When things get tense at home, or even just super boring, you may start thinking about running away and living the life of an adventurous ex-patriot. But when the complexities and expenses associated with migration hit you, it’s easy to become discouraged and put the dream away. Don’t do it! We have a list of ten countries with relatively easy pathways to permanent residency.
Canada, eh? It’s one of the friendliest countries on earth. And while you might not think of Canada as beachy, it actually has the longest coastline in the world at 202,080 km. Canada has compassionately opened its borders to refugees from war-torn nations, but if you are not in fear for your life, you will have to show some professional skills.
Take a look at Canada’s current industry shortages, and if you match up with any, you can take advantage of an express entry program for super-fast approval. It’s easy to apply – just complete an online quiz that tallies points for qualifications like education level, industries you have experience in, and whether or not you speak French. If you have family in Canada or studied there at any point, you’re ahead of the game.
If you’re fussy about the deadly drug trade, you may be tempted to skip over Mexico as an option. But there are still places in Mexico that are safe, and not only that, they are full of clean beaches, mountain views, cute historic towns, and upscale urban delights. Plus, it is the country that introduced chocolate, chilies, and corn to the world.
Get started in Mexico quickly with an FMM visa, available at any airport or border location for the staggering fee of $21. When your visa expires in six months, you can renew it again, and again, and again. There’s no limit. Unfortunately, you can’t work on an FMM visa, but you can upgrade to a temporary residency visa that does allow work for only a few bucks more. You may need to leave the country temporarily to apply for one, though.
Austria is a gorgeous little country that offers plenty of mountain fun in the form of the snow-capped Alps, which actually cover 62% of the country. Its location is ideal for exploration of many other European countries, as well. The lifestyle in Austria is called “perpetual resort,” which sounds pretty fine to us.
The downside of Austria is that the cost of living is pretty high. However, the country offers 10 different types of residence permit, so you are likely to qualify if you can afford it. You will need to apply for residency in Austria from your home country, unless you are a resident of the United States or a European Union country. In that case, you are eligible for a D-visa that grants residence in Austria for up to six months before you apply for a residence permit.