Skip to Content

26 Best Countries for Americans to Move to

Thinking about leaving the US behind and moving elsewhere? Honestly, that sounds like a great idea to me! Having been there before, I can honestly say that moving abroad was one of the best decisions that I’ve ever made. So, here are the 26 best countries for Americans to move to. 

Spanning six different continents (sorry, Antarctica isn’t quite a digital nomad hotspot just yet), there’s bound to be a country on this list that suits your needs and will make the perfect new home for you!

Whether you’re looking for history, culture, great social services, or an outdoorsy wonderland, check out this list to see what options might be open to you and where other Americans have already made the leap into the expat lifestyle.

Okay, let’s dive in and find out more!

1. Spain 

The land of sun, sea, and tapas has long been a popular spot for expats from all around the world, but especially Americans. As Spain has a decent digital nomad visa and one of the best language assistant programs in the world, there are quite a few different ways for Americans to live in this beautiful country.

From the bustling streets of Barcelona to the historic streets of Santiago de Compostela to the beaches of Alicante, there’s a lot to love about the laidback Spanish lifestyle. If you love a party vibe, check out the mecca of the European summer party scene, Ibiza, in the Spanish Balearic Islands. 

Spain is popular with US expats as the cost of living is relatively low, the weather is great throughout most of the year, there are amazing beaches, and there is socialized healthcare, which is a huge plus for Americans! 

2. Mexico

Don’t want to travel too far from the US? Join the millions of US expats who have headed south to Mexico. In fact, Mexico is home to the largest US expat community in the entire world, so there are plenty of people who’ve been in your shoes!

aerial view of beautiful buildings in Mexico

With gorgeous landscapes, amazing weather, and some of the best food in the world, it’s no wonder that Mexico is so popular with expats. There are also frequent and easy travel routes throughout Mexico to the US, especially if you move near a tourist hotspot. 

Of course, one of the main reasons that people move to Mexico is the lifestyle and the lower cost of living. As with any country, some areas are safer for expats than others, so do your homework before you decide to move.

3. Germany

Okay, so I might be a bit biased about this one, but personally, I think Germany is a great place to be a US expat. There are a ton of us here, spread all across the various cities.

As Germany is one of the financial hubs of Europe, many companies have international offices here, so if you work for a multinational, you may be able to transfer offices to make your expat dreams come true.

With the EU freedom of movement, it’s relatively easy to travel to other hotspots in Europe during your weekends and downtime, which is a huge bonus. When you add in socialized healthcare, affordable transport, and walkable cities, the standard of living in Germany is kind of hard to beat.

If you want to live outside of the major cities like Munich, Berlin, Koln, Hamburg, etc., you can find lush valleys filled with vineyards or huge forests that are perfect for hiking and camping on the weekends with your friends and family.

4. Belize

You might have seen the stunning sandy beaches and diverse forests of this gorgeous Central American country online before, but it’s fast becoming a popular spot with US expats for two main reasons. First of all, it’s an English-speaking country due to British colonialism.

Secondly, US dollars are accepted pretty much all around the country, so you don’t have to deal with unstable currencies and have to sort out exchange rates in your head all the time.

Belize is a stunning country that’s largely affordable and has a decent level of infrastructure. One of the major upsides is that Belize doesn’t have the crowds of Mexico or Costa Rica, so it’s a chill place to live and work.

The catch is that to move there, you need to be earning at least $75,000 a year if you’re moving on your own or $100,000 if you have dependents. It’s not the lowest allowance in the world, but the benefit is that there’s hardly any paperwork or red tape to get your visa. Let me tell you, that’s a huge plus!

✈️ Get abroad ASAP with our FREE Relocation Cheatsheets!

Receive a list of 20+ top Expat Recruitment Agencies and 40+ Affordable Masters Programs in the EU! Save hours of valuable research time wtih our FREE resources. Straight to your inbox!

* indicates required

5. Australia

Thinking about moving down under? Let’s be honest, Australia is a popular expat hotspot for good reason. With sun, surf, sand, and amazing cities and wildlife, why wouldn’t you want to check out this amazing country?

Sydney Opera House in Australia

If you love hiking and climbing, there are also mountain ranges, deserts, rainforests, and more. It’s a ridiculously diverse place!

Although Australia can be extremely expensive, especially in major cities like Melbourne and Sydney, the exchange rate between the US and Australian dollars is in America’s favor. If you want to save money, check out thriving but smaller cities like Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, and more.

Australia has a very specific immigration policy where there’s a list of jobs and industries where they’re lacking applicants. It’s often healthcare, STEM, research, and a ton of others. If your specialty is on this list, you’re likely going to be able to apply for a visa.

Also, if you’re aged 18–30, you can apply for a year-long working holiday visa, which can be extended if you spend your time working in a specific industry, like agriculture.

I‘ve lived abroad for many years and love helping others find work abroad and figure out their “Move Abroad Plan.” Check out my class below to get you started ASAP!

move abroad master class

6. Costa Rica

If you’re looking for a taste of Pura Vida, you need to journey down to Costa Rica. As one of the most biodiverse places on the planet, Costa Rica has been welcoming tourists, digital nomads, and expats for decades.

RELATED:   The 7 Easiest Countries for Americans to Move to

It’s one of the safest and most politically stable countries in Central America, which is massive, and there’s been huge investment in infrastructure. 

With stunning beaches, diverse rainforests, volcanoes, surf towns, and mountain landscapes, Costa Rica is an outdoor lover’s playground. There’s a huge US expat community, especially on the Nicoya Peninsula, where the surf is great, the vibes are chilled, and yoga is a way of life.

While Costa Rica isn’t the cheapest country in Central America by a long shot, it is still a lot cheaper than the US, and the US dollar is still widely used across the country, so you don’t need to worry about unstable currencies!

7. Argentina

Do you prefer a laidback attitude to scheduling and want to be surrounded by stunning natural vistas and adventures? Head south to the beautiful nation of Argentina.

Despite having an unstable economy, if your job pays in US dollars or you have a remote or digital nomad position, you can easily live very comfortably in Argentina; it’s the local currency that’s unreliable at best!

Argentina is jam-packed full of amazing sights, from the stunning wilds of Patagonia to the delicious vineyards of Mendoza to the mighty Iguazu Falls on the border with Brazil and Paraguay. It’s also a great jumping-off point if you want to visit Antarctica, as most cruises leave from Ushuaia, the most southern city in the world, located in Argentine Patagonia.

With a super low cost of living, a diverse landscape with multiple cities and regions to choose from, and a ton of public holidays each and every year, it’s no wonder that Argentina is a popular spot for US expats. 

8. South Korea

Thinking of teaching English abroad and wanting to move to a bustling country with tons of culture? Well, then, South Korea should be high on your list.

Although getting work-sponsored visas for South Korea is notoriously difficult, getting a work visa as a teacher is relatively easy and often comes with huge packages that include travel, accommodation, and great pay.

South Korea has a vibrant and bustling culture; if you like K-pop and K-dramas, you already know that it’s going to be a paradise for you. It’s also got a work hard, play hard mentality.

Working hours are longer than in other countries, especially in Europe, but there’s a big nightlife and drinking culture in South Korea where you can blow off steam.

Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the absolutely amazing food and infrastructure all around the country. The street food is awesome and really affordable; honestly, it’s better than a lot of restaurants in the US at a fraction of the price.

9. Vietnam

With a low cost of living, a thriving tourism and expat scene, and a culture that spans centuries, Vietnam is a beautiful place to live.

If you’re thinking about teaching English abroad in order to move to a new country, Vietnam is one of those countries that is always on the lookout for native speakers with or without experience.

As there’s a growing tourism sector and expat community, there are quite a few working cafes and digital nomad spaces cropping up around the major cities of Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi, and the high-speed WiFi network is always improving.

In fact, Vietnam is one of the fastest-growing economies in the whole of Asia, so if you want to move while it’s still cheap and opportunities are exploding, now is a great time to consider moving to Vietnam from the US.

move abroad starter kit

10. France

Whether you want to be cosmopolitan in Paris, get that Riviera lifestyle in Nice, or eat up a storm in Lyon, there are plenty of amazing places in France for US expats. With awesome food and drink, a great work-life balance, and wonderful natural spaces that include mountain ranges like the Alps and the Pyrenees, there’s a little something for everyone. 

Now, while I’d recommend learning the language of any nation you’re planning on moving to, this counts double for France.

There are stereotypes about the French being unwilling to speak English despite being fluent for a reason, and honestly, we’re in France, so why should they?

I seriously love using Memrise to learn useful phrases quickly (instead of “The duck is yellow” like Duolingo!).

The phrases I have learned on Memrise have stuck with me for years, so I can’t recommend it enough for language learning.

Living in France means that you can benefit from socialized healthcare, well-priced trains, and infrastructure, and all the high-quality food and drink you can get your hands on!

Being part of the EU is also pretty great if you want to move around or visit wider Europe on weekends and national holidays.

11. New Zealand

It’s hardly surprising that New Zealand is one of the top expats for Americans to set their sights on. After all, it’s a hugely popular holiday destination.

Buildings near body of water

With exciting cities like Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch and some of the best wild spaces in the world, for many, New Zealand offers the best of both worlds.

You can surf the coastline, hike mountains, ski in world-class resorts, and even visit Hobbiton, the home of The Lord of the Rings, on your off days.

With working holiday visas for US citizens between the ages of 18-35, where you can work as you travel without set sponsorship, it’s relatively easy to move to New Zealand for at least a year while you find a more permanent gig that comes with visa sponsorship.

It is worth mentioning that New Zealand is not cheap. Just about everything is imported, and the prices can be very high for very specific things.

Outside of the major cities, rental prices settle down a little bit, but Auckland is frequently on lists of the most expensive places to live in the world.

RELATED:   How to Build a Socially Responsible Business from the Ground Up

12. Bermuda

Let’s be honest, there are very few of us who wouldn’t like to escape to a tropical island for a couple of years.

Although Bermuda isn’t the cheapest location on this list by a long shot, it does offer one of the highest standards of living thanks to its infrastructure and business connections all around the world.

It’s also great if you need easy access to the Eastern Seaboard. Flights are frequent into Washington DC, Boston, and New York, to name but a few, so if you have to travel for work, attend business meetings, or just want to visit friends in the US fairly often, moving to Bermuda is a convenient option.

One of the best things about moving to Bermuda as a US expat is the visa process. It’s a lot cheaper to apply for a visa; the whole thing costs under $300, and for many of the visas there’s no minimum proof of income requirement.

You just have to show that you can support yourself while you’re there. Obviously being an island nation, that’s not exactly cheaper, but there are definitely fewer hoops to jump through than other US expat visas. 

13. Thailand

It’s hardly news that Thailand is a hotspot for both tourists and expats. With some of the best food in the world, a cheap cost of living, and beautiful natural surroundings, it’s a great spot to live and work from.

In fact, for as little as $600 a month, you could rent a high-end apartment in the capital, Bangkok, that has facilities like security, a gym, saunas, and more. You definitely wouldn’t get that in the US!

If you’re looking for a cheaper and more laidback vibe, many digital nomads and expats head north to Chiang Mai. Thailand is definitely growing in regard to its digital nomad scene, with some laptop-friendly cafes, digital nomad spaces, and networking groups.

That being said, Thailand is definitely more of a tourism hotspot than an expat location. That’s because long-term visas can be difficult to come by. 

14. Ireland

The beautiful green isle of Ireland is an amazing place to move to as a US expat. With so many Irish people moving to the US throughout history, there are a lot of common sights that’ll prevent you from feeling too homesick and the whole country has a unique, friendly charm.

You can find wonderful little islands, lakes, surfable coastlines, and huge national parks.

In the cities, you’ll find all the major brands and amenities, with many multinational corporations setting up offices in the capital, Dublin, so that they can deal both with the European Union (Ireland is a member state) and the UK (sadly isn’t part of the EU due to Brexit).

So, you might be able to transfer within your company to a Dublin office or join one of the many bustling startups in the country.

15. Uruguay

A lot of people might be surprised that Uruguay is on this list, but honestly, it’s one of the most stable countries in South America.

The economy is decent, there’s plenty of top-class infrastructure in the capital, Montevideo, and it’s had a liberal government for a while so LGBT+ and women’s rights are pretty good – especially compared to what’s going down in the US!

a lighthouse near palm trees

You might not know a lot about Uruguay, but it’s full of beautiful wildlife, beaches, and delicious – and criminally underrated – wine. In terms of cost of living, it’s not the cheapest in the world, but food costs and rent are pretty reasonable.

Given its stability, if you want to live in South America, Uruguay is a great option that’s only getting more popular with US expats.

However, make sure you brush up on your Spanish as it’s a must for getting around and getting things done!

16. Canada

Okay, we couldn’t have this list without including our Great White neighbor to the north! Canada is an expat haven for Americans.

There are a ton of societal similarities which means you might not have the culture shock that you get with some long-distance moves. This definitely helps if you’re moving abroad for the first time or want to access your creature comforts.

Although there are plenty of similarities, the improved healthcare system, lower crime, and world-class nature set it apart from many parts of the US.

Seriously, have you seen Lake Louise or the ski slopes of Whistler in British Columbia? It’s like something out of a movie.

It is worth noting that a lot of the Canadian cities are very, very expensive now. For instance, Vancouver might be in the top 10 best cities to live and work in, but the rents make it kind of ridiculous to live there unless you’re pulling in six figures. 

17. Georgia

The beautiful country of Georgia, bridging the border between Europe and Asia, has quickly become a popular spot for digital nomads, and where digital nomads roam, expat communities soon follow!

It’s got a ton of easy-to-apply visas that have relatively low-income requirements of around $2000 per month. 

One of the biggest bonuses is that while you’re living in Georgia you don’t have to pay tax or, in some cases, have to pay very little tax. So, your money goes further and you can save more money while you’re there.

You can spend this on delicious orange wine, trekking trips through the Caucasus Mountains, and Tbilisi’s thriving nightlife scene. 

The cost of living is also really reasonable in Georgia, and there are plenty of flight links around Europe and Asia, making it ideal if you want to explore new continents as a US expat. 

18. Italy

What can I say about Italy that hasn’t already been said? From the mountains of the Dolomites to the views of the Amalfi Coast to the storied streets of Florence, Italy has a little something for everyone.

By European standards, the rental prices and cost of living are surprisingly low, with the exception of major cities like Rome and Florence. 

RELATED:   Moving to London: Where to Live as an Expat

Of course, the work-life balance in Italy is amazing. Mealtimes and family are sacred in Italy, so if you’re moving as a family, you might just be in the perfect place. And don’t get me started on the food and wine. I think I’m in heaven! 

19. Portugal

If you follow any digital nomads on Instagram, then the chances are good that they’ve spent some time in Portugal. It’s become a magnet for digital nomads and expats from all over the world thanks to its super cost of living – especially by Western European standards!

Located on the border with Spain, there’s a lot of overlap with culture, attitudes, and vibes, just for a fraction of the price. There are plenty of stunning coastlines where you can sunbathe, surf, kayak, paddleboard, or just chill out.

Once you’ve dried off, head to one of the many wine bars serving local wine and Port. It’s an amazing place to be.

That being said, the job market isn’t exactly bustling in Portugal, so it’s always easier if you’re a remote worker or a digital nomad, as there’s a really reliable digital nomad visa. 

20. Indonesia

When you look at any photo of Indonesia, it looks like paradise. Probably the most popular Indonesian island for US expats has to be Bali.

brown concrete gate

It’s filled with tourists, expats, and digital nomads, so there are plenty of networking opportunities, co-working spaces, and ways in for US  expats looking to move to paradise. 

Outside of the tourist hotspots, Indonesia is super affordable and there are so many underrated islands if you’re looking to move off the beaten path. Of course, the further you stray from the tourist paths, the less reliable the WiFi becomes and the worse the facilities get, so be aware of this when you’re choosing locations!

21. Ghana

Looking to set up your new life in West Africa? With Ghana’s fast-growing but stable economy and super cheap cost of living, it might be the perfect spot, especially if you’re African American as the Ghanaian government is currently working on fast-tracking citizenship for African American applicants!

With delicious cuisine, friendly locals, and a steady stream of expat and networking events, Ghana is a great place to live if you’re looking to save money.

For reference, a two-bed apartment in the capital, Accra, can cost as little as $145 a month. You’d struggle to find an apartment in the US that’s $145 a week, let alone in a major capital city!

It is worth mentioning that as the infrastructure is still a work in progress in Ghana, you might have to deal with power cuts and lengthy traffic jams, especially in the major cities, but let’s be honest, the traffic in the US is absolutely crazy anyway!

22. Iceland

Okay, so this one is definitely not an affordable place to live, but it is a jaw-dropper if you can afford it. The Land of Fire and Ice is known for being an amazing place to see the Northern Lights, check out waterfalls, and black sand beaches, and warm up in geothermal spas.

It also frequently tops lists for high standards of living and resident happiness indexes. 

Although the majority of US expats settle down in the capital, Reykjavik, there are other towns and cities around the Icelandic ring road that are a lot smaller and more remote feeling.

It’s no secret that Iceland is expensive, but you do get a lot of that back through nationalized social services like healthcare, education, childcare, and more. 

23. Singapore

Singapore might be one of the most expensive places in the world, but the high-flying jobs and quality facilities mean that many Americans who call Singapore home say that they have more disposable income than back home.

With delicious food, amazing flight connections around the world, and a base of operations for so many different international businesses, there are a lot of opportunities in multicultural Singapore.

This small rule-loving nation isn’t for everyone, so if you’re not a fan of big, flashy cities, this might not be for you.  

24. The Netherlands

Do you love to cycle? Do you love walkable cities filled with culture? Do you love canals? Well then, you’re going to love the Netherlands.

people standing outside a building

Located in northwest Europe, the Netherlands has been welcoming expats for decades thanks to its high standard of living. 

City planning in the Netherlands is honestly an art form. You definitely don’t need a car in most Dutch cities, keeping costs low and contributing to a happier and healthier population. You’ll also be able to benefit from socialized healthcare, education, and easy travel around Europe. 

25. United Arab Emirates

If you follow any influencer online, they’re probably posted about being in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. As two of the most popular destinations in the United Arab Emirates, or UAE, they’re quickly becoming a huge base for US expats.

It’s not cheap to move here but the lax tax laws mean that you can keep most of what you earn and save money privately. There are also plenty of international schools, grants for new businesses, and a lot of high-end bars and eateries. 

The downside is that it’s a conservative nation that has a lot of rules around alcohol and some majorly outdated views on women’s rights and LGBT+ rights. 

private coaching session

26. Taiwan

As one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia, it’s no wonder that Taiwan is on this list. It’s a major hub for many different international businesses, especially tech and telecom firms, so there’s no shortage of jobs. 

If you’re looking for an up-and-coming tech vibe where rents and the cost of living haven’t skyrocketed yet, consider moving to Taiwan. It’s also got super affordable healthcare that’s modern, which makes a huge difference from healthcare in the US!

Related Posts: