Need a Break from America? These Countries Will Pay You to Move There

Need a Break from America? These Countries Will Pay You to Move There


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Moving is expensive. Between the down payments or security deposits and the cost to hire movers — not to mention purchasing new furniture and decor! — it can be  pricey even if your new place is just across town. Moving to another country, meanwhile, is enough to make you feel lightheaded (and your wallet a lot lighter, too). 

But expats are made daily, so if you’re feeling drawn to faraway shores, know that it can be done. In fact, some countries are even willing to sweeten the deal by paying you to move there. (Yes, really.) Why would a country pay you to move there? It could be that some need help to repopulate communities, or they want to stimulate the economy by encouraging entrepreneurs and business owners to set up shop there. 

Of course these aren’t perfect solutions, but it could sweeten the deal enough to help you figure out your visa situation, find work, and, at the very least, download a foreign language app and start learning some local phrases. 

Before you dive into the list of countries that will welcome new residents with financial incentives, there are a few things you should know.

What to Consider Before Making an International Move

If you need a passport to relocate, you’ll also need to give the whole endeavor some serious research and thought. “One of the biggest things to consider is how you are going to sustain yourself and what the fine print of some of these programs are,” says Nicole Beauchamp, associate broker at Sotheby’s International Realty

These programs might seem too good to be true, and they may indeed be if you don’t meet the age or work requirements. Some countries will want you to work specifically in the country — including starting a new business — so digital nomads will want to really make sure they understand everything before packing up their laptops and moving.

A word about working remotely: Beauchamp says that you’ll need to confirm with your current employer that they will indeed permit you to work abroad and what you or they have to do now that you’ll be WFH in a far-off time zone. And while she stresses that she is a real estate professional, not a tax professional, you must do your due diligence to see what your tax obligations will be in your new homeland.

6 Countries That Will Incentivize You to Move There

This list is by no means exhaustive, so don’t be alarmed if your new intended home is not on here. But it can give you an idea of what might be available elsewhere and how you can (or can’t) make it work for your lifestyle.

A program called Startup Chile could be the ticket for entrepreneurs to move to South America. Depending on whether you’re in the launch or growth phase of your business, you could receive anywhere between $14,000 and $80,000 in funding, along with co-working space and a year-long visa.

Austria’s Red-White-Red Card program grants financial support and a one-year visa to help new residents set up for success. Entrepreneurs, skilled workers in fields facing a shortage, and other professionals are given priority for this program.

Small towns in Spain are in need of a population boost. For example, Ponga in the northern province of Asturias will pay up to €2,000 for single people to move there and up to €3,000 for families with children. If children are in your future, the government will pay you an incentive of €3,000 for each birth.

Urban migration has left the village of Legrad feeling a little lonely. To cheer it up, Croatia will allow you to purchase a home there for about 1 Kuna (around 16 cents). No doubt a gut renovation is in your future, but there’s an extra $4000 in it for you if you agree to the deal. You’ll need to be under 40 and have a degree and stable finances, but otherwise your new Croatian home awaits.

No, you can’t move to one of those amazing towers in Tokyo on the Japanese government’s yen. But the country will grant foreigners a year-long visa and up to $10,000 to move to a more rural area that needs a population/economic boost. If you’ve got a family and are looking to make a life-changing move, there are also more incentives available.

Portugal wants you to come live and work in one of its rural areas. Thanks to the Emprego Interior MAIS (Inland Employment PLUS) grant program that launched in 2020, candidates could apply for funding that will cover the annual rent of a small house there. However, this particular program expired in December 2023 and there’s no word yet on if it’ll be extended.


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