Did you know you can get paid to move overseas? No, we’re not making this up – there really are states, cities, and entire countries that pay you to move there! Whether it’s because they are facing a shortage of skilled workers, or because they’re in need of people to fix their beat-up old houses, these countries are hurling cash at expats and digital nomads looking to start a new life abroad. Better yet, there are even countries that are offering start-up grants to encourage entrepreneurs to open businesses abroad.
Whether you’re a seasoned expat or one of the many who are now embracing the post-pandemic remote working phenomenon, there are a few locations that could be the ideal next step for you and your family. We’ve found some of the best schemes in 2023 offering expats like you the chance to get paid to move abroad.
There are many reasons why a town, city or country may pay expats to come and settle down. The biggest theme is investment – many of these places want to invest in bringing highly skilled workers to their localities. If you are a skilled worker, many of these places will gladly pay you to move there so long as you bring your trade along with you.
The advantage is that not only will you get a cash bonus to start your new life abroad, you’ll also be able to fast-track your way through the lengthy visa application processes. On the downside, you may be beholden to spend a certain number of years living in your new home – if you don’t like it and decide to move away, you may not receive your money.
Don’t worry if you’re not a skilled or highly qualified worker. There are still many places that will pay you to move there as an entrepreneur. So long as you bring a great business plan to the table, with the promise of creating local jobs, many of these places will welcome you with open arms. And whether you’re interested in technology, tourism or trade, there are all sorts of opportunities out there.
Every city, state, or country has its own agenda to entice in new residents, but some of the most common reasons include:
- A low population – young people looking to start families are in particularly high demand in some parts of the world
- A dwindling economy – a lack of local jobs means some parts of the world are importing entrepreneurs
- ‘Brain drain’ – the loss of highly skilled workers has left some parts of the world without doctors, engineers and managers
- Dilapidated properties – some towns have seen better days, and are incentivising people to move there to help fix up old home
- Education – whether you’re a student looking to study, or a teacher in an in-demand field, you can get paid to move abroad
Whatever the reason(s), you are sure to find many countries which pay you to live there. Here are some of our top picks for 2023.
There are all sorts of lifestyles you can enjoy in the United States. With remote work on the rise there are plenty of different incentives now in place to invite remote workers and expats to live in a new state. Here are some of our top picks on the best US states will pay you to move there in 2023:
- Oklahoma – Receive a grant of up to US$10,000
- Minnesota – US$2,500 for moving expenses, free coworking space & more
- Alaska – Dividend and no income tax
- Vermont – Grant of up to $7,500
- Kansas – Up to US$15,000 if part of the Choose Topeka scheme
- Iowa – US$10,000 & welcome pack to buy your home there
- Tennessee – Various relocation support packages (for programmers only)
The southern US state of Oklahoma (just north of Texas) is one of the states that will pay you to move there; it has a monopoly on some of America’s best natural beauty and is also home to many enterprising businesses. If you want to experience these things first-hand, you can get paid for the pleasure. By becoming a remote worker in Oklahoma’s second city, Tulsa, you could receive a grant of up to US$10,000.
Tulsa Remote is on the hunt for digital nomads who are eligible to bring their remote work to the city. In return, they offer free desk space, networking events and – most importantly – $10,000 either as a cash lump sum to put towards a new home or as a monthly stipend to help you while you’re getting set up.
Ever heard of the city of Bemidji? No? Well, with a population of just 14,000, we can hardly blame you. But then again, that’s exactly the reason the town is keen to attract digital nomads.
So keen, in fact, that they are offering the 218 Relocate package to prospective residents. It includes up to US$2,500 to cover moving expenses, a free co-working space and access to the Community Concierge Program, to help you get set up and grow your business. It is one of the states that pay you to move there.
Apparently, Bemidji has some of the fastest internet speeds in America, making it an ideal place to run a remote business from.
If you and your family have always fancied a more rugged, natural way of life, Alaska could be the place for you.
And while the stunning scenery and wildlife are enough reasons already, Alaska also offers new residents a cool cash incentive to move there in 2023.
It’s called the Permanent Fund Dividend, and it was established in 1976 as a way to share the state’s oil profits with local Alaskans. Anyone who lives for a full dividend year in Alaska is eligible for the grant. In 2022, Alaskans took home $3,284.
Better still, the whole state of Alaska is tax-free. However, seeing as a gallon of milk can cost you as much as $10 in Barrow (the Northernmost city in America), this doesn’t mean you can be frivolous with your new cash.
It’s the state that gave the world Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and it’s the state you could call home. In 2023, Vermont is offering a limited number of places on its very attractive relocation scheme called the Worker Relocation Incentive Program, which comes in two parts: the New Relocating Worker program, and the New Remote Worker program. These offer up to US$7,500 to help towards moving costs.
To become a New Relocating Worker in Vermont, you must:
- be moving to Vermont as a full-time resident
- become a full-time employee for a Vermont-based company at one of their Vermont branches
- be earning more than the Vermont livable wage rate of US$15.33 per hour and pay Vermont income tax
Or alternatively, you can become a New Remote Worker if you:
- move to Vermont to become a full-time resident
- are employed for an out-of-state employer who allow you to work remotely
- earn more than the Vermont livable wage rate of US$15.33 per hour and pay Vermont income tax
All you need to do is fill out the online forms, and if you’re successful, you’ll be awarded your lump sum after you move to Vermont.
Topeka (the capital city of Kansas) is seeking to attract more talented young professionals to the area with a grant of up to US$15,000! This handsome lump-sup is available for on-site employees whose employers are willing to participate in the “Choose Topeka” relocation incentive. Alternatively, remote workers could receive over US$5,000 USD.
Applying for the incentive is straightforward – it’s all done via an online form, and some of the key requirements include:
- confirming it will be your main residence with
- proof of your new lease or property purchase
- you have approval from your employer (if required)
Topeka boasts a family-friendly atmosphere, with a good balance of city life and nature (e.g. it has plenty of spots for fishing, or beautiful botanical gardens..).
Newton is derived from ‘new town’, and that’s exactly what Newton, Iowa is trying to be. To that end, they’re heavily incentivising people to build their own homes in this fast-growing neighbourhood, which is less than 30 miles away from the state capital of Des Moines.
As part of their ‘Get to Know Newton’ scheme, you could receive up to US$10,000 to put toward the cost of building your new home. Better still, if the value of your home will be under US$100,000, you’ll be eligible for a tax abatement. And, you’ll also receive a coupon book as part of your welcome pack, offering up to US$2,500 worth of discounts at local shops and restaurants – how’s that for helping newbies to settle in?
There are, of course, many steps involved. You’ll need to find your plot, have your plans approved by the city council, then receive a Certificate of Occupancy once the project is finished. But if you can handle all that, you could have your new home in Newtown, and for US$10,000 cheaper!
Sitting in the middle of the crossroads between Nashville, Knoxville, Atlanta and Birmingham, Chattanooga is poised to become Tennessee’s next big city. It already calls itself a hub for innovators and entrepreneurs. Now, to accelerate its progress, the city is offering programmers a tasty incentive if they move to Chattanooga in 2023.
By moving to one of Chattanooga’s up-and-coming neighbourhoods, the city’s ‘GeekMove’ program will help to offset the initial costs of your new home by offering a second forgivable mortgage, thereby reducing your first mortgage payments. There are only 10 of these highly-coveted packages available, and they tend to go quickly – plus, they are only available for computer programmers who are currently based at least 50 miles away from the city, and you can bet there are some pretty substantial hurdles to overcome. Still, the light at the end of the tunnel is the chance to live in this hip part of Tennessee!
So which places will pay you to move there? Of course, the USA has plenty of states to choose from, but other fantastic countries paying you to move in 2023 include:
We’ve broken these areas down to help you decide which may be right for you.
Spain is a diverse and beautiful country where every region has its own local taste and culture.
Unfortunately, some of those regions aren’t doing so well at the moment. Spain’s rapid transformation from an agricultural to an urban society in the late 20th century led to many people abandoning their properties in traditional pueblos (villages) in favour of big cities.
Today, the homes and businesses they left behind are still standing and crying out for some much-needed renovation – which is why many local councils have taken it upon themselves to revitalise their towns by incentivising skilled people to move there.
One such place is the town of Ponga, Asturias, where families will receive €3,000 to help them settle in, plus an additional €3,000 for each baby born in the town.
Another is Rubiá, in the mountains of Galicia. Here the local township will supplement your income with an extra €100-150 per month.
You could even purchase your own entire village in Spain for less than the price of a townhouse in one of the big cities – but only if you’re willing to invest your own money to bring the town back to life.
If topping our list for the top 9 places to move in 2023 wasn’t enough, now you can get paid to move to Switzerland. If you’re under 45 and don’t mind living in a remote part of the world, you might be tempted by the offer of receiving over £22,000 to move to Albinen, in the canton of Valais.
To boost the town’s dwindling population, the Albinen council is offering adults a huge cash incentive to move there. For every adult who moves to Albinen, they’ll get 25,000 Swiss Francs (US$28,000/£22,000), and for every child they bring there’s an additional 10,000 Swiss Francs (US$11,000/£8,700). That means a family of four could be in line for a windfall of around US$70,000/£61,000.
So, what’s the catch? Well, you’ll have to commit to staying for a minimum of 10 years, and you’ll need to live in a home worth at least 200,000 Swiss Francs (US$223,000). If you leave before the 10 years are up, you’ll have to pay back your entire incentive!
Furthermore, only Swiss residents get to receive the bonus. That means you must have lived in Switzerland either 12 years in total (or 5 years with a type B permit), or have married a Swiss person, and completed your citizen application before the end of the 10 years.
But don’t let that faze you. With its fresh, Alpine air and the potential to enjoy one of the highest expat salaries in the world, maybe life in Albinen could be just what you and your family are looking for.
Italy is famed for it’s rolling landscapes, fantastic food and and gorgeous weather. What some people don’t know is that Italy struggles in managing it’s population in certain regions. most younger generations have moved from quiet villages to find work, for education or just for a more exhilarating night/social life.
So, which Italian Villages and regions pay you to move there?
Set within Italy’s gorgeous Apulia region, the quaint medieval village of Candela earned itself the nickname ‘Little Naples’ for its stunning beauty and easy-going way of life. Unfortunately, that way of life waned throughout the 20th century, forcing the mayor to implement an incentive scheme to restore the population – and the culture – of this quasi-Neapolitan township.
As a resident of Candela, you can live in one of the safest towns in Italy and get involved in all the local activities, such as horseback riding through the picturesque local valleys.
Better still, you can pick up a range of cash incentives. Singles receive €800 and couples €1,200, while families can get up to €2,000 for moving to Candela. Tax credits are also available to help cover the cost of services like waste disposal.
The only stipulations are that you must apply for formal residency in Candela and have a salary of at least €7,500.
Santo Stefano di Sessanio
If that’s not enough of an incentive for you, other Italian towns are starting to follow suit. Santo Stefano di Sessanio in the Abruzzo region has recently started to offer grants of up to €44,000 to incentivise new residents aged 18-40 to live within its cobbled stone streets.
The scheme is open to EU and non-EU residents with an Italian residency card, and new residents will be expected to open a business and stay for at least 5 years.
Most recently joining the list, is Calabria. The region of Calabria forms the ‘toe’ of the Italian boot shape. Several villages have seen huge declines in population (some with fewer than 2000 residents).
Applicants must be under 40 to apply, but would be entitled to €1,000-€800 for two to three years. That equates to up to €28,000 (or $33,000)!
Have you graduated from a post-secondary education course in the last seven years? Are you saddled with student debt? Well then, why not move to the beautiful province of Saskatchewan in Western Canada? Not only does this neighbourly and down-to-earth part of the world pride itself on offering a warm welcome to newcomers, it also offers a highly generous Graduate Retention Program (GRP).
If you have completed at least six months of education at one of the regional government’s approved higher education institutions (which includes hundreds of overseas institutions, including many in the UK and USA – see the list here), you could apply for up to CA$20,000 worth of tax rebates upon moving to Saskatchewan.
The GRP rebate is paid out over seven years. In each of your first four years, you’ll receive 10% of your rebate – meaning up to CA$2,000 per year. Then, in years five, six and seven, you’ll receive 20%, or up to CA$4,000 per year.
The scheme is designed to incentivise graduates to live and work in this up-and-coming province and take advantage of its fantastic industry and generous business climate. There’s literally no stick to this carrot – Saskatchewan also offers a relatively low cost of living, easy access to world-class national parks, and job opportunities galore.
Find out more about the Saskatchewan Graduate Retention Program (GRP) here.
If life in England has always appealed, there’s good news – you could get paid up to £10,000 to move there today!
Despite having one of the best education systems in the world, the UK is currently experiencing a huge shortage of teachers. Part of the reason is that the population is growing faster than new teachers can be recruited. In 2021/22, the UK achieved just 79% of its teacher recruitment targets, and in 2022/23 it was down to 59%.
To make up for the shortfall, the UK has started a new pilot scheme called the International Relocation Payment (IRP), which is for non-UK trainee teachers, and foreign-qualified teachers of languages and physics. The scheme is set to start in autumn 2023, and will be open to teachers or trainees who are:
- planning to move to England to work in the 2023/24 academic year
- not already living in the UK
The £10,000 cash injection is designed to help teachers settle into their new home and take full advantage of their new life in England.
The emerald isle is crying out for savvy entrepreneurs to come and start new businesses – so much so, they’ve started an investment fund to entice bright young things.
That’s right – you can get your start-up capital direct from the Irish government! The scheme, Enterprise Ireland, is designed to support the creation of jobs and export revenue from Ireland. You don’t have to be Irish to apply, but you do need to have your company registered in Ireland.
You’ll also need to demonstrate that your company is capable of creating at least 10 jobs and €1 million in sales over the first 3 years (see the full list of criteria).
Aside from the grants on offer, Ireland is also growing a great reputation as one of the best countries to start a business due to its low corporation tax and continued ties between the UK and EU.
Do breath-taking mountains, quirky seaside cities and fine wines appeal? Then why not make Chile your home?
Better still, if you have a cutting-edge start-up idea ready to go, you can apply for up to US$300,000 CLP funding, incentives and acceleration programmes provided by Start-Up Chile.
Run by the Chilean Economic Development Agency, this scheme acts just like your traditional start-up fund scheme, with yearly applications taken by a panel of investors.
And, whether you’re still at the ideas phase or you’ve already made a start, the fund will help to get you up and running or accelerate your growth.
The scheme promises to take an even gender split, so 50% of all approved applications will be for female-led organisations.
This beautiful island (just east of Madagascar) is offering 20,000 Mauritian Rupees to any startup businesses that move there. It’s a secluded paradise with beautiful marine wildlife and an enviable climate. To qualify for the grant, you simply need to demonstrate a unique and profitable business idea to a committee.
There are also potentially additional incentives available. If for example, you’re able to hire a graduate registered to the SME scheme in Mauritius – their entire wage can be funded for a year (up to 14,000 Mauritian Rupees).
Whether you’re a DIY pro or professional tradesperson, if you’re looking for a home abroad, these places will either pay you in housing/land or significantly subsidise property prices.
Italy’s €1 Homes
Italy has already made our list of countries that pay you to move (for providing cash benefits for those who relocate), however, in recent years they’ve also been making global headlines for selling off beautiful (albeit dilapidated) homes for only €1! Whilst this isn’t explicitly payment for moving to the area, it usually represents a significant saving for those who were hoping to move to the country anyway.
Of course, as part of the project, the new homeowners are expected to renovate their property within a reasonable timeframe (usually about 3 years or so) or face an annual fee. Italy has launched this 1 Euro home scheme to drive young blood to some of its aging regions and boost their economies. Popular locations partaking in the project include:
What’s the catch? Since the incentive is there to encourage property development, there are usually clauses in place to ensure you do start your project sooner rather than later. Some examples include:
- A €5,000 deposit
- A fine if the planning isn’t submitted within 6 months (in some cases €10,000)
- A fine if work on the property isn’t started within the first year
Each region has taken a slightly different approach though and if you’re legitimately planning to do the work you could be in for a major saving!
The Aegean island of Antikythera is perhaps best known for giving its name to one of the most famous archaeological discoveries from antiquity: the first ‘analogue computer’, known as the Antikythera Mechanism.
The island itself, however, is not quite as renowned. As home to only around 70 people, and severely lacking in basic infrastructure, its fate seemed all but sealed a few years ago.
But that fate has now started to reverse. Today, the island is home to PANGEA, a climate change research centre, and is slowly starting to rebuild its population of young families.
Many of these were incentivised to move from mainland Greece. New families are in line to receive free housing and a plot of land to build on, plus a monthly allowance of €500 for 3 years.
Legrad was once a hub of activity and the second most populated village in Croatia. But over the course of the last century it’s seen a huge decline in it’s population and is now luring in new residents by selling off homes for 1 Kuna (about US$0.16 cents).
Most require significant work, but the state is also willing to chip in over US$4,000 towards the refurbishment too! However, you must be financially stable, under 40 years, and willing to stay for 15+ years.
Looking to relocate in 2023?
There has never been a better time to think about starting a new life abroad. Wherever you decide to move, just make sure you have the confidence of international health insurance.
At William Russell, we have been providing worldwide health cover for over 30 years, helping expats like you and their families to settle into their new homes. Speak to us today to find out more about how global health insurance could support you.