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Most Popular Destinations for British Expats

Où s'expatrier en tant que Français ?


If you want to know where British expats go when they move abroad, you can refer to the list of the most common destinations:

  • 50% of the expats live in Europe
  • 3 of the countries that attract a higher number of British expatriates are:
    • Switzerland
    • The United States
    • Germany.

But the world is full of opportunities, and we can add to this list other countries for those in search of a more original destination.

Main Destinations for British Expats in Europe

Expats Choose the Countries According to Their Goals

Expatriation does not always mean leaving everything behind to start a new life on the other side of the world. And Europe, with countries such as France, Germany, Switzerland, remains the main destination for many expatriates.

Switzerland is particularly appreciated for:

  • Its quality of life
  • Its salaries (but you have to take into account the fact that life is expensive).

Germany is also at the top of the list because of its job opportunities. Especially in the following sectors:

  • Engineering
  • Industry
  • Energy.

Spain and Portugal are appreciated for their climate. And they are among the chosen ones by British expats in Europe.

Northern European countries are another expatriation option, particularly appreciated by families.

Because of the facilities, they offer to harmoniously combine family and professional life. As well as the healthy and secure living environment they provide.

The Advantages of Choosing European Countries

There are many advantages to choosing Europe as an expatriation destination if you are British.

First of all, it is a way to immerse yourself in a new culture without being completely uprooted. Each country, and even each region, has its own way of life, habits, and gastronomy. And, at the same time, there are many common points between all Europeans.

Expatriating to Europe also means limiting the risk of homesickness. It is possible to come back to the United Kingdom to see your relatives, or to receive visits to your new country of residence more easily and more regularly.

In most European countries people can Speak English. This is comfortable for expatriates who are less at ease with foreign languages and who would hesitate for this reason to try the adventure outside the United Kingdom.

But one of the most positive points is how easy it is for a British person to settle in these expatriation countries.

Numerous agreements exist between the member countries of the European Economic Area and the United Kingdom. And this simplifies the administrative procedures related to expatriation.

British expatriates normally benefit from the same health coverage as local insureds. Even if complementary insurance is often useful to benefit from optimal coverage.

Where Do British Expats Live in North America?

British Expats in the USA

Although the United States is one of the most popular destinations, it is not as accessible as one might think.

To obtain a visa, British expats in USA must have a job in the country. And applying for one with a tourist visa is forbidden.

On the spot, there are many opportunities to seize, and the USA remains a good destination for a British person to expatriate. The experience is unique, but the road is sometimes full of obstacles and unexpected events.

The procedures are more complex than for expatriation in Europe. This is particularly true for health coverage, which is essential given the cost of medical care in the country. And the complexity of the local insurance system.

It is important to be well-informed before departure.

Presence of British Expats in Canada

Canada has many assets that make it a good country to move into:

  • A dynamic economy
  • A pleasant quality of life
  • Its welcoming community.

But keep in mind that British expats in Canada need a good command of the French language. And this can be an obstacle for many people wanting to move there.

Besides this, the steps to be taken can be long and complex. And obtaining a long-term visa is subject to a permanent contract. So, keep in mind that even if Canada is a very interesting choice, you might find some hurdles.

Other Countries That British Expatriates Choose

Territories With Working Holiday Permit

When analyzing where do British expats live, some destinations can be considered as less traditional. This is particularly true of Australia, where a change of scenery is guaranteed.

But what explains the success of this destination is also the ease of working there, thanks to the Working Holiday Permit (WHP).

Valid for one year, it allows you to finance your stay by working on-site, provided you do not hold a permanent position. But it is only available up to the age of 35.

To settle down for a longer period, it is imperative to find a job on the spot. And the chances of doing so vary greatly depending on the professional sector.

It should be noted that other countries are accessible with a WHP, which also make them interesting destinations for expatriates:

  • New Zealand
  • Argentina
  • Uruguay
  • Etc.

In all cases, it is essential to find out about the conditions for obtaining a WHP. They are not identical for all countries. The age limit varies from one destination to another. As well as the possibility of leaving with children or a spouse.

It is generally not possible to combine two WHPs. And the subscription of specific health insurance covering current care, hospitalization and repatriation is in most cases an obligation for obtaining the WHP.

Favorite Countries in Asia for British Expats

Some countries in Asia are quite popular among British expats.

Japan, although a dream, is far from being a destination of choice because of its strict immigration policy. It’s reserved for the most highly educated expats, and it requires a certain mastery of the language.

On the other hand, other countries offer a change of scenery and a comfortable life to expatriates, especially retirees. And this makes them popular choices. Some examples are:

  • Thailand
  • Vietnam.

Some countries are economically dynamic and offer interesting prospects. But beware: integration on the spot can be complicated if you do not master the language or the cultural codes.

This is particularly true in China and South Korea. Among the most economically dynamic destinations, and the most interesting for graduate profiles, we find:

  • The United Arab Emirates
  • Taiwan
  • Singapore.

These are potential expatriation countries because of the professional opportunities and the very good quality of life. As well as the strong representation of expatriates on-site which facilitates integration and allows for evolution in a very international environment.

However, even if the salaries are high, life is expensive and it is necessary to obtain a visa. In most cases is conditional on first obtaining a job.

Regardless of the expatriation destination chosen, such a project cannot be improvised and must be prepared in advance.

The steps involved in obtaining residence permits, visas, and work permits must be carefully taken to avoid the risk of having your application rejected.

Taking out international health insurance before departure must also be seriously considered. Social Security might not cover expatriates. And in many countries, health care is more expensive than in the United Kingdom, and even very expensive for certain destinations.

Online insurance comparisons make it easier to choose your international insurance. They provide free and easy quotes and detailed offers adapted to each budget, destination, and personal situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Most Common Destinations for British Expats?

The most common expatriation destinations are:

– Switzerland
– Singapore
– China
– Germany
– Bahrain
– New Zealand
– Thailand
– Taiwan
– India
– Hong Kong.

What Are the Disadvantages That British Expatriates Suffer Outside of Europe?

Despite all the advantages of living abroad, there are some disadvantages to consider when expatriating:

– Social Security might not cover health expenses outside of Europe
– The laws may change considerably
– Not understanding the local language and not being able to integrate with the local population.

How to Prepare Your Expatriation?

Before moving abroad, there are several things to prepare:

– Find a job online
– Cancel all your subscriptions
– Take out an international insurance
– Obtain an international driver’s license, if needed
– Have money in local currency
– Take out an internet subscription for the country
– Remember to take all your important papers.

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This is also interesting:

What countries should I move to? The best countries to move to are not the same for everyone! Finding the ideal destination depends first of all on what is expected on a personal level.

Être rappelé·e

On le sait, vous êtres très occupé·e, et nous aussi ! Si vous préférez choisir la date et l’heure pour qu’on s’appelle, il vous suffit de le faire grâce au calendrier ci-dessous !

Choisissez un moment qui vous convient


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