A residence permit or citizenship in a country with a high standard of living opens the door to greater comfort. Considerably, the concept of comfort is different for everyone. For some, career prospects are important and for others, loyalty to foreigners or a prestigious education for children are top priority.
We have compiled a guide on the best countries to live in and their migration policy. We will tell you about the countries that have generous employers, a high standard of life and quality education.
Malta, Montenegro, Spain, Greece, Portugal and dozens of other countries offer residence permits by investment. Comfortable conditions have been created for foreigners such as simplified business registration procedures and tax incentives. Bonus includes the ability to travel freely around the world.
When choosing between programs, investors are guided not only by the amount of investment or the timing of the paperwork, but also by the ratings.
We will explain how to move to countries that rank high in quality of life and how they attract foreigners.
Top 10 countries by the number of citizens living abroad, in mln
Countries with the most comfortable conditions for foreigners
Switzerland, New Zealand, Germany and Spain are the best countries to work and live in according to HSBC’s Expat Explorer survey. The study involved 20 thousand people from 100 countries.
The countries were assessed according to three criteria:
- Economy: business conditions, career prospects and unemployment rate.
- Comfort for the family: access to medicine and education in addition to spending on children.
- The standard of living regarding safety, culture, the opportunity for foreigners to integrate into society and make friends.
Singapore and it’s high standard of living
Singapore is in the top three best countries for several reasons: business conditions, competitiveness and salary level.
According to HSBC Bank, Singapore is the leader in the ratio of living standards to income for foreigners. The average salary of foreign specialists here is $162,000 per year.
The most demanded professions in Singapore are IT specialists, doctors, engineers and foreign language teachers.
The main business partners of Singapore are China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, and the United States. Therefore, employers are interested in foreign specialists with experience in these countries.
Singapore in international rankings
|Rating||Who’s evaluating||Total countries in the rating||Country’s position||World Competitiveness Ranking||Swiss Business School IMD||63||1|
|Expat Explorer rating of living standards for foreign specialists||HSBC Bank||100||2|
|Doing Business rating of world economies||The World Bank||115||2|
|Index of Economic Freedom||Wall Street Journal and Heritage Foundation||178||1|
High income and low living costs are not Singapore’s only strengths. Two thirds of foreigners believe that it has the best education system and opportunities for learning foreign languages.
New Zealand — friendly atmosphere
New Zealand is third in the ranking of countries most comfortable to live in. Every second respondent noted the goodwill towards foreigners.
The country’s advantages also include good ecology, rich culture and economic stability.
HSBC estimates that international professionals in New Zealand earn an average of $88,041 per year. Foreign specialists are attracted to work in the tourism business and agriculture. They are often employed in education, health care and forestry.
In addition to the HSBC ranking, New Zealand is among the top 10 countries with the highest living standards. The index is calculated annually by the Numbeo portal, which collects and analyzes data from open sources and conducts surveys.
The portal compares 226 countries according to several criteria: purchasing power, safety, accessibility of medicine, cost of living, climate and the degree of environmental pollution.
Switzerland has best salaries
According to HSBC, 82% of foreigners said their standard of living has improved significantly since moving to Switzerland. 80% of the respondents are confident in the economic and political stability of the country. They also report that they feel safe.
Switzerland is famous for its good ecology. After moving, 70% of respondents began to lead an active lifestyle and more often to relax in the fresh air.
The main disadvantage of living in Switzerland is the high cost of renting and buying real estate. Education and medical services will also cost more than in other EU countries.
The average income of foreigners who work in Swiss companies is $203,000 per year. At the same time, not everyone will be able to get a job and a residence permit. Specialists in promising areas, such as IT, medicine or finance are predominantly in demand.
Top 7 countries with biggest salaries according to HSBC
|Country||Average annual salary of a foreign specialist||Switzerland||$203,000|
When hiring employees, priority is given to citizens of the European Union and the European Free Trade Association: Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland. For citizens of other countries, each canton approves quotas annually.
It is almost impossible to get a job in areas that do not require special qualifications and experience. Swiss immigration law is geared towards financially independent foreigners who do not plan to be employed.
To obtain a residence permit in Switzerland, foreigners conclude an agreement on the payment of a flat tax with the authorities of the canton in which they plan to live. Each canton independently determines the amount of payment. The minimum is 450,000 ₣, equivalent to $477,000.
Switzerland in world rankings
|Rating||Who’s evaluating||Total countries in the rating||Country’s position||Expat Explorer rating of living standards for foreign specialists||HSBC Bank||100||1|
|Human Development Index||UN||189||2|
|World Competitiveness Ranking||Swiss Business School IMD||63||3|
|Best countries for women||US News||80||5|
|Best Countries for Raising Kids||US News||80||4|
|Best Countries for Education||US News||80||2|
Germany provides quality education
Germany is ranked fourth in the HSBC bank ranking. Foreign specialists who work for German companies earn an average of $ 95,337 per year.
High salaries attract people from the CIS to the country. According to the Pew Research Center, Germany has the largest Russian-speaking diaspora; more than one million people.
According to HSBC survey participants, one main advantage of Germany is the high level of education. The world ranking of the 500 best universities in the world includes 47 German universities at once, including the Technical University, the Ludwig and Maximilian University of Munich, the Ruprecht and Karl University of Heidelberg.
Germany in world rankings
|Rating||Who’s evaluating||Total countries in the rating||Country’s position||Expat Explorer rating of living standards for foreign specialists||HSBC Bank||100||4|
|Human Development Index||UN||189||4|
|World Competitiveness Ranking||Swiss Business School IMD||63||17|
|Quality of life rating||US News & World Report Magazine||73||4|
Spain — opportunities for investors
Spain ranks high in HSBC’s Expat Explorer rating of the best countries for foreign specialists. The Spanish economy is the fifth largest in the European Union. Therefore, the people who plan to start their own business abroad move here.
The migration policy of Spain allows you to obtain a residence permit in two or three months in exchange for investment.
To obtain a residence permit in Spain, an investor can choose to invest in real estate, business, government bonds or place them on a bank deposit. The minimum investment in Spanish real estate is €500,000.
Low cost of living and buying real estate is another advantage for foreigners. The comfortable climate and rich culture also contribute to the popularity of the country.
Every second foreigner surveyed noted that after the move, their physical and psychological condition improved.
Countries with a high quality of life
The US News & World Report magazine annually assesses the quality of life in 73 countries. When compiling the rating, they take into account how the country respects the rights of citizens, cares for the environment, protects cultural heritage and contributes to the development of business and innovation. Tourist attraction and infrastructure are also assessed.
Switzerland, Canada and Japan were recognized as the best in quality of life in 2020.
Ten European countries are in the top twenty: Germany, Great Britain, Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway, France, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Austria and Spain.
Canada is the leader in terms of living standards
The US News & World Report awarded Canada the maximum number of points in terms of economic and political stability, security, and a comfortable atmosphere for family life. The rating compilers noted the high level of education and medicine.
Canada, along with Luxembourg and Switzerland, was recognized as the best country for business.
Canadian citizenship can be obtained for investing from 1.2 million Canadian dollars. All family members of the investor, including children under 18, receive a passport at once.
Canada is among the top 15 countries in the UN Human Development Index (HDI).
Three Canadian cities — Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary — lead the list of the most attractive cities to live in.
Canada in world rankings
Luxembourg and its business opportunities
In the ranking of the US News & World Report, Luxembourg is ranked first as the most convenient country for business development. The compilers of the rating compared the rules for registering companies and obtaining licenses in Luxembourg, as well as the conditions of banking services in 72 countries of the world.
Luxembourg is also ranked sixth in the International Tax Competitiveness Index (ITCI).
Foreigners who plan to work for hire receive a Blue Card — a residence permit for highly qualified specialists. The average salaries of such specialists exceed €70,000 per year.
Austria has the most comfortable cities
In the ranking of countries in terms of quality of life, Austria ranks 18th. At the same time, the capital of the state topped the rating of the most comfortable cities for life.
Each year, the Economist Intelligence Unit evaluates 140 cities in five categories: stability, health, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. In 2018, according to these criteria, Vienna surpassed Melbourne, which remained the leader of the ranking for seven consecutive years.
It takes 90 days to move to Austria and legalize in the country. This is how long it takes to obtain a residence permit in exchange for investment. The minimum investment amount is €100,000.
Finland has the happiest people
Every year the UN publishes the World Happiness Report. When calculating the index, they are guided by six factors: GDP per capita, social support, life expectancy, freedom of citizens to independently make vital decisions, attitude towards corruption. Each factor is rated on a ten-point scale.
The leader of the ranking of the happiest in 2021 is Finland. In this country, the index of happiness, determined by the ratio of those who feel happy and unhappy, is the highest in the last four years.
The second and third places in the ranking are occupied by Norway and Denmark.
Finland is ranked in the Top 5 Prosperous Countries by the Legatum Institute Prosperity. It has one of the best education and health care systems in the European Union. This makes it one of the best countries to live in Europe.
To choose a country to live in, it is not enough to study the ratings. In some developed countries like Switzerland, New Zealand and the Netherlands, obtaining a residence permit is problematic: governments are only interested in highly qualified specialists.
Frequently Asked Questions
According to HSBC bank, one of the main advantages of moving to Germany is a high level of education, which is the best in the world as the world ranking of the 500 best universities includes 47 German universities: Technical University of Munich, Ludwig and Maximilian University of Munich, Free University of Berlin, Ruprecht and Karl University of Heidelberg and Humboldt University of Berlin.
Vienna tops the ranking of cities in the world in terms of quality of life according to The Economist. The compilers of the ranking took into account 30 factors within five categories: stability, health, education, infrastructure, culture and environment.
Until 2018, Melbourne was in the lead for seven years.
Annually the company Numbeo rankings of the safest countries in the world. Analysts compare 135 states in terms of the number of officially registered crimes. Each country is awarded from 1 to 100 points. The higher the index, the lower the crime rate.
The top ten safest countries in the world include Taiwan, UAE, Oman, Switzerland, Hong Kong and Slovenia. Qatar tops the rating with an index of 87.71.
According to UN estimates, Hong Kong and Japan are the leaders in terms of population life expectancy. On average, residents of these countries live up to 85 years.
Among European countries, Switzerland, Spain, Italy and Iceland have the most long-livers. The average life expectancy in these countries is 83 years.
Experts of the International Property Rights Alliance The Property Rights Alliance have compiled a rating of countries by the level of protection of property rights: material and intellectual. The leader of the rating at the end of 2020 is Finland.
Switzerland, Singapore, New Zealand and Japan also got into the top five of 129 countries of the world.