So, you know that you want to leave the US and live abroad, but you’re not sure where just yet? There are plenty of options, especially if you can’t be bothered with going through a lengthy visa process. With there being many countries where US citizens can live without a visa, it’s all about choosing the best place for you.
In this guide, I’m going to be going through the countries with the longest visa-less allowances for US citizens, and they’re all split up by continent.
Now, the majority of them are only for a few months at a time, but you can always move between neighboring countries to make your nomadic expat dream a reality.
Also, I haven’t included any US territories like American Samoa or the US Virgin Islands. Obviously, there aren’t visa restrictions for US citizens here, and there are a lot of options to settle down in one of these areas on a more permanent basis.
If you want to live outside the US for a while but don’t have money for accommodation, I highly recommend you try out Trusted Housesitters, where you can stay at someone’s house while they are away in exchange for watching their house or sometimes their pet.
It’s a great way to travel the world for free or test out a country without fully committing and while saving a ton of money!
So, with all that out of the way, let’s dive into the best places where US citizens can live without a visa!
Want to spend some time living in and exploring the continent of Africa? If you’re a US citizen, there are plenty of options open to you, giving you the opportunity to enjoy multiple cultures.
Mauritius – 6 months
Sea, sand, and surf? What more could you want? If most people had to think up an image of paradise, Mauritius’ crystal clear waters would likely fit the bill. So, if you want to leave the island dream life, as a US citizen you can live and stay in Mauritius for six months without a visa.
That’s plenty of time to refresh yourself, work on your tan, or get your affairs and paperwork in order to move there permanently!
Tunisia – 4 months
Looking to stay on the Mediterranean Sea but don’t want to live in Europe? Tunisia has some amazing coastlines, towns, and food that make it an ideal spot.
Many European holidaymakers travel to Tunisia as an alternative to Turkey or Egypt, so there’s infrastructure there. Obviously, due to the area, and with any countries on this list, check the US travel advice before you book your tickets.
US citizens can stay up to four months in Tunisia, which is a great amount of time to explore the area. Thanks to its close proximity to Europe – you can even see Sicily on a good day – it’s easy to move onto a visa-less country there if you’re not ready to return to the UK, or move around Africa some more.
African countries with 3-month visa-less allowances
There are currently four African nations that allow US citizens to stay for up to three months without a visa. These are:
- Reunion Island (technically French, but still)
African countries with 90-day visa-less allowances
There are also four nations that have 90-day visa-less allowances for US citizens. Despite seeming like the same time period as a 3-month visa, it’s not depending on the months that you choose to travel on.
Make sure you know if it’s 90 days or 3 months and make a note of the day you have to be out of the country by.
The four African countries with 90-day visa-less allowances for US citizens are;
- Côte d’Ivoire
- South Africa
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Moving onto Asia, a continent that’s been a favorite with travelers for decades, there are some really diverse options for US citizens who want to live abroad without having to get a visa.
That being said, the longest visa-less stays for US citizens are 90 days or 3 months depending on which is longer when you want to travel.
This might be because there are a lot of people who work as digital nomads, particularly in South East Asia, on a tourist visa, and the visa costs for many Asian countries tend to be relatively affordable.
Asian countries with 3-month visa-less allowances
- Hong Kong
Asian countries with 90-day visa-less allowances
- Brunei Darussalam
So, Europe is where things start to get a little bit tricky. Despite being one of the most popular places for US expats to relocate to, if you’re planning on doing it without a visa, there are some technicalities that you need to think about.
If you’ve been reading about moving to Europe or traveling around Europe as a US citizen, you’ve probably heard about the Schengen Area.
This is the collective name for 26 European countries that have freedom of movement agreements. It’s great for locals and tourists because you don’t have to get a new tourist visa for every country that you visit.
The trouble is that you can spend up to 90 days out of a 180-day period in the Schengen area as a US citizen without a visa. After that point, you need to wait another 90 days before you can re-enter the Schengen area without a visa.
As a lot of the visa-less allowances are quite short, you can normally hop from country to country, but you cannot do this in the Schengen Area. For example, if you spend 60 days in Portugal and then move to France, you could only spend your remaining 30 days there, not another 90.
There are a few non-Schengen countries that you can go to in Europe, while you’re waiting for your 90 days to be up, including Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, and the UK.
All of these countries, with the exception of the UK, have either a 90-day or 3-month visa-less allowance for US citizens, making them the perfect place to go in between Schengen allowances.
The UK actually has one of the longest visa-less allowances for US citizens with a 6 month time period. This is amazing and gives you the opportunity to either use it as a base to travel to other European countries on vacation or give you time to find a job with a company that’ll sponsor a more long-term visa.
Don’t want to go too far from home, or just want to be able to get back in a pinch? Why not take advantage of some of our US-friendly visa-less neighbors?
There tend to be much longer visa-less allowances in North America and the Caribbean, so if you don’t want to be moving around every three months, this section might have some good options for you.
Canada – 180 days
Oh, Canada, our friends to the North. Unsurprisingly, they have one of the longest visa-less allowances for US citizens.
If you want to move somewhere different but don’t want a huge culture shock or learn a new language (with the exception of Quebec), Canada is an ideal option. You can stay here for up to 180 days before having to go elsewhere.
North American countries with 6-month visa-less allowances
Similar to Canada, there are quite a few places in North America that’ll allow US citizens to stay for up to six months without having a visa.
In fact, if you wanted to swap between all six of the countries on this list, there are three years of living outside the US without having to get a visa or live in the same place twice!
- St. Lucia
Wanting to get as far away from the US as possible and live in an Oceanic paradise? I feel you. Although there are US territories in Oceania where you can stay for an unlimited period, here are some of the best countries outside of US ownership that will let you stay without a visa for a decent amount of time.
The Marshall Islands – No visa required
Chances are unless you’re a geography buff or love obscure facts, you haven’t heard of the Marshall Islands, however, it was a US territory until the late 1970s.
Now, this group of islands has its independence and is starting to become a great vacation destination.
The added benefit? The US dollar is still the currency here, so you won’t have to mess around sorting out your finances and getting ripped off by exchange rates!
Fiji – 4 months
Fiji is a bucket list destination for many people. With its beautiful landscape, gorgeous waters and friendly locals, many people who travel there go back time and time again. So, why not make the most of that lengthy flight time and stay a while? Fiji allows US citizens to stay without a visa for up to four months.
New Zealand – 3 months
Another bucket list favorite and popular choice among expats is New Zealand.
This small country at the edge of the world is one of the most beloved nations by locals and those who visit, with a great standard of living. Despite it being pretty expensive, the wages and work/life balance seem to even themselves out.
If you want to try living in New Zealand for a while before committing to a work visa or more permanent residency, US citizens can live in New Zealand for up to three months without a visa.
Solomon Islands – 3 months
Just off the Northeastern coast of Australia, you’ll find the Solomon Islands, a group of largely overlooked islands. If you want that island life but without the tourists and built-up vibe, why not spend up to three months in the Solomon Islands?
It’s a beautiful place to visit, especially if you have an interest in diving – the Solomon Islands have some of the best wreck diving in the world!
Last but certainly not least, we have South America. This is a top choice for US citizens who want to explore new cultures and improve their Spanish, without breaking the bank.
It’s also one of the easiest places for US citizens to move to and around without a visa.
That’s because, at the moment, every country in South America offers either a 90-day or 3-month visa-less allowance for US citizens. This makes it easy to spend up to three months in one nation before moving on to the next, simply by crossing the border.
Obviously, check the individual country’s guidelines to see if they operate on a three-month or 90-day allowance – you definitely don’t want to get caught out that way!
So, there you have it. While you can exactly move permanently to another country without a visa, you can definitely live elsewhere for a considerable while without having to deal with the headache of visa paperwork.
Whether you just want to try out the expat life for a bit, have a sabbatical, or move from place to place every few months, digital nomad-style, there are plenty of options for you to do so.
All that’s left is to pick where to live first!