Updated List of Countries Welcoming Expats with New Visas During COVID-19 Pandemic
There are numerous countries welcoming expats across the world, competing against each other to welcome people to live and stay. Countries are trying ways and means to encourage foreign nationals to settle and work abroad as the COVID pandemic has decimated their tourism business. By establishing residency, expats can enjoy various benefits, including public healthcare, banking, and business. As an expat, you will be looking for countries with a low cost of living but with better weather than your native place.
Moving to a developing country would mean that you will be able a save a lot on lifestyle costs. However, expats usually like to move to a first- or second-world country that offers adequate modern facilities and a stable political environment. It is exciting to get citizenship in the land of your dreams. However, dual citizenship can add up to your tax liabilities in both the nations. Note that many of these countries will require that you have a global health plan that covers COVID-19.
We have tried to check out all the countries that are currently welcoming expats with open arms – here are five countries welcoming expats and putting out the welcome mat for global nomads during the pandemic:
You can’t go wrong if you think about the million Americans who have accepted Mexico as their second home. This is a country that has the easiest and lowest expenses related to a residency visa. Interestingly, every year, Mexico issues ten times more permits than the United States. The reason why expats prefer to move to Mexico is that it is within a few hours’ drive from the US, and the time zone is almost the same.
Also, there are numerous English-speaking expat communities in Mexico to make you feel at home there. The food is cheap, and the quality of life is truly amazing. To obtain residency, you need an average guaranteed income of $1,550 per earning person and $520 per dependent. To get a monthly pension, you can purchase real estate worth $210,000 in Mexico or maintain an average monthly balance of $25,000 for a minimum of 8 months.
Panama is one of the countries welcoming expats with new visas. Getting a residency visa in Panama is easy. Citizens from the top 50 nations, including the UK, US, Canada, and Australia, can apply for residency in Panama. Applicants need to have an investment of somewhere around $20,000 for an expat family of four. If you are staying in Panama for over five years, you are eligible to apply for a Panama citizenship or a second passport. Holding a Panama passport will let you go to 151 countries without even a visa. Quick guide to Panama healthcare system.
Belize is one of the countries offering easy residency status to expats. You just need to earn over $2,000 a month to be a legitimate resident of this country through the QRP program that this country promotes. At present, Belize is also more interested in welcoming retirees and expats with fixed monthly income. Retired expats of over 45 years of age, and earning a partial or pension income of $2,000 per month can utilize the QRP. Quick guide for healthcare system in Belize.
4. New Zealand
New Zealand has also opened its doors to expats. This country wants to bring in young people. If you’re between the ages of 18 and 30, it’s easy to get a residency visa in New Zealand. The country is open to NZ’s “working holiday” visa, which allows you to explore the 12 months. Try this or apply for a 12 visa to make the best time of your life.
5. Bali, Indonesia
Bali is one of the countries welcoming expats with new visas. It is a beautiful country that is home to many expats and digital nomads who are more than interested in living in this country. Enjoy your laid back lifestyle and make most of this Asian getaway. You would be more than happy with the cost of living, uninterrupted internet, and easy visa applications. This is your place to live the tech-savvy lifestyle.
Barbados recently launched its Barbados Welcome Stamp, which allows remote workers to live and work in the Caribbean island for a year. All you have to do is fill an online application, which will take about a week to get processed. The cost for the individual visa is USD 2,000 and USD 3,000 per family. Those with visa do not have to pay Barbados Income Tax. If you’ve fallen in love with Barbados (which is not hard to do), you can reapply after one year of completing your stay there. Quick guide to healthcare system in Barbados.
Work permit holders, business travelers, and tourists no longer need Bermuda entry visa or visa waivers. The country is inviting remote workers to work and enjoy the Bermuda culture and scenic views for a year. The country has the most stringent COVID-19 testing regime. Even self-employed digital nomads and university students engaged in remote learning can apply for this program.
As Thailand been successful in containing the COVID-19 virus, it’s fast becoming a haven for expats. The visa program that Thailand offers is for wealthy expats. The Thailand Elite Card, as the name suggests, is a residential-visa program for investors, affluent expats, and those who want to stay for a long period.
This renewable five-year visa ranges from $16,000 to $64,000. It doesn’t end there, expats on this membership get to enjoy some high-class perks such as limousine transport, yacht charters, medical checkups, etc. in Bangkok, Phuket, and Pattaya. Quick guide to healthcare system in Thailand.
Estonia introduced its new digital nomad visa in Aug which is an extension of its e-Residency program. The new program allows visitors to legally stay and work remotely for a year. It costs $125 for the application fee and applicants must prove that they earning a minimum salary of $4,150 per month.
However, for this program, Americans currently aren’t allowed to enter Estonia due to the European Union regulations.
Located at the intersection of Europe and Asia, Georgia is one of the countries welcoming expats. The country’s program “Remotely from Georgia” is targetted at digital nomads, freelancers, and self-employed. Workers can live and work for up to six months. Under this program, applicants don’t have to show a monthly minimum income, however, they must prove they have sufficient income to support their lifestyle in Georgia.
It’s also important to note that it’s only available to citizens of certain countries that are allowed to travel visa-free. Those who travel to Georgia are required to follow the quarantine protocol of 14 days upon arrival at their own expense.
Final Thoughts on Countries Welcoming Expats During Pandemic
It is a big decision to move abroad, especially during a pandemic. It is important to do your homework and check the visa requirement that may exist. Another consideration if you are moving abroad, especially given the COVID-19 crisis, is obtaining high-quality global health insurance via Expat Financial. They have a wide range of excellent global health plans that can cover global nomads living in most countries around the world. Also, keep in mind that most of the above countries are requiring that you have international health insurance that fully covers COVID-19 and Expat Financial’s Cigna and Allianz plans fully cover this condition assuming you are not infected at the time of application. All individual medical plans require medical underwriting to get approved.