While the UK is an excellent place to live, with great people, scenery, and culture, there are also many reasons why you’d want to (or have to) move. Perhaps you’re retiring and want to settle down somewhere a little warmer or more relaxed. Or perhaps you want to move for work and discover new opportunities abroad. No matter what the reason is, there are so many beautiful countries to move to, choosing just one can be tough and we’re here to help with that. When moving, you should consider the new country’s distance from the UK, the cost of living, the ease of moving and obtaining a visa, the safety, the culture, the widely available amenities, and the general way of life in your new country.
Whilst we may have grabbed your attention with ‘best countries to move to from the UK’, as with most things in life, ‘best’ is subjective. So, here is a list of the most popular countries that people move to from the UK!
Australia is an excellent option for Brits looking to move- it has sunny beaches, friendly people, it’s a majority English-speaking country so you won’t face a language barrier, and best of all, it’s a commonwealth country so the moving and visa process should be quite simple.
Australia is also a very popular option for UK ex-pats, so you’ll be likely to run into some of your own countrymen while living down under. The whole country is gorgeous, but if you’re looking to work, a major city like Sydney or Melbourne is probably your best bet. If you’re retiring or looking to live a more relaxed life there, take your pick of any of the numerous beachside locations across Australia!
One warning, though- as most know Australia is full of creepy crawlies like spiders, snakes, and sharks. Be sure to do your research and be safe while living there- make some local friends so you can learn all the best tricks.
While it doesn’t boast the numerous tropical beaches that Australia has, Canada offers many similar benefits to UK ex-pats- the people are notoriously friendly, it’s a majority English-speaking country (except for Quebec, of course), and it’s also a commonwealth country which will make your journey so much easier.
What Canada lacks in sunny beaches, it makes up for in its own kind of natural beauty. From the gorgeous Maritime provinces on the east coast to great lakes and vast plains, the rocky mountains, and the world-renowned pacific northwest coast, if you’re outdoorsy, Canada is a dream come true. There are of course also urban hubs like Toronto and Vancouver for those who want the city life, so either way, you’ll never be short of adventures!
While Canada and Australia are beautiful, culturally similar options for those who want to move out of the UK, they are both physically quite far away. If you want to stay a little closer to your friends and family back home, moving to Spain is an excellent way to move abroad while staying on the European continent.
Spain has beautiful beaches, great healthcare benefits, and an enviable work-life balance. You’ll love the siesta culture and relatively lower cost of living. However, while many people speak English, Spain’s main language is, of course, Spanish. For those wanting to work and/or really integrate with the culture, signing up for some language courses and practising as much as possible is a great idea.
With Brexit, it will be trickier to move to Spain or any other EU country than it was previously, but the process still shouldn’t be too difficult.
4. New Zealand
For those who like the idea of Australia but aren’t quite sure about the heat and scary animals, New Zealand is an excellent alternative. Don’t be fooled, New Zealand also has an enviable climate, it just isn’t quite as extreme as Australia.
Much like Canada, New Zealand is amazing for those who love outdoor adventures, but it has the relaxed Aussie lifestyle and is an extremely safe country. A win-win-win!
As a commonwealth and English-speaking country, the moving process should be relatively easy. The most popular city for ex-pats is Auckland, where you’ll find a great balance of fun adventures and work opportunities.
Since France and the UK are practically next-door neighbours, separated only by a little strip of the Atlantic Ocean, France is the perfect spot for Brits who want to experience a new culture and location without ever being more than a few hours away from home, especially if you settle down in the capital city of Paris. The cost of living varies depending on where you live but is relatively similar or even slightly lower than in the UK.
The French lifestyle has a notoriously wonderful work-life balance, amazing food, and a rich culture and history. Much like Spain, though, there are two things to consider- one, that the moving process will be slightly more complicated post-Brexit, and two, French is the main language of France, and French people are very passionate about their language. Learning it will be key to fully integrating yourself and getting the full experience.
Like many people from various countries around the world, moving to the USA for the American Dream is always a popular option for UK ex-pats.
With numerous incredible cities and landscapes to choose from, the USA is your oyster. While there are also many different languages spoken, especially depending on which region you choose to settle down in, everywhere in the USA is very English-friendly so you’ll have no worries when it comes to working or daily life.
However, the cost of living also varies greatly depending on where you live, and the USA is relatively strict with immigration- however, if you do your research and act accordingly, you should be just fine.
Though located quite far from the UK in Central America, Belize is a beautiful and extremely easy country to move to. You can become a permanent resident after just one year of living there, and a citizen just five years after that. You can also buy property at any time and enjoy the same property rights as the nationals.
Beyond the ease of moving, Belize has a gorgeous tropical climate, a relaxed way of life, and actually has English as its first language (whereas most Central and South American countries speak primarily Spanish or Portuguese). If you want a beautiful beachy lifestyle with a low cost of living, you should consider moving to Belize- it is a particularly good option for those looking to retire and/or live a more laid-back lifestyle.
Singapore is a beautiful, clean, and unique country in Asia that has a huge ex-pat population. Singapore has one of the best standards of living in the entire world, though that also comes with a relatively high cost of living.
While you will need to dot some t’s and cross some i’s to get your initial visa to stay in Singapore, you can become a permanent resident after just 6 months with a working visa and become a citizen 2 years after you gain permanent resident status.
Singapore is a great option for those wanting to live and/or work in a modern and beautiful country that has the future front of mind with its immense eco-friendly technology.
9. UAE – Dubai
For Brits who love modernity and the urban lifestyle, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), specifically its most populous city Dubai is a great option. Much like Singapore, Dubai has a huge multi-national ex-pat population, so you’ll be exposed to an incredible number of people and cultures.
With that said, while you can live and work in English in Dubai, the culture is predominantly Arabian and the official language is Arabic. Islam is also the official religion, and Muslim practices have a large impact on the culture and lifestyle of both Dubai and the country as a whole.
Dubai is also a big-spenders dream, so if you’re looking for fast cars and a luxury lifestyle, look no further, but be prepared to pay the high price for it. Though, to compensate for the high cost of living, as a worker in Dubai you can enjoy not having to pay any income tax on your earnings.
Last but not least, bringing it back to Europe, Italy is also an excellent country for Brits to move to. With world-renowned food, culture, and work-life balance, you’re sure to live the good life in Italy.
Depending on what you prefer, Northern Italy is excellent for those looking to work or live a more fast-paced urban lifestyle, whereas in Southern Italy you can enjoy the typical relaxed Mediterranean lifestyle.
If you need to work though, your safest bet is to try and find a job before you move as the country is facing relatively high unemployment rates- you don’t want to move your whole life and end up not finding the job you need to stay.
Additionally, while most people in major cities will be able to speak English, it’s important to learn Italian, the main language in Italy, so that you can properly work and enjoy life like a local.
Overall, if you’re looking to move out of the UK, you have tons of amazing countries to choose from. Based on your reason for moving and desired lifestyle, you just have to select the country that suits you best, and then all that’s left is the hard work of packing and storing your possessions.