here, so what's the tale of the tape.

Positives of moving to Europe:

  • 1) Better Museums
  • 2) Most nations give more paid vacation
  • 3) Most likely socialized medicine
  • 4) Can travel extensively through the continent cheap
  • 5) A lot to do

Negatives of immigrating to Europe:

  • 1) How many languages can you/do you want to, become proficient in? (hard for late bloomers)
  • 2) Can be expensive to live in - dollar doesn't go as far.
  • 3) 18 year old kids are probably smarter than you (intimidating/embarrassing)
  • 4) EU seems to pick on Ireland - that just doesn't seem nice
  • 5) Moving to the "old country," well isn't this the equivalent of washing out after college and moving back into your parents' basement?

Such a Hard Decision - Where to Immigrate?

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I wantted to leave the UK

      Still have not decided where I should go

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      What about South Africa? We have sun shine, braaivleis, biltong, melktert, beautiful views and lost to do.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      You missed the Philppines! Great money exchange rate and very little language barrier.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      i'll go wherever my feet carry me,as long as it's peaceful and easy on the long as migration won't kill me and my individuality..

    • Bruning profile image


      8 years ago

      I am working in IT for many years and really not sure where to immigrate but because of language I prefer countries that speaks English as first or second language. Canada was my dream but it is quite hard to immigrate due to Canadian rules of immigration.Other countries like Australia,Newzealand and Uk do not have bright future for new immigrant. This is what I think.

    • TraveLapland profile image

      Work in Sweden 

      8 years ago from Murjek Sweden


      Great Hub. So many places in the world to consider, but don't forget Sweden! Cheap property and plenty of space. .

    • Jerry G2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jerry G2 

      8 years ago from Cedar Rapids, IA

      Glad you enjoyed it, and I can fully appreciate the language comments as I've noted many times being an English major despite speaking the American version and a colloquial one at that. Thanks for the comments! :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      LOL. I came across this hub having been woken by a nightmare. (I read your nightmare hub first). I am an English woman who immigrated to the USA. During PMS (sorry IS relevant) i have found myself at drive thru MacDonalds late at night purchasing coffee and cookies. (I NEVER drank coffee in the UK and i NEVER EVER visited any drive throughs or even considered eating at MUCK Donalds.) This leads to nightmares and me typing this instead of sleeping. I also now am neighbours with alligators and snakes and am continually bitten by pesky flying, bird sized mosquitoes. In the summer (which begins in March and ends in November) i melt and my hair becomes a frizz ball due to 1000% humidity. People here speak a different language, yet call it English. And the worst of all they are always ‘fixing’ what is not broken (they fix breakfast etc) and bringing what they in truth are taking. BUT aside from those things i am actually beginning to feel at home in this strange part of the USA and shiver at the thought of an English winter. Well, tommorrow it is back to my “get rid of all refined sugar and coffee from my diet DESPITE living in the USA” and hopefully i will not be requiring to read this kind of humor to ease my mind and assist me back to peaceful sleeping. But hey! Thanks anyway. Tonight i needed this. :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Yes, that was hilarious, but I've got no any useful info from it. I was searching the web to find such a place to live in in peace with a reasonable process of getting the visa! Being a 7th world citizen no one is ready to provide visa without huge number of difficult requirements. Sorry for that!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      if i would leave my native land,i would still look for a place which has the color of my's hard living just anywhere,eventhough you'll have a good-paying job.for most workers working abroad,they battle with home sickness and difficulty in survival because of so many differences between his native country and his host country.though eventually he becomes richer,nothing still compares to his 'home'.so if you are planning to really leave for good,try some places which are familiar first if you don't wanna have a good crying bout on going back home.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Nice article,Good info.

    • kallini2010 profile image


      8 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Jerry G2,

      I don't think I really missed any of your humour. I only made such a comment because it was how your hub made me feel. I was not offended or critical, it was only my impression.

      It would be same if I had to write about serving in the army (any army) or being a man. I would speculate with humour or lack thereof, but it would be some "creative constructing". And you would tell, "What exactly are you talking about?"

      To me immigration always will be more of a personal experience, as I call it "a first degree burn". You would think it might be fun, but if you do it, first that will come would be pain. A lot of it.

      I am not trying to say that you are not allowed to write what you wrote, far from it, I am only trying to explain my own comment. And as far as sense of humour goes, believe me I have no deficiencies.

      I live in Toronto and I did not travel much in Canada, I saw Ottawa and I lived in Calgary for four months, that is about it.

      The reason why I asked about foreign languages, it is another way to experience pain fully when you are deprived of the capacity to express yourself and there is nothing to fall back on (imagine that NOBODY speaks English) and you have to rely on your PASSABLE level (whether it is Spanish, French, Chinese).

      It is a torture. But again, I don't criticize, I only explain. We are who we are, you cannot see things the way I see them (because you are not me) and I cannot see things the way you see them. We only can communicate. However, we miscommunicate more often than not.

      Just look at the divorce statistics! LOL

      My humour is fairly sarcastic, too, but not dry. It is full of colour and sparkles.

      Thank you for wishing me well, all will be well as soon as I find a way to make money doing what I like.

      When would that be?

    • Jerry G2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jerry G2 

      8 years ago from Cedar Rapids, IA

      Hi Kallini,

      I think you might have missed some of the humor, which isn't a problem - I tend to have a very dry and sarcastic humor so even my friends aren't ever sure if I'm joking or not. The reasoning I used was poking fun at most Americans, and at myself because let's face it - I grew up here so on some level no matter how open minded I am there's going to be some of that "American" perspective in how I view the world.

      I do love the U.S. but not in the insane patriotic "we can do no wrong and are the best place in the world" way which drives me nuts. The U.S. isn't one single culture, and comparing traveling in different states like Maine, Alaska, Hawaii, Iowa, California, Nevada, Florida, Missouri, and North Carolina all reveal different cultures and experiences which I love!

      I do speak passable Spanish although I'm much better at understanding it than speaking, and I'm slowly self teaching myself Latin and French. I love travel, and am aching to head back to Mexico for a more extended walkabout when I have the time and resources.

      What part of Canada are you living in? I'm pretty familiar with some good chunks of Ontario, Alberta, and the Yukon Territory. Thank you for your comments and hope all is well!

    • kallini2010 profile image


      8 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      From Russia with love!

      I moved from Russia to Canada fourteen years ago. But I have not been to the United States (mostly financial reasons, I have no resources). Maybe some day I will marry an old coot and will be able to afford traveling. Again.

      As funny as it may be, with your reasoning you won't be able not only to immigrate anywhere, but I doubt you are willing to travel. I only judge by this hub. Maybe you do travel a lot.

      The hardest part is always the language, the disconnection, not fitting in, cultural shock.

      Immigration requires a very strong motivation and it is usually something serious enough that forces you to leave with meager prospects of the future.

      Usually the questions to ponder are "Is that really that bad? Can I stay home? Can I tolerate it? Do I have to flee? Can I avoid it?"

      That is what see in your writing. "God Bless America!"

      I am so happy to be born and live here, that I will never ever leave.

      Am I right?

      There is nothing wrong with that.

      Do you speak any foreign languages?

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      you can not believe that I have changed my immigration destination many times and still am in my country! What's wrong with me that can not finalize it for myself! damn!

      That was a very good&funny article :)

    • Right On Time profile image

      Right On Time 

      8 years ago from Australia

      um dept of immigration in aust is really strict -

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Scotland can be a great place but never very warm throughout the year and is extremely cold in winter!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Migrated from Russia to Australia and have few notes about the article :)

      Russia - Still developing into the 21st century - Just came back from Russia few weeks ago and must say that there is 23rd century already :-D most of the thinks are way ahead of Australia or USA. except the government and green energy.

      Australia - "tons of it extremely venomous or dangerous to human beings" In 11 Years living in Australia (going camping and bush walking almost every weekend) I'v seen snakes maximum of 4 times.

      So if you really thinking to migrate to Australia and worried about snakes, sharks and spiders - don't worry - Australia is beautiful, safe, very friendly country that welcomes everyone from over the world.

    • NCBIer profile image


      8 years ago

      That was hilarious. Thanks!

    • profile image

      David Waters 

      8 years ago

      I moved to Ottawa from Australia and love it.. Grass is always greener somewhere else right? Its actually the case in Canada, everythings greener.. haha Love the small things like squirrels, eh, snow (somewhat), change of scenery when driving etc.. Already looking to move somewhere else though, Russia seems interesting!

    • Coollikeme profile image


      8 years ago

      Toronto Canada love hockey and cold beats humidity anyday.

    • witchworx profile image


      8 years ago from Hong Kong

      funny and informative...:)

    • ltfawkes profile image


      9 years ago from NE Ohio

      Instructive AND entertaining. Thanks.


    • Marisa Wright profile image

      Kate Swanson 

      9 years ago from Sydney

      How did I miss this? I'm a Scot who moved to Oz, so not surprisingly Scotland doesn't get my vote. There's a reason it's so green - it rains. Australians call rain "showers". Scots call rain "drizzle", "mist", "showers", "downpour", "a soft day"...

      Also Princessa is right, the winter is cold, and it runs from October to May!

      Parts of the East Coast of Oz have Mediterranean and sub-tropical climates, not "arid" at all. And the dangerous stuff is all out in the bush or in the sea - in the cities, you're pretty safe!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Don't migrate to Oz, it's semi arid climate is killing me. I'd move to Scotland or Alaska in a heartbeat if I had the money. Also this overly sunny climate is a killer for fair skin, sun cancer is a big problem.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      10 years ago from Houston, Texas

      This is hilarious! Just discovered you are a fellow Texan also. I'm your new fan.

    • Jerry G2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jerry G2 

      10 years ago from Cedar Rapids, IA

      Thanks for the link, I'll be sure to check it out!

    • profile image

      Live in Australia 

      10 years ago

      Hi Jerry

      Aussie culture must be somewhat of a culture shock for someone who has just immigrated here.

      Here's a gret resource for anyone with a sense of humour:

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Hi. This is a great page. Im a favourite of #3 after recently moving to Australia myself I am not disapointed at all.

    • HelpingGuy profile image


      10 years ago

      Hi Jerry,

      Nice info. about Immigration choices.

      Another Canadian Immigration related HUB:

    • Jerry G2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jerry G2 

      10 years ago from Cedar Rapids, IA

      Many thanks, Wanderlust. I'm a huge fan of your work, as well.

    • Wanderlust profile image


      10 years ago from New York City

      Absolutely hilarious! I am your big fan now!

    • Jerry G2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jerry G2 

      10 years ago from Cedar Rapids, IA

      Glass: Yay! I've come a long way from the guy in high school who had no sense of humor. Thanks for the add :D

    • glassvisage profile image


      10 years ago from Northern California

      You are officially one of my new funniest hubbers :D

    • Jerry G2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jerry G2 

      10 years ago from Cedar Rapids, IA

      Lol, great comments, lori. I almost added "Alaska" under the same reasons you gave #1, 2, & 3. Thanks for the comment!

    • lori763 profile image


      10 years ago from SWFL

      You could always move to downeast Maine. Positives: 1. It feels like a different country and still in the US 2. They speak English 3. It is very beautiful. 4. They love the Red Sox Negatives: It feels like a third world country (in the rural downeast - which is most of it) 2. The downeast "brogue" sounds like a foreign language 3. They don't want you if you are from Massachusetts

    • Jerry G2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jerry G2 

      10 years ago from Cedar Rapids, IA

      Princessa - I could definitely see that about Scotland. Fortunate for me, I've always been a winter person, and I spent three years in Fairbanks, Alaska, and loved it so I'm probably built for Scotland :)

      Robie-I went to Mexico City years ago and remember the temperature being decent, but I was also a teenager, so I wasn't sure if it was nicer or I was just more "invincible" back then, lol.

      Thanks for your comments.

    • robie2 profile image

      Roberta Kyle 

      10 years ago from Central New Jersey

      Love the hub, Jerry, and love to travel too. Have visited a number of your potential destinations and just want to comment that Mexico City is in the mountains and not hot at all--but the altitude and the pollution are hard to handle. But if I ever decide to rob a bank, I would consider it LOL. When it comes right down to it I think I'll just stay here in the USA and go down with the ship :-)

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      10 years ago from France

      Good hub. I must say that after living in many different countries around the globe I do prefer Europe. Taxes might be high, but you get a lot for it. At least in France you get excellent health care and education. Spain is also very good for health care but the education is not very great in the South. Scotland? despite my love for Whiskey, I could not go back there, too cold and dark for me during the winter months which seem to last forever!

    • Jerry G2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jerry G2 

      10 years ago from Cedar Rapids, IA

      Hmmm, looks like that "continent designed to kill you" maybe wasn't so far off the mark, lol. blogging2-thanks for the compliment!

    • Lissie profile image

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 

      10 years ago from New Zealand

      Blogging2 - you are talking about stingers - they are seasonal on the coastal waters of Queensland they don't actually kill you - but the pain is excruiating that people do die from heart failure. I personally worry more about crocodiles - they persue you out of the sea!

    • blogging2 profile image

      Rebecca Jones 

      10 years ago from Florida

      Other pitfall of Australia would be the tiniest jellyfish in the world which are also the most deadly. Can't see them and when they hit you you die in 30 min (no cure). Great hub, thanks for the response!

    • Jerry G2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jerry G2 

      10 years ago from Cedar Rapids, IA

      Nice add. Good on ya'! (That's right, isn't it?) I thought this would be a good chance to offer some of the real info and mix it in with some humor, so hopefully I got the balance right! Australia's #2 on my "I want to go there" list now. Scotland is #1, though I am very biased due to family tree. Thanks for leaving a comment!

    • Lissie profile image

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 

      10 years ago from New Zealand

      Australia advantages: good weather and great swimming Disadvantages: high culture and gays (outside Sydney) still have a tough time!


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