Is becoming an expat actually as hard as people make it out to be?

Is becoming an expat actually as hard as people make it out to be? I always assumed that if you are a college educated American with no history of crime that other countries would basically bend over backwards to let you in

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  1. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    They want your money. Not you.

  2. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    If you are a doctor or engineer, yeah it’s cake.

  3. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    This question is highly dependent on your nationality, net worth, age, and education.

    If you're American with six figure savings and an MBA from Stanford any country on the planet will want you. If you've got an Afghan passport, no money, and a non-recognized degree you literally can't leave the country.

    • 12 months ago
      Anonymous

      This is outdated / inaccurate. Coming from the US no longer carries that sort of prestige.

  4. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    I'm not sure, but I'm training to be an electrician and hopefully being from the first world that will qualify me for a decent position somewhere in Thailand, considering I see a million OSHA violations on a daily basis there.

    • 1 year ago
      Anonymous

      If you are from American and are capable of getting a white-collar job at home, you are capable of becoming an expat. It is not hard unless you are unqualified in which case you need to have $$$ to figure out a way to meet residency reqs without a job

      Generally speaking you will not be able to get a visa for blue collar work anywhere, especially not in Asia. But if you get local waifu and have permanent residence from that they certainly won't stop you from being an electrician

  5. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    generally you need a uni degree or skilled trade to make things smooth.
    otherwise you're having to risk it on a work holiday visa and hope that you become valuable enough in your new job that they feel like sponsoring you after 2 years.
    once you get the sponsorship you become their slave b***hboy until you eventually get residency.

    other than that though, its pretty straight forward. just the first week is a lot of running around doing shit like setting up bank accounts and social security numbers etc from scratch, which varies in difficulty from country to country.

  6. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    my two friends who were university educated couldn't get into the UK. They clearly don't want White people immigrating there. They went to Germany instead.

  7. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    Depends where you want to go. Anywhere in eastern half of Asia? Literally just exist as an American and you’ll easily find some entryway. Europe? Unless you’re lucky enough to get a great job offer and the company jumps through hoops to prove you’re better than any local talent, you’re not getting in

    Now flip it the other way. From a poor middle eastern of African shithole? If you manage to get into Asia, they’re giving you a very short term visa and will hunt you down and deport you once the time limit is up, unless you were one of the few to get a marriage visa when they were approved without background checks years back. Europe? Just exist. Frick it, hop on a rickety raft and they’ll literally go out to actively find you and carry you to Europe and left you skip any sort of visa process and let you bring your whole family over afterwards. I really can’t understand why European governments make the process so hostile to Americans but make it easy for people hostile to Europe.

    • 12 months ago
      Anonymous

      >I really can’t understand why European governments make the process so hostile to Americans but make it easy for people hostile to Europe.
      Same reason we make it hostile to europeans and easy for mexicans

  8. 1 year ago
    Anonymous

    As others have said it depends.
    I used to think it would be easy to immigrate from Canada to the US but after looking into it it's moronic how hard it is.
    Either have to be super specialized, have a job offer and company willing to sponsor, a celebrity, or have 500k or 1million usd to invest, or marry a US citizen. Or get a temporary TN visa where you have to leave or get kicked out if you lose your job.
    And Canada is basically just another few US states with a 99% similar culture to their nearby state's culture.

    I haven't looked into working in other countries but I imagine they similarly require a job offer at a minimum, they're probably more relaxed about getting permanent residency after working/living there a few years.
    The golden visas and residency permits are certainly more attractive in most other countries though.

    • 12 months ago
      Anonymous

      Canadians are more worldly, better educated, and have a more coherent etiquette than Americans in my experience. Similar but not equal culture.

  9. 12 months ago
    Anonymous

    I’ll add to the chorus, as an American who has spent many years abroad, first in Asia and then in Europe.

    As others have noted, the ease of expatriating depends on where you’re going, and what you bring to the table. I don’t think anybody anywhere ‘bends over backwards’ for miscellaneous Americans with degrees, although we’re often tolerated just fine. Foreigners are more expensive and bureaucratically difficult to hire than locals, and we usually have no inherent added value at all, as far as employers or economies are concerned. If a local is available to do what you do, everywhere would rather have a local do it. This is particularly obvious in the EU, where literally any EU national is ahead of any American in line for job openings, assuming all applicants have the basic qualifications required for the job.

    This is part of why it’s much harder for skilled tradespeople to get work abroad than it is for white-collar types. Most countries produce sufficient blue-collar workers domestically, and many have protectionist policies in place (like local licensing and country-specific exams) to minimize unemployment among citizens. Even if the quality of a local tradesperson’s work might be lower than a foreigner’s could be (like the Thai electricians mentioned above, for example), the local speaks the language, is kept off state unemployment rolls, works cheaper, and doesn’t need a visa or work permit guaranteed by his bosses (which exposes employers both to expenses and potential liability). The potential difference in quality may not be worth the cost or trouble.

    So the easiest way is to be able to do something there’s a shortage of locals available to do. Alongside advanced qualifications, It’s why multinational jobs are often exportable—already knowing the company adds value. Also why TESOL is so popular, and the bar so low—plenty of countries have decent-enough teachers, but some consider native-speaker status added value.

    • 12 months ago
      Anonymous

      What jobs would you recommend looking into? It seems like the only options are to be a generic English teacher or in some form of international sales position.

      • 12 months ago
        Anonymous

        >What jobs would you recommend looking into? It seems like the only options are to be a generic English teacher or in some form of international sales position.
        There are many options, and certainly not just sales in international business.

        I know dozens of Americans currently living and working abroad, in a wide range of different countries on five continents. I’ve met hundreds, but I’m thinking here of people I actually know pretty well. They work in sectors including but not limited to technology (both hardware and software), engineering (they happen to be mostly chemical engineers, but that’s just because I live somewhere where that industry is big), international development, diplomacy, finance, management consulting, pharmaceuticals, education, luxury goods, construction (management, not builders), real estate development, and hospitality (hotel management). Oh, and journalism, but my journalist friend was originally sent abroad with an NGO. They work in a bunch of different capacities, and are mostly fairly senior (because I am one of those old people SighSee likes whining about).

        I think the most important common factors among them are: a) Many got transferred abroad by global companies they were already working for at home; b) Nearly all have advanced degrees—Master’s degrees at least, MBAs, some lawyers, a lot of PhDs, a couple of doctors. Oh, a CPA too. The ones who don’t have grad degrees have uncommon technical skills and/or significant experience. Oh, the hotel manager has no degree at all, but he’s an unusual case, and I guess luxury hotel chains are well-known for very good internal training programs and promoting from within. He started as a hotel pool lifeguard and swimming instructor, and stuck around and advanced to bigger and better things over the course of years. I can’t imagine it’s a common career path.

    • 12 months ago
      Anonymous

      Oh, and forgot to add that another reason TESOL is easier to get than a lot of other international jobs is that the pay is usually low. You can get half a dozen eager young people with CELTAs for half the cost of someone in finance with an advanced degree and, say, quantitative trading expertise. CS devotees or highly qualified IT techs go for about three TESOLs.

      Also worth concurring with posters above that if you’re already very rich you play by different rules. There are residencies and passports left to buy, although fewer and more expensive by the day. With enough millions (in real money, not crypto), it’s possible to get in nearly anywhere, and to reach a point where people really do come close to bending over backwards for you. Even SighSee-fantasy-favorite Switzerland, which has tightly restricted access in general, and technically offers no “golden visa” programs, will grant anyone paying over CHF250,000 per year in taxes (currently about $277K) residency. But you have to start with a LOT of money to hit that point.

      It’s not really relevant to anybody here, of course. But it’s a truth about the fundamental unfairness of the world.

    • 12 months ago
      Anonymous

      This, but also with the disclaimer of: you see dumb and unsafe electrical solutions in X place, because it's accepted there. If they would need better quality solutions, they would just do it. People have different standards around the world.
      Eg. I roll my eyes when there are electrical outlets literally above the faucet in the USA. That shit would not fly in my country. But nobody's gonna hire me as an electrician in the USA, because nobody cares about my country's standards outside of my own country.

  10. 12 months ago
    Anonymous

    It is piss easy, you just go to any other European country and rent an apartment. God bless the EU.
    Good fricking luck otherwise finding a company that would rather hire you over some local and go through the mountain of paperwork required to sponsor your visa. The easiest way would be moving to a foreign branch of a corporation you already work for, but that requires climbing the ladder.
    Your best bet for easy access on demand is being a doctor, every single country on Earth will gladly poach you.

    • 12 months ago
      Anonymous

      >Your best bet for easy access on demand is being a doctor, every single country on Earth will gladly poach you.
      There are actually a ton of caveats that need to be added to this. Medical licensing doesn’t necessarily translate seamlessly among countries, even within Europe—a German doctor friend of mine had to turn down an offer from a clinic in Switzerland, even though Swiss law recognizes German medical licenses as valid, because it’s illegal for a foreign doctor to work in private-sector healthcare without completing some period of service in the public hospital system. And I’ve met doctors in Switzerland from non-EU countries who’ve been told they would need to retrain or take the local license exams before they could practice anywhere in the country. Switzerland is especially fussy about this stuff because they’ve got a very protectionist approach to employment, of course, but I know that similar hoops through which doctors must jump exist elsewhere as well.

      • 12 months ago
        Anonymous

        Yeah, that's true. While they do want you in general, validation can be an absolute b***h, as can any further legal restrictions aimed at propping up the public sector. Another caveat is that even if your medicine diploma is recognized, the same may not be true for your specialty and residency.

        • 12 months ago
          Anonymous

          >Another caveat is that even if your medicine diploma is recognized, the same may not be true for your specialty and residency.
          Yeah, I’ve known people that have had trouble with this as well. There are evidently specialties that don’t even exist as recognized categories of medicine in some countries.

          But it’s even worse for non-doctor medical staff, like specialist nurses, etc. (although advanced nurses do have international mobility as well). I was once in a Swiss ER where I was treated by a nurse who had moved from Germany to Switzerland to become certified as a nurse-anesthesiologist (maybe the term was nurse-anesthetist? I’d never heard of it, anyway), which offered great opportunities in Switzerland but was useless in Germany, where anesthesia is solely the province of doctors. Similarly, a good friend of mine is a highly trained orthopedic nurse from the UK who can’t work as anything more advanced than a school nurse in Switzerland. And the US educates a lot of very well-qualified nurse practitioners and physician assistants (I think this is the term? PA? It’s more advanced than it sounds like it might be, a practitioner rather than an orderly or porter or front-office receptionist) who can practice all sorts of medicine at home but don’t exist in other countries.

  11. 12 months ago
    Anonymous

    I'm "married" in three different Asian countries. Cost to set this up vary, but it is a viable long term under the table solution option to visa bullshit.

    • 12 months ago
      Anonymous

      >I'm "married" in three different Asian countries. Cost to set this up vary, but it is a viable long term under the table solution option to visa bullshit.
      So how much did you personally spend (are you personally spending?), in which countries, and what are your visa statuses there as a result? How long did it all take? And how do you organize your life now? Do you rotate among these three countries? Live in one?

      Why three countries, incidentally? Do you have to make a lot of unscheduled escapes?

      Anyway, this is one of those that I wish were true, because the fantasy is an entertaining one.

    • 12 months ago
      Anonymous

      Also curious how this works. Is there any chance they could "divorce" you and take half your wealth? Are marriages made there recognized in other countries? Like if they came to the US could they claim alimony or divorce rape you that way?
      Do you have to stay "married" for the rest of your life to keep the benefits (citizenship? passports? residency?) or is it temporary? And did you have to stay in the countries for those benefits for a long time? Or at all?

      I've been thinking about retiring in some SEA countries but the visa hurdle is annoying and has some stupidly high costs. Would be pretty cool to get full citizenship in a few countries just by saying you're married for a few years and then cutting ties. I'm surprised I haven't heard about anyone offering this kind of service but it sounds like easy money for any locals. I imagine none of it is standardized and you would have to try to work it out with random people to get it work, but it does sound promising.

      • 12 months ago
        Anonymous

        >Also curious how this works.
        It doesn’t. I was trolling the guy above, who is just bullshitting. Marriage visas are obviously a real thing, but no country in Asia issues automatic permanent residency just for getting hitched with a local. Thai marriage visas are usually good for a year at a time, renewable, but translating that into an application for permanent residency requires a thorough charade of at least three years in duration, checking in with the immigration authorities every 90 days, with the cooperation if not active participation of your dear lady wife. If you pull it off and get permanent residency, you have to remain in-country as a PR (can only leave the country for a limited time, with prior authorization) for a full ten years before you become eligible to apply to naturalize.

        There’s also a lot of money involved, both paid to the bride’s family (this is true of legitimate marriages as well) and the state. It would be cheaper, easier, and much quicker in most cases just to buy one of the stupid “VIP” visas.

        And Thai marriage certificates may or may not be recognized by international courts, but they are certainly used as evidence by jilted Thai brides seeking compensation from husbands they sue for damages in their home countries.

        Systems vary across countries, but the basic principles are the same—a sham marriage takes a lot of time and effort to offer any rewards at all, much as green card marriages do in the States.

  12. 12 months ago
    Anonymous

    Unlike anyone else who has posted in this thread, it seems, I actually live in a country other than that of my birth/citizenship. I have a (declared) criminal record, albeit small, no degree, and a fairly low skill trade (that I don’t work in the field). What was your question before you got this entire thread of misinformation?

    • 12 months ago
      Anonymous

      Where do you live, what do you do and how did you get hired?

      • 12 months ago
        Anonymous

        Australia, work in a mine, a guy at a previous mine gave me the personal number of a senior manager at this mine and I called him and he gave me a job. My trade is car mechanic which is a proper brainlet trade.

        • 12 months ago
          Anonymous

          And what’s your original citizenship? I assume you’re legally resident in Australia—how did you gain residency?

          The thread isn’t 100% falsehoods, though—I’m the old fart above, US citizen, resident of Switzerland. Earlier in my life and career I spent about seven years living and working in Asia, mostly in Thailand but with temporary assignments in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Laos.

          • 12 months ago
            Anonymous

            I gained residency as a skilled migrant with my trade, my pathway (186) is open to all nationalities.

  13. 12 months ago
    Anonymous

    >leave home country
    >don't return
    damn that was as hard as people made it out to be.

  14. 12 months ago
    Anonymous

    I'm white, American, and have a 4 years Bachelor's degree from a top 30 university in addition to a Master's from a top 100 university. Realistically what are my chances of getting one of those English teaching jobs somewhere like China?

    • 12 months ago
      Anonymous

      Getting hired is one thing, being able to put up with it for 1/2+ years is an entirely different issue if you have never lived in China before and experienced the complications that arise naturally from being a foreigner there. Get your money and get out, don't count on it being a career in any sense of the term.

    • 12 months ago
      Anonymous

      If you've never lived in a third world country, let alone visited one as an American, I guarantee you a difficult time even if you get accepted. (Which is likely)

  15. 12 months ago
    Anonymous

    You still need to be in a profession that's needed by the country. Also, you probably won't get as good a salary as in the US.

    For example, in the UK a typical salary for a mid skilled web developer is £35,000-40,000 (a bit more for a London job) which is around $45k-51k. Spending power isn't especially better: flat is about £180-200k, a house is about £350k

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