Every year we see certain countries gaining popularity among expats, and in this shaky economic environment this is most often due to increased job opportunities. A prime example of this was Qatar’s 208,000-strong expat influx in 2013. As we’re a few weeks into 2014, we think it’s high time that we take a look into destinations that may be popular with expats this year.
The growing investment in the technology industry could be set to drive employment-driven migration. A Hydrogen report recently revealed that technology skills will be in demand globally, and with San Francisco and Silicon Valley remaining the tech capitals of the world, the USA will be particularly in need. Faster-than-expected economic growth in the USA should also attract entrepreneurs and start-up owners, as the US economy is predicted to grow by 2.8% in 2014.
The biggest draw of this Mediterranean EU member is the generous incentives on offer to attract those planning to retire to the island. Anyone buying a new property for their own use or permanent residence will not be subject to the standard VAT rate of 18%, but will have to pay just 5%.
One barrier that may deter those who are considering relocating to Cyprus from actually making the move is their perception of the Cypriot economy, following the banking crisis and the accompanying media coverage. Yet many British expats remained unaffected by the crisis, as they kept their savings back in the UK, and the economy is improving as a result of the strength of the tourism and property sectors.
Michael Brinksman, content editor at online expat resource Whichoffshore, confirms that this fear is ill-informed and states: “The economic crisis never affected British expats as badly as many feared and there remains a strong expat community in the nation, enjoying more favourable weather and a less frantic lifestyle.”
The Canadian government has launched an initiative to attract expats from across the globe throughout 2014 and into 2015, leading to greater economic growth and a swell in the country’s workforce. Three strategies will be used to draw expats to Canadian shores: the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) scheme; the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP); and the Start-Up Visa Program.
The CEC scheme will allow 15,000 people to become permanent residents in Canada this year, as long as they have worked there for a year and are able to meet the minimum language requirement. The PNP will see 40,000 expats arriving in Canada in 2014 and aims to spread these across the country, not simply in the major cities.
Entrepreneurs are being encouraged to immigrate via the Start-Up Visa Program, through which they will either start their own business in Canada or invest in someone else’s venture.
The combination of the variety of schemes enabling expats to enter Canada and the fact that they are welcoming those from all industries and with varied skills is likely to make it one of the most popular destinations for 2014.