Moving abroad can feel like a monumental undertaking, and most of us are put off by the sheer thought of all the admin involved.
But if you’re looking for a new home that better suits your lifestyle—be that somewhere you can thrive in business or learn to surf on remote beaches—the expat life could be right for you.
Work through this list of best places to move abroad from the US, considering each section separately to make the task of researching your big move more manageable.
From what you need to know about visas, to the best destinations for tech-savvy workers, or those looking to spend their weekends traversing glaciers, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s have a look at the best countries for Americans to move to.
Things to Consider Before Moving Abroad from the US
Before you dive into the exciting task of researching potential new homes, checking out the best bars in your preferred city, or daydreaming about the hikes you’ll go on—there are some basics to cover.
First up, and perhaps most important of all, is the visa requirements for your chosen destination. Maybe you’ve visited once before and securing a tourist visa was a breeze, but for bigger, more permanent moves you’ll need to do some thorough research.
Find out the requirements for securing a visa and whether or not you need to have a job offer or a permanent place of living before you can get one. You’ll also want to check if the country allows dual citizenship and if expats can buy property there.
Although this sounds overwhelming, answering these questions will help you rule out some of the more outlandish countries on your wish list!
It might not matter to everyone, but if you have friends and family you’d like to visit regularly, you’ll want to consider how accessible your new home abroad is.
Are flights from the US expensive? Or are they long-haul trips that will take a significant amount of time?
While making new friends is a great part of moving, if it’s important to you to keep in touch with people based in the US–think about how accessible your new home will be.
Another key piece of research you’ll need to do is look into the job markets of your long list of potential new homes away from the US.
Yes, a country may have pristine beaches and affordable property, but will it be difficult to get hired as an American?
If you work remotely, you’ll want to delve into the nomadic setup of a country. Are there plenty of cafes you can work from with stable WiFi, for instance?
While doing this research you’ll also be able to find out the average salary. Make sure you put this into the context of the cost of living of the country you’re looking at rather than the US.
What Are the Best Countries for Americans to Move to?
For those who work from home or are able to work remotely, Vietnam could be a great option.
While culturally it’s completely different from what many Americans are used to, the growing community of digital nomads setting up shop here makes it an appealing option. That, and the fast-growing economy, high-speed WiFi in most areas, and welcoming attitude towards expats.
There’s also the cost of living to consider. Americans will enjoy much lower prices here than they are used to at home, with the price of a property and a weekly grocery shop considerably lower, even in cities like Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi.
Still need convincing?
On your days off you could be spending time exploring Buddhist pagodas, visiting floating aquatic markets, or hiking through Dalat’s majestic waterfalls.
Portugal is an all-rounder and a strong contender for the best place to move abroad from the US.
With a hugely desirable climate, categorized by balmy sunshine, and other benefits like easy-to-obtain permanent visas, and low food costs, it’s a popular choice for many Americans.
To add to the long list of reasons to move here from the US, Portugal is considered a safe country and cities like Porto and Lisbon are welcoming, open-minded places for expats to live.
Perhaps a wildcard suggestion, and one you might not expect to see on this list, but Bermuda ticks a lot of boxes when considering the best countries for expats to live in.
Really you’d be moving here for the way of life. The idyllic clutch of Caribbean islands has been a siren song for Americans who are sick of their jobs and small, city-center homes.
Bermuda specifically benefits from being just off the US mainland and is known for being particularly welcoming to remote workers.
As well as being one of the world’s best diving spots, Bermuda has a beautiful capital, Hamilton, with pastel-colored buildings and leafy city parks.
Join the ranks of famous American expats like Hemmingway and make for Spain’s sunny climes.
Spain is easily one of the best European countries to live in as an American. The country has obvious appeal, with sprawling beaches, cosmopolitan cities, and sleepy fishing villages, all set against a backdrop of laid-back sunshine.
It’s key to know that unemployment rates are relatively high here, so unless you work remotely you may want to consider another option. But in terms of lifestyle, Spain is hard to beat.
Popular spots to relocate to include Barcelona, with its enchanting gothic quarter and vibrant tapas bars, and also Madrid, an arty city with Royal Palaces and landscaped gardens.
Another huge plus point is that when you do secure Spanish citizenship you’ll be able to travel to 190+ countries without needing a visa.
Georgia is another interesting country to consider moving to.
It’s a diverse landscape that ranges from the towering Caucasus mountains where you’ll be scaling cliffsides and peering into valleys, to Tbilisi, the fun-loving capital.
A work-life balance is what makes this one of the best places to move abroad from the US. But it’s also got a low cost of living compared to most cities in the US.
What About the Easiest Countries for Americans to Move to and Work?
Canada is one of the best places to move abroad from the US, for those wanting to make a big change, but without too much of a culture shock. This is also a great option for families thanks to the low crime rates and exemplary education system.
For those looking for work, the economy is stable and employees generally offer good health care packages. Looking for work is made easier by this being a predominantly English-speaking country, apart from Quebec where a good grasp of French will be essential.
On your days off work, you can expect to spend time in nature, cycling around sprawling parks with hidden beaches, visiting glaciers, and kayaking on pristine waters. It is an expensive country, but comparable to some parts of the US.
For business travelers considering the easiest place to move abroad from the US, in relation to work, Thailand should be at the top of the list. Bangkok is the country’s thriving capital and a hub for business.
Part of what makes heading to Thailand such a great move is its business-focussed infrastructure. There are fast, well-connected train routes, international businesses headquartered here, and English is widely spoken.
On weekends and holidays, expats can hang up their ties and head to beaches at Koh Samui and Phuket for the best of both worlds.
Mexico has long been a destination of choice for US expats. Its proximity to the US, low cost of living, and friendly, welcoming communities are all part of what make it one of the best places to move abroad from the US.
But as well as that, the country has developed into a tech hotspot with big companies like HP, IMB, and Intel basing themselves in the city of Guadalajara.
When you’re not working, Mexico’s second biggest city is known for its ornate plazas, tequila bars, and mariachi music. Or you can head out on day trips to Oaxaca for sugar sand beaches and restaurants serving up rich mole tacos.
Singapore is a popular destination for expats, and it’s not hard to see why. Taxes are relatively low here, and a lot of companies are willing to offer prospective expats a relocation package.
It also ticks a plethora of other boxes that are important to business-minded movers, namely that the rates of violent crime are low, the healthcare and education systems are considered to be world-class, and citizenship is an option after two years of living here.
The economy, shared language, and some cultural similarities make the UK a good choice for those looking to move abroad from the US.
While Americans moving here will still need to apply for a visa if they intend to work, the rewards are definitely worth any of the admin and bureaucracy.
One of the biggest benefits is the universal healthcare system, the NHS, which will enable expats to receive healthcare mostly free of charge.
Navigating the job market here will also be similar to job searches at home, and your previous work history will likely be adaptable to the UK market.
You’ve Decided On a Destination, What Now?
Moving abroad is oftentimes a stress sandwich—with the hard bits (sorting out a visa and shipping) coming at the beginning and end, and the fun bit (researching where to live) being sandwiched in between.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Instead, deal with the stressful admin tasks first and then ease into your move with headache-free shipping. Sherpr ships luggage internationally, door-to-door, and helps with the customs paperwork. This will save you time, and potentially money.
What’s the Next Step in Your Life?
So you’re leaving the US to start a new chapter in your life. The great thing about moving abroad from the US is that you’ve got a legion of options.
Whether you’re interested in boosting your quality of life, starting life as a digital nomad, or searching for family-friendly destinations—lots of countries are welcoming to US expats.
And happily, many countries combine all of the above factors. Just be sure to take your time considering visas and how far from the US you’re comfortable having your new base be.
After that, it’s about honing in on the destination that best suits the life you want to lead, and having a plan to support yourself once you arrive.