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18+ Countries That Pay You to Move There in 2024

Countries that pay you to move there

Across the world, more than 18 countries are offering to pay you to move there. These initiatives are part of strategies to boost local economies, counteract population decline, or bring in desirable skills and investment. From cash grants to tax exemptions, the list of incentives is as diverse as the countries offering them.

Several countries are implementing unique incentive programs to attract new residents. They offer a range of financial incentives and benefits to convince individuals and families to move to and settle in their regions.

For instance, Chile has programs targeting tech enthusiasts to support its aim to become a tech hub. Beneficiaries of these programs can immerse themselves in areas like the Atacama Desert and Patagonia while contributing to the local economy. 

Similarly, European towns are known to provide substantial relocation incentives, with some offering up to $55,000 to new residents willing to make the move. These programs are often introduced to revitalize local communities and boost economic growth. 

Here we list 18+ countries that will pay you to move there.  

Countries that pay you to move there

Various countries offer extensive incentives to attract new residents, from cash offers to tax reliefs. This section provides a regional breakdown of such initiatives, highlighting specific countries and their programs to bolster local populations and economies.

Europe

1. Italy

Several Italian towns, particularly in Sicily and Sardinia, offer monetary incentives to attract new residents.

One of the most notable programs to address the issue of a dwindling population, the Italian region of Calabria has devised an innovative strategy, offering up to €28,000 to those willing to relocate to its quaint, less-populated villages.

The Village of Calabria in Italy
The Village of Calabria in Italy


2. Greece

Like Italy, Greece has regions promoting demographic revival through financial enticements. Remote islands have been reported to offer benefits to those willing to relocate.

Situated to the south of the Greek mainland and northwest of Crete, the island of Antikythera has launched an incentive program backed by the Greek Orthodox Church to encourage families to settle there. Eligible newcomers are offered a house, a plot of land, and a monthly stipend of €500 for the initial three years of their residency.

The island of Antikythera in greece

3. Spain

Certain depopulated areas in Spain offer deals to attract new residents, including cash incentives, property deals, or business grants to stimulate local economies. For example, the Cantabrian mountain town of Ponga will pay new residents €2,971 to move there, in order to boost a declining population. 

4. Ireland

Ireland has had various initiatives to draw in remote workers and revitalize local communities, particularly in rural areas. It’s leading program “Our Living Islands” will pay up to €84,000 for individuals to move to one of 30 remote islands and refurbish a property. 

5. Denmark

This Nordic country offers a supportive social system and sometimes financial incentives to settle in less populous regions. Various programs under the Startup Denmark umbrella can support those setting up new business in Denmark, including the Denmark Growth Fund and Innovation Fund Denmark

6. Austria

While not offering direct payments, Austria promotes a high quality of life and a robust economy as compelling reasons to relocate, especially for skilled workers. As part of its Red-White-Red Card visa program, Austria offers up to $10,000 (USD) as cash assistance. 

Americas

7. Vermont

The U.S. state of Vermont has offered financial incentives to remote workers who move to the state as a part of an initiative to attract skilled professionals. They are offering $7,500 per employee for both remote workers bringing jobs with them and people moving for designated jobs. 

8. Alaska

Known for its Permanent Fund Dividend, Alaska pays residents annually, using a portion of oil revenues, which is an indirect incentive to live there. Currently this rate is set at $3,284 per individual. This coupled with 0% state income tax adds to the allure of relocating to Alasa. 

9. Chile

In South America, Chile has launched programs like Start-Up Chile, offering grants and visas to attract entrepreneurs to Santiago and beyond. Amounts vary from $15,000 to $100,000 USD, but grants are rather competitive. 

Asia and Pacific

10. New Zealand

Offers a supportive environment for new immigrants, especially skilled workers, with targeted initiatives to settle in specific regions.

11. South Korea

South Korea has urban revitalization projects that incentivize individuals and businesses to move to rural areas.

12. Thailand and Vietnam

These Southeast Asian countries offer opportunities through programs aimed at digital nomads and investors, promoting economic growth.

Others

14. Mauritius

This island nation has introduced programs to attract foreign investors and professionals, contributing to the local economy in exchange for residency perks.

15. Sark, Bailiwick of Guernsey

Sark, an island in the Channel Islands, doesn’t offer direct financial incentives but promotes its unique tax status and serene lifestyle as draws for new residents.

Eligibility and Requirements

Countries offering to pay individuals to move there typically have specific eligibility requirements and criteria that applicants must meet. These prerequisites ensure the incentives align with the nation’s economic goals, such as attracting talent or revitalizing certain areas.

Visa Requirements

Most countries require applicants to obtain a specific type of visa. For instance, Spain and Italy may provide visas tailored to digital nomads or self-employed individuals who meet standard immigration criteria.

For Foreigners

For foreigners, eligibility can vary widely. Some programs may target professionals with certain skills, while others are open to entrepreneurs or those who can contribute culturally. Applicants typically need a clean legal background and proof of financial stability.

Digital Nomads

Countries like Chile have become popular destinations for digital nomads, often offering special residency programs. Prospective residents must demonstrate that they have a remote job or a steady income outside the host country.

CriteriaCommon Requirements
VisaType depends on the applicant’s intent/work
ProfessionalJob offers, entrepreneurial plans, or skills
Financial HealthProof of income or savings
BackgroundLegal clearance

Eligibility requirements ensure a mutually beneficial arrangement between the applicant and the destination country, maintaining a balance that favors economic development and individual opportunity.

Economic and Demographic Challenges

Several countries face significant economic and demographic challenges that prompt them to offer incentives for relocation. Key issues include:

  • Population Decline: A falling population can lead to a reduction in economic growth, as there are fewer people to work, pay taxes, and consume goods and services.
  • Aging Population: An increase in elderly residents burdens social services and healthcare systems.
  • Low Birthrate: Nations with low birth rates struggle to maintain their workforce size, which is vital for sustaining economies.
  • Dwindling Populations in Rural Towns: As urban areas grow, rural towns often experience declining residents, leading to a concentration of economic activity in cities and the neglect of rural infrastructure.

In response to these challenges, countries like Japan and Ireland are implementing rural relocation incentives to attract new residents. These programs often target specific groups, like remote workers, to counteract the effects of a declining population.

  • Incentives vary from direct financial support to tax breaks and housing grants.
  • For example, a village in Italy offered relocation grants to attract new residents and combat their shrinking population size.

These strategies aim to balance population distribution, support local economies, and ensure the sustainability of communities experiencing demographic shifts.

Benefits Offered

Countries around the globe are offering enticing benefit packages that include financial incentives, housing options, and tax advantages. These offerings are designed to draw new residents and bolster local economies.

Monetary Benefits

Countries such as Japan and Ireland offer monetary incentives to entice individuals to relocate. These can range from a few thousand dollars to upwards of $50,000. In specific programs, one might receive monetary support of $10,000 for relocation costs or as a grant to settle into a new community.

Housing Incentives

To address population declines in rural areas, certain regions offer housing incentives such as free land or significant home subsidies. For instance, potential new residents might receive up to $15,000 to buy a house or benefit from reduced rent to encourage movement into these areas.

Tax Reliefs

Tax reliefs- reductions or exemptions in VAT, income tax, capital gains tax, or inheritance tax- are often part of relocation packages. This can make a substantial difference for those looking to start anew in a different country, as it provides financial breathing space while they establish themselves.

Business and Employment Opportunities

Many countries offer targeted incentives for specific industries or professionals. Programs like Start-Up Chile and Enterprise Ireland are designed to foster business growth by providing capital, networking opportunities, and resources like co-working spaces. Teaching English can be a pathway to employment for individuals such as teachers with certain relocation incentives tailored to education professionals.

Quality of Life Considerations

When individuals consider relocating to a country offering incentives to move, quality of life is paramount. The cost of living plays a critical role in this assessment, as it must balance with the financial incentives provided. Affordable living expenses, such as housing, utilities, and food, directly influence one’s standard of living.

The local food scene can enhance the quality of life through diversity and cultural representation. The availability of fresh, local produce contributes to a balanced diet, integral to overall well-being. On the other hand, access to healthcare, education, and transportation also weigh heavily on these decisions.

Scenery and beaches provide aesthetic pleasure and indicative of possible leisure activities and adventure opportunities. A country with diverse landscapes may offer a range of outdoor activities that can improve physical health and mental well-being.

The political climate is another significant aspect to consider. Stability and governance have a profound impact on daily life and long-term prospects. Those relocating must feel confident in the rule of law and the safety of their new environment.

Finally, a country’s initiative to attract new residents often signals its commitment to enhancing community life and services. Prospective movers should evaluate the offered incentives in light of the following:

  • Economic stability
  • Social welfare systems
  • Cultural inclusivity
  • Environmental quality

In essence, countries that incentivize relocation must offer financial benefits and ensure that their environment supports a prosperous and sustainable life for new residents.

Cultural and Lifestyle Factors

When considering relocation incentives to different countries, potential movers should consider the vibrant cultural elements and lifestyle changes they may encounter. For example, those moving to the Greek island of Antikythera, attracted by the Greek Orthodox Church’s offer, can expect an immersion into a deep historical and religious fabric that’s tightly woven into daily life.

Cultural ElementExpected Influence on Lifestyle
Art and ArchitectureAesthetically, expect to be surrounded by inspiring scenery. In European countries, every street and alleyway can unfold narratives of the past and present through its design.
Greek Orthodox ChurchThe church plays a central role in community life in Antikythera, with religious festivals and rituals punctuating the year.
Italian TownsItaly’s small towns offer a slow-paced life, emphasizing family, food, and local festivities. An Italian village might offer a quiet, community-oriented lifestyle steeped in tradition.
European CultureEuropeans highly value leisure and social interaction. They frequent local cafes and public squares and celebrate a rich arts heritage.
SiestasIn some countries, like Spain, the lifestyle includes afternoon siestas which impact business hours and daily schedules.

Adapting to these environments, one might find a calmer pace of life, more community involvement, and a profound sense of history. Meals can be elaborate social affairs; they are about enjoyment and connection as much as sustenance. Living in such places often includes embracing the local customs, including afternoons reserved for rest and evenings that buzz with social interaction.

Specific Programs and Locations

Incentives to relocate can be found globally, with cities developing urban initiatives. At the same time, some towns and villages offer enticing packages to draw new residents to rural and remote destinations.

Urban Initiatives

Tulsa, Oklahoma, US

The Tulsa Remote program incentivizes remote workers to relocate to this up-and-coming city, offering $10,000 and community-building opportunities. ChileStart-Up Chile is a government-backed initiative that nurtures global entrepreneurs with equity-free investment and visas, aiming to transform Santiago into a leading tech hub.

Rural and Remote Destinations

Albinen, Switzerland

This picturesque village offers financial incentives of over €50,000 to families who commit to living in Albinen for several years, aiming to boost the local population. 

Ponga, Spain

Ponga provides €3,000 per couple and €3,000 per child to draw newcomers to the region and rejuvenate its small, aging community.

Sambuca di Sicilia, Italy

Known for selling houses for as little as one euro, Sambuca actively seeks individuals willing to invest in and renovate its charming yet dilapidated properties.

Candela, Italy

To revive its community, Candela offers up to €2,000 for individuals who relocate to this vibrant locale, provided they fulfill certain conditions like taking up residency.

Griegos, Spain

Griegos advertises a unique offer of rent-to-own homes, employment opportunities, and additional benefits for families with children to repopulate the area.

Antikythera, Greece

A small island with a dwindling population, Antikythera invites new settlers with promises of land, housing, and a monthly stipend for the first three years.

Sardinia, Italy

To reinvigorate its rural communities, Sardinia grants financial assistance to young entrepreneurs eager to establish businesses on the island.

Legal and Administrative Procedures

When individuals consider relocating to countries that provide incentives for moving, it is crucial to understand the legal and administrative procedures involved. These procedures vary by country and can be influenced by immigration policy, visa requirements, and whether the country is a European Union member (EU) member.

  • Visa Requirements: One must satisfy specific visa requirements, including proving financial self-sufficiency, having no criminal record, and passing a health examination. For example, in New Zealand, which offers various incentives to attract new residents, applicants must undergo a comprehensive visa application process that assesses factors such as age, experience, and qualifications.
  • European Union (EU) Regulations: For countries within the EU, such as Greece, there are distinct advantages for EU citizens, including freedom of movement within member states. However, non-EU citizens are typically required to obtain a residence permit or visa to stay longer than 90 days.
  • Immigration Policy: Each country’s immigration policy greatly affects the feasibility and requirements of moving. Countries may offer special programs or incentives for certain professional sectors or individuals willing to settle in less populated areas. For instance, the Greek island of Antikythera offers a stipend to those who relocate and contribute to the local economy.

Potential movers should consult with legal experts or immigration authorities of the respective country for personalized guidance. Moreover, they should be aware of the timeline for processing applications, as these can be lengthy, and prepare all the necessary documentation in advance to ensure a smoother transition.

Success Stories and Testimonials

Individuals who have embraced the opportunities for successful relocation to various regions have shared inspiring accounts of their new lives. In Candela, Italy, relocated individuals have highlighted the rejuvenation of a fading town, now bustling with new activities and cultural events, owing to the initiative to attract new residents.

Albinen, Switzerland, is often discussed for its offer to pay families significant sums to settle in the picturesque Alps village. Those who have moved tell of the pristine environment and the close-knit community, aspects that considerably enhanced their quality of life.

LocationTestimonial Summary
Ponga Village“The community welcomed us with open arms, and the scenic views are unmatched. Adjusting to rural life was easier than anticipated.”
Island of Sark“It’s like living in another era – peaceful with an incredible sense of community. There’s no place we’d rather be.”

Ponga Village, Spain’s testimonials mention immersion in rich local traditions and the benefits of a simpler life away from the hustle and bustle of urban centers.

The stories from the Island of Sark in the Channel Islands include tales of transformation from city dwellers to islanders who are now integral to a car-free, tranquil island community, suggesting a successful and satisfying transition.

These compelling narratives offer more than just anecdotal evidence; they represent genuine experiences of individuals who have found happiness and a sense of belonging in their chosen new homes.

Conclusion

The prospect of relocation has been made more compelling by various programs that financially incentivize people to move. Countries aim to reinvigorate local communities, preserve cultural heritage, and balance demographic challenges. Eligible candidates should consider these opportunities carefully, probing into the specifics of each country’s offer.

  • Research: Thorough research is required to understand the nuances of each location’s initiatives.
  • Preparation: Success hinges on preparing for cultural, economic, and language differences.
  • Long-Term Commitment: Often, these incentives come with expectations of a long-term contribution to the community.

In the face of dwindling populations or to stimulate economic growth, nations have created unique enticements.

Travelers should approach these options pragmatically, aligning their personal and professional ambitions with the benefits provided. It’s essential to weigh the benefits against possible drawbacks, such as remote location or job scarcity.

The phenomenon of nations paying people to move is part of a larger global narrative. Each plan reflects a strategic approach to sustaining their communities. Individuals ready for adventure may find in these programs a path to reshape their lives while contributing to global diversity and vitality.

Article By
Managing Editor
Milly is an international lawyer and tech entrepreneur who has advised companies on expanding globally for over 5 years. She is an advocate of remote hiring and regularly consults on future of work matters. Milly founded RemotePad to help employers learn more about building and growing international teams.

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